Monday, June 27, 2011

Teton National Park

On one of my days off last week I decided to go down to Teton Nat'l Park for the day.  It is 100 miles from Lake to Jackson Hole which is on the southern end of the park.  I left at 4:45am to try to arrive before the light got to harsh for good pictures.  On the way by Colter Bay I stopped briefly to get a glimpse of bear #399 who I've heard so much about from guests that have seen her and her three cubs.  There was an army of photograhers waiting as they crossed the road in front of me and headed off into the woods. 

My first photo stop was at Oxbow Bend on the Snake River.  There was a slight ripple on the water so I didn't get the reflection that I hoped for but it was still worth the trip.  In the fall when the Aspen turn golden this place is covered with photographers.

My next destination was to Morman Row, a small village settled by Mormans from 1908 to the early 50's.  This old barn along with the Teton Mountains as a back drop are a popular photographic spot.

After these photo ops I traveled south to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve where I hiked the 7 mile loop around Phelps Lake.  It is one of my favorite places in the Tetons and this was the first time I hiked the entire loop.  I carried a camera and tripod in hopes of seeing a moose but not this trip.  But on my way to lunch at Moose Junction I did spot a bull moose along the edge of the snake river.  It wasn't the best location for pictures but here he is..

It was a great day in the Tetons and I hope to make several more visits before I leave. 

Until next time, as always thanks for following my Yellowstone adventure.   David


On Sunday I circled the upper loop in hopes of an opportunity to try out my new lens.  I knew if nothing else I would stop at Floating Island Lake to photograph the nesting Sand Hill Cranes.  When I passed through Mammoth the local elk population was gathered around the little church there as if they knew it was Sunday morning.  There were numerous new calves as seen here..

Next I stopped by Floating Island Lake.  I've heard reports of several moose frequenting the area but after a few hours watching the cranes and Ruddy ducks I headed back to Lake.  I plan to go back this way soon to get better pictures of the Ruddy's.  They have a beatiful light blue beak and cinnamon colored body.   Here is the mother crane standing over the next which is a very small island that looks as if it is floating in the lake, thus the name Floating Island Lake.  Look closely and you'll see two eggs.  (click on image to enlarge)

This image was taken with Canon 7D, 500mm lens @ f5.6 with 1.4x extender for equivalant of 700mm.  Subject distance was approximately 80 meters.

My next post will be pictures from my trip last week to Teton National Park. 

Until then, Thanks for following my Yellowstone adventure.   David

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Yellowstone Black Bears

One day last week as I was headed north in the park I found (along with about 30 others) three black bears traveling together.  I stayed with them for about two hours and got a few good photos.  The high light of the time was when the large male decided to go for a dip in the shallow pond at the bottom of the hill. 

Black bears come in a varity of colors from almost blond, cinnamon to black.  Of the three bears the larger male was cinnamon colored and the two females black.  This was the only shot I could get with at least two in the frame to show the color variation.

The quality of the next shot is not great due to the distance but click on it to enlarge and look at his feet.  The photographers were all gathered on a hill opposite the hill the bears were on. 

After soaking in the shallow water for several minutes he sits up and shakes the water off like a BIG puppy would.

Remember you can enlarge the picture by "clicking" on it.  I'll be posting more pictures of these bears at my Pbase site over the next few days.  I have pictures for two more blog posts that I will try to complete this week.  (Elk calves, Sand Hill Cranes, Canada Geese, Ruddy Ducks, and possibly more bears)

Until next time, thanks for following my blog, David

Sunday, June 19, 2011


First I want to wish all you dads a Happy Father's Day and to my children Chris and Lauren, I miss you.

It was an exciting two days off in the park with more bears, eagles, owls, badgers and coyotes.  My first goal was to find the Great Horned Owl nest in Mammoth.  After some searching and questioning a park ranger I finally located it.  The adult was out on a limb and two young were down in the nest.  Here is the adult.

My next goal for the weekend was to find the badger's den I had heard about from several people.  With a little searching I found it and watched mother and three juveniles interact for over an hour.  Normally not active during the day the three young were very playful often seeming to aggravate mom.  Here they are.

As I started to head for home on Saturday I noticed a few photographers in chairs but with cameras ready beside the road.  I asked what was going on and they said they were waiting on a fox that hunts in the field below them.  So I decided to wait with them.  Within ten minutes here comes the fox looking for rodents.  It is a bit shaggy looking as it sheds a heavy winter coat but was fun to watch.  I did miss the best photo when it leaped into the air and pounced on a small rodent.

Also on Saturday I spent 2+ hours perched on the side of a hill watching three black bears traveling together.  The larger male was cinnamon in color and the two females were black.  It was midday and warm which resulted in the cinnamon bear going for a dip in a small pond.  I'll post those pictures in a few days.

Until next time, thanks for following my Yellowstone Blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


It has been a good week in Yellowstone with mild temperatures and mostly clear days.  I return to work today after two days off.  Over the two days I traveled up the east side of the park to the Lamar Valley but most wildlife sightings were too far off for photos.  With little to show for my efforts I did stop and shoot this bison resting near the road.  About 3000 bison roam Yellowstone and have become the iconic symbol of the park.  A few more pictures from the past week follow.

This is the same cub as seen in an earlier post when it was on mom's back.  Mom and cub made an appearance for several days near Indian Pond on the East park entrance not far from Fishing Bridge.  I'll continue to pass through there when I have time in hopes of seeing them again.

This big grizzly is the same as earlier posts.  Once again he was on the hill on the approach to Sedge Bay.  I'll never tire of photographing the mightly grizzlies of Yellowstone. 

An internet acquaintance is visiting the park this week with a group from MPEG (Midwest Photo Enthusiasts Group).  You can follow his journey at

Until next time, Thanks for visiting.  Remember to get a better look at any picture just double click on it.   David

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Spring has arrived with a high today around 60.  Most of the snow is gone and things are turning green.  My weekend is Friday/Saturday so back to work today.  Friday was a trip down to the Tetons.  It was a great day with five moose sightings.  Saturday was a day of hiking several moderate trails near the Lamar Valley.  Here are a few pictures from this week. 

This grizzly was seen along the lake near Sedge Bay one evening after work last week.

This moose was near the bridge over the Snake River at Moose Junction in the Tetons. He was quite shabby as his winter coat is molting, but still a joy to watch.

This is my PIC of the week.  This mother moose and younster were seen near Jackson Lake Lodge in the Tetons.  They never came fully out of the trees so this was the best shot I got.

Please feel free to share this blog with any one that may be interested.  Until next time, thanks for your interest and comments.    David