Today was all about waterfalls, canyons, and ospreys…and a few geysers and bison, of course.
osprey nest with momma and two babies
This seemed to be the daddy osprey
We’re terrible at getting family photos – here’s the first of our whole time in Yellowstone!
Next we needed to drive back to Old Faithful (for the third time) for the kids to finish and turn in their Junior Ranger and Young Scientist books.
This guy was pretty close to the “Mystery Location” the kids had to find and do some of their work.
Their work at the “Mystery Location” was involving the bacteria mat around the hot springs and geysers.
Our bison kept getting closer and closer as they worked.
He finally got close enough that they moved to a different location to finish their work. He decided he liked that plan, and went with them.
It turns out that the bison also use the boardwalks.
We had seen lots of bison tracks all over the bacterial mat – now we saw those tracks being made!
For a minute, it looked like he was coming right to our new spot.
I guess he wasn’t interested in Junior Ranger work, though.
We were on the bench at Sponge Geyser long enough to see the water level rise and fall several times.
They did it! They finished both books!
I was so hoping Old Faithful was going to erupt as they said their pledges! It erupts every 96 minutes, give or take 10 minutes. At the time they finished, it was 9 minutes after the predicted time. It erupted right after they finished.
These were super helpful Junior Ranger books. They helped us identify animals, tracks, and droppings all over the park.
They so desperately wanted to check off the “wolf” box, but alas, we never successfully saw a wolf in the park.
He gave them bonus anniversary badges as well!
Now that work was done, it was time to hike up to Observation Point. A male bear has been crossing that path recently, but we didn’t see him.
Castle Geyser erupts twice a day.
Lodgepole pine is so named because Native Americans used them to build their lodging.
Even rarer than a family photo is one of just the two of us lovebirds.
making friends with a yellow-bellied marmot
There were yellow-bellied marmots all over the place!
making friends with a golden mantled ground squirrel
heading to dinner after a nice hike
Our final drive out of the park included more bison, some elk playing around by and in the street (it was too dark by that point for good photos, but I will tell you it was a bit nerve-wracking!), and some beautiful sunset views.
Even bison dress up when the occasion is right.
This is part of a Yellowstone series. You can view the other days here:
Geyser Basins Lost Lake Trail and Lamar Valley Upper Geyser Basin Just a Picnic Mammoth Hot Springs Canyon National Geographic Experience