Review -February Zoom Meeting – Mary Braddock – Life in a Volcano – Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

After our January meeting covered the uplands of Armenia, for February we crossed the Atlantic but continued among mountain habitats, as Mary Braddock took us to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in the USA. Over a ten-day tour, there were several distinct geographical areas, including Jackson Lake and Yellowstone Lake, some north-south valleys that are important migration routes between the jagged mountains, and the various geysers, pools and fumaroles of the currently-active volcanic region (complete with an explanatory diagram).

Like Mary’s previous talk to us a year ago, there were wonderful images from this huge area of “raw nature”, plus well-informed commentary on some of the success stories of conservation and reintroduction. Compared with many of our talks, there were good numbers of slides of larger mammals, perhaps the most memorable being a bison enveloped in swirls of its own steaming breath; at the other end of the scale, a golden-mantled ground squirrel was a real poser! And then there were the birds – from the always-impressive bald eagle to a very smart red-breasted nuthatch, from the blue-green sheen of Brewer’s blackbird to the subtle monochromes of Clark’s nutcracker and the gray jay (possibly my favourite photo). A fine talk was well-appreciated by our largest-ever online audience, with several new members attending.

You can view some of Mary’s photography on Flickr using this link:- http://www.flickr.com/photos/nwsurreywildlife/