Best of the Tetons, Great Photography Tours In Jackson, WY

T.A. Moulton Barn

September 2014 Daily Updates & Photos for Grand Teton National Park & JH:

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

Daily Updates Archives: ~
2018: June: | May:Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2017: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2016: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan: 
2015: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2014: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2013: Dec: | Nov: Oct: | Sept: | Aug:


September Overview:

Corey's Mountain Maples

Corey’s Mountain Maples: This wonderful shot was taken along Palisades Reservoir by my son, Corey on September 7th

September is my favorite month. Many of the tourists leave the valley, giving everyone a little more elbow room. “Change” is the theme for the entire month—both on the landscape and the wildlife—and the changes are usually rapid and evident. Leaves begin to change and magically transforms the valley with a new palette of warm colors. Berries ripen and wildlife finds them. Fall officially begins on the 22nd of September this year, but hints of the new season will be evident at the first of the month. By the 22nd, Fall foliage will be in near peak form in many areas of the valley. Moose, Deer, and Elk will be in the rut much of the month. At some point, we’ll likely see our first significant snowfall in the high country, some of which might hang around all fall.  The valley floor might also see a short lived blanket of snow from an early storm.

Streamlined Viewing Links:


Oldie But Goodie Post of the Day

Granite Falls Terraces Oct11Granite Falls and Granite Creek:On a rainy or overcast day, you might consider heading south into the Hoback Canyon to Granite Creek.  This page has a map and a lot more information and photos. Roads are a bit on the rough side, but a passenger car can make the trip over the hard packed gravel road. If you are in the north end of GTNP, you might also want to look at Moose Falls on Crawfish Creek. It is just inside the south entrance of Yellowstone. Most people are in a hurry to get into or out of Yellowstone and pass by that nice little gem.




September 30

The Last Day of September: It is still cool, foggy and cloudy here with chances of rain and thunderstorms all day. Check out the most recent Feature Post for ideas: Making the Best of a Rainy Day:

Mountain Ash

Mountain Ash: Taken with natural light along Snow King Drive in Jackson

Mountain Ash With Light

Mountain Ash: For this shot, I set my White Balance to around 3000K and then lit the berries and leaves with an LED bank with an orange gel. I also bumped the Aperture up from F/8 to F/13.

Red Leaves

Red Leaves: I took this image from the street in East Jackson.

Fine Aspen Branches

Fine Aspen Branches: Taken from the bike path in my neighborhood in town.

Water Droplets

Water Droplets: These were clinging to a handle for the head gate on an irrigation ditch.

Aspen Branch

Aspen Branch and Trunk: Also taken from the bike path in my neighborhood.

Foot Bridge

Foot Bridge over Flat Creek:

Ben and His Dog

Ben and His Dog: On almost any other day, Ben’s black dog wouldn’t have shown up in this shot. The rain soaked asphalt bike path was lit up nicely.


Crab Apples: Taken at a neighbor’s tree only a few doors down. There’s plenty of subject matter in Jackson Hole if you just look for it!

Bison Sparring:Bison and Pronghorns seem to be some of the most consistent subjects in the Park right now. They can usually be seen along the Gros Ventre Road, Kelly Warm Springs area,  and Antelope Flats Road. A couple of days ago, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk on the fence line next to the National Elk Refuge. That’s not uncommon, but a person on a bicycle rode right by the bird on the bike path and the hawk never flew. That was amazing!  As of Monday, the hydrologists are beginning to cut back flows at the Jackson Lake Dam. You’ll see the difference at Oxbow initially and fishermen will feel it all down the river.

Photography at the Summit Lecture Series:

  • Tonight>> National Museum of Wildlife Art>> 8:00 PM >>$10 per person  >> Presenters >> MaryAnne Golon and William Albert Allard
  • Wednesday >> National Museum of Wildlife Art>> 8:00 PM >>$10 per person  >> Presenters >> Dave Black and Deanne Fitzmaurice
  • Thursday >> National Museum of Wildlife Art>> 8:00 PM >> Free Admission  >> Presenters >> Jim Richardson and Jodi Cobb

Stay off the south end of Mormon Row! It has been raining a lot over the past few days. The road to the barns and Bed and Breakfast should still be fine. I wouldn’t recommend trying to drive that road South for a week or so. There are a few spots on Shadow Mountain that could also be a problem. I tried driving the dirt road north of Lost Creek Ranch on Saturday. It was messy and muddy then. I am sure it is much worse now. I haven’t been on the RKO road in a while, but I’d visualize it being testy in spots unless you have a big four wheel drive truck.

One-On-One Photo Excursions: I make it a point to limit self-promotion here on the blog. However, it seems like a good time to mention I have openings left in beautiful October for a One-On-One Photography Excursion in GTNP. Even though many of the fall leaves are on the ground, I can take you to many places that are not dependent on the leaves. We should be getting a blanket of snow in the mountains in October, changing the look of the valley dramatically. October is a much more quiet month—with most photographers back at their homes and going through their September trip photos. Click the link for all the details and let me know if you are interested. These excursions help me pay the bills and put gasoline in the tank to continue offering the blog.

Please let your friends know about it and share the pages with your friends on Facebook.


September 29

Rainy Days and Mondays: I don’t know about you, but I keep hearing echos of the Carpenters music this morning. I am sure there lots of people in the valley that booked their yearly trip to the Tetons based on the historic peak foliage dates at the end of September and first few days of October. Unfortunately for them, peak foliage happened during the middle of last week. It rained both days of the weekend and the forecast appears to be rain continuing for a few more days. Yesterday, I added a timely new Feature Post that might give you some ideas and places to shoot until the weather clears.

Making the Best of a Rainy Day:: Check out this new Feature Post! Whether you are here in the Tetons on a rainy day, or back at your home town, you should find a few tips and suggestions for filling your cards with unique images on days when others are complaining or sitting at the bars drinking their sorrows away.

Granite Falls

Granite Falls: Taken this time last year.

Don’t forget opportunities in and around the Town of Jackson: There are lots of trees and plants still in their peak foliage form right in town. And, today would be a GREAT day to drive down to Granite Falls about 35 miles south of town. I’d do that trip in a heartbeat on a day like today. The falls sit back in the corner of a rock face, so the white sky is not a problem. With a tripod, you can get long exposures and flowing water. There will likely still be a few fall leaves around, too. This page has quite a few images and directions:  Lesser Seen Regional Waterfalls. The road to the falls is a little rough, but a standard passenger car can still make it. The road itself is gravel based so you shouldn’t have to worry about ruts and getting stuck. I like to start back from the falls and work my way in. You can actually walk out right onto the terraces and get some wonderful flowing water images. Keep an eye out for opportunities to capture the colorful leaves trapped in the water on the rocks. Except for the possibility of several Best of the Tetons readers showing up after reading this post, you will probably be the only person there. Take your own water and snacks as there are no services or stores.


September 28

Rain Drops

Rainy Sunday in Jackson Hole: We had rain all night and it is raining still as I write this morning update. I don’t mind. I am sitting here in my nice, dry, warm office. I am sure there are people here on their planned trip and huddled in a camper or tent. And, I NEEDED some sleep! With foliage season in peak form all week, I have been up at 5:00 am (or before) and not getting bed until late.

Making the Best of a Rainy Day:: Check out this new Feature Post! Whether you are here in the Tetons on a rainy day, or back at your home town, you should find a few tips and suggestions for filling your cards with unique images on days when others are complaining or sitting at the bars drinking their sorrows away.

Quick Foliage Report: The Oxbow has some color and leaves, but it is definitely past peak now. The wind and rain has taken it’s toll on the leaves in many of the hillsides and river bottoms. The best areas I saw were near Jenny Lake and Cottonwood Creek, around Moose Junction, along the Moose-Wilson road and along Mormon Row. I am sure there are other good places, but I can only cover so much of the park at any particular time. For the people coming here this week, you’ll still be able to find plenty of foliage opportunities.

What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports: | Wildlife Reports: | Best of the Tetons : Start Here!: | Helpful Links and Resources:

  • 4 Controlled Burns for area
  • Foliage Report updates
  • Granite Hot Springs Pool Closure
  • Moose-Wilson Road Closures

Fall: (when the leaves start turning until the cold and snow arrives)


September 27

Saturday in the Park: I spent the entire day out in the rain and fog today. Sorry for the late update! I will post a couple of images from today, then build a new Feature Post tomorrow called “Making the Best of a Rainy Day”. You might consider signing up to follow this blog to get a notice as soon as I post it! I took way too many shots to post here tonight.

Buffalo Valley Sunrise

Buffalo Valley Sunrise: Follow the light! I was going past the Oxbow Bend area in the dark and noticed people setting up their tripods at the traditional spots. I thought that was odd, knowing the mountains were socked in with heavy, low clouds, and minimal light available from the sunrise. As soon as I saw some light areas in the East, I headed that direction to try to capture even a few minutes of sunlight.

Buffalo Valley Rainbow

Buffalo Valley Rainbow: The few minutes of light also created a very nice rainbow. Let’s see…I managed to capture this rainbow by turning my 24-70mm lens and D800 into portrait mode and taking this shot with three images I stitched together in Photoshop’s Photomerge utility. My other choice was to run back to my vehicle and grab my 14-24mm wide angle lens. Rainbows seldom last very long, so I took the three pano parts. Maybe I should have known to throw the wide angle in my jacket?

Fall Barn

Fall Barn: Only a few days earlier, there were 50-60 people all lined up at this location at sunrise. Today, there were zero when I drove up.

String Lake Clouds

String Lake Clouds: Around 3:00 pm, some of the thick clouds lifted temporarily. I took advantage of the break to get some moody clouds and skies.

Aspen Leaf

Aspen Leaf: Rainy days are THE BEST for taking leaves photos of leaves, berries, and branches. It you take time to look for them, there are literally millions of photographic opportunities. I like to find the ones with the most “character”.


September 26

Friday Outing: I spent a lot of the day in the park today. It started out clear and then proceeded to get cloudy throughout most of the day.

Cottonwood Creek

Meadow at Cottonwood Creek near the Taggart Lake Trail Head.

Little Cabin at Cottonwood Creek

Little Cabin at Cottonwood Creek: Tight shot with first band of light hitting the meadows.

Roadway to String Lake

Roadway to String Lake: Low shot including the Cathedral Group as the first of the morning clouds started rolling in.

Old Patriarch Tree

Old Patriarch Tree at mid-morning.

Baby Patriarch Tree

Baby Patriarch Tree: Pine cone from the old Limber Pine tree.

T.A. Moulton Barn

T.A. Moulton Barn: Color is looking good at the barn right now, with yellow cottonwood leaves scattered on the ground.

Leaves and Ditch

Advancing Clouds: Instead of dropping the horizon line to capture the stormy clouds, I took the horizon line up to show the leaves and water in the ditch.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn with afternoon clouds.

Murphy Barn with Fences

Murphy Barn with Fences: Partly cloudy days are good for this kind of moody, shadowed look.

T.A. Moulton Barn

T.A. Moulton Barn: Taken from the corner back south towards the barns and Bed and Breakfast. All I had to do was wait for a band of light to hit the row of cottonwoods and the roof of the barn.

Moose Wilson Road

Moose Wilson Road: As of today, the road is open again and the colors are in peak form.

Foliage Forecast: On Thursday, I drove around quite a bit to make a few quick Foliage notes. Leaves are falling fast in many areas. Especially on hilltops, the once bright yellow aspen leave are on the ground. Some of the cottonwoods along the Snake are now looking half full and half fallen. The Gros Ventre is also thinning, but there are still a few bright spots. I didn’t go all the way to Oxbow, but I have a feeling it is past peak and partially fallen. I found quite a bit of yellow up the Gros Ventre on Thursday. The area around Taggart Lake trail head and Cottonwood Creek was colorful a couple of days ago. Still, much like the early days of the foliage season, you can find pockets of bright colors.

Animals: Bison were in the grassy meadows north of Antelope Flats road today. Some of them are still showing rut behavior, even a month later than normal. Pronghorns seem to be gathering into small groups with a buck beginning to get interested. Mule deer are scattered and should begin their rut soon. Some people are seeing them around the small town of Kelly. I’ve seen quite a few coyotes near the barns. I haven’t seen Marmots in a long time, and the Uinta Ground Squirrels appear to be under ground now, too. An owl is occasionally seen at night at the TA Moulton barn, probably feeding the late squirrels. With the Moose Wilson Road closed, I haven’t heard of any other Great Gray sightings this year.

What Really Happened at the Gros Ventre Campground? This link takes you to a blog at Jackson Hole Wildlife Safari’s Jason Williams site. I wasn’t at the campground the day the cow moose was put down and I haven’t been back since. Without first hand information, I was hesitant to write much here. Check out Jason’s post.


September 25


Light Painted Saddle: Last evening, I stayed at the John Moulton Barn and light painted this old saddle on the newly preserved fences.

NEWS STORY: (via JH News & Guide Daily) Grand Teton National Park officials will crack down on wildlife viewing and close part of a campground after a moose died Wednesday after a chaotic encounter.

This Morning’s Outing: We had bluebird clear morning skies. I didn’t even consider looking for wildlife today, so I drove by the barns, thinking I might go up Shadow Mountain. Some company is filming a commercial there today, so I opted to go up the Gros Ventre. It was very nice!

Moulton Barn Photographers

Moulton Barn Photographers: Okay, this is the most photographers I have even seen at the barns at one time! While it is not uncommon to see large groups on a photo tour or photo safari, it appeared to me that most were just individuals that all showed up today.

Moulton Barn Photographers

Moulton Barn Photographers: Another angle of the morning photographers. It thinned out fairly quickly after the first light on the Grand.

Slide Lake in the Fall

Slide Lake in the Fall: Slide Lake is about six miles past the East boundary of GTNP.

Golden Reflections

Golden Reflections: Taken from the side of the lake near the Campground.

Slide Lake Willows

Slide Lake Willows: When I see cloudless skies, as seen in the first shot with all the photographers, I start thinking about going to places to shoot down, or at least even with my subject so I can minimize the lifeless sky.

Bands of Gold

Bands of Gold: Also at Slide Lake.

Bison Sparring:

Bison Sparring: This was taken at the Kelly Warm Springs on my way back. The Shane Cabins looked pretty good this morning as I passed by.

Grand Bison

Grand Bison: Also taken at the Kelly Warm Springs.


September 24

Night Barm

Light Painted Moulton Barn: We are beginning a “new moon” phase, which means I don’t have to worry about a moon adding light to a night scene. Last night I stopped at the barns and took a few shots. I met a couple of Best of the Tetons readers also there to do some light painting. Earlier, I went out to the Gros Ventre river and saw a cow and calf and a bull moose at the big overlook pull out. There were already a lot of people, so I just kept driving. Leaves are falling along the GV now, so we better hurry for foliage along the river. Check out Oct:  2013 for more night shots from last year.

This Morning:

Oxbow Photographers

I headed to Oxbow Bend “one more time” hoping to hit it perfectly before the leaves fall. The weather report suggested it would be partly cloudy and calm winds. The reports were pretty much dead-on today. We had good color and only short periods of ruffled water. There were lots of people at Oxbow today as seen here.

First Hints of Color

First Hints of Color: Taken from the edge of the river.

First Peach

First Peach: This was taken a bit farther to the west, near the shore line.

Mt. Moran With Light

Mt. Moran With Light: Mt. Moran bathed with first light and a couple of Canada Geese photo bombers.

Oxbow Wide

Wide Shot: While many prefer glass smooth water, a little band of ruffled water is fine with me.

Classic Shot

Classic Shot taken from the sidewalk where all the photographers were standing earlier.

The Human Element

The Human Element: I like to include people once in a while. I didn’t take the time to get model releases, but this kind of shot is popular with travel magazines and stock agencies.

Oxbow Comments: I’ve been to Oxbow Bend five mornings in a row. I had two good days of extended shooting, one day with a few minutes of good light and clouds, and two days where I never saw the mountains. The far left clump of aspens in the grove at the end of the bend is starting to thin, while some near the middle are just now prime. Tomorrow will probably still be good there, but it will depend on how windy it gets this afternoon. As you can see above, the water level remained high this year during peak foliage there. We’ve had a bit of haze lately, but nothing like earlier years.

Jackson Lake Junction

Jackson Lake Junction:

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake: Filtered morning light along the shore of Jackson Lake.

Foliage Reports: Click this link for the most current foliage reports. Here’s a link for last September’s Daily Updates page: Sept:  2013

New Feature Post: Polarizing Filters for Fall Foliage. I am sure many people already know about Polarizing Filters, but with foliage kicking off this week, I thought I’d add an extra post.

Upcoming Feature Posts: Right now, the main emphasis for blog entries are related to fall. THE color week of the year at our doorsteps. I hope to create a step-by-step Feature Post about how to make some of your fall photos “pop”. That post will be timely and am sure helpful for most readers…even after they get home from a Teton area visit. Hint…Sign up! After a day of rain, we usually get a layer of fog across the valley. I hope to do a post with tips about dealing with the fog during shooting. You’ll have fog in your area at times, and most of the info will translate to photographing in your area. After the foliage season, I still have two upcoming posts about the light and action at our Teton County Fair. Like the Fireworks pages, they translate to possibilities for people all around the country. In other words, once the fall season is over, I begin to think about more posts that can help people with their photography even if they aren’t in the Tetons to use them. Future Feature Posts should include some post processing ideas and step-by-steps.

Moose Wilson Sign Moose-Wilson Road Closed Again!

A Grizzly was spotted again on the Moose-Wilson Road yesterday. The area is now closed to all travel as seen in this sign at the barricade. If they stay consistent, the Park will keep the road closed for the next 48 hours from the Murie Center Road to the Death Canyon Road. Visitors can still access the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve by entering the Park from the road near Teton Village.



September 23

Morning Clouds over Signal Mountain

Morning Clouds over Signal Mountain: It was cloudy early at Oxbow Bend today. I looked for a big Bull Moose people had seen in the area a couple of days ago, but didn’t see him. This shot was taken from the shore line at Oxbow Bend.

Oxbow Bend South Bank

Oxbow Bend South Bank: Taken looking directly South while at Oxbow Bend today.

Oxbow Bend First Light

Oxbow Bend First Light: The clouds and fog pulled back for just a while today, then filled in again before the light hit the stand of aspens at the West end of Oxbow.

Jackson Lake Shore Line

Jackson Lake Shore Line: Taken with a short telephoto from the shore line.

Jackson Lake Aspens

Jackson Lake Aspens: I took a similar shot from the parking lot a couple of days ago, then walked to the shore line today for this image.

Oxbow Bend Aspen Stand

Oxbow Bend Aspen Stand: I went back to Oxbow once the clouds broke in the East and before the wind ruffled the water.

Edge of the Island

Edge of the Island: With clouds covering the mountains, I pulled in tight with some water shots today.


September 22

Teton Photography Group Monthly Meeting Tonight: If you happen to be in town this afternoon, I am scheduled to give a presentation about this Blog to the group. You don’t have to be a member to attend. Here’s the info and address: Teton Photography Group is tonight at 6 PM in the Conference Room at the Art Association of Jackson Hole (238 S Glenwoood.) You can also ask to become a member of the Facebook Group.

Monday Morning:

Lozier Hill Clouds

Lozier Hill Clouds: I went back to Oxbow this morning, only to find thick clouds in all directions. The crowd thinned quickly once it was apparent we wouldn’t see the mountains. I took this image on Pacific Creek Road of the clouds pulling back from Lozier Hill.

Pine Bough

Rain Drops on a Lodge Pole Pine Bough:

Changing Leaves

Changing Leaves: Water droplets always add interest!

Rocks on Cottonwood Creek

Rocks on Cottonwood Creek: I stopped at Cottonwood Creek at the outlet of Jenny Lake to get a couple of example photos for the new Feature Post: Polarizing Filters for Fall Foliage. This one is without a polarizing filter. The image below was taken with a one.

Polarizer on Water

The Polarizing Filter effectively (and easily) removed the glare on the water. This is just one the many times a polarizing filter can come in handy.


September 20

Sunday Morning

Oxbow Bend in Pink

Oxbow Bend in Pink: Here’s a teaser photo for today. It was captured at 6:58 am with my Nikon D800 and a 70-200mm Nikon lens. 1/4 second, F/11, ISO 100. -2/3 EV, White Balance 5000K.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Taken with the same gear from a spot quite a bit east of the first one.

Aspens and Sky

Aspens and Sky: Taken at essentially the same spot as the pink version, but after sunlight was hitting the aspens. For this shot, I switched to a Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Jackson Lake Shoreline

Jackson Lake Shoreline: The shaft of light caught my eye as I drove by the lake.

Jackson Lake Junction

Jackson Lake Junction: Any question where this one was taken? Peak week is here!

Aspens Looking Up

Aspens Looking Up:

Arizona Meadows

Arizona Meadows: I am not sure if this place has a name, but there’s a pull out and a sign about the Camas plant that grows in the meadows.

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks:

Stalks of Golden Grass

Stalks of Golden Grass: Taken at the meadows.

Pilgrim Creek

Pilgrim Creek: Taken at ground level across a small calm pool. At the time, the sky was starting to turn murky, but I think there is some more potential there I need to try again.


Cyclist: This was taken at Jackson Lake Junction. Earlier, I saw this spot and thought it might make a great place to include a cyclist. I stood there a while, but none appeared. After coming back from Pilgrim Creek, I was driving by Oxbow bend when I saw two cyclists heading towards that spot. I did a u-turn and drove to my spot. I focused on fog line where I knew he’d be riding, put it in manual mode and, after making a few exposure tests, waited.  Sure enough, he rode by as I was lying on my stomach near the edge of the road. At 1/1250th of a second, I froze him and even his spokes.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: I shot a similar image on the 18th, but the aspens were brighter and better lit today. I like this one better.

Quick Trip Report: I didn’t plan on going back to Oxbow today, but after checking the weather for today and tomorrow, I thought I’d better go. I may go there one more time tomorrow, but at least I have a few nice ones for this year if the weather turns foul or if the wind starts blowing the leaves off the trees. Today was Sunday, so without other obligations,  I took my time and had a wonderful day of shooting. As you can see, peak week of foliage season is here in most places.

Highway 89/191 Update: It appears the entire road project is finished now. Much of the bike path through GTNP is still closed.

Fall: (when the leaves start turning until the cold and snow arrives)

Here’s a section of Fall Feature Posts. The list can always be found on the “Best of the Tetons : Start Here!” page. Also, I added seven evening images to the bottom of yesterday’s post. You could easily miss them, so scroll on down!

Remember to Check these Related Pages:


September 20

Moose Wilson Road Open Again! I heard from a friend the road is open again.

Saturday in the Park: I was up early and checked the weather report. It said we were going to have CLEAR skies…not what I want for landscapes…but I needed to go to make a report here.

Alpenglow at Oxbow Bend

Alpenglow at Oxbow Bend: Today was probably a day or two early for peak foliage there, but it is definitely getting close. I’d suggest the first of the peak days will be on Monday.

Peach Skies

Pretty in Peach: Just another stage in the morning sunrise.

Aspen Stand at Oxbow Bend

Aspen Stand at Oxbow Bend: There are still hints of green in the aspen stands and none of them have changed to orange this year…yet anyway.

Aspens in the Upper Lot

Aspens in the Upper Lot: This stand often turns orange. Right now, they are still deep yellow.

Snake River Cottonwoods

Snake River Cottonwoods: Much of the Snake River river bottom is bright yellow now.

Cottonwoods at Mormon Row

Cottonwoods at Mormon Row: The east facing cottonwood behind the T.A. Moulton barn is beginning to turn.


September 19

New Feature Post:  Moose Courtship Behavior: This page contains ten images of some unique moose behavior during the fall rut. You’ll definitely want to see this one!

Washakie in the Morning Sage

Washakie in the Morning Sage: It got three or four shots with the light on the sage, then a cloud moved in and dulled the scene for quite a while. I like shots like this one with distant yellow willows and aspens to help put a “date stamp” on the shot. This one is obviously in the early fall part of the rut.

Blacktail Butte

Blacktail Butte: Gold light was hitting the valley floor at first light, highlighting the cottonwoods and aspens on the  south end of Blacktail Butte. Fog usually fills the valley on the morning following days of heavy rain. By the time I left the area, fog was covering the entire area. I spoke with a friend who tried to photograph at the barns, but from there, the Tetons were obscured.

Bull, Cow and Calf

Bull, Cow and Calf in the sagebrush this morning. The bull is one I call Washakie. He’s one of my favorites along the Gros Ventre.

Washakie Leaving the Sagebrush

Washakie Leaving the Sagebrush: Washakie has distinctive brow tines, as seen in the photos from today. I have photos of him back to around 2007 or so.

A Pause in the Morning Sage

A Pause in the Morning Sage: Washakie, again…I saw two other smaller bulls this morning. They had disappeared for the past three or four days.Pause in the Cottonwoods

Pause in the Cottonwoods:

Lip Curl

Lip Curl Amongst the Cottonwoods of Fall:

Moose Courtship 6

New Feature Post:  Moose Courtship Behavior: This page contains ten images of some unique moose behavior during the fall rut. You’ll definitely want to see this one!

Swan Family

Swan Family: A full family shot of the resident Trumpeter Swans from this morning along Flat Creek.

Stretching Trumperter Swan

Stretching Trumpeter Swan: Also taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek in Jackson.

Afternoon Outing:

Washakie in Grass

Washakie in Grass:

Washakie Drinking

Washakie Drinking: You can see the three or four scratches on his muzzle in this photo. I thought they looked like warpaint long ago and gave him the name of a famous Shoshone chief and warrior. Other people have adopted the name over the years, though anyone can call him anything they prefer.

Washakie Crossing the Gros Ventre

Washakie Crossing the Gros Ventre: My D4 came back from Nikon Service yesterday. I shot some of the morning shots with it and then again on this river crossing that afternoon. I was hand holding the body and 70-200mm lens with VR on. From all I can tell, Nikon did a great job of repairing my trusty camera.

If you like Moose, you might also enjoy looking over my images at my photo web site at Teton Images: Artistic Moose


September 18

New Feature Post: Fall On Shadow Mountain

Tetons in Pink

Tetons in Pink: I spent most of my morning on top of Shadow Mountain and had a good morning. I shot this one as a panoramic image spread all the way to Mt. Moran, but it will need some stitching and processing. The pink light lasted only a couple of minutes.

Shadow Mountain Sunrise

Shadow Mountain Sunrise: Taken from the ridge line looking Northeast.

Vista View at Shadow Mountain

Vista View at Shadow Mountain: I took essentially the same shot yesterday afternoon, but I was having to shoot into the light. I had constantly changing clouds and occasional bursts of light this morning. I shot quite a few from the ridge top this morning. Instead of filling this page up too much more, check out the new Feature Post called Fall On Shadow Mountain.

If you want nice foliage shots right now, I’d recommend going up the hill and spend a morning!

Gros Ventre River Bottom

Gros Ventre River Bottom: This image give you a good idea of the aspens, cottonwoods, and willows along the Gros Ventre.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: A cloud rolled in over the Grand, so I chose to shoot this one tight.

Chapel Visitors

Chapel Visitors: A bus load of tourists headed out in the light rain towards the Chapel. I though the umbrellas added a nice touch.

Afternoon Outing:

Afternoon Barn

Afternoon Barn: Skies looked dark and interesting so I did a quick trip up Spring Gulch. I shot this image with my D4 after being repaired at Nikon Service.

Trumpeter Swan Family

Trumpeter Swan Family: All three Cygnets are still with the two adults along Flat Creek. Only two of them were tight enough to be into this shot.

Single Swan with Rain Drops

Single Swan with Rain Drops: This was taken with very little available light.


September 17

Pronghorns with Tetons

Pronghorns with Tetons: We had stunning gold light at first light this morning. After not seeing an bull moose on my first pass of the GV, I headed quickly towards the barns. When I saw these Pronghorns in front of the Tetons, I changed gears and took a few of them.

Pronghorns in Gold

Pronghorns in Gold: The base of Blacktail Butte is in the distance of this image, taken from Mormon Row. Yes, it was REALLY that gold.

Dappled Gold

Dappled Gold: This horse was prancing around in the pasture between the Bed and Breakfast and the TA Moulton Barn. I managed to get a few of her in front of the barns, but I liked this one with the wavy old dirt road.

TA Moulton Barn at Sunrise

TA Moulton Barn at Sunrise: I made it to this barn and snapped off a few images before clouds filled in and cut off the morning light. You can see the cottonwoods just starting to turn there.


Ravens: These ravens were preening in the top of an old dead tree with the moody blue-gray sky behind.

Quick Wildlife and Foliage Report: The GV river bottom is well past half way now, with almost no cottonwoods or willows in summer green color. Aspens on the hillsides are beginning to turn there, too. Aspens in many other areas advanced considerably in the past couple of days. Shadow Mountain is looking very good. The S Curve road to the Shane Cabin is quite yellow. Bison were in the flats north of Kelly. Pronghorns were along Mormon Row road. This morning, I saw four different Cow moose with a calf each and one single Cow moose, but no bulls.

Afternoon Outing:

Longhorn Steer

Longhorn Steer: Not exactly native wildlife, but they’ve been a fixture in the park for decades. These Longhorns roam a couple of pastures just north of Kelley.

Bull Bison

Bull Bison: I found this nice bull along with a large herd near the Kelly Warm Springs.

Shadow Mountain Vista

Shadow Mountain Vista: Aspens are near peak on Shadow Mountain right now.

Shadow Mountain and the South Vista

Shadow Mountain and the South Vista:

Shadow Mountain Hillside

Shadow Mountain Hillside:

Shadow Mountain

Shadow Mountain:

Snake River Clouds

Snake River Clouds: Taken from the Snake River bridge just as the sun went down. The cottonwoods are in shadows in this late evening shot, but you can get an idea of the foliage situation along the Snake. Changes are evident from day to day and even from morning to evening now.

Equipment Updates: For anyone following along with my D4 and hard drive issues, the D4 is now in transit back from Nikon Service after a quick dip in the river. It should be here tomorrow. I had a hard drive failure on one of my backup drives and now have it’s replacement back in operation and full of data.


September 16

Tail Lights

Tail Lights: I pulled into the turnout along the highway early this morning to take this shot. Each morning, there’s a bumper to bumper stream of cars heading to the airport. It is even more apparent if one vehicle is going 45mph and the rest are in a hurry. On Sunday, I made that loop north along the highway and ran into the construction zone near Snake River Overlook and Cunningham Cabin. There was a fairly long delay, but at the time, crews were adding the center stripes and fog lines. Hopefully some sections will be finished soon. The bike paths in GTNP are getting resurfaced, so we also have to watch out for bikers back on the highway for a few days.

John Moulton Homestead

John Moulton Homestead: Today, I looked for moose along the Gros Ventre and got absolutely skunked! That included walking quite a bit of the river bottom, too! Clouds looked nice, so I drove up Mormon Row to take a few shots there. Bison are now back in the area and look great when you can find them in the golden grass of fall. A herd of Bison were just a few hundred yards behind the Peach House and were also along Mormon Row south of the Bed & Breakfast.

Moulton Barn and Corrals

Moulton Barn and Corrals: The mountains and clouds were “moody” today with occasional patches of sunlight making their way to them. Haze is still a player in the valley from a fire of unknown origin. As they say, “Hindsight is 20/20″…meaning I probably should have been here today for the sunrise instead of searching for moose. There was a nice glow this morning from the sunrise light coming over the eastern mountains and enhanced by the smoke’s haze. I’d definitely had been there if we had recent snows in the high country.

Road Closure Signs Moose/Wilson Road Still Closed: I’ll keep you informed on the What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports: page, but I’ll include this important information here just to be sure you get to see it. The road has been closed because of one or more grizzlies in the area. In the JH Daily News today, a story reports the road is still closed and will remain so until at least 48 hours after the rangers last see the bear. The spokeswoman for the park, Jackie Scaggs, suggested they’d even prefer 72 hours. This doesn’t look good for Fall tourism along that road! There’s a bumper crop of berries on the roadside this year, so who knows how long the bear will stay? The road to the Laurance S. Rockefeller is still open from the south entrance at Teton Village and I understand you can drive all the way to the Death Canyon Road to access Whitegrass Ranch and the upper trails to Phelps Lake. I’ll adjust this if I find out it to be incorrect.

All in a normal day’s work: Yesterday, I mentioned my D4 being back at Nikon for service after a quick bath in the river. I checked online today and my camera is coded “shop”. Needless to say, I am anxious to get it back.  Over the weekend, I noticed one of my backup drives had stopped functioning. I spent part of yesterday checking the power supply and trying it on different ports before deciding I’d better replace it. I updated the second backup with all the new data and am now copying a good chunk of data to the new Toshiba 3TB USB 3 drive. A while back I added this feature post: My Photographic Workflow:  It explains most of my steps, including my backups. They say there are two types of people using computers: Those that have had a hard drive fail and those that will. Right now, I feel good with having one good backup and will feel better once the second backup is complete. While we like living in a small town, sometimes, like now, it’d be nice to have several options for computer equipment. Our local Staples store is essentially our only source.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian taken at the Gros Ventre overlook. Aspens are turning yellow around the Shane Cabin. I saw my one moose of the day crossing the sagebrush north of the cabin.


September 15

Tim Mayo's Rainbow

Guest Shot!: This was taken by Tim Mayo sometime earlier in the week. I see him out almost every morning. He sends out a couple of images to a few friends on Sundays and I always look forward to seeing them. Morning rainbows aren’t that common and getting one spanning the entire valley is a heck of an accomplishment! Nice job, Tim!

Today’s Images: I am still shooting the moose with my D800 and a 200-400mm lens. My D4 is back at Nikon for service after getting a “little wet”. They say they can fix it with a “complete overhaul”. Maybe it will be back sometime this week. There was a little haze this morning, but not as bad at late in the day yesterday. It was a nice morning!

Water Hole

Water Hole: Along the Gros Ventre river.

Young Moose

Young Moose: I believe this is a young cow.

Bull Moose on the Move:

Bull Moose on the Move: You can see some of the dried velvet still on this bull’s antlers. Normally, if they are willing to strip the velvet off at the “perfect” time, it falls off easily. If they wait, it dries and it much harder to remove. The big bull I called “Elvis” did that one year, too.

Bull Approaching:

Bull Approaching: This bull was staying close to a cow moose with a calf of the year.

Bull Resting Near Water

Resting Bull Moose: You can see some of the yellow foliage reflected in the water.

Two Generations

Two Generations:

Tree Tops

Tree Tops: Cottonwoods and Willows along the Gros Ventre are turning nice and yellow in many areas now.


Killdeer Along the Gros Ventre:

Young Meadowlark

Young Meadowlark Along Mormon Row: Taken from the window of my parked vehicle.


Bluebird along Mormon Row: Taken from the window of my vehicle.

East Boundary View of the Grand

“Record Shot” of the Changing Seasons: The aspens along the East Boundary road and up Shadow Mountain are also turning bright yellow. There are some patches of orange mixed in, too.

Back from the morning trip…It is amazing how fast leaves are changing right now. If you are thinking of coming out for foliage, I’d say think sooner than later! You can mill around the valley and find lots of bright color, even if the bulk of it is around half way there.

If you are new to this blog, I might mention many of the images I post on the daily updates pages are “record shots”with the main intention of showing readers what is going on in the area and not necessarily “fine art” photography. The shot of the aspens and the Grand is a good example. I’d probably never do much with a photo with the image “split” down the middle.  Instead, it is a good representation of some of the changing leaves and it shows some of the remnant haze from regional fires. The Killdeer shot is another good example. It is a good representation of a bird you might see while in the Tetons and along some of the waterways, but I’d much prefer an image where the tail of the bird is not conflicting with the ridge line of the sand. I was on “moose mode” at the time I took it. I just rotated the tripod for a few seconds to capture the Killdeer as a shot for the blog!


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

September 14


New Feature Post: Fall at Oxbow Bend. It shows Oxbow Bend images from recent years and includes the date I took them. It includes some tips and strategies for shooting there in the Fall. This page is loaded with photos—including several panoramic images taken at a variety of locations along the river.

Today: Sunrise is at 7:01 and sunset is around 7:45. We are projected to get calm winds and temps into the mid-70s. I am up early and planning on driving south through the Snake River Canyon and along the Palisades Reservoir to photograph more of the Mountain Maple. In some years, the aspens are peak at the same time the maples are in peak color, but the maples are well ahead of the aspens this year.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: I spotted this Goat on the cliffs a few miles from the mouth of the Snake River Canyon when heading to Alpine Junction.

Palisades Reservoir

Palisades Reservoir: This was taken from the road not too far from the Dam. There was quite a bit of haze today. I assume it was from a fire in the region.

Snake River Highway

Snake River Highway: Mountain Maples mixed with Cedar and Spruce trees.

First Light on a Stand of Mountain Maples

First Light on a Stand of Mountain Maples:

Aspens and Mountain Maple

Aspens and Mountain Maple:

Rocks and Mountain Maple

Rocks and Mountain Maple:

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks Mixed in with Maples.

Afternoon “Loop”: After making the post with photos from this morning, I decided to make an afternoon reconnaissance run into the park. It was mid-day, so I didn’t really expect to get great shots, but I wanted to see the state of the foliage season first hand.

Oxbow Bend Sign

Oxbow Bend is in the process of “change”.  The aspens at the upper lot are a little ahead of the main turnout. Aspens north of the road are the most yellow, as seen here.

Hunting Coyote

Hunting Coyote: I saw this coyote along Pilgrim Creek Road. I sat “ready” in my vehicle in case he moused, but he didn’t while I was there. Other people started pulling in and he eventually spooked back to the trees.

Trail Riders

Trail Riders: I snapped this shot from the bridge near Jackson Lake Lodge as a group of trail riders were returning to the stables. The aspens around Jackson Lake Lodge are slightly ahead of other aspens in the area.

Jackson Lake Junction

Jackson Lake Junction: A few stands of trees around Jackson Lake Junction are quite orange and colorful. Right now, this is the exception and not the rule.

Smokey Range

Smokey Range: A thick layer of smoke moved into the valley throughout the day. It essentially removed all texture on the mountains.

Cascade Canyon

Cascade Canyon: I liked the Oriental simplicity of this shot taken on the drive into String Lake.

Cascade Canyon withTrees

Cascade Canyon with Trees: Similar shot taken at the sign to Jenny Lake Lodge on the one way drive.

Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon

Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon: A couple of weekends ago, I was hiking up that canyon to Inspiration Point. I took this from the pullout on the one way String Lake / Jenny Lake drive.

Cabin at Taggart Lake Trailhead

Cabin at Taggart Lake Trail Head: Evening “filtered” light on the Aspens and cabin.

Road Closure Signs

Road Closure Signs: While I was there taking photos of the closure signs, three or four vehicles came through and had to turn around. The Moose Wilson Road is currently closed due to Grizzly activity. No reports on an expected opening date.


September 13

News: Earlier in August, I did a Feature Post called: Preservation Begins on the John Moulton Homestead! One of the volunteers, Nick Wujek headed back to college after the two weeks here doing preservation work on the Mormon Row homesteads. The New Jersey Institute of Technology did a story about his summer work project and posted it on their school web site. Here’s the link: Go West, Young Architect: An NJIT Senior’s Summer Job Takes Him 2,000 Miles from Home and 100 Years Back in Time. I let them use one of my light painting images for a story on their web site.

First Light on Bull Moose

First Light on Bull Moose:I captured this mid-sized Bull Moose in the sagebrush today.

Harbinger of the Rut

Harbinger of the Rut: Lip Curls (Flehmen Response) are common now as bulls search for mates. Cows with calves of the year will seldom be ready, but he younger bulls still hang with them.

Resting Young Bull

Resting Young Bull: This young bull was bedded down next to a single cow.

Mule Deer Group

Mule Deer Group: Found near the edge of the Gros Ventre River.

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: This is a new bull for this year along the Gros Ventre. I believe he’s the one I always called Gaston (The Beast).

Gaston Standing

Among the Spruce: Same bull. The younger, mid-sized bull was thrashing around in the trees catching the attention of this much bigger bull.

Jackson Hole Quick Draw:

Held on the town square, artists have 90 minutes to complete a painting.

Amy Ringholz

Amy Ringholz painting a horned owl.

Chad Poppleton

Chad Poppleton painting a Mountain Goat.

Lyn Sinclair

Lyn Sinclair

Tim Tanner

Tim Tanner

Tom Mansanarez

Tom Mansanarez

Amy Poor

Amy Poor

Art Auction

Art Auction: After the artists complete their painting or sculpture, the pieces are auctioned off to a standing room only audience. This was a busy day downtown with the next to last Farmer’s Market along the edges of the Square.


September 12

News Flash: The Entrance to GTNP along the Moose/Wilson road near Teton Village has reopened, however the section from Death Canyon road to the Maurie Center is closed due to Grizzly activity. You can still get to the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve from the south.

Eagle Along the Gros Ventre

Eagle Along the Gros Ventre: I couldn’t tell if this was an immature bald eagle or a golden eagle. It was very large! Skies were bright and blue today, with not a single cloud in sight.

Fall on the Gros Ventre

Fall on the Gros Ventre: I saw two cows with calves and two bulls this morning, but decided to hike along the river bottom and look for something different. One fall, I found a family of River Otters. I see mule deer regularly, and I found the eagle today. The area south of the Gros Ventre is closed to human entry. It is part of the National Elk Refuge.

Inner Forest

Inner Forest: Between the sage flats and the river bottom, there are regions of mature willow trees. Moose sometimes use the area to bed down or rest during the hot parts of the day. Mule Deer and Whitetails also inhabit the area.

Leaves and Berries

Leaves and Berries: It was cold this morning. I had frost on my vehicle’s windows. One backwater area of the Gros Ventre actually had a layer of ice. When I returned to my vehicle at 8:44 am, the exterior temperature was reading 19°.


September 11

Custer's Tassles

Morning Bull Moose : This is the bull I photographed yesterday morning as he was stripping his velvet. As of this morning, he has polished much of his antlers, but still has a couple of velvet “tassles” at the base. I call this moose “Custer” (you can call him anything you want, or no name at all). He lacks the typical dewlap that hangs under the bell of his neck. It reminds me of a goatee. Custer also has a few bleached white spots on his coat, and this year, he has the one “down tine” on is right antler. I’ve photographed him for several years.

Custer in Foliage

Custer in Foliage: I included this image to show the colorful ground cover and changing shrubbery of the forest floor.

Custer in Shadows

Custer in Shadows: This beautiful bull moose stepped into the light for a few shots.

Custer in the Creek:

Custer in the Creek:

Ground Cover

Ground Cover:

Hillside of Color

Hillside of Color: This was taken just as you enter GTNP from the south after climbing the hill near the National Fish Hatchery. While many areas are still about mid-way, there are other clusters of foliage in advanced stages.

Morning Bull

Morning Bull: Feeding in the sagebrush before heading to the river bottom.


September 10

Morning Doe

Morning Doe: This Mule Deer crossed in front of me as the first rays of light hit the forest floor today.

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: This is the same bull Moose I photographed stripping his antlers yesterday.


Crossing: Yesterday, this bull had one patch of peeled velvet. I mentioned he’d probably be stripped by the time I saw him next. He apparently began early this morning and was in the process when I first saw him.


Tassles: Within a relatively short period, this bull Moose had stripped most of the velvet.

Bloody Antlers

Bloody Antlers: By tomorrow, most of the rest of the “tassles” will be rubbed off and his antlers will lose the red blood stains.

IMPORTANT ROAD CLOSURE NOTE: The gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week!

Willows and Cottonwoods

Willows and Cottonwoods: This was taken in the evening on the 9th. The was a film of smoke haze which helped create a warm sunset. I include it here to show the state of the season. The large aspen stand on the distant hillside hasn’t changed much, yet some aspens in other parts of the valley are beginning to change.

East Boundary Road

East Boundary Road: Just north of Antelope Flats road with Shadow Mountain in the background.

Afternoon Recap – September 10: I had a good morning with the moose along the Gros Ventre. I had been going there regularly in hopes of catching some of them stripping their velvet. By now, most of them are finished. This afternoon, I did a reconnaissance mission to check on other areas of the Park. I drove by the Gros Ventre out to Kelly, then north past Antelope Flats road where I found a few bright yellow stands of aspens. Shadow Mountain has a few other patches of color, but is still generally olive green. I had heard of a few Mule Deer hanging around the Kelly area, but I didn’t see any. The Longhorns are still in the pastures north of Kelly. The cottonwoods along Ditch Creek are still very green, along with the aspens and cottonwoods around the Mormon Row barns. The river bottom at the Snake River near Moose is ahead of much of the rest of the area, but I didn’t try going too far north because of road construction on the highway. Aspens around the Chapel are starting to turn.  I didn’t have time to make it all the way to Oxbow, turning into String Lake and Jenny Lake instead. I expected to see a few herds of Elk, but I didn’t see a single one. I saw people parked along the road near the south end of Timbered Island, so I assume they were seeing or hearing them. The trail down to the lake at Jenny Lake from the pullout parking lot is still closed. As an overview, it appears the south end of the Park is ahead of some of the other areas I could see. Maybe I can make a trip to Oxbow and north soon. I heard several reports of good color near Triangle X and some trees with color around the Oxbow.

Foliage Updates: What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports

Moose-Wilson Road: The road was scheduled to reopen on the gravel portion tomorrow morning, but the entire road was closed today from the Maurie Center road south because of Grizzly activity.

The Photographer’s Ephemeris: A couple of days ago, I tried running my desktop version of The Photographer’s Ephemeris to check the locations for the full moon, only to see an API error. That app is now DEAD, but you can apparently still export any existing “locations” and use them on their new desktop app. It’s still FREE. Click the link and check it out. I have the app on my iPhone and Verizon Pad.


September 9

Full Moon

Full Moon: I stayed out last night hoping to get the rising full moon, but there were too many clouds. Today, I had to make the call whether to head north and try to get the moon setting over the Grand or look for moose. With a couple of “clinger clouds” building on the Grand, I went with the moose. Those clouds got even thicker, so I knew I made the right choice.

Moon With Morning Clouds

Moon With Morning Clouds: Just before sunrise.

Stripping Velvet

Stripping Velvet: I found this bull well before sunlight hit the valley floor. My first “record shot” was at 6:44 am. By 7:44 most of his velvet was gone.

Lost Velvet

Lost Velvet: Taken roughly an hour after the previous image.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: Leaving the willows and heading to the other side of the river.

Custer Following the Cow

Bull in Velvet Crossing the Gros Ventre: This bull has a small chunk of velvet stripped just above his eye. I suspect the next time I see him, his antlers will be clean.

Last of the Velvet

Last of the Velvet: A shot like this probably won’t end up on anyone’s wall, but I like to document the event when I can.


September 8

Washakie in Morning Light

Washakie in Morning Light: This bull was grazing in the sagebrush before sunrise and moved back to the forest just before light.

Alert Moose Watching Washakie

Alert Moose Watching Washakie:

Washakie Pausing

Washakie: Pausing before bedding down.

Washakie Resting

Washakie Resting:

Monday Morning: I went out with the D800 and 200-400mm lens today. Yesterday, my Nikon D4 took a quick “bath” in the stream when we were fishing for Kokanee Salmon (photo below). I spent part of the morning doing a service submission to Nikon and will get it off by FedEx today. This is TERRIBLE timing with the moose rut underway.

Kokanee Salmon

Gros Ventre Trees

Gros Ventre Trees: Some of the willows are ahead of others as seen here. I updated the foliage reports on this page today: What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports:

Washakie in Spruce Grove

Washakie in Spruce Grove: Taken in the afternoon near the Gros Ventre River.

Washakie Near River Bottom

Washakie Near River Bottom: Some sections of the Gros Ventre have willows heading towards peak. On this shot, a band of light hit some of the willows behind the moose.


September 7


Resting Bull: Found in the Cottonwoods along the Gros Ventre before first light.


Bull and Calf: Washakie and a young calf.


Bull Moose: Still in velvet.

Cow Moose in the River

Cow Moose in the River: Along the Gros Ventre.

After my morning shoot, I met up with my son and my fishing buddy to head south towards Alpine Junction for some sightseeing and fishing. I wanted to check out the Mountain Maple trees and see if we could entice a Kokanee Salmon to bite a fly.


Dave and Gus: Fishing on a Elk Creek near Palisades Reservoir. This is a land locked Kokanee Salmon up the creek to spawn.


Corey, my youngest son with a Salmon on.


My Kokanee: Corey took this shot of me with a Salmon in spawning colors.


Kokanee Salmon in the clear stream.


Mountain Maple along Palisades Reservoir / Alpine Junction. Lots of color in the last third of the canyon already!

Afternoon Light

Afternoon Light: This is the south end of Blacktail Butte with the Grand towering over it.

Washakie Resting

Washakie Yawning: This bull has a broken tine even before the battles of the rut.

Young Mule Deer

Young Mule Deer Crossing a Side Channel.


Sunset Over the Teton Range:

Stormy Skies

Stormy Skies:

Gros Ventre

Gros Ventre Sunset: Just downstream from this shot were a cow, calf, and a bull moose. It was getting too dark for shots. Farther up the road was a single cow moose grazing in the sagebrush.


September 6

Saturday Morning In Jackson Hole: Clear, cool, and calm to start the day. If was out early and found a few moose along the Gros Ventre river.

Posturing Moose

Posturing Moose: These two equal sized bulls met up and had to establish their dominance. Normally, I don’t see two bulls actually fight while still in velvet, but these two did so today. It tore some of the velvet on each. The ears down on their back indicate stress or discontent as seen here. These two are brown, but later in the morning, I found a red one.

Moose Youngster

Young Bull Moose with Stringing Velvet: I saw this bull before sunlight and he still had all his velvet. Within just a short period today, he had much of it stripped off on the outside of the antlers. They have to work a bit to get the velvet off the inside of the fronts of their antlers. He’ll spend much of the day thrashing in the willows.

Following the Gals

Following the Gals: Once the cow crossed the river, all I had to do is wait for the big bull to follow her.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: After leaving the Gros Ventre, I stopped in downtown Jackson. Three of the four streets around the Square were roped off for all the activities. Old Bill’s Fun Run For Charities was to start at 10:00 am. Every non-profit had tents and displays to show off their programs. This Great Horned Owl was in the Raptor Center booth.


Climbers: These youngsters were climbing on the portable climbing wall set up on the Town Square as part of the Fun Run event. The regular Farmer’s Market was moved to Center Street today.

Balloon Hat

Balloon Hat: Let’s just say the square was quite festive today.

Moose Mascot

Moose Mascot: This moose is the mascot for the local hockey team. He was out front of the start stretching for the run.

Fun Run Start

Fun Run Start: At 10:00, the race began.


Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities: This was the scene as runners and walkers waited their turn to go through the start gate. Today is also the day for Lotoja Classic – L O T O J A 2 0 1 4: This is a bike race from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY

Skate Contest

Wild West Skateboard Contest Series 2014 :


Spectators at the Wild West Skateboard Contest:


Bison: A herd of around 150 bison were just north of Antelope Flats road this afternoon. The green grass of summer has been replaced with golden grass.

Pink Sunset

Pink Sunset: These clouds were in the northeast this afternoon. I stopped to take this shot as I was driving onto the highway after spending some time at Schwabacher Landing. While in the river bottom, I saw a cow Moose and her calf of the year grazing at the edge of the water. As the Tetons put the area into shadows, three beavers came out of their den and began to work their ponds.

Remember to Check these Related Pages:

What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports: | Wildlife Reports: | Best of the Tetons : Start Here!: | Helpful Links and Resources:


September 5

Just Peaks

Just Peaks: With no morning clouds, I zoomed in on just the peaks over Blacktail Butte.

Young Bull and Cow Moose

Young Bull and Cow Moose: I’ve found at least three cows along the Gros Ventre with one calf each. This is a single cow, so she will likely sought after by the big bulls when the rut starts.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: I spent the first part of my morning looking for one of the large bull moose in hopes of catching him scraping the velvet. I had seen this pair earlier, so I went back to them once the light started hitting the valley floor. By 8:15 am, both bedded down.

Remember to Check these Related Pages: The Moose-Wilson Road will be closed next Tuesday and Wednesday! The Fall Arts Festival is underway with a Gallery Walk tonight.

What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports: | Wildlife Reports: | Best of the Tetons : Start Here!: | Helpful Links and Resources:


September 4

Pre-Dawn Bull Moose

Pre-Dawn Bull Moose: Some days are better than others! This morning was one of the good ones! I spotted this moose from a long distance and hiked to the area. He had moved some during my hike but I found him feeding on bitter brush. The sun had yet to clear the eastern mountains.

Feeding Moose:

Feeding Moose: Once the light hit the valley floor, the bull moved from the sagebrush to the river bottom where he spent a lot of time feeding on willows.


Shorebird: While watching the moose feed on willows, this shorebird landed on the rocks. I don’t know the names of local shorebirds, but will try to identify it.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: I saw this Bald Eagle approaching from quite a ways off. I made a couple of quick adjustments and snapped off a few as he flew by.

Bull Moose Drinking

Bull Moose Drinking: My patience with the moose paid off. He eventually got his fill of the willows and came to the edge of the river to drink. I can easily identify this bull this year. He has a few white spots on his fur, lacks a long dewlap, and has a drop tine on his right antler (visible in the shot above when he was stripping willows).

Morning Moose Crossing

Morning Moose Crossing: This bull (I call him Custer) filled up on water and then headed across the river. For my original shots of him feeding in the willows and his first drinks, I was shooting with a Nikon D800. After a few drinking shots, I switched bodies to the D4 so I could get a LOT of shots of him crossing the river. The D4 can shoot around 90 RAW images before hitting the buffer, and it clears memory very fast, making it a good choice for a river crossing. The D800 starts bogging down after around 12 images and takes longer to clear for new images. I was shooting with a Nikon 200-400mm lens today.

Chipmonk on a Log

Chipmonk on a Log: A couple of little Chipmonks were feeding on the plants near one of the pull-outs along the Gros Ventre.

Chipmonk in the Branches

Chipmonk in the Branches: Here he is reaching for seeds.

Swan Family

Swan Family on Flat Creek: I spent a lot of July photographing this Trumpeter Swan family on Flat Creek, just north of the Visitor’s Center. They were difficult to find during the month of August, but have visible again over the past two days. The three surviving Cygnets are getting fairly large now.

Geese and Snow King

Geese and Snow King: One of the two adult Trumpeter Swans apparently got fed up with the flocks of Canada Geese by the Visitor’s Center. It took off and headed to the area, spooking the Geese. I snapped this shot as they flew by Snow King ski resort.

Schwabacher Sunset

Schwabacher Sunset: Clouds looked promising this afternoon, so I headed to Schwabacher Landing. This was a five shot bracketed image, processed in Merge To HDR in Photoshop and tone mapped with ACR.

Moose Comments: Sept 4

A friend showed me a photo of Washakie with his velvet stripped off. I had been looking for him for the past few days, but missed the event. Several moose were seen at the big pullout along the Gros Ventre. I saw two cows with one calf each, along with three or four distant bulls south of the river. So far, Washakie is the only one I’ve heard about with clean antlers.

Remember to Check these Related Pages:

What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports: | Wildlife Reports: | Best of the Tetons : Start Here!: | Helpful Links and Resources:


September 3

Wednesday Sunrise

Wednesday Sunrise: I pulled over and did a quick shot of the Teton Range.

Moose Portrait

Moose Portrait: This bull grazed along the willows for a while, then crossed the river.

Moose Crossing

Moose Crossing: This is the same moose I photographed several weeks ago. He has a small aluminum tag in one ear.

Remember to Check these Related Pages:

What’s Hot? What’s Happening including Foliage Reports: | Wildlife Reports: | Best of the Tetons : Start Here!: | Helpful Links and Resources:


September 2

Moose Crossing

Moose Crossing: This bull moose was crossing the Gros Ventre river near the highway bridge.

Cow Moose along the Gros Ventre

Cow Moose along the Gros Ventre: This cow moose has a chunk of her ear missing. I’ve seen her and her single calf several other times this summer.

Morning Comments: I did a quick run out to Kelly this morning. I saw the bull moose along the highway as it was crossing the Gros Ventre. There were a few Pronghorns along the GV road. I walked around looking for some moose, but only found this cow and her calf. There was a herd of Bison on the south end of Blacktail Butte near Mormon Row Road. I saw quite a few birds, including Magpies, Ravens and Blackbirds this morning. Skies were perfectly clear in the morning. The thermometer in my vehicle said 39°F. You can see the steam from the breathing of the bull moose as it crossed the river.


September 1:

Note, this page is now being entered in chronological order by the date. Scroll to the bottom to see the most current entries.

Happy Labor Day!

Teton Peaks Revealed

Teton Peaks Revealed: Fog and clouds pulling back from the peaks this morning.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: I shot this today to show the status of the leaves along Oxbow Bend.


Changing Cottonwoods: These were along the Moose-Wilson Road.

Purple Berries

Purple Berries: I took this shot next to the parking lot near Oxbow Bend.

Red Berries

Red Berries: Found along the Moose-Wilson Road.

Black Hawthorne Leaves

Black Hawthorne Leaves: Most leaves along the Moose-Wilson Road are still green, but there are a few bushes changing.


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Comments (16)

  1. Tony Boicelli

    thank you Mike for all that you do on your blog. Every year I go into Jackson to try to catch the fall colors and I always miss it by a week I will pay extra attention to your blog this year and finally do it right. Should the last week of September be a good target?

  2. Tony, the best suggestion I can offer is to look at all of September from last year. It will give you a very good idea when certain areas change:

  3. Jackie Ireland

    There is a little color right now, but what little there is, it is very vibrant. It might bode well for a colorful fall.

  4. Mike, it’s always a pleasure running into you. Great blog posts, and i am looking forward to seeing much more. Oh…Look…..Moose. LOL

  5. Steve Bailie

    We are making our first trip toGTNP in early Oct and although I’m sure most of the fall color will be gone, you have provided me with lots of other ideas. I am a retired educator and have a photo bucket list I am trying to complete. I regret not getting to Wyoming before now, but your blog has really inspired me. I just hope I’m lucky enough to get enough good cloud weather to capture this beautiful area. Thanks for all of the info you post on the blog!

  6. Steve, you should still find color in early October, but it looks like the leaves are changing earlier this year than normal around the valley.

  7. Steve Bailie

    I noticed that you have a camranger. I’ve had one for several months and was wondering what you have used it for in photographing in your area.

  8. Thanks for the updates, as always Mike. Looks like you’ve got quite a few nice bulls to work with this year. Can’t wait to get up there.

  9. Diana & Jon LeVasseur

    Hi Mike,

    Just wanted to thank you so much for all the wonderful updates on the fall foliage and what is going on in the area. We will be headed up to Jackson this coming Saturday and hope to get some great photos of all the beautiful trees. Take care and maybe we’ll see you around!

  10. Hi Diana and Jon, You are welcome! I can always use readers help by asking them to pass links to my site on to friends and other photographers. It is also easy to SHARE any page by clicking on any of the Social Media icons at the bottom of the page. It will go to all of your Facebook Friends if you click the F icon. Cheers! Mike Jackson

  11. Ron Case

    We drove Moose-Wilson road Saturday evening. Going from the Teton Village side towards Moose we saw several nice elk – bulls and cows. Going back we saw a grizzly bear near the beaver ponds (and just on the other side of the water) and were immediately in the middle of a large bear jam. Two park rangers were in the middle of it and actually caused more of a jam by where they parked their vehicles. The jam didn’t last long and it was exciting to see the grizzly. We were wondering if they would re-close the road today. We had to head home early today and didn’t get a chance to go back. Thanks for all of your work on the blog Mike. I have been a follower of yours long before you started the blog. I made good use of some of your featured posts while we were in the park. I always look forward to seeing what you new information you are going to share.

  12. Lauren

    Hey Mike! Great site here!! I know everyone’s asked but I’m hoping for a different answer here, but I’m thinking of flying in October 22 or November 5th. What are the predictable outcomes on the leaves for each of those dates or are they gone and off by both times? It will be my dad’s first trip and I’m wanting it to be great. What is the animal activity during these times also?
    Thank you so much!

  13. Lauren,
    As of today…the 25th, I’d say all leaves will be on the ground and possibly under some snow on the dates you mentioned. Leaves are falling fast here now and I heard a weather report saying we are in for a cold front with lots of wind. There are still lots of good places to photograph that don’t rely on fall leaves. MJ

  14. HI Mr. Jackson, I was wondering how you feel about what happened to the cow moose in the Gros Ventre yesterday. I know you know a lot of these moose really well and I’m sorry about what happened. I think this is important for photographers to talk about. Maybe you can do a blog post about it?

    Im coming out there in 2 weeks and Im really sad to be a photographer right now.

    Thanks and I really like your blog its amazing.


  15. Ashleigh, Believe me, I am sick at my stomach at the news of the death of the moose. I get that way when any of them are lost, and this one had a calf of the year. I wasn’t there that morning, so I don’t have any first hand knowledge. I haven’t been to the campground since it happened either, and I doubt I go there much in the future. Right now, there is so much rhetoric and misinformation about the incident. I figure it is better for me to just keep quiet and wait until more concrete information is revealed. I saw a photo of a new sign the Park Service put up telling people of a potentially aggressive bull moose in the area. I had a hard time reading all of it, but it outlines some rules and guidelines. For now, I need to let all the dust settle and see how everything plays out. Here’s a blog post by Jason Williams about the incident:

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