Friday, August 17, 2012

Badger Faces are Beautiful

Sometime wildlife pops up where you'd least expect it.  We expected it as we drove through Yellowstone.  We expected it on the hike up Mt. Washburn.  We expected it along the shore of Long Lake and Lake Yellowstone.  But we didn't really expect it right next to our tent in the Tower Falls campground which is exactly where we happened to cross paths with a beautiful badger.  I mean, we see all sorts of birds and ground squirrels in the campground, but never something like this.  We were completely and happily surprised at the opportunity.

It was Matt's first badger sighting and my second.  We were sitting in our camp chairs next to the tent, drinking a beer and relaxing after our Mt. Washburn hike when we both realized that the raspberry bushes behind us were shaking and rustling.   After debating whether or not it was just our camp neighbors' dog (illegally) off its leash Matt hopped up on a tree stump for a better look and out came a badger!   The badger moseyed towards us (making us back up and quick!  I know enough about badgers not to really want to cross paths) coming within ten feet of us (too close).  We kept backing away, but the badger turned and angled off uphill another direction.  It hopped over a log and disappeared into the grass and bushes again.  We could track the movement up the hill for some way, but then the badger was gone.

As we lay in our tent that night I asked Matt what his favorite part of the weekend had been.  He said without a moment hesitation, "The badger."

I don't know...hiking to the top of Mt. Washburn may still have been my favorite part, but the badger was a very close second.
I was using my patented snap-wildly-without-looking-at-the-camera style of photo taking.  This was the only really salvageable one.  I wish it had more of his beautiful black and white face, but oh well, I have the mental photo.  It is better if you enlarge it (by clicking on it).

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