50 Below!

Lamar Sundog

A sundog over Lamar Valley in brutally cold consitions. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

You expect cold in Yellowstone and I’d heard reports of fifty, even 60 below, but in many winter trips Marla and I had never experienced that special kind of cold. Until now. On a trip for the Sage Spirit project, I woke to -31F in Gardiner, which froze my battery, but I was on my way with a jump from a kind fellow who was there to watch wolves – everyone is there to watch wolves in winter. I knew it was cold in Lamar Valley, really cold, but I still made some landscape images and my camera gear was fine. The Lamar wolves were up on a ridge feeding on an elk and out of photography range. As the sun rose, I spotted this sundog above the valley, they appear when sun rays refract off of ice crystals suspended in the air. I found out later the temperature in Lamar was -54F that morning, a special kind of cold.

4 thoughts on “50 Below!

  1. When I lived in Bozeman, I once met a Russian biologist working in Yellowstone, who said he’d been as cold there as he ever was in Siberia. Beautiful image, Dave, and nice job working in those conditions. I’m afraid I’ve been spoiled for that sort of thing by all my years in the southwest.

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