Springtime is coming. And so are the babies.
During the springtime, Paris has nothing on Cody. Well, except a really tall tower. And wonderful croissants. But they don’t get to mark the coming of springtime with the emergence of the grizzlies or sightings of furry orange elk calves. We do. C’est la vie.
Spring is going to be here before you know it, and it’s going to be a springtime to remember. I promise. How do I know? Because our winter was one to remember. If you talk with the old-timers around here they’ll say they haven’t seen a winter like this in 20 years.
The snowfall we’ve had this year is far, far more than what we usually get. One of my pals who is a Weather Channel nut keeps track of snowfall and percentages. He told me the snowpack is 141 percent above our normal range. It seems like the countryside has been whiter than an elk’s behind for months and months. Years, in fact, if you ask me on one of my extreme spring fever days.
But no matter how you measure it, everyone agrees that springtime 2014 is going to rock.
I’m already starting to see the green grass in spots where snow has melted. And I heard that someone already spotted a grizzly bear up in the Hayden Valley area of the park. And a black bear was seen last month. They’re already foraging for food. That’s not always good news for the random elk or bison, but that’s just the way things work around here.
Pretty soon we’ll see the hills along the road to Yellowstone covered in yellow, red and purple wildflowers. And of course my favorite part is when we start to see the babies. Elk, bison and moose calves are always fun to spot. And most seasons I’m lucky enough to see a bear cub or two. Here’s a hint – head to the East Gate of the park and take a little hike. You might be lucky enough to spot a mama moose and calf grazing in the marshy flats. But do what we Cody folks do and always practice safe hiking. That means you hike with two or three friends, make noise along the trail and carry bear spray.
Even though I still have two-foot snowdrifts in my back yard and the snowplow drivers – our hometown heroes – are still working hard to keep the roads clear, I’ve already mentally fast-forwarded to springtime. Just the other day, I got a very strange look from a trucker at the gas station and realized I was humming “Tiptoe through the Tulips” and shuffling a little dance step as I was pumping gas. And even though that trucker was smirking a little, I could swear I heard him start humming the same tune as he got back into the cab. You know which tune I mean, right? Hah. It’s catching. Kind of like spring fever.
Until next time, I’m whistling a happy tune in Cody, Wyoming!