Earth Spirit Excursions returns once again to Yellowstone National Park in December this year. Yellowstone is a place of magic and natural wonder regardless of the season. Winter, however, reveals to those of us willing to don thick goose down parkas and heavy boots, an awe-inspiring transformation, that time when nature recovers from the warm, growth seasons and the massive numbers of tourists. While the grizzly and black bears sleep, this is an incredibly special time for all of the species that remain active winter inhabitants, the bison, elk, big horn sheep, bald and golden eagles, foxes, coyotes and the apex carnivore, the gray wolf. Although the environment may be harsh and prove to be a stressful time for animals, winter can reveal the true survival mechanisms of species both large and small. For us it is an incredible honor and unique privilege to witness all of this first hand through spotting scopes and to capture on video what takes place during this natural transition of the seasons. The focus of our environmental education sojourn is to observe the survival mechanisms and adaptations of Yellowstone’s winter denizens.

Our daily field observations begin at sunrise. After watching wildlife for several hours, we return to the comfort of our cabins to enjoy a hearty breakfast followed by afternoon activities such as hiking, snowshoeing and photography. Short daylight hours put us back at the cabins where gourmet meals will be served and the day’s observations will be shared. This scenario will be repeated for nine days and nights along with notable guest speakers who will share with us their personal Yellowstone experiences. If we are really lucky, you may be blessed with hearing wolves howl during the night.

– written by Joe Allen

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Winter in Yellowstone

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