I don’t know about anyone else, but I ALWAYS stop and watch the squirrels whenever I see them – it doesn’t matter that they are frequent sightings pretty much anywhere you go in the US. I was out looking for larger subjects in Grand Teton Park when I saw this little guy on the fencepost near the parking lot I was in. Couldn’t resist spending a few minutes with him and taking a few pics. Hope you like him (or her) also……
I recently went to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks precisely because they were “Off-Season.” It was too late for the ski season in Jackson Hole but not too late to get some nice photos of the Grand Tetons. This is shot of one of the very famously photographed mormon barns with the Tetons as the backdrop. You can see the snow is going fast but it is a beautiful sight on a clear spring day.
The second photo is also of an oft-photographed area – Oxbow Bend in the Grand Teton Park. During the fall color season there are hordes of photographers at this spot hours before sunrise to catch the colors. I was pretty much alone as I took this photo. Since it didn’t have the advantage of the fall foliage, I chose to make it a B&W and just feature the scenery and reflections.
Two weeks ago I had a great experience “On the Way.” As I was leaving Yellowstone and beginning my journey back home to San Diego. I was driving through the Grand Teton National Park in the evening before a planned stopover in Jackson, Wyoming. I saw a couple of gravel/dirt roads that looked like they needed exploring so I took some time out from my transit to see if I could find some wildlife. At my first stop, I found some Marmots that I posted a photo of earlier this week. On a second dirt road, I went into the woods as far as I could before running into a large “pond” in the middle of the road. Not having a four wheel drive, I turned around and went back the way I came in. I wasn’t expecting to see anything as I had been on the road only 5 minutes before. As I came around a corner, I saw this nice surprise – A grizzly sow with cubs.
They were also “on their way” so I didn’t have long with them but I did get a few quick shots. Here is a view of the cubs as they were leaving – I love that the one cub kept looking back to see what I was doing. This “on the way” interlude made both of our journeys very memorable!
On my way back from Yellowstone I stopped along a dirt road in the Grand Teton National Park to look for bears. Didn’t immediately find any but I found a large colony of Marmots enjoying the gray day. This one was posing for me on a downed tree and there is another that you can see hiding behind the stump. Funny, shy animals that are always a pleasure to find and observe.
For our last day in the Tetons, we planned on getting up very early in the morning and proceed to a well known photographic viewpoint at OxBow Bend. We got up well before the lazy sun and went out to watch the morning spectacle. When we arrived at “the Bend” we joined the other photographers in the dark. Almost immediately, we began to hear the loud bugling of the Elk through the morning mist. It was both eery and beautiful and it seemed to be coming from all directions – some close and some more distant. A lovely song to accompany our morning coffee. As it turned out, the part of mother nature’s staff in charge of sunrises was still asleep and the scene we anticipated never materialized (clouds and wind)…. 😦 . We were disappointed but the sound of the Elk calls more than made up for it and is something we will always remember.
A little later that morning, as we drove through Yellowstone National Park we spotted a huge male Elk wandering across a shallow pond. I jammed on the brakes at the next pull off and we walked quickly back to catch a photo of this majestic animal. When we reached him (at a respectful distance), he was out of the pond but he was bugling frequently as he searched for a mate. It was a thrill to put a real face to the calls that we had heard in the dark earlier that morning. It was a perfect autumn scene – even more so for the sounds rather than just the sights we photographers are always seeking.
Thought I’d post this shot from our return trip home from Grand Teton/Yellowstone last week. We went through Grand Teton National Park at mid-day so the light wasn’t at its best. That being said, the Teton peaks were visible and had some interesting cloud clover, there was still some good color in the valley trees, and there were horses along the fence line. I thought it all made for a very nice scene. Hope you enjoy also!
We’re off on the road again and arrived in Jackson, Wy on Sunday. It wasn’t a very pretty day but as night approached, it became very still and quiet. We had made our way to a beaver pond but it was too late and too dark to photograph animals so we just enjoyed the scene and took a few long exposure shots of the mountains and the fall foliage reflected in the ponds…..
OBTW – the Beaver’s den is shown in the foreground of the photo.
I always get hung up on taking wildlife photos that I sometimes forget that people might not know or understand the magnificence of places like the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. These parks are huge and they encompass many different environments from snow capped mountains to river carved valleys. It is impossible in a week to spend enough time to enjoy all the aspects of the parks that are incredible in their own way. Given my (and my friends) preoccupation with the wildlife, we didn’t spend alot of our limited time to take scenic photos even though we certainly took it all in during our stay. Today I thought I’d post just a couple of scenic shots to provide context for all the wildlife photos that I have been (and will be) posting. The first photo is one of the scenes that I always think about when I think of Yellowstone. It is in the Northeast corner of the park and is a great example of the joining of the rivers, the plains, and mountains. I took this photo on the day I got to the park – I think it also captures the changing nature of the weather which seems to be in constant flux this time of year.
The second shot is from the complete other end of the Yellowstone/Grand Teton area. This is from an overlook of the bending Snake River below the imposing face of the Grand Teton Mountain Range – one of the prettiest ranges in the country (in my opinion). This was an unusual picture for my trip as I was down in that area of the parks for a total of 4 days and this was one of the few times that I got to see the peaks of the Tetons…..
To continue with my “barn series”, here is another visitor to the barns while I was there. This little ground squirrel must be used to people due to all the photographers that frequent the area. He didn’t seem at all disturbed that I was taking his photo.
As promised, here is one of my photos of one of the “mormon row” barns just outside of the Grand Teton National Park near Jackson, Wyoming. These are some of the most photographed barns in the world – there are “flocks” of photographers there most of the year trying to capture an iconic morning or dusk photo of the barns against the incredible backdrop of the Teton mountains. Except for me – I was there at mid-day during intermittent snow squalls moving through the area. I might not have caught the best scenery or light, but I still like this photo due to the forbidding skies and the dark mood.