I just returned from a field trip to Yellowstone with twenty five 11-year-old kiddos. We spent four days living in the Lamar Valley perched on the slope of the glacial valley. Often, in the early evening, we would watch the bison and elk move across the river bottoms.
During the day, the students worked hard preparing food and completing their lessons. This trip is a right of passage for the new middle school students. Each year, the entire 6th grade class travels to Yellowstone. Sometimes the trip takes place in September. This year, it happened over the middle of October.
Bison, elk, bald eagles and deer filled the trip. We missed seeing a wolf by minutes in (of all places) the parking lot at Old Faithful.
We were not so close to a bear sighting. Our trip was COLD and the rangers told us that it was the first weekend of winter. The bears, it seemed, had gone to seek out their dens for the winter.
Although I was sorry not to see them, I starting thinking about how special it was to be there when they went away from their land. After spending entire days in the forest and chill, I felt the urgency to get prepared for the change of the seasons.
Bears are amazing, and if we missed seeing them by one or two days, I am not saddened by the fact. They knew that it was time to find a place to stay warm. They had gotten their work done for the year and it was time to rest.
These thoughts sent me on a bear spree of sorts.
Check out this National Park Service video:
I love the title of the movie.
If you have never been captivated by the live webcam at Brooks Falls in Alaska, you really should fall for it. Full disclosure, it is my show to binge watch.