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About Christine

I am a writer living in Austin Texas who focuses on the natural world.  I love being outside, whether walking my Jack Russell, riding my horse, watching wolves in Wyoming, or just hanging out in my own backyard.

Nature Writer Christine Baleshta

Journal

I began keeping a nature journal decades ago.  Below are excerpts from those journals
sharing my experiences with dogs, cats and horses,
and observing the natural world in Austin, Texas.

Midwinter 2024

The owl was not in the box today. A sudden panic sets in – has he left? Yesterday an owl was in the box, tearing at some piece of food, probably a bird. This alone was new behavior; until now, the owl has sat in the box contentedly without bringing any prey in, and it seemed possible this was a different owl, perhaps the female?

February 10th, 2024|

The End of January

I watched the owl leave tonight. 6:25 p.m. Each evening a little later as the sun sinks behind the horizon. If I were outside, I would absorb the silence of the day’s shadows. It is almost the end of January. Soon his mate will arrive. We hope. He has not left the box since he arrived. The day he is not there will be a sign.

January 30th, 2024|

Yellowstone Trip Reports

In September 1998 I visited Yellowstone National Park for the first time and have returned every year since.
A few years later, my boyfriend Tim Springer joined me, and we began posting our trip reports
and photographs of the Park’s abundant wildlife and natural wonders. 

Previous trip reports from May 2004 through May 2016 can be found at Yellowstone Experiences ->.

Yellowstone May 2024

Last week’s snow has almost melted. The 2-6 inches that closed I-90 and roads in Yellowstone is now patches of snow and dustings of white on mountains. In some places, like the mountains across from the cabin, a layer of white blankets the peaks, shining in the morning sun and glowing mysteriously in moonlight.

July 6th, 2024|

Yellowstone May 2023

Elk grazed in the meadows just outside the north entrance as we drove along the road toward Silver Gate. We stopped first to check the great horned owls’ nest in Mammoth and spotted one adult deep in the branches and twigs staring straight at us. We stopped at Slough Creek also to check the Junction Butte den site. This spring the Junction Butte wolves have denned in their old site on the north side of the road.

July 24th, 2023|

Yellowstone May 2022

A cold, wet spring day. Driving I-90 toward Yellowstone we pass pastures greening up with new grass and mountains dusted with snow. Elk fill the valleys - there are so many of them! Gray clouds cover the sky with intermittent rain showers breaking through, but the elk and horses and sheep are not disturbed from their grazing. It’s been a few years since we visited the Park in May and it’s good to be back when it’s cold; the wildlife is out and there aren’t so many people. It just feels wilder.

July 23rd, 2022|

Yellowstone Trip Report May 2016

 It’s raining; a cold rain that drenches you in minutes and suddenly stops. We are holed up in the map room in the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, sitting at a table at the far end of the room watching passing traffic – human and ungulate – from the floor to ceiling window. This morning it was almost clear as we drove across the Gardiner Bridge, passing a bald eagle perched on a rock, looking for his next meal. The road curves through forests of leafed-out aspen, cottonwoods, and pine trees. A black bear ambles across a clearing in the woods near Lava Creek. Not far down the road, two young bull elk, their antlers still covered in velvet, bed in tall grass on the steep slopes.

Yellowstone Trip Report October 2015

Leaving Bozeman, deep green conifers spread across rolling hills and mountains. Aspen and cottonwoods have peaked, their brilliant gold leaves fading. Muted yellows, reds and greens blend forming Yellowstone’s autumn. A large herd of elk graze the pastures of Paradise Valley while not far down the road, antelope forage in grass. Their migration out of the Park has begun. 

Just around the bend from Yankee Jim Canyon a chubby black and white border collie perches on top of a tall round boulder, a sentry greeting an SUV at the gate. Horses graze in pastures far from the road: paints, duns, blacks, grey, sun bleached to almost white.

Previous Yellowstone and other Park Trip Reports 2004-2016

We have a large number of other trip reports on our website Yellowstone Experiences. Reports on trips to Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic, and Jasper Parks with discussion about hiking, wildlife viewing and helpful tips to make visits to the parks more enjoyable.

Looking for 527

Looking for 527 is a book I authored with artist Susanne Belcher, based on my essay about Yellowstone wolf 527, alpha female of the Cottonwood Pack.

Looking for 527 by Susanne Belcher, artist, and Christine Baleshta, writer, is a creative collaboration that is part art gallery catalog, part personal journal interspersed with snippets from their correspondences. It is an emotion-evoking tribute to the wolf and the people whose efforts are ongoing to preserve their lives.”  Martha Meacham, Story Circle Network

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