Best of the Tetons

July Daily Updates and Photos for Grand Teton National Park and JH

A monthly journal of wildlife reports, scenic opportunities, and tidbits for both photographers and Teton visitors!

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Wildlife Reports: Current July and Archived Reports: CLICK HERE!


July Overview:

Web_CoyotePups_May25July is the much like the month of June. The babies of Julywhen you see them—will be larger, faster and usually darker than the babies of June. The lush green Spring growth gradually matures, dries and turns to a duller mid-summer color. Runoff from the thaws lessens and streams become smaller and clearer. Fishermen rejoice. Daylight hours remain long, however the yearly cycle shaves a few minutes off each end of the day as the month progresses. July and early August are the hottest months. Most of the large fur covered animals are most active during the early mornings and late evenings and will bed down during the middle of the day. Elk, Deer, and Moose usually move into the forests to find shade. Bison will often find a spot and just “hang” until things cool down. Check out the Wildlife Reports for more specifics. Bears and wolves will still be on the lookout for baby elk, usually around the Willow Flats area.


What’s Hot? — Wildlife Highlights

Web_MooseWashakie_June19Moose!: Bull Moose are in velvet and their antlers are growing fast. The old winter fur will have been replaced with their slick summer coat. Look for moose in these areas:

  • Along the Gros Ventre River. There are several pullouts near the river and the moose can often be seen along it.
  • Around the Snake River Bridge at Moose Junction: A couple of moose hang around the bridge, but can roam north to Blacktail Butte overlook.
  • Along the Moose/Wilson Road: Several moose have been spotted grazing in the beaver ponds along the road.
  • Buffalo Fork River bottom: The Buffalo Fork flows into the Snake at Moran Junction. Look for moose in the willows and side channels.
  • Oxbow Bend Area: Seen less often with wolves in the region, Moose graze on will bushes in the area.

Web_BisonJumper_May25Baby Bison: Watch for young bison near their mothers along the Gros Ventre Road, Antelope Flats Road, Mormon Row and also farther north near Elk Flats.

Alarmed_SowGrizzly Bears: Grizzlies are often found in the Oxbow Bend area, feasting on young elk. Grizzlies are seen more often during the middle of the day than most other animals, so search for Moose, Deer, and Elk early then move to areas where the bears hang out during the summer months:

  • Oxbow Bend
  • Pacific Creek Road
  • Jackson Lake Lodge and Christian Pond Area
  • Pilgrim Creek and Pilgrim Creek Road
  • Colter Bay Area

Remember, you must remain at least 100 yards from a Grizzly or Black Bear. Rangers have been ticketing people this year that violate the 100 yard rule—and that includes sitting inside your vehicle or approaching a bear in a vehicle at less than 100 yards.

AntelopeDoe1_July3By the middle of July, the most consistent two species of animals will be Bison (AKA Buffalo) and Pronghorns (AKA Antelope). By late July, watch for rut behavior for the Bison and even more so going into August. Many of the other animals like Deer, Elk, & Moose move into the forests during the daytime or bed down in the tall sagebrush. Sunrise is roughly 5:45 AM during the first of the month and sunset is at roughly 8:55 PM. You need to get up early or stay out late. Staying out late has a caveat, of course, as the Teton Range puts most areas into shadows long before actual sunset. Beavers have been active just before dark at Schwabacher Landing.


What’s Hot? — Scenic Highlights

Web_SchwabacherAlpenglow_Jan21Summer! Sunrise in early July is around 5:40 am, so you have to get up very early to capture the beautiful color. Oxbow Bend is now full of water. On calm days, you can get great reflection shots. On windy mornings, think about places like Snake River Overlook, the Mormon Row Barns, or the Old Patriarch Tree that look great without the fear of ruffled water. Schwabacher Landing is now open and getting a lot of traffic. Wildflowers are also “Hot” during July. Common summer wildflowers include Mule’s Ear, One Flowers, Indian Paintbrush, Columbine, Purple Lupine, Stick Geraniums, Penstemon, Skyrocket Gilia. Grand TetonNational Park Service-Wildflowers.


CamRangerNEWS FLASH! CamRanger Giveaway!

The fine people at CamRanger are supplying a brand new CamRanger as a giveaway item! All you have to do to be eligible to win it is is sign up to follow this blog! I’ll be drawing a name from the subscriber list on July 31 and will announce it on August 1st. CamRanger will send the package to the winner with the appropriate cable. Check their site for compatibility for your camera model. Oh yes, the end of July will mark the one year anniversary of this site!

If you are not familiar with CamRanger, you should! They now have a long list of awards as Best Accessory, Editor’s Pick, Gear of the Year, and so forth. A CamRanger lets you remotely control many DSLR cameras via a built in Wi-Fi Connection with an iPhone, iPad, or Android device. I purchased mine after reading a bunch of reviews. I love it! You can see me using mine on this page Wildflowers: Photography Tips, Suggestions & Resources . I have lots of other uses for this device I just haven’t had a chance to try. Again, all you have to do to be eligible is sign up to follow this blog! Painless and EASY! Click the link at the top of the right navigation bar if you are one a computer or scroll down to the bottom of the page if you are on a portable device. Add your email address and hit the Subscribe Now! button.


Artists and Sculptors


Daily Updates including Photos and Comments …well…almost daily!

July 31, 2014

Time is Running Out!  Today is the last day to register on this blog to have a chance to win a  CamRanger!  I am planning on holding the drawing on the Town Square on August 1st. Sign up now!

Early Morning Visitor

Early Morning Visitor: This Hummingbird was sitting on the perch when I got up this morning. I took the shot at extreme low light conditions. There’s something I like about the shot, even though it is not sharp anywhere.


Broad-tailed Hummingbird: With a little more light (from the strobes), I was able to capture several shots similar to this one.

Happenings: The Farmer’s Market will be downtown on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. There is a JH Shootout on the Town Square each night at 6:30 PM except Sunday. Don’t forget to check out the free Gondola rides after 4:30 at the Village. Snow King has chair lift rides to the top of Snow King Mountain throughout the summer for some good views (wait until the smoke clears). Snow King also has a Miniature Golf Course and Alpine Slide. The JH Rodeo is held every Wednesday and Saturday during the Summer. Gasoline is $3.75 per gallon for Self-Serv Regular at most stations in town, a quick jump of ten cents. MJ

Last Shot in July

Last Shot In July!: This is the last image I will capture for this month. It has been a VERY BUSY month of shooting for me….swans, landscapes, moon, fair, wildflowers, hummingbirds, Farmer’s Market, moose, bison and so forth.

Tomorrow, I will be making a new August Daily Updates page and will follow it up with several new Feature Posts. I have been getting images copyrighted, and with so many images, it is taking extra time and energy. I’ll also have a drawing downtown for the CamRanger.


July 30, 2014

Swans In Gold

Morning Swans on Flat Creek:

Lone Swan Stretching

Lone Swan Stretching: On Flat Creek

Hummingbird at the Feeder

Hummingbird at the Feeder:


Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird:

Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird: A strobe from below was used to light up the male’s “gorget”.

Hummer Preening

Hummer Preening: This one reminds me of the movie “Edward Scissorhands”.

Hummer and Red Flowers

Hummingbird with Red Flowers: I spent quite a bit of time photographing hummingbirds today. By the late evening, I had captured quite a few clean, sharp images of a Hummingbird in flight. Most of them were probably this same female Broad-tailed Hummingbird. She has apparently staked out her little spot in my yard and is keeping other Hummingbirds away. I’ll go ahead and include the shooting data for this image, if it helps anyone:

  • Shooting Data: NIKON D800, 200.0-400.0 mm f/4.0 at 400 mm, 1/100 at f/9, Manual Mode, -2/3 EV,  ISO 100, ©2014 Mike R. Jackson, All Rights Reserved

If you are interested, I included a photo of my Hummingbird setup in this post from earlier: The Teton’s Tiny Winged Visitors. The photo goes a long ways towards explaining how these shots are captured, plus I included some information about the settings I use in the strobes. In the 2012 photo, I set up a bunch of light stands to hold the strobes. Now, I have a couple of 2×2’s screwed to the wall and I attach “Justin Clamps” to hold the strobes. Instead of mesh camouflage above, I have tarps. This knocks out the light allowing the strobes to do their magic. I have a tripod in the dining room with the screen removed from the window and can shoot from the comfort of a chair anytime I walk by and see or hear a hummingbird. Most of the action happens in the morning hours and later in the evening.


July 29, 2014: Happy Birthday to Best of the Tetons!

One year ago today, I made my first post on this blog. Boy, has time flown by fast! Be sure to sign up to have a chance for the CamRanger. I’ll take a box of registered names downtown for a drawing on August 1st.

Feeding Female Hummingbird

Feeding Female Hummingbird: We had lots of clouds roll in overnight. I got up early, looked outside but couldn’t see any stars. I hung around the house and set up the Hummingbird photo stage. It wasn’t too long before I had my first female Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

On Guard

On Guard: Often, one little hummingbird will stake out a feeder and watch for intruders. I added a little perch next to the feeder and sure enough, she landed on it! Hopefully, I will get a few males this year. Last year, I waited too long to set up. The males leave first, followed by the females. The fledgelings someone know how to find their way to South America on their own.

Perky Pet Feeder

Hummer on a Perky Pet Feeder:

Hovering Hummer

Flying Hummingbird: All of these images were taken with a 1/60th second exposure. The wings are frozen via the Nikon strobes. I used the camera’s auto focus on all of them.

Stretching Hummingbird

Stretching Hummingbird: A couple of males came around, but didn’t feed on a flower. Hummingbirds are “creatures of habit”. They will fly to the exact spot of a feeder after it has been moved (even a couple of feet) and hover around in apparent dismay and confusion. It takes a little while for them to find the new location. I shuffled things around quite a bit today, so it might take a day for them to get used to the setup. Here’s a post from last year: The Teton’s Tiny Winged Visitors

With the Fair over, I plan on working with the Hummingbirds for a few days. I usually start looking for Moose and Elk in August, so this fills a nice little gap. If you check back regularly, hopefully you’ll see more and better hummers.

If I get a break, I might head up to the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve and spend some time photographing the moving water at Lake Creek. Overcast days work great for that kind of subject. It’d also be fun to take the fishing gear and strobes for another variation of evening fishing photos. I need to see if it is legal to fish that stream.


July 28, 2014

Playing “Catch-Up”: I had a busy, “event filled” weekend. After spending an afternoon at the fair on Friday, I went out late in the night for star photos. I stayed out until sunrise, then home for some minimal sleep before heading to the local skate park for a contest Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, I was back at the fair. In between, I was downloading and culling images.


Corey Jackson in the Bowl: This is my youngest son, Corey, in one of the bowls at the local skate park. The JH Ski and Snowboard team was hosting the first of three contests. More photos from that event coming soon…maybe even a Feature Post.

Figure Eight at the Fair

Figure Eight Contest: This is the Sunday Night closing event at the Teton County Fair. On Saturday, there was a big rodeo in the same arena. A free concert was held on Friday, and the “Pig Wrestling” contest took place on Thursday.

Figure 8 Fender

Figure 8 Warrior: Not sure how this one did, but it was still in the parking lot this morning.


Cliff Hanger: I was slightly back focused on this shot, but otherwise it was close to what I had hoped to capture on this ride. I used a remote SB910 strobe in High-Speed Sync mode at 1/2500th second. The people carrying planes fly by at an amazing speed, so timing this shot of the riders with the sign is not easy. I could spend a full day there and would love the challenge of perfecting that shot! The afternoon light was beginning to change, so I left the Cliff Hanger for other shots.

Fair Aftermath

The Aftermath: The Teton County Fair is over now. I stopped by this expecting to see all the trucks fully loaded. Instead, many rides were still being broken down. I spoke with a few of the workers. They said their next fair was in Farmington, New Mexico and they had plenty of time to be there. They were not in a hurry today. I spent four nights at the Fair and too lots of images. The plan is to make two Feature Posts (in the very near future). One will be titled something like “The Teton County Fair You’d Expect to See” and the other one might be “The Teton County Fair You Probably Won’t Recognize”. The latter will be shots with motion blurs, zooms, pans, and twists during long exposures. If you aren’t signed up to follow this blog, now’s a great time!

July 26, 2014

Night Time in the Tetons: I met Royce Bair and three of his workshop participants on a ridge near Lost Creek Ranch for a night time shoot. I left home at 12:30 am and returned around 8:30 am this morning. We are starting a “New Moon”. Skies were nice and dark.


Milky Way over the Teton Range: (These are all three minute edits in Lightroom.) Taken near Lost Creek Ranch.


Snake River Overlook

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing:

Bison Along Gros Ventre Road

Bison Along Gros Ventre Road.


July 25, 2014

Swan Stretching July 25

Stretching Swan: The Swans were close to the road on Flat Creek for a while this morning. After preening, it is common for an adult swan to stretch and readjust their feathers. My focus point was apparently locking on the little Cygnet just behind this adult, but it was okay for a blog image today.


Morning Swans: Taken along Flat Creek.

Ferris Wheel Abstract

Fair Images: Last night, I want back to the Teton County Fair for dusk to night shots. I came home with just over 1000 images. The abstract image above was taken of the Ferris Wheel.

Pano Teton County Fair

Teton County Fair: (Click this image to see it larger)

Freak Out Abstract July 24

Freak Out! : .6 second, F/22, ISO 100 with a Vertical Pan during the exposure. Yes, I know people tell us not to center an image. This one works fine for my purposes!

Web Fair Ferris Wheel Center Abstract July25

Ferris Wheel Hub: Zoomed while making a long exposure.

Fair Rides July 25

Afternoon Fair Rides: I had plenty of light in the daytime, so I shot this one at 1/1600th second to freeze all action.


July 24, 2014

The rides at the Teton County Fair opened last night. I went over just before dusk and took a few photos. The Carousel is missing this year. I asked one of the fair hands about it and he said they didn’t have room for it this year. The layout is different this year. Other than the missing carousel ride, things looked very similar to previous years.

Ferris Wheel

Teton County Fair:  I tried a star filter on a few shots tonight. It worked fine in a few of the shots, but I probably wouldn’t use it that often in the future. This year, the Ferris Wheel has a new LED lighting package. They change colors and patterns constantly during the night. On the first night of the rides, people pay one price and get a wrist band. They can ride as many rides they want, but lines are also long. Admission is free for most areas of the fair. Some of the events inside the Rodeo area have an admission fee, such as the concert or the Figure 8 races.

Vertigo and Cliff Hanger

Vertigo and Cliff Hanger:  I like the “blue light” period of the night. It allows a bit of the indigo blue sky to show through, yet lets you see the colorful lights.

Tickets Sign

Ticket Booth Sign and Lights at the Teton County Fair. I just pitched the idea of a photo essay for SignCraft Magazine with photos of the signs and graphics at the fair. I think they will go for it. If they do, I’ll concentrate more on them when I go back tonight.


July 23, 2014

Morning Narrative: Yesterday, I got up at 4:30 am to try to capture clouds over the Tetons. It wasn’t great due to a large cloud in the East, blocking the morning light. Last evening, I stayed out and took photos of myself fly fishing. I got in at about 10:30, downloaded the images and made a post. This morning, I had planned on sleeping in. At about 5:15 am, my Golden Retriever started panting and flapping her tail against the bed. I tried to let her out but she didn’t want to go. I looked out the window and saw the wonderful clouds, grabbed the tripods and CF cards and headed north. I went to the same spot I had tried the day before—and several other times before that. As it turned out, I had a great morning…one of the best of the last month! I have to wonder if she is my cloud watching dog? If you have a few minutes, check out Zeffy, the Skateboarding Pup on YouTube! You’ll get a chuckle out of it!


Sunrise Clouds: Looking towards the northeast from my spot along the Moose/Wilson road.


Looking Towards the JH Ski Resort.


First Glow Across the Tetons Range:


Changing Light – Changing Conditions: Same shot as the previous one, but a few minutes later.


Southern Clouds: These were all captured as single images (no HDR) . Sometimes the clouds are quite dark on the undersides as seen here.


Mostly Clouds:


Just Clouds: Looking straight up.

Geese In Clouds

Silhouetted Geese in the Clouds:

Grand Morning

Grand Peaks: This is close to what I went out to capture. It’s a single shot. I spent a lot of time this morning doing tight pano images of essentially this view.

Young Moose

Young Moose: I found this youngster just outside the visitor’s center at “Moose, WY”.

Blacktail Butte

Blacktail Butte: A bison on the lower ridge would have been nice. By the time I took this shot, it was getting close to 9:00 am. I headed back towards town. At the highway junction, there were back to back vehicles heading north to get their “morning” photos. The clouds had cleared and I suspect most of the moose, deer and elk were bedded down.


Swans in Flat Creek: The water level on Flat Creek has dropped recently allowing some of the vegetation to reach the surface. With the morning back light, I got a lot of white textures.


Trumpeter Swans: Taken along Flat Creek.


Swan Family: The remaining three Cygnets are growing fast!

Web Cedar Waxwing July23

Cedar Waxwing: I took this shot next to Flat Creek while waiting for the Swans to move to a new spot.

Grand Light

Grand Light: Actually, I took this image last evening on my way into Schwabacher Landing. I didn’t process it until today. As I mentioned yesterday, the sun is going down over the Tetons when at Scwhabacher Landing at this time of the year.


July 22, 2014

Sunrise: I watched the weather reports for this morning… “Partly Cloudy”. I went out early.

Northern Sunrise

Northern Sunrise: This was taken looking Northeast. It looked promising!


Teton Range in Shadows: I had good clouds over the Tetons, but no light on them.


Sunrise Killer: This big cloud was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It blocked the light I had hoped would light the Tetons.


The Grand: I hung around a while and the clouds cleared some in the East but the dramatic clouds were mostly gone.

Today could be a “poster child” for this old Feature Post: Teton Sunrises: It Takes Two to Tango

Morning Tidbits: I looked for owls, moose, and anything else in the area. There were two moose cows grazing on bitter brush when I drove into the Moose/Wilson Road, but they had mysteriously disappeared into the forest by the time I had any light to work with this morning. The Swan family of two adults and three Cygnets  were at Flat Creek but just out of my range and in the tough morning light. The Park Service is doing dust abatement on the gravel portion of the Moose/Wilson Road today. It will be closed most of the day, but access from the North to the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve is still open.

Moulton Barn Lightning Sept17

Yesterday afternoon, I went out hoping to capture lightning somewhere over the Teton Range. I didn’t have success yesterday, but I did get a few bolts last year about this time. A couple of people asked about the lightning triggers, giving me a clue I should have included the information yesterday. Here are the links:  “AEO Lightning Trigger” ~ LIGHTNING STRIKE! Micro PRO 3.0 for $237. Since I purchased mine, they changed it to accept AA or Rechargeable AA batteries and they added an indicator to let you know the batteries are good. I’d like to add that feature to mine, but can’t afford to buy them again just for the two features. Lastly, here’s the link to the old Feature Post: Lightning at the Mormon Row Barns.


Evening Fisherman (Self-Portrait): A few weeks ago, I spent some time trying to get photos of myself fly fishing. I used a CamRanger to help position myself in the scene and then a RFN-4s (Vello Micro Remote Trigger) to trigger the shot. This afternoon, I saw beautiful wispy clouds hanging over the Tetons, so I went to Schwabacher Landing hoping for a fiery red sky. (Right now, the sun is setting behind the Tetons at that spot.) Unfortunately, the clouds I went to photograph blew on to the north. I switched “focus” from a landscape opportunity to a self portrait opportunity, especially after seeing how calm the pool was tonight. Over the weekend, I packed one of my strobes, a SU-800 and a pair of Radio Poppers for some future “unexpected” use. Bingo! I strung up the fly rod and jumped into my waders and boots.  I added a strobe to the earlier self portrait fishing equation. This shot was taken with a D800 and a 24-70 lens. The shutter speed was only 1/15th of a second at F/7.1 and ISO 800. You’d think that would be way too slow to freeze the line, but the strobe does all the work. I had the scene set to around 4200K (very cool) and was using a full cut CTO (orange) filter over the strobe. The strobe was off camera and being triggered with the SU800 and Radio Poppers. Oh yes….remember to sign up to follow this blog for a chance to win a CamRanger!


Monday July 21, 2014

Fair Rides on their Sides

Fair Rides are in town!  I snapped this quick shot as I drove down Snow King drive at lunch time. The fair workers were measuring and marking the areas for the rides using florescent orange paint. The area looks much busier today after a weekend of inactivity.

Grand Bison

Afternoon Outing: As predicted, clouds thickened and looked threatening. I drove out Spring Gulch Road, then across the highway and towards Kelly. I found a nice bull moose at the big pullout along the Gros Ventre. He was across the river and back a ways. This bull Bison came out of the river bottom, then headed towards the ridge. I waited for him to get to the edge and took a few shots. I kept checking on the moose, but eventually went to Mormon Row.


I keep hoping to get a big storm rolling over the Tetons with lightning hitting the front side of the slope. I was set up, but it didn’t happen. It looked more promising to the Southwest, so I headed to the T.A. Moulton barn.


I set up quickly and added a SEO Lightning Trigger on my D800 and 70-200 lens. I grew up in tornado alley in Oklahoma. My home town of Moore has been hit hard twice since we’ve been in Wyoming. With this kind of clouds rolling in, we’d normally be heading for the cellar!


Once I got one body and lens set up, I added a second setup with a wider lens. I wanted to capture a bolt hitting Blacktail Butte behind the barn or even in the field behind the it. I managed to capture a couple of slivers of lightning bolts, but none of them hit the ridges with a definitive bolt. There was lightning all around however. I parked my truck next to the fence and sat in the truck while most of the activity took place. At some point, it got very windy and then the rain started falling. I packed everything in and headed for the meeting at the Art Center. I add this information on the blog post for today mainly to document how difficult it is to actually capture lightning. Most lightning happens on the front edge of a strong, fast moving storm. You can anticipate the event in general, but it still takes a lot of luck to be aiming in the right direction at the right time. Lightning Triggers help, but you still need big lightning bolts.

Check out this old post where I DID get lightning at almost the exact same spot! : Lightning at the Mormon Row Barns. It also tells more about the Lightning Triggers.


Sunday July 20, 2014

Last night, I checked the weather report for this morning. Forecasts called for clear skies at sunrise. I opted to take it easy today, but I might still go out some later. I spent some time going through roughly 6,000 shots I took of the Trumpeter Swan family on Flat Creek taken over the past couple of weeks. Currently, I have 600 left and will probably cull them down to about 400. With five to six swans in most captures, it is difficult to get shots with all heads out of the water or not looking away. Shoot a lot, then keep only the good ones!


Resting Moose: I processed a few more of yesterday’s moose images today. Normally, if you see a moose with his ears down, they are uneasy about something, but this moose has a naturally droopy ear. He can raise it when needing to hear something in front of him, but it drops back down to this position afterwards. Also, notice how moose have teeth only on the bottom jaw. I always found that amazing, knowing how thick of a branch they can chomp through.


Bull Moose Feeding on Willows: You can see his alert ears in this one.


Willows are a staple diet during the summer months, though some of them still go out into the sage flats to feed on bitter brush.


Resting Moose: After this bull went down, I waited several hours for him to stand up again.


July 19, 2014


Sleeping Indian and Flat Creek: Instead of complaining about smoke in the valley, I tried to find a few images where it enhanced the scene.


Heading Out the Gros Ventre: This one was still taken quite a while before first light.


Early Morning Bison: Still quite a while before light. Taken along Mormon Row Road.


Rose Sky with Bison: Waiting for the sun.


First Rays of Morning: The smoke hanging around the valley enhanced this sunrise today.


Irrigation Ditch: Along Mormon Road Road.


Fence Posts: I focused on the first post and let everything else blur. Without that gold light, I probably wouldn’t have stopped to take this one.


Lonely Road: Taken from the same area and looking the same direction.


Aspen Trunks: The morning gold bathed this stand of aspens along the Moose/Wilson Road.


Lake Creek: No one was pushing me through and across the bridge, so I stopped and took this shot out the window. Lake Creek flows out of Phelps Lake. You can’t legally stop and get out to hike or take pictures within one mile of this creek. You can drive into the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve and park, then hike to the creek and onward to the lake using either of two trails that run parallel to the creek.


Bull Moose in Velvet: This bull was along the Moose/Wilson Road near the intersection at Wilson. I didn’t get many shots of him. There were way too many trees and shrubs.

When I was making my morning outing today, I saw one lone moose out in the middle of the National Elk Refuge across from Flat Creek Inn. It was too dark for me at the time. Later, I drove over the to overlooks along the GV and found two bulls already bedded down at about 8:30 am.


New Feature Post: Jackson Hole Farmer’s Market

These berries were photographed this morning at the third JH Farmer’s Market. I stopped by it on my way back from the park. Today, I created a new Feature Page with various photos from the three markets. There’s lots of color and quite a few photos! Hope you enjoy the page.


July 18, 2014


Three Cygnets: Earlier I had mentioned only seeing three of the four Cygnets. Today, they were close enough to take a few photos. The parent brings up vegetation from the bottom and the youngsters are ready for the scraps.The water is dropping on Flat Creek so the babies can now find food closer to the water surface on their own.


Missing Flight Feathers: One of the two adult Trumpeter Swans is missing its long flight feathers. I have to assume this is a normal event—timed to a period when the Cygnets are also grounded?


Adult and Cygnets: The other adult has all of its flight feathers, however.

Plein Air for the Park Opening Reception: If you have been around the Park and the area lately, you’ll have probably seen artists set up with their easels and canvas in the field painting a scene. I keep meaning to pull over and see if they’d let me take a few photos. Maybe someday. The link above takes you to a page with information about tonight’s Reception.


July 17, 2014

Smokey Tetons

Smokey Tetons: I am not sure where the smoke is coming from, and I guess it really doesn’t matter, but it is thick and affects all views right now. As you can see in this shot, the mountains are barely visible.


Moose Cow: The last time I went out without the camera, a moose cow and calf crossed the river in front of me. After all this time, I should know better! This cow was feeding along the Gros Ventre. It took a bit of a hike to find them today. I walked out with a D4 and a 28-300mm lens today.


Resting Moose: This cow moose was resting in the shade of a large spruce tree. I almost walked by her, but spotted her big ears aimed at me. There was a small bull moose bedded down in deep brush just behind her.


Bull Bison: I took this image from the Gros Ventre road, while standing at the back of my truck. I never get too far away from it with bison around.


Shaggy Bison: It seems late in the season to see bison with remains of their winter fur. I saw at least one bull showing some pre-rut behavior around a cow. Normally, bison are the first to begin the rut, and that usually begins in August.


Sunset Clouds: With all the smoke around, I had hoped to see a fiery red sky over the Tetons. Those clouds became much too thick, so I started watching farther South. This was taken near Kelly and looking more towards town.


July 16, 2014

Recently, I posted The 100 Yard Rule(s). I was thinking about an old documentary video I saw of the Craighead brothers trying to tag a large grizzly bear. Today, I found the clip on YouTube.

Bear AttackWatch this Video!: Grizzly Bear Wake Up – Craighead Brothers Trying to Tag Semi-Conscious Bear.

I don’t think bear spray would have deterred this bear. I think the Park Service should play this video on a continuous loop in their Visitor’s Center!

Another Day in JH: I headed over to Flat Creek this morning after I saw the thick fog beginning to break. The fog looked good, but the swans were way too far out. After lunch, I received a call from my fishing buddy telling me about a cow moose with twins in one of the subdivisions. They were beginning to move to shade when I got there but managed to get a couple of shots for the blog today.

Young Moose

Young Moose Feeding On Willows:

Moose Heads

Young Moose: This pair of twins are beginning to lose their red “baby” color and replacing it with shorter, darker fur. This is a fairly tight crop taken with my D4 and a Nikon 200-400 lens.


July 15, 2014

Mid-Month Morning Outing: Please tell me it can’t be the middle of July already! Summer is zipping by! The alarm went off at 4:20 am. I headed north as I normally do. I could tell the sky was hazy and it wasn’t long before I could tell it was forest fire smoke from some unknown fire. The newspaper will probably tell us where the big fire is that’s pumping smoke our direction. I am unaware of fires here in the valley right now.

Hereford Barn

Hereford Barn: You can get an idea of the smoke from this image. It takes about a mile and a half walk (slightly inclined) to get to this barn.


Gable and Hay Door: It’d be tempting to remove the old lamp and rope in Photoshop. I left it in for today’s post.

Mule Deer

Rim Lit Mule Deer Buck: Taken at the T.A. Moulton Barn.


Mule Deer in Velvet: These two bucks touched noses for just a second or two. I took these images over a bean bag resting on the bed of my truck. I didn’t want to make too much noise getting the tripod out and set up. When on a bean bag, I switch to VR mode on my lens.


Detour: The two bucks seemed to be interested in going West, but a car drove straight towards them and spooked them back to the east. In the distance, you can see four or so orange signs near the Peach House. As far as I know, the baby Coyotes were moved by the mother to a new site, but the Park Service has not taken the signs down.

Lone Swan

Back Lit Swan: Taken on Flat Creek from the observation platform.


Bear Crossing: Luckily, I was outside the Park boundaries today as this bear was crossing the highway so I didn’t have to worry about a 100 yard rule! Even so, he created a pretty good bear jam.


Smokey the Bear: He was doing some press photos for an upcoming inter-agency promotion for the new Disney/Pixar movie about fire fighting airplanes. Planes: Fire & Rescue will be opening at one of the local theaters very soon. (Click the link above to view a trailer). I grew up calling him “Smokey, the Bear”. A few years ago, there was a push to change it to just “Smokey Bear”. They were saying you don’t call a character Mikey, the Mouse. But, you do call one “Felix, the Cat”,  “Oscar, the Grouch”, “Casper, the Friendly Ghost”, “Tony, the Tiger”, “Winnie, the Pooh”, and “Alvin, the Chipmonk”. I seem to recall a lot of my childhood characters using the latter syntax. Some were equally correct either way like Woody Woodpecker or Woody, the Woodpecker or maybe Yogi Bear. I think a lot of us called him Yogi, the Bear.


July 14, 2014


Road to Two Ocean Lake is OPEN!  Yesterday, I drove up Pacific Creek Road and then onward to Two Ocean Lake. That road was closed last year, so it was fun to go there again. Wildflowers were looking good with mostly One Flowers and Sticky Geraniums in the mix. I took a few images along the road. The image above is actually a merged image of one of the flowers there and the log end I took at Jenny Lake boat launch yesterday.

Today, I hung around the house and did business work. We had a variety of weather, including lightning, thunder, rain and hail. Late in the day, I drove over to Flat Creek and saw the Trumpeter Swans, but they were farther away than I would prefer and the water was very rough from the brisk north wind. On days when I have to hang close to home, I like to charge all of the batteries, clean sensors, and reorganize the gear.

I’d like to thank all Best of the Tetons Readers for stopping by regularly. I am nearing the one year anniversary of the first post on this blog. Please help me by spreading the word about the site to your friends. MJ


July 13, 2014

Morning Outing: I went out early in hopes of getting the setting full moon. I probably should have gone to String Lake and Jenny Lake early, but I have a feeling the morning fog would have negated the effort. I started out near Moran, then worked my way to the mountains, where I had to turn around because of the fog. After driving that far north, I made a few little one way legs including one to the top of Signal Mountain and another one up Pacific Creek Road to Two Ocean Lake. On the way home, I drove to the Moose/Wilson Road. I didn’t see any owls. In town, the swans were far from the road.


Alpenglow: Taken above the Buffalo Fork River near Moran Junction. As with almost all days, I like to have at least a few clouds.


Owbow Bend: Before sunrise.


Setting Moon and Fog: Taken not far from the String Lake Junction.


Bear Jam at Jackson Lake Junction: As I drove through the area, I came upon this bear jam. The bears were apparently seen at some point in the field south of the road. I didn’t notice any “long lens” photographers amongst the vehicles. I heard bears were in the same area the day before, so maybe some of these people were just being hopeful.


Setting Moon Over the Grand: We had some ground fog today, but none in the sky in the morning.


Dusky Grouse near the top of Signal Mountain. These were formerly called “Blue Grouse”.


Shaded Indian Paintbrush: Taken along the road to the top of Signal Mountain.


Sunny Indian Paintbrush: Also taken along the road on the way up Signal Mountain.

I didn’t “need” my CamRanger  for the flowers today, but I had it with me. Remember to sign up to follow this blog for your chance to win one! The drawing will be held at the end of July.


Two Ocean Lake: This is the first time I had been there in a couple of years. The road was closed last year. This is one of the trail heads to Grand View Point, roughly 4.2 miles away. This image needs morning  or evening light and some clouds.


Jackson Lake Dam: They are letting a lot of water out of the lake right now. It needs better light and some clouds!


Flowers at the Jenny Lake boat launch.


Flowers taken near the Jenny Lake boat launch.


Log Texture: Taken at the Jenny Lake boat ramp area.


Panned Biker: I panned along with this biker near the Taggart Lake trail head. I probably should have made the effect more apparent by increasing the time the shutter was open.


July 12, 2014


Fiery Sunrise:  I wasn’t sure whether to go out this morning. I could see the full moon through some breaks in the clouds, so I loaded up and headed out in the dark. I was surprised to see the Grand, figuring it would be socked in with the thick clouds. I drove to a spot I have picked out for a sunrise event, but the Tetons never lit up. Instead, other parts of the morning sky exploded in color this morning. This was taken along the Moose/Wilson Road.


Sunrise Clouds: Taken from the Moose/Wilson Road, looking East. The closer hill is Blacktail Butte and the distant hill is Shadow Mountain.


Mt. Jackson: All of these sunrise images were taken in essentially the same spot. I just spun my tripod around.


Ski Mountain: You might be able to identify the Tram towers on top of the mountain on the right. I had hoped the Tetons would have lit up like the mountains in this image.


Ravens: These wet, young ravens landed on this tree to dry off. They were quite vocal.


Bluebirds with Food. I spent about an hour waiting and hoping for the Great Gray Owl to come out. The pair of bluebirds landed in the top of a lodge pole pine.


Performer: At the Farmer’s Market in downtown JH. They are held each Saturday during the summer.


Downtown Stagecoach Ride: As you can see, the morning clouds blew off, leaving a clear blue sky.


Trumpeter Swan Family: On Flat Creek just north of Town.


Barn Swallows: I found four fledgling Barn Swallows along the Elk Refuge fence. The parent came around regularly to feed them.


Feeding: A shot like this is over in a split second.


A Feast for the Little One: The babies could fly around some, but stayed close to the fence to be fed.

I love the variety of subjects I have access to here in Jackson Hole. Seems every day, we get to turn a new page to find entirely new opportunities. MJ


July 11, 2014

Finally…a morning with clouds!


Taken looking East along the East Boundary Road.


Clouds: Looking Northeast from Antelope Flats Road.


Workshop of Photographers the the Moulton Barn: When I saw the red in the clouds from the first photo and a few clouds forming over the Tetons, I headed to the Mormon Row Barns. There were 24 people all lined up about 75 yards out.


First Rays: I turned around and caught the first rays of the sun coming up over Shadow Mountain.


Moulton Barn: After a while, the workshops split and I was able to take a few shots with no distractions. Below are a few earlier posts on these barns.


Irrigation Ditch: Shot looking slightly down with a wide angle lens.


Big Sky: Taken from approximately the same spot as the previous one and with the same lens. All I had to do was aim up and open up the exposure.

Art Show at Miller Park: If you are in town this weekend, the JH Center for the Arts is hosting a nice outdoor art show at Miller Park. It runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are usually quite a few very good photographers and lots of artists.


July 10, 2014


Upcoming Feature Post: This is a photo I’ll be using in a few days for a Feature Post called “The 100 Yard Rule”. This is a full frame image I took of myself standing at one goal line and triggering my camera set up at the goal line 100 yards away. Click on it to see it at 1200 pixels wide. (I may include the full 4925 pixel wide image in the post.) This was taken with a Nikon D4 and a 200-400 mm lens at 400mm. You can probably visualize the size of a bear or wolf relative to the full area of an image. Along with the bear and wolf rules inside GTNP, the Bridger-Teton National Forest recently adopted new laws requiring people to be at least 100 yards from a bear. This affects the road over Togwotee Pass from Moran Junction to Dubois. (Shot Notes: I carried the chair and bag to the goal line so I would have something to focus on when at the other end zone. I added a strobe on the camera and walked back to the chair. I was able to trigger the camera using a RFN-4s. I could tell the camera was firing by watching the strobe.) Related Story in JH New & Guide: B-T Bans Tells People to Give Bears 100 Yards.


Bottoms Up: The Trumpeter Swans were out for a little while today. I went early, hoping to catch them with the rich morning light, but they were no where to be seen. The cygnets are still small, but they are growing daily.


July 9, 2014

Afternoon in Jackson Hole: I know it sounds like a broken record, but the morning started out perfectly clear. A few nice looking clouds rolled in after lunch.


Sleeping Indian and the National Elk Refuge: Taken near the observation platform along Flat Creek. The light clouds helped add interest to the scene by darkening the middle mountains. Some of the grasses are amazingly bright green for this time of the year.


Cedar Waxwing: Taken near the observation platform along Flat Creek.


Trumpeter Swan and Three Cygnets: Taken along Flat Creek near the observation platform.


Swan Family: Taken along Flat Creek near the observation platform.

Evening Outing: I put some gas in the truck and headed out. I drove up the Gros Ventre road, then looked for moose. Afterwards, I drove up Mormon Row to watch for a possible sunset over the barns. Clouds filled in solid, so I drove over to the Kelly Warm Springs to check on some cactus plants.


Moose Cow and Calf: I found one lone cow moose and this mother and calf along the Gros Ventre River.


Cedar Waxwing: This bird was catching Caddis flies out of the air. It was resting in the shade of a large cottonwood along he river.


Mt. Jackson: This was taken along Antelope Flats Road, looking south towards Mount Jackson. I would have been ready for lightning, but I didn’t see any .


Cactus Flowers:  I took the image with a Nikon D4 and a Nikon 200-400mm lens. I added a Nikon SU-800 controller and held the Nikon SB910 strobe at a severe angle just above and to the side of the flowers. I set the timer on my camera, pressed the button and moved to a good location to hold the strobe over the flowers. I could have use a CamRanger to trigger the camera and flash, or the RFN-4s, too. Over the years, I’ve also lit the flowers and parts with a small flashlight during a long exposure.


July 8, 2014

Afternoon in Jackson Hole: We had another clear sky morning. It’s difficult to remember so many days in a row with no clouds to start the day!

Swan Family

Trumpeter Swans: The park might be teaming with moose, deer, elk, bison, and pronghorns right now, but for the most part they are in a summer holding pattern and each day will be similar to the next. However, these Cygnets offer a photographic opportunity that lasts only a few days. Within a week, they will transform from tiny creatures to larger and more gangly versions. In other words, they are as cute as they will ever be, so I like to dedicate time to them during that short window.

Tiny Cygnet

Tiny Cygnet: I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time this afternoon. The family moved relatively close to me. I had to shoot through the fence along the highway, but was able to get low. I abandoned the tripod and turned on the Vibration Reduction feature on the lens.

Wildlife Reports: I heard the Great Gray Owl was on the Moose/Wilson Road and a Bull Moose was in the pond next to Pilgrim Creek Road today. You can never count on them being in the same place the following day, but it is always nice to know they are around. The Weather Reports are finally calling for some clouds and chances of thunderstorms again. The high temp for the day was 85° F.


July 7, 2014

Ferris Wheel in Motion

New Feature Post!  Check out Fair Time!  The Teton County Fair starts in about a week and a half, so I thought I’d get this post online sooner than later. If you are in town, you’ll want to go at least once. If you want to take photos, you might want to go several times. Even if you aren’t coming to the Teton County Fair, you might see some ideas for taking photos in your home town or county fairs.


Dragonfly: I took this image back in 2006. If you are looking for a different subject to photograph in and around the park, Damsel Flies and Dragon Flies might be right up your alley! Along the river, you can probably find mayflies, caddis flies, and stone flies. Grasshoppers, crickets, and Mormon Crickets can be found in the summer away from the rivers. Butterflies can be found just about anywhere in the park. In the warmth of the day, a dragonfly like this one will probably spook if you get close. I captured this image by going to the little pond along the road heading up Signal Mountain very early in the morning while it was still cold. I suppose the Park Service could impose the 25 yard wildlife rule, but I’d hope they have other issues to patrol in the summer.

Swan Family

Family of Trumpeter Swans: Taken along Flat Creek.


Stretching Trumpeter Swan: Also along Flat Creek this afternoon.


Cygnets: Three of the four babies along Flat Creek.

July 6, 2014

GrizzlySowCubPair1_Sept15Bear Warning from the Bridger-Teton National Forest: Sometime during the off season, the B-T National Forest adopted some new bear distance rules as reported in this JH News & Guide story. (Note: The headline reads 100 FEET, but the story says 100 YARDS). None of the information I read defines whether it is okay to take photos out of the vehicle window as I did for this shot last fall. You’ll want to read this story and watch for updates. Currently, the fine is up to $5000 and up to six months in jail for offenders.

Morning Outing: Hmmmmm. I could leave this blank! I got up early to a perfectly clear, blue sky. There was not a cloud in the sky. Instead of burning a lot of gasoline, I checked out a few local spots and came home without taking a single image. I drove to an Osprey nest I photographed long ago, but the platform is empty. One year, Canada Geese took over their nest.  Area Osprey still seem to be hanging around nests. I don’t think the young have fledged.


Abstract Fireworks: Wow! We had a great Fireworks Show last night. I took two tripods, two bodies, and two lenses and had a blast! Check out the last portion of this new Feature Post to see similar abstracts: Fireworks 2014

Afternoon: A Trumpeter Swan family showed up along Flat Creek to pose today.


Cygnet and Adult Trumpeter Swan:


Trumpeter Swans:


Swans in Open Water:


Swans on Flat Creek: This pair of native swans has four cygnets and lots of followers.


July 5, 2014

Hedrick's Pond Sunrise

Hedrick’s Pond Sunrise: (Click the image to see it larger) I started my Saturday morning at one of the lesser visited overlooks. Back in the day, this was one of the more common locations for people traveling the East Boundary road (Early Road to Jackson Hole).


Elk Antlers: Back in town, I went to the first of the Farmer’s Markets. They are held on most Saturdays of the summer season.


Northwest Corner of the Square: People were streaming into the square for the Farmer’s Market. This is a “record shot” of the corner of the square just to show readers what I was seeing. I would NEED to sit at the corner and wait for something more interesting in the right half of the shot…like a dog pulling it’s master into the square or someone on a bike riding by.  It was terribly bright at 9:30 am there. I’d like to go back with a fill flash and remotes to capture people coming at me with long shadows. A slightly overcast day would help a shot like this.


Legs at the Farmer’s Market:


The Perfect Spot to Scratch: Lots of dogs at the Farmer’s Market.


Cinnamon Rolls: Farmer’s Market JH


Onions: I asked each time, and all of the vendors let me photograph their products. There were berries, cherries, lettuce, and most vegetables.


Local Town Square Resident: This Uinta Ground Squirrel let me put the camera on the ground for a quick shot.


One Man Band: Brian Ernst was set up in one of the archways and played some wonderful music. I don’t know how he does it, but he has an incredible, full sound for one person.


July 4th, 2014

Morning Outing: I was out early and went to Dornan’s at Moose  before a quick run down the Moose/Wilson Road.


Sunrise Looking North:  Taken from the Dornan’s parking lot before the actual sunrise. (Click this image to see it larger)


A New Morning: Taken at Dornan’s at Moose.


Grand Tipi: Taken at Dornan’s at Moose. I would have liked more clouds similar to the previous photo, but these few work well enough.


First Light on a Bull Moose: Taken next to the Snake River, just north of the Snake River Bridge at Moose. The bull and a younger one put on a great show for the visitors today. They have been in the area most of the summer, so watch for them.


Bull Moose: Taken from the Snake River Bridge at Moose.


Independence Day Eagle: Taken from the Snake River Bridge at Moose.


Tree Hugger: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. I am not sure if this is a Mule’s Ear or a One Flower.

Web_4thJulySK_2014 Snow King on the 4th of July!  The Jackson Hole Jaycees host a very good fireworks display at Snow King Resort on the evening of the 4th. In case you missed it, check out Photographing Fireworks : Tips and Suggestions.  The page should help you with some camera settings and possibly a few shooting locations if you are in town. Even if you are taking fireworks photos in your own home town, there might some information you can use. The first blast usually occurs at 10:00 pm.


July 3, 2014

In the message boxes below, Sean Beckett reports: “We’ve been having great luck with badgers on the Elk Ranch lately, including a badger/coyote hunting partnership this evening. The bachelor group of huge bull elk on Spring Gulch Road have been below the Amangani almost every evening at 8:45ish. Also, I’ve really enjoyed photographing the cliff swallows on the back side of the “pink house” on Mormon Row. The setting sun illuminates their mud nests perfectly.” Thanks Sean.

The Weather Reports say we can expect afternoon Thunderstorms today. The clouds and sky have a slight amber color shift today. The JH News and Guide reports smoke from large fires in Canada responsible for it.

I made a quick South Park Loop at about 10:00 am this morning.


Trumpeter Swans: Taken on the West side of town at Boyles Hill. I spend a lot of time in the winter at Boyle’s Hill, mainly because it is a dependable location to get shots. In the summer, the gray colors  in the water change to deep green and rich blue.


Trumpeter Swan:


Summer South Park Barn:


American Flag and Mare’s Tail Clouds: The barn and flag were taken while making a “South Park Loop”. Check out: Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph.

Mare’s Tail and MacKerel Scales – Weather Folklore The mare’s tails are wispy cirrus clouds while the mackerel scales are small clumpy altocumulus clouds resembling fish scales in the sky. In the days of large sailing ships, this meant a storm would be approaching soon and the sails should be lowered to protect from the accompanying high winds.” Armed with Mother Nature’s clues and the Weather Channel’s forecast, I should be ready to take off if dramatic conditions look promising.


Fireworks 2014 at Teton Village.


Free Concert and Fireworks at Teton Village tonight: My wife let me know about a free concert at Teton Village starting at 7:00 pm, followed by a fireworks display as it gets dark. There will also be a fireworks display on the 4th.


July 2, 2014

We’ve been having bluebird clear days lately. I don’t like clear skies for sunrise or sunset shots, but it works great for night time shots. Last night, I packed up and headed out. With no wind, I went to Schwabacher Landing. The crescent moon was setting at about the right time and at about he right spot last night. I shot at Schwabacher Landing until about midnight, then drove over to the Mormon Row Barns and hung around there until around 2:30 am. My head hit the pillow at 3:30 and I was out by 3:32 am.


Crescent Moon at Schwabacher Landing


Beaver Dam at Schwabacher Landing


Light Painted Pool at Schwabacher Landing


The Grand and Mt. Moran at Schwabacher Landing


Milky Way Over the John Moulton Homestead. I used a small LED panel light to add just a little bit of warm light on the barn. The one I purchased has a dial, so I can adjust how much light I need.


Windmill on Mormon Row. I used the same small LED panel to light the blades and upper portion of this structure.


Milky Way on the Moose/Wilson Road.

Schwabacher Landing Notes: I made it to Schwabacher Landing just after the sun set behind the peaks. The crescent moon was still a bit high in the sky. I killed some time by scouting the area and pre-visualizing a few locations and angles. I said “hello” and “goodbye” to tourists leaving the area. There were lots of them! By the time I took my first image, I was alone along the river bottom with my bear spray on my belt. I find shooting late an totally enjoyable experience and even more so on a clear, calm night. All senses are heightened. While at Schwabacher Landing, I saw a variety of wildlife. Small fish were rising to evening caddis on the water. Two adult beavers were active the entire time, along with a couple of muskrats sharing the pools. Four elk magically appeared out of the brush and crossed just upstream. A couple of Nighthawks flew overhead. I heard Sandhill Cranes and Northern Flickers in the area. It’s a great place to hear Horned Owls, but not last night.


July 1, 2014

For today, check out June Daily Updates in Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole until I can add a few new July photos. I’ll be posting “almost daily” in July.

South Park Feedgrounds Road Oct 6Yesterday Afternoon Quick Outing: Last year, during the Government Shutdown, I created a page called Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph. One of the locations I wrote about was the area just south of town called the South Park Wildlife Habitat and Elk Feed Grounds. It’s close, so I drove down late in the afternoon yesterday. There are quite a few trails that take you all the way to the Snake River and past several ponds and wetlands. Along with the hikers and dog walkers, there were quite a fishermen with fly rods along Flat Creek and a class teaching Fly Rod Casting.

Web_Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird (2008) taken at the South Park Wildlife Habitat

I saw an Eastern Kingbird, quite a few Cedar Waxwings, several ducks, a Merganser family with chicks, and a variety of wrens, sparrows, and other songbirds. I didn’t watch for it yesterday, but there is a Red-tailed Hawk nest in the top of a large cottonwood. Osprey and Eagles are common down there. Flat Creek winds through the area, then dumps into the Snake River. When I first started fly fishing, South Park was one of my “go to” places. Instead of taking photos yesterday, I grabbed my waders and fly rod and spent the evening casting away—catching a few fish. There’s a picnic table and restroom along the creek, along with quite a few mature cottonwoods. It is a great, out of the way place, to spend a leisurely evening outside the park.


I Need Your Help!

Please, tell your friends, family and colleagues about this site. Your word of mouth is much more powerful than mine in that regard. If you are a member at Naturescapes, Fred Miranda,, Trip Advisor or any other forum, please mention this site if you know I have information that can aid someone else. Also, I’d love to get more messages and comments in the posts. Feel free to jot a note or message if you see animals or found a special place the rest of us might want to see. I have plenty of new Feature Posts rumbling around in my head, but I am always open to suggestions. Cheers, MJ

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Comments (5)

  1. Hi Mr. Jackson, I missed saying Hi to you last week, but I did see you from far away photographing the Great Gray one day. You took some great shots! I love the one with the mouse. This is such a great blog thanks for doing it.

    Oh I heard the mother coyote moved her pups because people were getting too close. I wish they would read the signs. It must be hard on the mother to have to do that.

    I am wondering if you have ever photographed from a raft or boat on the Snake River and if that’s a cool way to capture good landscape or wildlife shots, like Bald Eagles. I went rafting last year and saw lots of Bald Eagles and was thinking it would be fun to try to photograph them that way.

    Let me know. We love reading your blog,


  2. Hi Ashleigh,
    Yes, I saw you with Chip Holdsworth, but everyone seemed intent on focusing on the owl. I hope you captured some great shots, but I believe that’s a given.

    I was at the coyote pups the day they first appeared. That day, people were literally standing over the babies while they were sleeping and basking in the sun. I knew they’d be putting barriers up soon, so I took a few photos from a reasonable distance and headed on home. I don’t think it is that uncommon for a mother coyote or fox to move her babies. I’ve even heard they do it to get them away from the fleas that can multiply in a den over a long period. Hard to say if people had that much to do with the move or if she would have done so with no people around.

    My friend, Dave, has a drift boat. I’ve taken some of my camera gear on a few trips. That’s even better than a regular scenic float trip because I can get him to pull over at any good point to either fish or take photos. Either way, a float trip gets people to places you simply can’t get to on foot. That’d be a good Feature Post someday!…A Day on the Snake River.

  3. Hi Mike,
    We’ve been having great luck with badgers on the Elk Ranch lately, including a badger/coyote hunting partnership this evening. The bachelor group of huge bull elk on Spring Gulch Road have been below the Amangani almost every evening at 8:45ish. Also, I’ve really enjoyed photographing the cliff swallows on the back side of the “pink house” on Mormon Row. The setting sun illuminates their mud nests perfectly. Keep up the great work!

  4. mark coleman

    How do you find the Hunter Hereford ranch?

  5. It is at the very, very end of Antelope Flats road. You have to walk to it after parking along the East Boundary Road.

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