The Chase

Hanging out in the Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, on a spring sun warmed hillside, photographing badgers being badgers. The hillside was a good place for a badger family. Ground squirrels abound, small piles of dark brown dirt with a squirrel-sized hole mark the homes of dinner for a lot of critters, hawks, eagles, coyotes and, of course, badgers. A larger pile of dirt with a suitably sized hole, somewhat screened from view by newly greening sagebrush, marked a badger’s home. The two young were wrestling each other, using mom as a climbing gym. A little one went into the den and emerged with a dead ground squirrel, exhumed from the storage area. Burying it in the loose soil next to mom, who seemed a little annoyed, she retrieved the carcass and took it back into the den.

Looking up the valley, the river was a dazzling polished silver where the water caught the sun, burnished pewter farther along, sparkling white where the river met the rocks and boulders that slowed its headlong rush, lovely blue where the sky was reflected. The season has been dry but the valley below was bright spring green with swaths of golden-yellow dandelions. There was motion, seen out of the corner of the eye, a horizontal rushing of dust, distant, but moving quickly up the valley, followed by a smaller, but similar dust plume. A quick look through the binoculars revealed a pronghorn moving at a pretty good clip, a coyote in fast pursuit not too far behind. In general this is not a fair contest, coyotes are fast, up to maybe 43 mph for a short distance but no match for the 60 mph top speed of a pronghorn.

Brick red bison calves experiencing their first spring, stopped their carousing and watched the unlikely pair racing by.  We too watched the combo as they moved up the valley from our right heading in front of our position trending off to our left. The coyote matched the pronghorn through every little course change. The pronghorn would veer a little to it’s left, the coyote followed flawlesly, same move to the right, copied again by the little prairie wolf. All seemed to be going well with what seemed a plan when the pronghorn made a very abrupt sharp turn, at the spot of that turn the coyote disappeared in an explosion of dust. The pronghorn stopped as suddenly as if somehow connected to it’s pursuer and turned to face the coyote who was now picking itself up from the ground, shaking off the dirt, getting reorganized. The pronghorn turned and began it’s race up the valley, again followed by the coyote.

Sadly the great mass of people either don’t know of these things or don’t care. For the rest of us, somewhere the chase continues, somewhere the chase is led and we are in the dust, left to wonder.

The images here are not, sadly, those of the incident described here. The coyote and pronghorn were too far out in the valley to photograph so we have included a few shots of the species involved doing other things.

This looks dire, 2 coyotes agains 1 pronghorn. The coyotes were hoping to have her fawn, hidden somewhere in the sage, for a meal, she was not going to let that happen. The coyotes gave up after they discovered 2 to 1 were not good odds against this determined mom.
Badgers, playing at their den
Badgers, just goofing off
A slightly peeved mother Badger taking a ground squirrel back into the den after one of her kids brought it out of underground storage.
Coyote kinda tip toeing through a Bison herd, ignored by same Bison.
Common Dandelions in bloom along Lamar River, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The Lamar is not a big river, depending on how much runoff is coursing down toward the Yellowstone River.
Lamar River when the snow has been deep and is melting out very, very quickly.

4 thoughts on “The Chase”

  1. Hey there! We absolutely love reading people’s blogs and the entertaining content that creators like you share . Your unique voice enhances the vibrant online community that we all cherish . Keep sharing and connecting your audience, because your creativity can make a significant impact on the world. We can’t wait to discover what you’ll produce next!

    Thanks – pomeranianpoppa

  2. Loved this post – heress my feedback –
    g at the stunning photographs and reading about the badgers in their natural habitat was truly a delight. It’s heartwarming to see a mother badger providing for her young and the playful nature of the babies. The author’s descriptions of the hillside and the different critters that call it home really brought the scene to life. It’s wonderful to know that there are still places like Yellowstone National Park where we can witness these beautiful moments of nature. Thank you for sharing this lovely article!
    Thanks for reading , Love The Blog !!
    Thanks – TheDogGod Thanks – Pomeranian Puppies & Adult Dog Guides & Tips

    1. Pleased to get your comments Jason! Badgers are really one of our favorite species to photograph and enjoy the antics of. They are underappreciated largely we think because of their feisty and aggressive nature but hey, when you’re small, you have to be, right? That said, they ARE adorable. Happy to know you enjoyed this article. Keep watching!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: