man: the reason i do this -- it's an opportunity to see this country in its wildest, most beautiful time. the rewards are, you see country that nobody else sees. [ howling ] [ wolf barking in distance ] murphy: anybody who's sat out on a hillside in the winter, when it's so still, and heard a wolf -- there's no price tag you can put on it. [ wolf howling in distance ] murphy: yellowstone has given me a lot of gifts. and we can improve on some things, but we cannot improve on this. narrator: just outside the park, time picks up its usual pace. narrator: down in jackson hole, christmas ends as it began, with the magic of lights dancing in the dark.
the war in iraq was declared officially over this week. somehow, the platypus can sense food underwater without seeing it. in the pack on his back, he's carrying all the comforts he thinks he needs. so this is my mshelr, an 8-foot-square nylon tarp with rubberized coating. okay, there's a 3-pound down sleeping bag here, which is theoretically rated to 20 below zero. narrator: "pretty much it" doesn't look like nearly enough. winds blowing 50 miles per hour whip the snow into a frenzy. there's a little more snow in here than i'm used to, mostly because it'd eddy around right here. i'm sure this looks like i'm committing suicide, but... from half a mile away, the coyote follows every move. deep in hibernation, her body is preparing for one more amazing feat. ♪ oh tidings of comfort and joy ♪ ♪ comfort and joy ♪ oh tidings of comfort and joy ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ and a happy new year ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ we wish you a merry christmas ♪ ♪ and a happy new year [ cheers and applause ] narrator: inside the snow lodge, visitors share the magic of christmas eve. if i can bring people these kind of images and they can feel that they're there, then they'll say, "i need to make sure that stays that way." [ shutter clicks ] right here, in this early morning light, with this fog drifting around from the thermals, what's happening is, all this stuff reveals things that aren't normally this prominent. narrator: a young black wolf and her parents are attempting to cross soda butte creek, but winter presents challenges even for them. quite often, we see eagles somewhere around the otters, or coyotes somewhere around the otters. two little grizzly bears have been born into the new year. canon -- living and working together to appreciate today and care for tomorrow. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. the best photographs -- there's been times that i've felt i could smell the air, i could smell the trees. down along the yellowstone river, the otter family has come together. it's a christmas reunion, and today, they have an appreciative audience. man: quite often, we see three of them together in this stretch of river, and today's actually been the first time this winter that i've seen four at one time. new year's eve welcomes in the future, a future in yellowstone, full of the promise of the past. to learn more about what you've seen on this "nature" program, visit the monarch butterfly, one of the most amazing creatures around. i need to sort of maximize my time, so i end up kind of frantic here, shooting like this. right now, all of a sudden, this tree just softened up... narrator: in some ways, steam is what yellowstone is all about. she is still in hibernation, but the cubs are busy playing. is the grizzly bear poised to claim the arctic, or will the polar bear hang on? go to to screen complete episodes from this season and seasons past. we also used a borescope lens, and that allowed us to put the lens right into a flower. of course, the sun is coming up fairly quickly, and it's going to change the shadows. [ shutter clicks ] now the steam has moved in, obscured a bunch of other stuff, and made this one tree stand out even better with this wonderful bank of clouds behind it. only 4 pounds each, they're tiny next to their 400-pound mother. the rarest of all thermal features are geysers, and yellowstone holds more of them than any place on earth. in spring, when they are ready, yellowstone will be waiting.