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.
I’m not sure that this is really a great fit for this week’s challenge but I decided to use it as I thought it might make a good album cover. I also chose it as it was attempt to take a photo and make it more like a work of art. I took this photo in Yellowstone Park a few weeks back. This Osprey was sitting at the very top of a tree and decided to take off – nicely into the sun. I caught a nice sequence of photos but this is my favorite because of the wing positions, the claws, and the eyes of the great bird. It certainly conveys to me what it might be like to be able to fly…..I fine theme for an album.
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.
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.
This post is about one of those magic moments where you get to witness and capture something completely unexpected but amazing. We were making an early morning drive through Lamar Valley in the Northern end of the park when we spotted a lone wolf a good distance away down in the valley. We pulled over just as he was making his way toward a herd of Bison. He made a few tentative attempts to separate a “red dog” bison calf away from its mother but the mom kept itself between the wolf and calf and the predator kinda lost interest. Shortly after that, a group of 5 or 6 bison chased the wolf away from the main herd. Somewhere during all this action, a coyote joined the party and began nipping at the wolf’s heels. We were still a long ways away but we could hear the coyote’s barking clearly. The wolf slowly turned toward us and started walking quickly towards where we were parked. The Coyote kept pace and never left his trail position behind the wolf – yelling the entire time. Eventually we got a better view of the whole proceeding and were able to get a photo of the encounter. I managed to get this shot of the Wolf coming at us, the coyote with mouth open as it chased the wolf, and the buffalo behind with their young. Sort of a perfect description of what Yellowstone is all about.
We continued to watch as that coyote chased the wolf for about 2 miles!! Even when the wolf turned and showed the size of his teeth the coyote kept coming…
I took this photo of this Goldeneye Duck at trout lake in Yellowstone park back in May. It was a nice calm morning as you can see by the water but this duck looked really aggravated that we were sharing his lake….
I’ve been waiting to use this photo and I think this might be a perfect time. I can’t think of anything “fresher” than the faces of these two young fox kits as they explore their new world with the bright eyes and exuberance of youth.
While in Yellowstone we took a couple of short hikes up to Trout Lake – due to reports of Otter activity (including a few families) and also Grizzly sightings. While we didn’t get to see multiple otters or any bear up there, this Otter came by and posed for several shots pretty close to us. Happy Monday!
He climbed up on a nearby log and just preened for a while before retiring to his den….
Another photo of the momma fox with one of her kits. Not quite sure what is going on here but the kit sure seems to “looking into the teeth” of the situation….
It wouldn’t be a visit to Yellowstone without a Moose making an appearance or two. It was interesting that all the moose we saw were very consistent in their state of antler development – all of them had sort of “handles” coming out of their head but had yet to branch out into the more recognizable rack. The other common denominator was that all of the ones we saw were pretty calm around people – there was one that we found in the same place numerous times always with a crowd of people pretty close by taking photos. This one was a little farther away but I thought it was a more natural shot of the Moose in its environment.