Yellowstone’s winter wonderland of wildlife

Christopher RobinOur Town Arts

Fact. I do not have the patience to be a wildlife photographer. Hours spent watching for critters to stick their head out of a hole or for an elk, unconcerned with my time schedule, to stand up, does not interest me. However, if a cooperative animal gets in front of my camera, I am more than happy to oblige.

Resting – Photography by Chris S. Rowher

Yellowstone National Park might be the exception. The variety of wildlife and the magnificent setting gives me such peace that I photograph all day long. These three images were shot there in late January when daily temperatures ranged from minus 17 degrees to the mid-twenties. More concerned with their survival in the harsh winter, the animals don’t pay much attention to humans.

Cuteness belied! – Photography by Chris S. Rowher

This beautiful coyote, hunting in one of the thermal basins, kept me entertained for about 20 minutes. The Firehole River does not freeze even in the coldest part of winter, so Trumpeter Swans and ducks abound. In the extreme cold, steam coming off the river can present problems for a photographer.

Pine Martins, cousin to the weasel, are a rare treat to see and photograph. His family was living in a Canyon Village dumpster. Cute as they are, these are voracious eaters of voles, mice, birds, eggs, carrion and even rabbits.

Yellowstone should be on everyone’s bucket list. Yellowstone in the winter will give you an entirely different experience that I fully endorse.

Photographer Chris and painter Robin Rohwer each week share a painting or photograph that captured their interest in hopes that it will also capture yours. They have a small studio and gallery in the Phoenix Building at 418 South Gay Street where you can stop and see their work. Their website is All works are copyright protected.

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