It is spring in Yellowstone and there are babies everywhere, especially bison calves. Cute and frisky are the best words to describe these orange-furred bundles of energy – not the usual naturalist terms, but appropriate for these guys. And it has been a very good year for bison births – every herd has dozens of calves either frolicking or sacked out in the grass. And the sounds of being close to a herd are amazing – grunts and snorts, bawls of the calves, and even the munching of grass when they are close to your car.
And there’s the promise of yet more babies to come. I’ve seen several pregnant pronghorn and mule deer. And then there are the nests – a bald eagle nest, a golden eagle nest, an osprey nest, and I’m sure many more yet to be discovered.
But the most amazing thing I’ve seen was a pronghorn fawn. I just walked out onto a small hill to take a look at a distant bison herd. I didn’t even have my camera with me because I was only 20 yards from the car. But I looked down and right at the edge of the sage was a young pronghorn fawn doing what its’ instinct tells it to do – lie perfectly still to avoid predators. I took one quick picture with my phone and moved away so as not to disturb it. I looked around when I got back to the car and I could see two pronghorn females about 100 yards away, one of them undoubtedly the mother. In a week or two that little pronghorn will be able to run and avoid many of the predators out here in Lamar. Until then it will need to rely on camouflage and it’s relative lack of scent to avoid detection. I wish it well.