On September 1, we were on our way to Cody, WY to finish up our last bite of business in town before we were to leave the park. I saw something in Lake Yellowstone. I could not tell what it was at first. I laughed and stated – Donna, there is a Loch Ness in the lake. The lake is very low so there are many exposed rocks. Whatever was in the lake looked like a long reptile of some sort. As we got closer we could tell it was a cow elk. At first we were trying to figure out what she was doing just standing there. We figured she was taking a bath since she started to dunk her head. It seems that this must be the behavior this year. We have found numerous cows standing in the lake after this incident. August and September were very warm. The weather was in the high 70s/low 80s each day. Maybe it is a cooling off technique. We can’t prove that there is a lake monster…yet.
One of my favorite things is spotting small animals. When you live and work in Yellowstone you will see a bear, bison and most likely wolf or moose during the four or five months you are in the park . Small animals are so much harder to spot. This was a good year. I spotted snow shoe hares, foxes, yellow bellowed marmots, pine marten, all types of squirrels, chipmunks and more species of bird than I can name. This year’s favorite was this short tail ermine. Donna and I were hiking the Cascade Creek Trail for the second time of the summer when we spotted this beauty. We were nearing the fork in the trail where you could continue forward to go to the Dunraven exit or turn right to the Creek exit. We heard rustling and saw a small creature come towards us. We stop so as not to scare it. Out comes the weasel with a look that stated – ‘hurry up lady and take your photo, I don’t have all day. Make sure you get my good side.’ It kept tilting its head so I knew which was the good side. I took a few photos and put my camera away. It scurried off back into the woods once I put my camera away. We laughed so hard at the animal encounter. This will be a memory that I will always cherish.