Rss

Best of the Tetons

Bull Moose Entering the River

October 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:
2017: 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:

October Overview:

Fiery Sleeping Indian

October:  Normally, peak foliage around Oxbow Bend is during the first few days of the month, but this year, foliage season came much earlier.  Many areas are well past peak to start the month. Last year, the park closed for a couple of weeks in October, but hopefully we won’t see anything similar ever again. Snow will be the big game changer in October. Temperatures drop considerably during the month and some of the snowfall will begin to stick in  areas of the valley. Early snows usually melt quickly on the valley floor, yet remain in the high country. Moose and Elk will continue their rut into the first few weeks and Pronghorns begin their later rut. More migrating birds pass through the valley, or leave the valley. After the Fall Foliage, the bulk of the tourists leave and the valley becomes amazingly quiet and peaceful.

Streamlined Viewing Links

750line

Oldie But Goodie Post of the Day

Stars over Jenny Lake Oct26Night Time In the Tetons:The new moon is in the waxing crescent phase right now. Each night, it will become more bright and will soon affect some of the night scenes. This post shows quite a few night shots from over the years and might give you some ideas of where to spend some late nights or early mornings. Remember, the Teton Park Road will close at the end of the month!

750line

Moose Chase by John Tebbetts

Guest Shot: Moose Chase by John Tebbetts: Taken at Schwabacher Landing on September 30th. The bull was trying to wean the two year old calf from the cow moose.  John was ready for the action as the two splashed across the side channel . John said it this image was straight out of the camera…with the saturation set to vivid.  Click the image to see it much larger. 750line

Artists and Sculptors

750line

October 29

Aloha from Maui! Sorry, I don’t have news to add from Grand Teton National Park, but I am a few miles and four time zones away. They have beautiful sunrise and sunsets here. Wow! I heard the weather was great back in Jackson Hole with a good week on tap.

Current Road Closures:

  • RKO Road: This road runs from the Teton Park Road towards the Snake River, then north along the river to an area just south of Signal Mountain.
  • Mormon Row Road: From about half a mile north of Gros Ventre Road to the Bed and Breakfast.
  • Warm Springs Road: This is the road heading West from the Kelly Warm Springs going towards Mormon Row. The last 1/3 is closed.

Upcoming Road Closures:

  • Teton Park Road (Inner Park Loop Road) closes on November 1st.
  • Bike Path along the National Elk Refuge on November 1st.
  • Fishing on the National Elk Refuge ends on October 31st.
  • Many of the trails on the West side of Jenny Lake will be closed for the season starting on Monday.

One-On-One Photo Excursions:  Book NOW for a One-On-One Photography Excursion in GTNP in November!  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 Best of the Tetons and share the pages with your friends on Facebook.

750line

October 28

Headed to Maui! My wife worked all the details for this trip. I’m just supposed to be ready to go at 11:00 am. I packed one small camera bag with a D4 and a 28-300mm lens, lots of batteries, lots of memory cards, and a strobe. I’ll have my Verizon tablet with me so I can insert the new November Daily Updates page and one more historic post about the old bridge over the Gros Ventre river.  They are both written and ready to submit. So, even though I might not be roaming the Tetons, I will still be adding to the blog. I woke up here in JH and will be on a beach on the north shore of Maui tonight. What a country!

Snow covered mountains: We’ve had two or three days of cloudy skies and a few storms. As I write this post at 7:30 am, I can look out and see the entire range covered with snow. I had considered trying to be out this morning, but I was afraid of not finishing up some loose ends before needing to be on the plane. I need to keep the wife happy! Still, it is beautiful here this morning and I wish I could be out getting the morning sunrise. Even as I write this an look outside, I see some pink beginning to turn in the clouds. Dang!

Bison TouronsYesterday, I submitted the two new posts. Both had quite a bit of traffic and quite a few comments both online and by email. The photo below with the tourists dangerously close to a mature bison cow and her calf still baffles me. Maybe I should say it haunts me. I was set up, watching that scene unfold, and I was thinking it could get bloody. I was thinking if it did, I’d get the shots and the images would end up on national TV and win all kinds of awards. Yet, I look at the same photos and wonder whether I should have yelled at the people, “Get back! They are very dangerous!” There’s a similar image taken in the Gros Ventre campground in the post about photographing large mammals in GTNP. Campers and tourists were terribly close to a bull moose—and he had his ears down as though he was not happy about the proximity of the people. Should “I” be yelling at the people? Is it my job? Is it my responsibility? The few times I did say something, I received a tongue lashing in response. In almost all cases, I was treated like the villain and not someone trying to help. In almost all cases, I walked away wishing I hadn’t said anything. It’s a tough call! I’ve been on the other side of the fence and had some self-proclaimed “field general” barking orders at everyone, telling us to move back, and telling us the moose is trying to go to the river and we were blocking him. All the time, I knew better and I was thoroughly annoyed during the entire experience. Of course, instead of going to the river, he bedded down where he stood.

750line

October 27

Bison Tourons

Two New Feature Posts! I originally had these two posts combined, but thought it made sense to separate them.  I believe you will enjoy both. The photo above is from the Photographing Large Game Animals post.

Custer: Majestic Bull Moose Along the Gros Ventre River

Photographing Large Game Animals in Grand Teton National Park:

“Here today…gone to Maui”.

Tomorrow, my wife and I are headed to Maui for a week or so. I wanted to get a couple of new feature posts out to the readers before I took off. If things go well, I will add one called Scalawags and Bridges ~ The Old Buffalo Fork Bridge while I am out of town, and I should add a new one for November Daily Updates and Photos.  So, even though you know I am out of town, please check back once in a while.

750line

 

October 26

Morning Light on Mt. Moran

Morning Light on Mt. Moran: We had overnight rain in town and snow in the high country. I got up early and headed to the Teton Park Road hoping to get a few end of the season shots. (The road closes on the 1st of November). Light and clouds were good, but they covered the peaks on both the Grand and Mt. Moran.

Bull Elk at Before Sunrise

Bull Elk Posing Before Sunrise: So, instead of getting sunrise images, I got lucky and found a beautiful bull elk and his large harem of cows near the road.

Bull Elk with Calf

Bull Elk with Calf: I was all alone for most of the good shooting. I put the camera and lens on the bean bag and shot out the window. I didn’t think they’d tolerate me being out of the vehicle.

Bull Elk Watching His Harem:

Bull Elk Watching His Harem: This bull put on a great show for me. Many of his cows crossed the road behind me, so he had to keep an eye on them, along with the few nearby. I started out shooting at ISO 2000, then gradually reduced it to a very tolerable level of ISO 1250 on my D4.

Gaston and Custer Sparring

Two Bull Moose Sparring: These two bulls have been hanging around together for a few days. I finally got a few shots of them sparring this morning. Immediately after this sequence, the bull on the left went to the river for a drink and the one on the left headed for his “spot” and bedding down for the day. When I left, both were bedded down close to each other.

10 Second Video of Two Bull Moose Sparring: I did a single short video clip of this sparring. Once they moved out of frame, I immediately switched back to stills. The action didn’t last long enough! These two bulls seem to have a lot of respect for each other and are about the same size. With no cows around, the sparring was not “for keeps”.

Upcoming Feature Post: The moose on the right is a bull I call “Custer”. I plan on posting a new Feature Post on Monday with photos of him taken over the past four years. You’ll get to see the growth and maturing of this bull, including some observations about the white spots on his coat. The post will also contain some rules and guidelines along with some suggestions for lenses for photographing moose in GTNP. You might want to sign up to follow this blog to get an advanced notification!

750line

 October 25

Steep Bank

Steep Bank: I headed out early today and looked mainly for moose along the Gros Ventre, Kelly area, and Ditch Creek area. I counted over two dozen moose this morning, along with seeing quite a few mule deer. I found these two bulls along the Gros Ventre River. When the bull on the right took his drink from the stream, he only put two front feet off the steep bank and reached down. The bull on the left came to the same spot, but instead of just reaching to the water, he went all the way into the river to drink. I was ready for him to cross, but he turned back to step up the steep bank. These two bulls grazed on willows and bitterbrush before bedding down only a few feet apart. There were no cows around to force them to compete with each other.

750line

 October 24

Beaver Slide

New Feature Post: Beavers of Schwabacher Landing 

Last night, I added a new Feature Post about the beavers. This morning, I added a few more photos and a labeled map of the area. If you are signed up to received email notices of new posts, you might want to check out the post again!

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker: This woodpecker has been hanging around for a few days. This morning was the first time I have been able to get a shot this year. Males have a patch of red on the back of their head.

Web_Nuthatch_Oct24

White-breasted Nuthatch: These little birds are maybe a little bigger than a Black-capped Chickadee and every bit as figgity.

Time is Running Out! A week from now, at midnight of October 31st, the Teton Park Road will close for the season. Some people call it the “Inner Park Loop Road”. This road allows access to the RKO Road, Bar BC Ranch, the Climbing Ranch, Lupine Meadows, Jenny Lake, String Lake, Leigh Lake, Cascade Canyon, the Old Patriarch Tree, and Signal Mountain (just to name a few).  Personally, I’d love to see the Park Service extend that closure another couple of weeks. Anyway, if you plan on visiting or photographing any of those areas without long hikes, I’d suggest getting there soon.

Evening Beaver

Evening Beaver: Taken at Schwabacher this afternoon.

Old Spruce Warrior

Old Spruce Warrior: This old tree stands in a small meadow along the Gros Ventre. I had originally planned on driving over to the RKO road to the Bar BC Ranch, but when I got to the gate, it has been locked for the season. Maybe next year.

Big Dipper and the Rest of the Cast:

Big Dipper and the Rest of the Cast: At this time of the year, the Big Dipper rests almost flat in the sky just after the sun goes down. I went to this spot hoping I could nestle it over the tree. Worked out great!

Night Sky with the Milky Way

Night Sky with the Milky Way: I took this shot from the middle of the Gros Ventre Road just before pulling out. The distant glow is from the little town of Wilson, seen just past West Gros Ventre Butte.

750line

October 23

Wind Blown Grass

While waiting for Beavers to show up, I spent some time this afternoon taking photos of other subjects that caught my eye. I took a few literal shots of the golden grass against the dark water, then changed settings to get a long exposure. The wind did all the work.

Blurred Grass

Blurred Grass: For this shot, I opened the aperture all the way (F/4 on my 200-400mm) and froze the grass while focusing on only a few of the closest stalks of grass.

Remnant Red and Orange

Remnant Red and Orange: There is still some color around. I shot this one slightly back lit in the very last few minutes of filtered light.

Beaver on the Dam

Beaver on the Dam: A couple of the Beavers finally appeared. They traveled across the dams a couple of times while gathering branches and stems from the riverside. Sunset today was a 6:26pm.

750line

October 22

Alert Bull Moose

Alert Bull Moose: I found this bull moose resting in the shade along the Gros Ventre this morning. I hiked around about a mile looking for another bull, but didn’t find one. I went back to the original bull and the light had shifted enough to put him in the sun light. He slept while I patiently waited for him to wake up. He heard something and became very alert.

Custer in the Cottonwoods

Emerging from the Cottonwoods: This is the moose that caught the attention of the sleeping moose.

Ready for the Meet and Greet:

Ready for the Meet and Greet: The big bull met up with a smaller bull and then headed in the direction of the passing bull.

Watching the Bull Pass Through

Watching the Bull Pass Through: The two bulls followed the other bull towards the river, but bedded down without getting close.

Other Wildlife Today: I saw a couple of moose near the GV River Bridge on the highway as I was heading north. There were around a hundred bison in the hay fields near Kelly and quite a few mule deer in Kelly. A few Pronghorns were along the north side of the Gros Ventre Road. I saw several moose along Ditch Creek road if heading in towards the old Teton Science School buildings. Oh yes, I have another Raccoon to relocate today.

Schwabacher October 20th

Schwabacher October 20th: Not sure where to put this one. I took it a couple of days ago on the D800, but didn’t download it until today with the moose shots above. I was set up at the edge of the water and was waiting for the reds to appear when a beaver swam by with a load of willow sticks. I opted that day to follow the beaver and leave the sunset shots. You’ll see the red in the water on the last photo I posted on the 20th.

Afternoon Bull Moose

Afternoon Bull Moose:

Tack on a Buck Rail Fence

Tack on a Buck Rail Fence: I set this up on the buck rail fence by the Shane Cabin tonight. It was lit with a small pen light.

750line

October 21

Fall at the BarnIt’s dark, gloomy, cloudy, and occasionally rainy here today. This post might help you find subjects: Making the Best of a Rainy Day:

“Photographers sue to stop Grand Teton elk hunt” ~ Readers here might find this story on WyoFile of interest.

Afternoon Outing to Schwabacher Landing: Skies cleared some during the day, but clouds remained on the peaks. It was chilly and the brisk wind made things feel cold. The first time I went to Schwabacher Landing to try to photograph beavers, there was a virtual parade of beavers heading in both directions. Someone said there are seven, but I don’t think I saw that many. The last couple of times I went there, I had less beaver activity. I don’t know that much about the little critters to know if there is a pattern to the activity. Today, however, a guy took two large dogs across the side channel and back towards the main channel of the Snake River. Of course, he didn’t have a leash on either.  If was apparent the beavers knew large canines were somewhere in the area, as it changed their behavior.

Beaver Sniffing

Beaver Sniffing: This is a very tight crop of a long distance photo. I probably have sharper images of this but you should at least get the idea. Normally, the beavers get to this dam and slide on through on their way to fresh willow chutes downstream. Today, the beaver stopped and sniffed the air, then turned back around to the pool.

Leary Beaver

Leary Beaver: A while later, the same beaver tried again. He sniffed at the dam, then traveled down their slide about half way before stopping to sniff and look around. I can’t complain since I got a shot I had been hoping to take, but it was evident they were worried about something other than people milling around. After letting me get a few shots, he turned back and went upstream to the large pool near their lodge.

Pets in the Park: and Pets in GTNP: These two official pages explain the pet rules in GTNP. The short version is you can only have a pet where you can drive a vehicle. Pets must be on a leash at all times and you are required to “scoop the poop”.

Other Wildlife: On the way north, heading towards Schwabacher, there was a “moose jam” near the Gros Ventre bridge along the highway. I also saw a few mule deer on the other side of the road. When I drove back through the area, the cow moose was ten feet from the asphalt road bed, feeding on grasses. There were quite a few ducks around Schwabacher Landing. Clouds were thick at sunset, and wind ruffled the pools of water, so I didn’t attempt any landscapes.

750line

October 20

Raccoon

Raccoon: One of the down sides of feeding birds in the back yard are the uninvited critters. This is the second Raccoon I caught and relocated this year. I captured this one last night and released it this morning south of town. A few years ago, our Golden Retriever went down with Coonhound Paralysis (Polyradiculoneutritis) . The vet say she won’t make it through another session so I have to make sure she doesn’t have any more contact with them. Knowing they are a non-native species, some people suggest I kill them instead of releasing them. Last year, I relocated around six Raccoons.

Last Look

Last Look Back: Hopefully, this large Raccoon will find a new home on the other side of the Snake River.

Fat Beaver

One Chubby Beaver: I went back to Schwabacher Landing this afternoon to try for a few more shots. This hefty beaver was munching on some bark from a downed cottonwood tree.

Dinner Time at the Cottonwood

Dinner Time at the Cottonwood: Nice to get some of the tail in this one.

Beaver at a Dam

Beaver at a Dam: There are several dams forming terraces. They go downstream, harvest a pile of willows and cottonwood branches and take them back to the den.

Beaver at Sunset

Sunset Beaver: I gave up a fiery sky opportunity at Schwabacher to see if I could get the red in the water. I heard there was a cow moose and a calf in the area today, but I didn’t see them.

JH Weather: We haven’t had any clouds to speak of for several days. The early snow has mostly melted from the mountains. Between the two observations, I haven’t been focusing on landscapes, but a new weather front is on the way. I am ready for some fresh snow on the peaks.

750line

October 19

Jumping Red Squirrel

Jumping Red Squirrel: A few days ago, I posted a similar shot. Today, I set up a strobe to freeze the squirrel in mid-air. She is rim lit from the natural light and slightly front lit with the strobe.

Beaver with a Clump of Willows

Beaver with a Clump of Willows: In the afternoon, I headed back up to Schwabacher Landing to try some more shots of the beavers.

Beaver on Land

Beaver on Land: Getting the beaver’s tail in a shot is not as easy as you might think!

Beaver Snacking

Beaver Snacking: This is a very large adult beaver snacking on the bark of a downed cottonwood.

750line

October 18

Elk Reduction Program. GTNP Press Release The hunt starts Saturday, October 18th. Time to wear hunter orange if you plan on hiking or fishing in any of the hunt areas!

GTNP Road Closure: With the hunt beginning on Saturday, the Park Service closed Mormon Row road from just North of the Gros Ventre Road to just south of the Bed & Breakfast. The west part of the two track road heading west from the Kelly Warm Springs is also closed for the year. All campgrounds are closed. Schwabacher Landing should be open until mid-December or until snow blocks the road.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: I drove out to Schwabacher Landing early this morning hoping for either a good sunrise or working beavers. There were no clouds and I never saw a beaver. I made the Kelly loop on my way home and found this nice buck near Kelly. I photographed him from the road in the morning light. There were quite a few does and fawns in the Kelly area, too. A herd of bison were heading north on Mormon Row road.

Buck Portrait

Buck Portrait: A tight crop of the same buck.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker: There were at least four Nutcrackers in my yard today. Two of them were still occasionally begging for food, even if the parents weren’t feeding them.

Beaver with Clump of Branches

Beaver with a Clump of Branches: Late afternoon shots at Schwabacher Landing.

Beaver Crossing a Dam

Beaver Crossing a Dam: This beaver had just the right amount of branches.

Reflected Beaver

Reflected Beaver: This one shows the beaver’s orange teeth.

750line

October 17

Evening at Schwabacher Landing

Evening at Schwabacher Landing: Clouds looked promising last night, so I drove up to Schwabacher Landing. The clouds over the Tetons stayed mostly dull and gray, but some of the clouds looked beautiful and interesting. The beavers were active at sunset and a few fish were rising in the pool near the parking lot.

Jumping Red Squirrel

Jumping Red Squirrel: This Red Squirrel was going back and forth harvesting seeds. I set up and took quite a few shots of her in the air. This one was taken at ISO 2000, F/4, at 1/1600th Second with my D4 using a Nikon 200-400mm at 200mm.

Northern Flicker and Red Squirrel

Northern Flicker and Red Squirrel: This little Squirrel is protective of her turf. She likes to run off all birds while she is feeding. The Northern Flicker is just waiting his turn to look for food.

Downey Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker: Throughout most of the winter months, the background for this kind of image is brown, but right now, I am still getting a lot of welcomed color in the shots. This is a female Downey Woodpecker. With plenty of suet and peanut butter, I’d expect to see Hairy Woodpeckers, Downey Woodpeckers, and Northern Flickers all winter. I’d love to get Stellar’s Jays, but they prefer areas with more and larger conifer trees than I have. Each year, I seem to get a “surprise” bird or group of birds, such as last year’s Bluejay, or earlier year’s Crossbills. You can see a few of them on this page:  Attracting and Photographing Wintering Back Yard Birds:

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch: Finally! I captured this little bird! They work their way “down” trees, unlike most other birds. White-breasted Nuthatches are a bit larger than Red-breasted Nuthatches.

Late Evening in Jackson Hole: I took these images late in the day on Friday.

Beaver on their Dam

Beavers on their Dam: Taken at Schwabacher Landing at sunset on Friday.

Beaver with a Branch

Beaver with a Branch:

Moulton Barn and Mountains

Moulton Barn and Mountains: Night shot with a flashlight to light the sage and barn. Normally, I’d see a few more stars, but there was a thin layer of clouds over the Teton range.

Peach House and Big Dipper

Peach House and Big Dipper:

750line

October 16

Moose Pair in Sagebrush

Moose Pair in the Morning Sagebrush: A small group of moose were grazing in the sagebrush along the Gros Ventre Road this morning.

Young Bull With Broken Antler

Young Bull With Broken Antler: When I first saw this bull, I was puzzled. Normally, the bulls don’t start shedding their antlers until December, but this is still the middle of October? This is a tight crop showing his antler is actually broken off near the skull.

Moose "Bling"

Moose “Bling”: This bull thrashed around in a tree until a branch broke off. We walked around with it for a while showing off his new bling.

Gros Ventre Bison

Gros Ventre Bison: One bull Bison scratched the earth, then rolled in it for quite a while.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: The family of Trumpeter Swans was in Flat Creek as I drove through town. They are teaching their cygnets to fly.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan Stretching: I found a lone Trumpeter Swan in the small pond north of the Visitor’s Center.

American Wigeons

American Wigeons: This pair flew by as I was watching the swan.

Morning Observations: I headed out this morning expecting to do some landscapes with the morning clouds behind the Tetons. Unfortunately, clouds in the East blocked the morning rays until after the rich colors had passed. The Park Service is busy putting up new red and orange signs around the south end of the Park to identify future hunt areas of the Elk Reduction Program. GTNP Press Release The hunt starts Saturday, October 18th. Time to wear hunter orange if you plan on hiking or fishing in any of the hunt areas!

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: I am hesitant to include a photo like this one. At 40-43 yards, I can fill my frame with a 200-400mm lens at 400mm. Most of the images on this blog are 753 pixels wide. The D800 camera captures a 7360 pixel wide image, so picking out 753 pixels yields a very nice web image even though it might appear I was very close. I carry my rangefinder will me at all times to make sure I am back at a respectable distance—and I check it constantly.

750line

October 15

Pages Slow?  I am not sure what was going on, but this site was not working well yesterday and into the morning today. I called tech support last night and again today. Within an hour or two after the last call, things seem to be back at full speed again. Sorry for any inconveniences, but it seems to have been a snag at the server. In the process, I backed up the site and updated to WordPress 4.0.

An overcast day in Jackson Hole: The morning sun hit the mountains for just a few minutes, lighting the peaks with beautiful gold light, but quickly turned dark and dull. The mountains are visible but not lit up.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: I like the blurred yellow willow leaves in the scene right now.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker: I haven’t seen many Clark’s Nutcrackers during the summer months. After their young fledge, they head to the high country to harvest White Bark Pine nuts. A few of the wintering birds seem to be showing up now.  I saw a White-breasted Nuthatch yesterday. Last winter was one of the only years I didn’t have either a White-breasted or Red-breasted Nuthatch, so seeing one again is a welcome sight. Two varieties of Chickadees are common here all year. I saw a Wren this morning. I assume it was a House Wren but I didn’t get any shots. Eurasian Collared Doves are now common in our area.

Windy: We had brisk, cold winds all day today, blowing leaves off many of the trees in my yard. The weather report forecasts less wind and sun for tomorrow. Maybe I will be able to get out some after a couple of days of hanging around the house. Check back!

750line

October 14

Another beautiful Fall day in Jackson Hole!  

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: There’s still quite a bit of color in my back yard. I shot this image late in the day of our resident Red Squirrel. She’s busy burying sunflower seeds and is more than ready to stash all the peanuts she can get.

Red Squirrel in a Tree Trunk

Red Squirrel in a Tree Trunk:

750line

October 13

Columbus Day in Jackson Hole: I almost didn’t go out this morning. It’s Monday, and I have lots of things to do. But, I did a quick drive over to Flat Creek. It was awesome! I drove on north. It was awesome!

Sunrise Over Sleeping Indian

Sunrise Over Sleeping Indian: The colors were “screaming” hot along Flat Creek.

Sunrise Light on the Tetons

Sunrise Light on the Tetons: When I drove up the ridge, the Tetons were lit up.  I hung around and let the sun light hit them again maybe 10 minutes after this first shot.

Resting Bull Moose

Resting Bull Moose: This is the same moose I photographed yesterday, but he was about a mile downstream.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Many Mule Deer spook at the sight of a human in their area, but this one watched me for a while and then went back to feeding.

Young Mule Deer

Young Mule Deer: This young doe pranced up and posed for me a while, then bounded off.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: I stopped along Flat Creek on the way home and saw Canada Geese behind Dairy Queen. Yellow willow leaves were being reflected into the dark water as they swam by.

750line

October 12

Resting Bull Moose

Resting Bull Moose: It rained last night. I left home later than normal, and when I found a couple of moose, they were already bedded down for the morning.

Resting Cow Moose

Resting Cow Moose: This cow was only a few yards from the bull moose. Moose are usually bedded down by 9:00 am. After feeding and moving around on a full moon night, they often bed down much earlier.

Chambers Homestead

Chambers Homestead: Along Mormon Row. Clouds were dark and interesting, however I missed the beautiful band of light hitting the homestead by only a few minutes.

Aspen Stand

Aspen Stand: This stand of aspens was along the Moose-Wilson Road. There are still some aspens with yellow leaves, but most have fallen while the leaves on most Black Hawthorne bushes are still bright red. I included a small bush in the distance of this shot to add some interest.

Late Season Cattail

Late Season Cattail: I stopped at Flat Creek and took this quick image near Dairy Queen.

Underbrush in Orange and Red

Underbrush in Orange and Red: This clump of color was along the edge of the trees and shrubbery at McDonald’s.

Wildlife Sightings: On my little trip through the Park today, I saw a few Pronghorns along the Gros Ventre, Moose in the Gros Ventre, Bison along Mormon Row, a Norther Harrier cruising the fields along Mormon Row, a cow Moose in the sage near Moose Junction, a cow and calf Moose at the overlook along the Moose-Wilson road, a Red-tailed Hawk along the National Elk Refuge, a fee random Mule Deer, and lots of waterfowl on Flat Creek at the north edge of Jackson. The rain we had in the valley was snow in the high country. It looks like the top half will be covered when the peaks show again.

750line

October 11

Western Gear

Western Gear: I took this image last evening. It was lit with a small flashlight over a 30 second exposure.

Saturday in the Park: The thin clouds turned pink as I was driving north today, but I spent too long at the computer this morning before heading out.

Morning Peaks

Morning Peaks: Taken over Blacktail Butte at sunrise.

Bull Moose Crossing the Gros Ventre

Bull Moose Crossing the Gros Ventre:

I spent a lot of time hiking along the Gros Ventre river today before finding one of the larger bulls, then had to wait quite a while for him to get up. But, it was all worth it!

Approaching Bull

Approaching Bull: I shot this image late in the day yesterday before doing the light painted saddle. The bull was looking at a bull moose approaching his territory, requiring him to go meet and greet the new bull. Their ears lay flat on their neck during the entire introduction.

Jackson Hole Tidbits: As I was driving back into town this morning, I noticed the Annual Pumpkin Sale on the Square. My kids are too old to be on top of those kinds of events. The Kiwanis Follies will be held in a couple of weeks, one of many social events that happen each fall. Gasoline prices have been dropping. Smith’s has the lowest price I’ve seen at $3.38 gallon for self-serve unleaded. The swan cygnets are starting to learn to fly along Flat Creek. Foliage still looks good in town. I hear color looks great along the Moose-Wilson road.

750line

October 10

Moon Over Saddle Butte

Moon Over Saddle Butte: The moon shot through morning clouds.

Morning Reflections

Morning Reflections: Nice clouds and no wind…great for a water shot.

Distant Barn

Distant Barn: There is still good color at the Mormon Row Barns.

Sunlit Fence

Sunlit Fence: Along Mormon Row

Slight Mis-Match

Slight Mis-Match: The large bulls are often surprisingly gentle with a small bull.

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: In the Gros Ventre river bottom.

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: We had clouds this morning, so light was soft and saturated.

Morning Swan

Trumpeter Swan on Flat Creek

Zephyr on Her Board

Zeffy on Her Skate Board: A quick shot of our Golden Retriever on her skate board this morning.

750line

October 9

Leaves and Berries

Screaming bright colors! Foliage season is mostly over in much of the Park but it is just now moving into peak form in many areas of the town of Jackson. While we don’t get the big vista views in downtown, there are aspen, willows, and maples turning yellow, orange, red and maroon. All you have to do is go out and capture the smaller scenes. The trees are especially bright around Albertson’s grocery store and KMart in West Jackson. These were all taken within a few blocks of my house this afternoon.

Morning Bull Moose

Morning Bull Moose: I took this image before the first rays of light were hitting the valley floor.

Sleeping Moose

Sleeping Moose: This bull moose was standing when I first found him, but bedded down and stayed down for 3 1/2 hours.

Bull Moose in the Sage

Bull Moose in the Sage: By the time the bull finally got up, the light was bright and I had to deal with a lot of contrast.

Bull with a Grand Backdrop

Bull with a Grand Backdrop: Normally, I wouldn’t wait that long for a bull to stand up, but there appeared to be possibilities he’d stand in front of the Grand.

750line

October 8

We had another morning of clear skies. Same as yesterday, I headed out looking for wildlife.

Moon Over Wilson

Moon Over Teton Pass: I stopped along the highway to take this image of the full moon setting over the Wilson area. I used a D800 and a 200-400mm lens.

Sparring Partners

Sparring Partners: This couple of young bulls were sparring again today. Once they split up, I took off looking for a bigger bull.

Moose Pair Resting

Moose Pair Resting: It took some hiking to find this nice bull and a cow along the Gros Ventre.

Out Like a Light

Out Like a Light: With a full moon, it appears this bull was active all night and was ready to sleep this morning. I had to wait over two and a half hours for him to get up.

Cow Watching

Cow Watching: The cow got up first and seemed interested in something on the other side of the river.

Cow Crossing

Cow Crossing: She fed for a while and then headed to the river. The bull immediately got up and followed her to the water.

Bull Moose Entering the River

Bull Moose Entering the River: The bull followed along the same path and crossed behind her.

Deep Crossing

Deep Crossing: I don’t see moose cross in water this deep too often…but he crossed where she did.

Bull Exiting the River

Bull Exiting the River: Once they crossed, they disappeared into the brush and trees. By the time they crossed, it was 10:45 am so I had to deal with a lot of contrast. I would have preferred they cross at 8:20 when I found them in the gold morning light.

750line

October 7

With clear skies and the recent high country snow melting, I looked for wildlife today.

Moose Pair

Moose Pair: Photographed this moose behavior along the Gros Ventre just after sunrise. I saw eight or nine cow elk and a bull crossing the road into the Refuge this morning. It was still too dark to photograph them, but nice to know a few are moving that direction. I saw several small groups of Pronghorns along the GV road, too.

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: These quick little critters aren’t too easy to photograph but once in a while one will stop long enough for a shot.

Bidon Face

Bison Face: I got caught up in a Bison “jam” near the Kelly Warm Springs. This one walked up to the stalled traffic and stood on the other side of the road as I shot from the window.

Peach Sky at the Sleeping Indian

Peach Sky at the Sleeping Indian: Earlier in the day, I checked the time of the moon rise, then calculated with TPE to see where the moon would rise in relation to Sleeping Indian (Sheep Mountain). I was there before the moon came up and took a few shots with the peach colored sky.

Moon Ridr Over Sleeping Indian

Moon Rise Over Sleeping Indian: About 25 minutes after the official moon rise (6:33 pm if on flat land), the moon started showing over the peaks and right on target. I was set up near the National Fish Hatchery gate along the National Elk Refuge.

Second Blood Moon of the Year: Tomorrow morning will be the second “Blood Moon” of the year and it is supposed to be 5.3% brighter than the last one. Click the link to read more about it. Wyoming is in the area defined as “all eclipse visible” and with our dark skies, it should be dramatic. The full eclipse will start at 4:25 a.m. MST and last until 5:24 a.m.

750line

October 6

Licking My Wounds: Last night, I told myself I’d stay home and do some bookkeeping and chores this morning. I was out a lot over the weekend and took plenty of images. When I looked out at 5:00 am, the night sky was clear…all the more reason to stay home. When I did get up, I looked out the windows to the east to see a beautiful fiery sky. I showed my wife, and a few minutes later she was showing me a photo on Facebook someone else took. I was “in the dugout” on this one, while others were at the plate swinging for a home run! Congratulations to them!

Bull Elk by Tim Mayo

Guest Photo: Bull Elk by Tim Mayo

Updates to : What’s Hot? What’s Happening? I added some new information about Elk on the page this morning.

Cowboy Up

Cowboy Up: I have been gathering western props for the past few weeks to be able to shoot a few images like this one. I have been a familiar face at the local consignment stores, tack shops, and antique stores. I bought the old Stetson hat off eBay. It arrived today, so I thought I get set up and give it a try. This is a single image capture.

750line

October 5

Restored Cabin and GrandNew Feature Post: Bar BC Dude Ranch

I spent some time at the old Bar BC Dude Ranch yesterday and created a page with quite a few photos, links, map, and comments. The road to that area closes on October 31st, so if you want to go there this year, you better hurry!

Covered Grand

Covered Grand: Before I went to bed last night, I checked the weather forecast for this morning. The forecast…clear and sunny. But, clouds were prevalent including the one that topped the Grand.

Beaver Ponds

Sunrise at the Schwabacher Landing beaver ponds:

Reflected Grass

Reflected Grass:

Mallards

Mallards: Taken along one of the side channels near Schwabacher Landing.

Stumps

Stumps: These are “just stumps”, but something about them caught my eyes in the morning light.

Schwabacher Notes: There were plenty of photographers, vehicles, and tourists at Schwabacher this morning. I hoped to get bright red clouds reflected in the beaver ponds. It was okay, but not what I had hoped. Maybe next time. I didn’t see moose this morning, but I saw a White-tailde Deer bouncing through the forest floor. Just before sunrise, a beaver cruised his pond.

William Thomas: Upper Gros Ventre

Guest Shot: William Thomas: Upper Gros Ventre on October 3rd.

750line

October 4

Stars Over Schwabacher

Stars Over Schwabacher: I got up at 4:30 am to be at this spot for a few stars. The grassy bank was lit up with a flashlight during the 20 second exposure.

Mount Moran with Clouds

Mount Moran with Clouds: There were lots of people lined up on the bank in this shot. I cloned them out in Photoshop.

Twigs

Twigs: These were reflected in the beaver pond at Schwabacher Landing.

South Beaver Pond Reflections

South Beaver Pond Reflections: We had a cold, calm morning, but with almost no clouds over the Teton range. I’ll try this spot again someday with clouds over the range.

Back Water Pool

Back Water Pool: Mount Moran is seen in the distance.

Bull Moose and Buck Mountain

Bull Moose and Buck Mountain:

Moose Area Foliage

Moose Area Foliage: There is still plenty of color around the Moose Visitor’s Center.

Bar BC Ranch

Bar BC Ranch: Many of the aspens are still in peak form at Bar BC Ranch. The old dude ranch is systematically being preserved. The ranch is located a few miles east of the Taggart Lake Trail Head parking area on what most people call the RKO road.

Cabin at Taggart Lake Trail Head

Cabin at Taggart Trail Head: Color still looks good there.

Foliage Comments: As you can see in today’s entries, there is still plenty of color in the park even though much of it is well past prime. If you are still in the area, check out the west side of the Snake in the Moose Junction area.

750line

October 3

Early Morning: It was cold and clear this morning. I was out early and tried a distant light painting shot of the Chapel, then roamed the Moose-Wilson road before heading on home.

Light on the Chapel

Light on the Chapel: Taken very early at the Chapel of the Transfiguration. I used a QBeam flashlight to add some light on the subjects during a 13 second exposure.

Peach Skies

Peach Skies: We didn’t have defined clouds this morning, but the sky turned a beautiful hue of peach before the first light.

Snow on the Grand

Snow on the Grand: I hear forecasts of warming weather, so I wanted to get a few more shots of the snow on the mountains before it melts.

Ice Patterns

Ice Patterns: I mentioned it was cold? This is a remnant puddle along the Moose-Wilson road, frozen over with some interesting patterns.

Out of the Darkness

Out of the Darkness: There is still some good color on the Moose-Wilson Road. I didn’t see any bears, but I managed to see a couple of nice bull elk there. A lot of people were in the pullouts near Windy Point at to watch and listen to elk. I might have stayed, but the bulls were too far out.

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks lit by the first gold rays of morning along the Moose-Wilson Road.

Schwabacher Sunset

Schwabacher Sunset: Light clouds filled in over the Tetons, so I made a quick run up to Schwabacher Landing for some sunset shots.

Lots of Coots: Flat Creek has a huge number of Coots gathered on it right now at the observation platform. I saw the Trumpeter Swans for a while in the middle of the day, and it looked like there are Buffleheads, Gadwalls, and Mallards mixed in with the Coots.

750line

October 2

Morning in Jackson Hole: The storms finally cleared the valley, but not after leaving a nice layer of new snow on the tops of the peaks. This morning, I set the alarm and was out early.

Peaks and Reflections

Peaks and Reflections: The Cathedral Group taken from Cottonwood Creek near String Lake.

First Light on the Cathedral Group

First Light on the Cathedral Group: Taken a few minutes later on Cottonwood Creek. This morning, I grabbed my fishing waders and boots so I could wade into the stream.

Cascading Stream

Cascading Stream: I needed my waders for this one. I’ll probably go back someday for the same shot with better clouds and light.

Snow Capped Peak

Snow Capped Peak: While leaves in many areas of the park have blown off, it is possible to find clusters of peak foliage. This was in the Moose Visitor’s Center area.

Backlit American Flag

Backlit American Flag: The normally white stars appear to be black when silhouetted on the transparent blue fabric. This photo was taken above the Moose entrance station.

Bull Moose in Sage

Bull Moose in Sage: I hiked, oh…. about one foot for this one. He was crossing the highway. All I did was pull over, grab the camera, step out the door and take a few shots.

Moose Crossing

Moose Crossing: So much for the 25 yard rule! I was shooting with a telephoto lens from up the road. Another, larger moose was crossing the Snake River when I drove by, but I wouldn’t have had time to park and set up.

The Ditch at the Moulton Barn

The Ditch at the Moulton Barn: Today, I used my CamRanger and iPhone to help compose this shot. I had to wait for quite a few photographers to clear the spot in front of me. The sun was coming in directly from behind, so having the CamRanger and the camera on the low bean bag helped keep my shadow off the scene. I spent most of the day taking photos that included the newly covered peaks.

3:00 Update: A reader let me know a herd of around 60 Bison are roaming around near the barns.

Lots of Coots: Flat Creek has a huge number of Coots gathered on it right now at the observation platform. I saw the Trumpeter Swans for a while in the middle of the day, and it looked like there are Buffleheads, Gadwalls, and Mallards mixed in with the Coots.

750line

October 1

Lucas Barn

Lucas Barn: Taken along Spring Gulch road. If you look around, there are still remnants of color. The sun finally broke through the clouds late in the day in some areas, but the three peaks of the Tetons were still covered.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: This shot shows the new layer of snow on the tops of some of the peaks.

Cowboy Bar

Cowboy Bar: I waited until the sky lit up then took a few shots of iconic old sign at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in downtown Jackson.

You might want to check out out the last few days of September: September 2014 Daily Updates & Photos for Grand Teton National Park & JH:

NEWS ARTICLE: In the JH News and Guide : “Blame shifts for dead moose – Cow bolted because of bull moose, not photographers crowding, eyewitnesses say”. I wasn’t at the campground, so I had no first hand experience, nor ever talked with anyone who witnessed the event first hand. I felt it was better for me to stay quiet and let it all play out. I have photos of the cow (assuming it is the same one) from nine days earlier showing her with severe eye issues. I get first hand reports of the west end of the campground being closed and more presence by Rangers and Wildlife Brigade Volunteers in the area. I haven’t been to the area in well over a week.

Like This Post? Share It

Comments (2)

  1. Bill Graham

    Link to the Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris post on this incident:
    http://jacksonholewildlifesafaris.com/what-really-happened-at-the-gros-ventre-campground/

    It appears that there are at least two sides to this story, probably a few more.

  2. Lowell Schechter

    Hi Mike
    I read just about every thing you said about what happens once the weather changes in the Teton area. The photos are great. I could kick myself for not getting more information on where to see moose when we were there. That is some shot of that big moose crossing the road. At least when we got to the iconic Mormon barns, we were there nice and early and had the place to our selves and a few people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *