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Magical Sometimes Mirthful Summer Moments From Yellowstone

More from "A Life in Wonderland": Yellowstone "winterkeeper" Steven Fuller shares an almanac of summer images from the center of America's oldest national park

July 29, 2018: Seeking Peace In The Whirlwind

Just one intersection of human and wild, Yellowstone summer 2018
Just one intersection of human and wild, Yellowstone summer 2018
It is now the middle of summer in Yellowstone and these are the busiest, most hectic and days of the year for a park "winterkeeper" if your name is Steven Fuller. 

Fuller has delighted Mountain Journal readers for months with his dispatches from the center of America's first national park, sharing a rare window into the solitude of winter and the quietude of the shoulder season. But as the chief of maintenance for the concessionaire Xanterra at Canyon Village, Fuller is the person in charge of making sure the systems run smoothly for millions of visitors passing through the development perched near the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. 

Whenever he can, Fuller has been stealing away mornings at sunrise and trying to catch the "golden hours" around dusk when weather atmospherics and haze drifting in from the forest fires in California and Oregon have made for spectacular sunsets.

For visitors it is the height of summer, Fuller says, "but already you can feel the changes coming in the air. We are on the front end of Yellowstone autumn." Babies born in the park are growing up fast. Bison bulls are in rut, buffalo and elk calves of the year putting on weight, and male wapiti carrying velvet antlers that will soon harden and become their majestic headgear of fall.
Symmetry at dawn: Fuller savors sunrises along the Yellowstone River
Symmetry at dawn: Fuller savors sunrises along the Yellowstone River
Fog has draped the Yellowstone River corridor in Hayden Valley on many mornings, Fuller says. The changes often elicit a sigh for they remind him of fleeting time seeming to move faster amid the tempest pace of tourism.

If you're new to following Fuller's adventures, through his ongoing MoJo series called "A Life in Wonderland," click here. In the coming days we'll be sharing selections of Fuller's 2018 summer portfolio, illustrating his keen eye for sweet moments, natural drama and mirth.  All photos copyright Steven Fuller 2018
Female elk keep a watchful eye over their precious offspring. Cow-calf groups in Yellowstone are part of a great mixing pot of different elk herds that converge in Yellowstone from across the ecosystem during summer.
Female elk keep a watchful eye over their precious offspring. Cow-calf groups in Yellowstone are part of a great mixing pot of different elk herds that converge in Yellowstone from across the ecosystem during summer.
A bull elk shares the swimming hole with a band of brothers but come fall when the rut begins their antlers will become tools for combat.
A bull elk shares the swimming hole with a band of brothers but come fall when the rut begins their antlers will become tools for combat.
Fuller says that despite dwelling near the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, given constantly shifting light and shadow, he's never seen the same scene twice.
Fuller says that despite dwelling near the edge of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, given constantly shifting light and shadow, he's never seen the same scene twice.
Fumeroles appear almost like smoke signals in the park interior.
Fumeroles appear almost like smoke signals in the park interior.
In formation, Canada geese set up toward a rainbow in Hayden Valley.
In formation, Canada geese set up toward a rainbow in Hayden Valley.

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