Saturday, September 29, 2007

Old Faithful Streaming Webcam

Just In Time For Public Lands Day
Glacier Park Disappearing
Giant Bison Shot
.. The Old Faithful streaming webcam is up and running. It is controlled by staff at Old Faithful and pans around the Upper Geyser Basin. It is often directed at erupting geysers other than Old Faithful. It also features a zoom lens that allows a view of the thermal features from a closer perspective than the fixed webcam.
.. When not being "flown around the basin," the streaming webcam shows an image similar to the static webcam. The sponsors of the new webcam are Canon and the Yellowstone Park Foundation.
.. The link to the streaming webcam is a ""MMS"" link, (which is an external protocol request,) and redirects your browser to Windows Media Player for viewing the live stream. Depending on your browser and its settings the media player will just open -- OR -- a "Query Window" will pop up. If this happens, just launch the application.
.. Try it, you'll like it. It's also listed in our sidebar under Yellowstone Links if you'd like to try it here instead of on your own browser.
.. If you would like an Old Faithful Webcam widget for your own computer just go to Yahoo Widgets and get it. It's a bit better than the NPS version. Just wait until we can control the webcam from our own joystick.
.. If you're running an Apple just go to Spider-Mac For a similar free widget.
.. Should you want a webcam of your own just click on over to Star Dot Technologies and investigate the possibilities. The Old Faithful Webcam is featured on their site.
.. Today is Public Lands Day and you may enter Yellowstone National Park for free -- if you can afford the fuel to get here.
.. Take your cell phone to Old Faithful -- Call Home --Wave at the webcams.
"This summer, for the first time in Glacier National Park's 100-year history, Gem Glacier was entirely snow-free, a glistening sheet of bare ice sweating dark and blue under a relentless sun."
And the trend toward melting continues -- via the Missoulian.
.. An enormous bull bison was killed in the hunt to reduce the Jackson Bison Herd. The hunt is conducted by Wyoming to reduce the size of the herd to 500 individuals from its current size of about 1,200.
.. The dead bison may be the largest bison killed in the last 82 years. It was shot by E.D. Riekens Jr., of Cheyenne, near Spread Creek on September 18. Before the record can be official the head must dry for 60 days and then be re-measured.
.. The horn spread of "Old Lonesome" has been measured at 32 inches from tip to tip and 18 and 19 inches individually, giving the animal a hunting score of 140-2/8. The previous record, a bison killed in Yellowstone National Park in 1925, scored 136-4/8. -- via Seattle Times.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

We Get Requests

top dog 0001top dog 0002
.. We grabbed these snapshots back in May and have had requests ever since. We followed the pack north through the Hayden Valley without seeing the boss gal. As we approached the Chittenden Bridge we noticed a shadow on the hillside and pulled over. She trotted down the embankment and crossed right in front of the car. Dashed over the bridge and waved goodbye with a flick of her tail. Feel free to copy and use the images as you wish.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

You're Not A Real Cop


.. It's Entertaining, insightful, a bit pathetic, and just a mite too true to laugh at. We welcome back Ranger Gord with a suggestion that it's important to understand what the whole job is . . . not just the touchy - feelie part.
.. Money Quote:
"I guess people just want park rangers to tell them all about the cute cuddly woodland creatures instead of enforcing laws and arresting criminals. What should a park ranger to do once all of the woodland creatures are scared away by hoards of horny men looking for sex?"
.. Click on over to Ranger Gord for the story of The Robo Ranger of Griffith Park. There are a couple of posts and it's worth reading it all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rolling Thunder

.. Leading the West Yellowstone visit is The White Convertible Limousine #437. These vehicles have become a major attraction wherever they appear. These six vehicles represent the golden age of touring in Yellowstone National Park. #437 is based in West Yellowstone at the museum in West Yellowstone, The other 5 are in Mammoth.
.. We confess to having an unmitigated obsession with the vehicles and have posted several notes in the past:
.. Below are some pictures of these fine vehicles, that are such a part of Yellowstone History, including "Good Ol' Number One." Drivers of the vehicles, (called 'gear jammers') are selected from the current corps of guides in Yellowstone. They are chosen for their length of service, interest in the vehicles, ability to communicate both the current wonders of the park and the flavor of the past, and their abiding love of the history of Yellowstone.
.. These six White Coaches are original vehicles. These are not the refurbished, restored, and remade vehicles that are being used by the current park concessionaire. And, as nice as the new fords are, they have lost a certain "glow" that is irreplaceable.
.. The vehicles arrived in West Yellowstone for a board meeting of the West Yellowstone Historical Society which operates and maintains the museum in town. The museum has a central theme of "Transportation in Yellowstone," and presents images, artifacts, and stories from the earliest times to the present. Many vehicles are included in the collections. If you are interested in Railroads, Automobiles, Stage Coaches, Snowmobiles, Bicycles, or other forms of transportation that have been used in Yellowstone - the museum is a must visit.
.. The board meeting was hosted by Bullwinkle's Saloon and Eatery, owned by board members Jackie and Dennis LaFever. We were not privy to the fare but suspect that no one left hungry.
.. Feel Free to copy and use any of these images.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Historic Bus Gathering


.. Yellowstone's historic bus collection traveled to Bullwinkle's Restaurant in West Yellowstone today for a luncheon sponsored by Bullwinkle's Restaurant and The Wet Yellowstone Historical Society
.. More pictures and details tomorrow.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Prescribed Fire Burns

New West Entrance Station Progressing
.. The fire scheduled for today happened yesterday. It went off with little incident until the winds kicked up about 2:00 PM. The road from Norris to Canyon was closed briefly due to the smoke, and the fire-information center in the Norris Meadow parking lot got a lot of attention.
.. This was the first time that a prescribed burn was used in Yellowstone. It was designed to remove the heavy fuel concentration in the forest. A fire in this area could have threatened some historic structures, the Norris Campground, and the government housing area. By all accounts the 65 acre burn was a success. About half of the heavy fuel load that was in the area was burned. You can read a complete report in the Billings Gazette.
guyser photo
guyser photo
.. Construction on the new West Entrance Station continues at a pace just a bit behind schedule. The narrow road and resulting congestion have not deterred visitors. The entrance traffic yesterday was as heavy as it was on the Fourth of July, (for about 1 hour the waiting traffic backed up into West Yellowstone.)
.. In addition to the new gate and entrance station there is a widened road planned and a turnaround that is already completed.
guyser photo

Friday, September 07, 2007

Odds & Ends

Burnt Trees
More Visitors
Armed Conflict
Bear Woes
Tom's In Town

.. The fire closure in the burned area of the Madison Arm Fire has been lifted.
Even though the lands within the closure area are now open under normal travel restrictions, the public is asked to use caution and watch for trees weakened by the fire that may fall during a wind storm. . . . Billings Gazette
.. Visitor numbers continue to rise at Yellowstone.
Park officials reported an 11.8 percent jump in the number of recreational visitors to Yellowstone in August compared with last year. In all, 710,781 people came to the park last month. . . . Billings Gazette
.. With the additional visitor crowding comes more strife. This is so common now that it does not even rate a press release or a note in the morning report, (although former employee arrests are noted.) Kind of like vagrancy on the National Mall.
During the initial stages of the standoff, the three men alternated between yelling obscenities and threats of violence and repeatedly entering and exiting their vehicles. One shouted that “someone is going to die tonight;” . . . Desert USA Blog
.. With the increased Grizzly longevity and recent population growth, the trophic cascade has begun to push the black bears around. The resulting human bear conflicts have led to the euthanasia and/or relocation of several bears this year, (1,2.) This is happening all over the Northwestern United States - - look for it to continue.
Fortunately, there is a place for chubby bears outside of the Chicago offensive line or the Gay Pride parade. . . . Crosscut
.. Growing awareness of the Y2Y concept is creeping into news sources and reports.
Nature knows no borders, and if humans want to preserve animal species that straddle two nations, they need to ensure that habitats are seamless. The wildlife-corridor concept addresses this challenge. . . . Crosscut
.. There is a photo exhibit currently at the Burke Museum in Seattle that highlights the Y2Y concept. It's called "Freedom To Roam and will run until December 31, 2007. There is a spectacular photographic preview on the museum's web page.
The great Rocky Mountain landscapes are a treasure for the world. In them, I see what we in Europe have lost. I don't want that to happen here. — Florian Schulz, photographer

.. Fishing with friends is newsman T. Brokaw.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Sky Is Falling - Finally

Can It Really Be September ?
winter use plans revealed

.. An article in New West by Mathew Frank details the current fires in Montana. The article also details a list of fire resources and updates for the western United States.
.. Yellowstone National Park has some fires still burning and uncontained, (see InciWeb 1 & 2,) and the park administration plans to start some more to keep company with the newly discovered backcountry fire. Illegal morel hunting should be good around Norris next year.

.. A YNP press release lets us know that the Winter Use Planning Documents have been released. All current Winter Use Technical Documents are POSTED HERE.
The new documents are:
-- Natural Soundscape Monitoring draft report (PDF),
"Although on average snowmobiles were audible for more time than snowcoaches, snowcoaches in general had higher sound levels, especially at higher speeds."
-- Final Air Quality Modeling Report (PDF)
"the earlier modeling scenarios only included in-bound traffic within Yellowstone and did not include traffic exiting the park (i.e., return trips were not “counted” by the previous modeling as traveling on road segments a second time). Since this potentially excluded a substantial amount of traffic, this was corrected in the update and the latest travel factor spreadsheets include both in-bound and out-bound trips for all alternatives."
-- Winter Air Quality Study from this past season (PDF),
"The winter of 2006-2007 had CO values that were nearly the same as the last few years. The maximum hourly CO at the West Entrance was slightly higher but the longer averages of 8-hours and for the season were down."
.. A complete review of the air quality can also be found at the NPS site NATURE & SCIENCE.
-- Bison & Plowed Roads (PDF - 2005)
"Collaboration is necessary to define what is acceptable;
science is necessary to define what is possible;
organizing people to use knowledge to design and implement
management in the face of uncertainty is fundamental."
.. The battle of the electronic postcard is being won by opponents of snowmobiles! - reported by Scott McMillion in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.