An elk cow nurses her calf

I was walking up to see the geothermal features in the Artists’ Paintpots region of Yellowstone and was surprised to see this elk and her calf near the trail. The calf started nursing and the mother, despite looking at me in this picture, was rather non-plussed by my presence. No one else was around so it was just a quiet little shared moment between the three of us.

Holes in the Earth

A hole dug by dogs in the dog park is partially filled with water

We finally got some much needed rain and I wanted to take a picture to celebrate it, but we also got high winds so I couldn’t take any macro pictures like last time. But when I took Ellie up to the dog park I saw this hole that had started to fill with water and it reminded me of another hole in the earth I like photographing, one from Yellowstone National Park (shown below). That one is one of the many geothermal features in the area and is filled with water from below, not above.

There are a few of these holes in the dog park, and since Ellie likes to run beside me in the park, I have to navigate around the holes so that neither one of us steps in one and twists an ankle (she watches me more than the way ahead, trusting me not to lead her astray). The parks folks fill them in occasionally but some dogs like to dig, so new holes always appear. They’ve been spreading sand at this end of the park the past few years and it’s a big help during the winter when rain is not hard to come by, as the sand drains well and it gives Ellie and I a safe area to run in. In the old days she’d still want to run out into the grass, but only one of us has a body built for running in such muddy circumstances, and these days even she isn’t quite as steady on her feet as age begins to take its toll.

I never imagined the dog park would remind me of my beloved Yellowstone so today’s visit made me smile almost as much as the goofball dog who waited patiently for me to take the picture, and of course expected a treat as her reward.

A geothermal feature filled with water in Yellowstone National Park