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March 2015 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!

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Where’s the March Overview information?

Starting this month, you can click on this new page: Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP to get a quick overview of each of the 12 months side by side. Check it out!

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March 31, 2015:

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Taken from the Gros Ventre Road at first light.

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: Taken from Spring Gulch Road.

Snow Pack around the Moulton Barns is going fast. I saw a couple of moose on the Moose-Wilson Road this morning. Elk are scattering to all parts now.

Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Back yard birding should be interesting this year. I received a report of sightings of Lazuli Buntings and Osprey in the Provo, UT area. There’s not a lot of snow between there and here, so I could start seeing some of the May birds in April. This squirrel had her eyes on a couple of fresh orange slices I put out just in case a few Bullock’s Orioles are already in the area. Cedar Waxwings are partial to oranges, too.

Mtn. Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee:

Hybrid Photography & Fly Fishing Trips in GTNP: I’ve been offering One-on-One Photography Excursions for a while. For those trips, we get up early and I drive the client(s) around the valley looking for good light, great landscape opportunities and wildlife. I do all I can to help them with their photography. These new hybrid trips cost a little more, but it adds a special new twist. We get to do photography and fly fishing. More importantly, we get to float down the Snake River to access areas of the park most people never see. I am teaming up with Snake River Anglers for these trips. They are licensed fishing guides in GTNP and know the river very well.

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March 30, 2015:

Bighorns

Bighorns: A couple of groups of Bighorns are still on the National Elk Refuge.

Bighorn Ewe

Bighorn Ewe: The coats are bleaching and beginning to look shaggy. Rams were gathered near the far end of Miller Butte.

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Uinta Ground Squirrel: It seems early to see these critters, but there were lots of them out on the National Elk Refuge today.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: A small herd of Bison were crossing the highway at the Gros Ventre Junction today.

Portrait

Portrait: This one crossed in front of my vehicle. I shot from the window.

JH Loose Ends: The Jackson kids are now out for Spring Break. King Tubes at Snow King is closed, but some of the ski runs are still open. JH Ski Resort will be open a few more days. Work continues on the JH Rodeo Grounds. Mormon Row road is still barricaded. The Inner Park Loop Road (Teton Park Road) opened a couple of days ago for bikers, hikers, joggers, and walkers. Dogs are allowed on short leashes. Vehicles can drive over the road on May 1st.

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March 29, 2015:

Ridge Line Elk

Ridge Line Elk: I saw a small herd of Elk on the ridge line and stopped at a point where the Grand was positioned behind them. They were running when I drove up. This was taken very early in the morning—before first light. I captured this one at 1/60th second, wide open at F/4 and ISO at 1250. I wish I had time to shoot a few, then adjust the shutter speed down to only 1/30th second or so to make him even a bit more motion blurred. At 400 mm and shooting hand held with VR on, the ground is amazingly sharp. Most of the larger bull elk have lost their antlers already. As of today, very few are still on the refuge.

Moose are Loose: Besides the numerous herds of Elk migrating off the Elk Refuge, I saw at least 24 Moose today. I expected to see a few bison north of the GV river, but I didn’t see them. Green grass is starting to show around the valley floor now. Amazing!

New Photos on Distance and Scale Relationships in the Tetons (and elsewhere) I went back to the Mormon Row barns and shot a set of new images for this older post. It might be worth a new look!

Tourists: This was scheduled to be the weekend of the World Championship Hill Climb at Snow King. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled this year, but it appears many people with paid hotel reservations came up anyway. Gasoline is $235.9 per gallon for Unleaded Self-Serv at most stations.

Lexar 64 Cards (two) for $199.95 at Adorama: $199.95 Use code: 3DAYSPCIAL Reg: $229.95 for two. If you need them, this is a good buy, but note the sale code is good for only 3 days.

Snake and Hoback River

Snake and Hoback River: If you ever hear someone say a river is “blown out”, this photo should give you a good idea of what they are talking about. I took this while standing on the Hoback Bridge over the Snake River this afternoon. Within about half a mile, the two mix thoroughly, causing what most fishermen call “off color”. The Hoback River and Buffalo Fork Rivers are prone to blowing out quickly…sometimes with just a spring storm. I fly fished for a while above this point and did well.

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March 28, 2015:

Sunrise

Sunrise: Before going to bed last night, I checked the weather reports. They called for clear skies for this morning, with a chance of rain around lunch time. I’ve had plenty of clear skies lately, so I didn’t plan on getting up for the sunrise. When I woke up and looked out, I saw great clouds. I jumped in the van and headed out. This was taken near the Welcome to GTNP sign along the highway. I figured I better get a few shots of the mountains in case a cloud dulled everything.

The Barns

The Barns: I waited until the sun hit the barn and did a few shots for an upcoming Feature Post. (Hint: Sign up now if you haven’t already). I started 180 yards out, shot at 70mm, then moved up to 150 yards, shot some more and continued at 30 yard increments until I was 30 yards out. The new post will be similar to this earlier post: Distance and Scale Relationships in the Tetons (and elsewhere) but in this case, I maintained the 70mm settings on the lens. The best term for today’s test (and probably the title of the upcoming post) is “Zoom With Your Feet”. Recomposing a scene with a zoom lens can compress a scene—for better or worse.

Bison at the Gros Ventre

Bison at the Gros Ventre: Bison are now on the move. Expect to start seeing them north of the Gros Ventre and in the Kelly area.

Elk Crossing

Elk Crossing: The Sleigh/Wagon rides on the National Elk Refuge end on the last day of March. As I drove by the Refuge today, there weren’t many left. Large groups were just south of the Gros Ventre and small herds were crossing it this morning.

Wildlife Sightings: Moose were north of the JH Airport. I saw nine near the entrance to the GV Campground, a group north of Kelly, and a few more near the highway along the Gros Ventre. Elk and Bison are moving off the refuge. Mule Deer were around Kelly and along East Gros Ventre Butte. I heard Sandhill Cranes today. Meadowlarks, Bluebirds, and Hawks are commonly seen now. A friend said a “huge owl” flew in front of her bus on Fall Creek Road.

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March 27, 2015:

Snake River Fisherman

Snake River Fisherman: After lunch, I met a couple of friends out on the Snake River for some early season fishing. I took a waterproof Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot camera with me. The Grand is visible behind one of the two trees. Normally, I would have been looking through the viewfinder and I would have noticed the tree in front of the peak, but I was holding the small camera just above the water and shooting essentially blind.

Cuttthroat Trout

Cutthroat Trout: I caught this fish (fly still in his mouth) and had Dave hold my rod while I held the camera underwater. This has a lot of potential, but I need to move to deeper water to reduce the sediment and I needed to move back just a little. This was the best of the group. I’ll improve on it next time. The fish was about 16″ long.

Pole, Pedal, Paddle: This event happens tomorrow if you happen to be in town. The normal Nordic leg of the event is being replaced with a 5k run.

More on Copyright Registration: “Two Simple Steps to Protect Your Photos From Being Stolen on the Internet”. Anne Ruttle posted that link on the Teton Photography Group’s site. A few weeks ago, I created a post called THE SEVEN DEADLY MYTHS OF INTERNET COPYRIGHT: This page contains information that essentially echoes or backs up the earlier post. I have been sitting here part of the day going through shots taken in the last three months, preparing them for US Copyright registration for all the reasons spelled out in the two articles. Hope these help you! MJ

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March 26, 2015:

Colorful Wyoming

Colorful Wyoming: Instead of going out this morning (which looked great out my window), I stayed home to write my next article for SignCraft Magazine. I’ve written one for the magazine for almost every issue over the past 30 years! The article was about creating “distressed” text…adding textures into text using Photoshop. I added one more image at the end of the article to show additional options using the same steps. This example features a capture I made near Arizona Creek a few years ago here in the Tetons. (click the image to see it larger)

Evening Barns

Evening Barns: I did a quick loop out to Kelly, then across Antelope Flats Road. I saw a few Elk, a few Moose, a few Mule Deer, bluebirds, hawks, and meadowlarks. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Clouds looked good in most directions, but were covering the Grand. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Over the past week or so, elk have been moving north and off the National Elk Refuge in large numbers. Most of the big bulls have dropped their antlers. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Elk Crossing

Elk Crossing: A group of around 75 elk crossed the highway a few hundred yards south of the road into the JH Airport. This shows a group of them, a car heading towards town and the distant airport sign. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: I shot this one from the highway as I was driving back into town. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Server Down? After my Kelly loop, I came home to find the server for this blog was down. I called Network Solutions, sat on hold for 25 minutes and then was told they knew about the issue and were working on it. I am sorry if you were not able to connect this afternoon. MJ

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March 25, 2015:

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: Taken long before sunrise today with the aid of a flashlight. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Red-naped Sapsucker

Red-naped Sapsucker: Taken near Jackson Lake after the sun came up. I also saw a Northern Shrike in the same area. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Exposed Grand

Exposed Grand: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Just Grand

Just Grand: Taken from the Jackson Lake Dam. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

This Morning in JH: Overnight, we had another layer of fresh snow. I hadn’t planned on going north, but thought I’d better take advantage of the new white blanket—especially if looking at the upcoming forecast calling for unseasonably warm weather. I had considered going to the Mormon Row barns, but the Teton Range was covered on the upper two thirds. I chose to go to the Chapel of the Transfiguration instead. The cross often looks good when photographed against a cloud. I looked again for Foxes up north, but didn’t see any. The morning clouds over the Grand started pulling back, so I switched back to landscape mode on my way home. The road down to the lake at Signal Mountain is now plowed and open. The Inner Park Loop Road is plowed, but gated. Normally, they open it to walker, joggers, and bikers in April.

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March 24, 2015:

Fox In Snow

Fox In Snow: This Winter began to feel like a football game that got called at the end of the third quarter because of lightning. The important quarter never happened. I always look forward to Spring, but I like to take full advantage of Winter before changing gears. We had a light overnight snow in town. I decided to drop everything and go north in hopes of getting a few shots of a fox with falling snow. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Fox Onlooker

Fox Onlooker: Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for. It was snowing heavily the entire time. Auto focus was struggling to find the subject, often locking onto a patch of snow somewhere between me and the fox. I managed to lock in on a few. With heavy snow, flakes over the eyes happen way too often! Shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Approaching Fox

Approaching Fox: This image give a fairly good idea of the conditions. It is exactly what I had hoped for, but I needed another, oh… eight hours of shooting! It was fun while it lasted. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Little Prancer

Little Prancer: This is my favorite shot of the day. I spent at least eight hours driving around the park to get ten minutes of shooting on one fox. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Park NotesBears out in Teton park. That’s a headline on the front page of the JH News & Guide. If you read the actual article, one important paragraph says none have actually been seen…only tracks. That’s old news to most but I guess it looks good in headlines. The morning TV news aired a similar story today. I looked, but of course, didn’t see any—nor did anyone else I talked to today. The road down to Leeks Marina is now open and not currently barricaded. Swans, Geese, and Ducks were on the open water at Oxbow Bend. There are no services open inside the northern portion of the park right now. Flagg Ranch is closed, following the end of snowmobile and coach tours into Yellowstone. Dornan’s store and pizza joint is open at Moose. Right now, the only restrooms I know to be open are at Colter Bay in the otherwise closed visitor’s center and possibly one at Taggart Lake Trailhead. Schwabacher Landing and all of the Inner Park Loop Road is closed between Taggart Lake Trailhead and Signal Mountain. Antelope Flats Road is open.

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March 23, 2015:

Pacific Creek

Pacific Creek: Under the cover of darkness, I headed north to see if I could get some better shots at Pacific Creek. I had nice clouds to work with today. Nikon D800 and 70-200mm lens.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: This might be a change of pace for viewers used to seeing this spot in the summer and fall.

River Otter and Resting Waterfowl

River Otter and Resting Waterfowl: Taken at Oxbow Bend. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Otter with a Fish

Otter with a Morning Catch: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Otter

Morning at Oxbow Bend: This capture has a River Otter and what’s left of a “sucker”, a couple of Trumpeter Swans, and three Canada Geese. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle? On the way into town, I saw this big bird on one of the National Elk Refuge fence posts. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

This Morning’s Trip into GTNP: I was out the door at 5:55 am this morning. It is very dark at that time right now. The Teton Range was clear of clouds, but the East was cloudy. I got really close to turning around at the Gros Ventre Junction but kept going. Clouds filled in behind the Tetons and then thinned in the east, giving me some nice opportunities. It was 19° in the Oxbow Bend area early, so some of the open water had frozen back over. There were enough openings to let the River Otter hunt and feed. Still no sightings of Grizzlies that I know of right now. Half a dozen moose were in the sagebrush north of the JH Airport. We are getting rain and snow right now in Town.

Point and Shooting:

P7800 on D4

Nikon P7800 on D4: I took this image with a Panasonic Lumix FT5. A bit of a contraption, eh? The bottom half is a Manfrotto 504HD Video Fluid Head w/ 536 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod Kit . I added an Arca-Swiss clamp to the plate that came with the Fluid Head. The D800 has a RRS L Bracket. There’s a tether connected to the 70-200mm lens. (This is actually just a dog leash I started using after dropping a camera and lens) Hanging off to the side is the trigger for a RFN-4s remote. You can see the small antenna wire on the left side of the body. That’s my “normal” setup when I don’t have to walk too far. I have a lighter tripod for those times. At the top of the D800 is a nifty little gadget that slips into the hot shoe and then connects to anything with a 1/4″ coarse thread attachment…in this case…the Nikon P7800 but it could have been the Panasonic Lumix camera.

P7800 at Pacific Creek

P7800 at Pacific Creek: This is a shot taken with the Nikon P7800 from that spot. I had rotated the D800 was rotated to portrait mode by.

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March 22, 2015:

Pacific Creek

Yesterday, I was in the Oxbow area at mid-morning. I was watching for Grizzly Bears that should be appearing soon, so I drove up Pacific Creek Road just to see. I took this shot, then processed it, thinking I’d include it yesterday. It’s “okay” but uninspired. I would have liked it if I had been there at first light.

Pacific Creek with Adjustments

Pacific Creek with Adjustments: The image was still on my computer this morning. Skies were clear and I felt I needed a bit of a rest today, so I stayed home. I opened this image in NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 as a Photoshop Plug-In and picked one of the presets. For effect, I added some grain. I don’t know if this is any kind of “wall hanger”, but I like it better. I used basically the same filter on the fishing shots at this recent post: Fly Fishermen and Photographers:

Weekend Comments: Normally, I see quite a few moose. Yesterday, I didn’t see a single one. Strange how that works. I talked to several people that saw a small bull moose with antlers near the Gros Ventre junction. That’s very late in the year. I am seeing more Meadowlarks along with a few Killdeer and I’ve seen a few more Red-tailed Hawks. Watch for Sage Grouse in the Kelly area. I have seen a couple of groups of Horned Larks, too. They are difficult to photograph unless one just happens to land near you. Trumpeter Swans are moving north. Quite a few were at the Oxbow yesterday.

Walton Ranch

Walton Ranch: This afternoon, I drove out to Teton Village for dinner with friends. On the way out, I stopped at West Gros Ventre Butte and took a few photos with my D800 (with Tamron 150-600mm), a Nikon P7800 Hybrid Point and Shoot, and Darla’s new Panasonic Lumix Point and Shoot. The D800 combination blew the socks off the other two!

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian from Shooting Star: This was taken with the Nikon P7800. It did a better job than the Panasonic Lumix.

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March 21, 2015:

Saturday in the Park: First bit of news…ANTELOPE FLATS ROAD IS NOW OPEN! You better hurry if you want to photograph the barns with snow. A few more roads are now plowed, but some still have barricades including: Schwabacher Landing, road to Lost Creek Ranch, Mormon Row, & Pilgrim Creek.

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: Taken with a Panasonic Lumix “point-and-shoot”.

Pacific Creek

Pacific Creek: Taken with a Panasonic Lumix “point-and-shoot”.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: Taken with a Panasonic Lumix “point-and-shoot”. Trumpeter Swans are now moving north for the summer.

Lumix DMC-FT5 Digital Camera: I mentioned using the Panasonic Lumix camera above. My wife bought this 16 mpx camera from B&H for $219. She was never 100% happy with her Nikon P7800 camera—especially after seeing some of her friend’s images from our Maui trip. Of course, the optics are not the same as my D4 and a 24-70 mm lens, but it still does a nice job. The camera is waterproof to a dept of 43 feet. I want to taken it with me while fishing. If fits in one of my shirt pockets. We are planning a quick trip to Sanibel Island next month, so we’ll give it some additional use in and around the ocean. A newer model is announced for release in late April, but we wanted a small, waterproof camera now.

I drove by the elk carcass I photographed yesterday. There isn’t much left now but a pile of fur.

Gros Ventre Sunrise

Gros Ventre Sunrise: D800 – 24-70mm

Teton Range

Teton Range: If I had known Antelope Flats Road was open, I might have gone there first this morning. Light looked great!

Red Fox

Teton Red Fox: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Red Fox

Resting Red Fox: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 20, 2015:

Coyotes

Coyotes: A friend let me know about this elk kill. I went out some late yesterday and then again this morning. When my friend first found the carcass, a wolf was near it. The wolf left and didn’t come back in the daylight hours. Two coyotes were feeding on the elk this morning. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Intimidation Game

Intimidation Game: The larger, and more leery coyote left the carcass to temporarily establish dominance. Once he left, the smaller coyote came in and shared the remains with magpies and ravens. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Morning Light

Morning Light: This kill is only a little more than 24 hours old and is already largely cleaned. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

On Break

On Break: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Coyote With Magpies

Coyote With Magpies: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Coyote in Stream

Coyote in Stream: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Around Noon time yesterday, I posted Fly Fishermen and Photographers:  I received several nice emails about the post, plus there were quite a few comments. After submitting the post yesterday, I went fishing for a couple of hours. That gave me more time to think about the post. Last night, we went through the post again, cleaning up some text and punctuation, and then adding several new photos and several new paragraphs. If you read the original post, I’d suggest going over it again!

Incoming Bald Eagle

Incoming Bald Eagle: This is a shot from late yesterday afternoon. This image and all of the coyote shots were taken with a Nikon D800 and the new Tamron 150-600mm lens. All of the images have been cropped. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 19, 2015:

Sunrise

Sunrise: Not many clouds today. I took this one from the Gros Ventre Road.

Kelly Yurts

Kelly Yurts: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Fast Lane to Kelly

Fast Lane to Kelly: This bull walked down the center of the road to about the end of the road, then moved towards the trees.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Same moose…

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March 18, 2015:

Porcupine

Porcupine: Pre-dawn shot of a porcupine. It’s not often easy to get shots of their face and eyes. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Porcupine

Porcupine: I hung around until the morning sun hit this night feeder, but by then, his head was tucked tight against the branch and his eyes were closed. The Porcupine was near the Shane Cabin. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Cow Moose Feeding on Golden Willows

Cow Moose Feeding on Golden Willows: It seems each day more Moose are moving through the Gros Ventre river bottom and out onto the sage flats north of Kelly. I saw a dozen or so today. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Alert Cow Moose

Alert Cow Moose: The moose photos were taken from my window as I was parked alongside the road in Kelly. These were taken with a Nikon D800 and a Tamron 150-600mm lens, hand held with VR turned on. I was set up on a tripod for the porcupine shots. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Morning Outing: The weather report called for “partly cloudy” skies. It was, but clouds covered the tops of the peaks on the Teton Range. Instead of concentrating on sunrise landscapes, I switched to looking for wildlife.

One-on-One Photography Excursions: I have a few openings for March and several still available in April. If you are going to be in Jackson Hole and would like a personalized trip, check out the link and let me know. If you are a Nikon DSLR user, you can use the Tamron 150-600 mm lens used in the images above!

JH Tidbits: The unseasonably warm weather has taken yet another casualty. The Snow King World Championship Hill Climb has now been officially cancelled. That follows on the heels of the Cutter Races cancelled in February. The Moose Hockey team won their championship game to keep the trophy here in Jackson Hole. The Jackson Hole High School Ski Team took state honors again this year.

Antelope Flats Road

Antelope Flats Road: I took this shot this morning, then drove back this afternoon. Despite the road being “bone dry”, the gates as still not open. I am sooooo ready to see it open!

March 17, 2015: St. Patrick’s Day

Moose Portrait - Artistic

Moose Portrait – Artistic: I got up early, looked at the dull gray sky, and decided to stay home. Instead, I spent some time on my computer and worked on this image from 2013. Reports call for clouds all day with a high of 54°F.

Cutthroat Trout via iPhone

Lunchtime Capture: Just before lunch, I drove over to the dike along the Snake River at Wilson and did some early season fly fishing.  I snapped this shot with my iPhone quickly before releasing it. I caught two this size and two just a bit smaller, plus numerous mid-sized trout and a few whitefish. March is usually a good month for fishing the Snake River. Water is low. Fish are active and hungry and are pinched into smaller areas of the river. I noticed the boat ramps are now open at Wilson and at VonGontard Landing south of town. I didn’t see any Blue-winged Olives (mayflies) today…only midges.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Afternoon: I would have hoped to had a different few photos from this afternoon. I made a quick run to the Elk Refuge later in the day. I haven’t been there in a while. Other than around 45 Bighorns grazing by the road near the end of Miller Butte, it looked much like the days I drive through the area in the summer on my way to Curtis Canyon. No snow, and no animals! I found a few Pine Grosbeaks feeding in someone’s back yard in East Jackson, but not in an area I could shoot. I drove out to Kelly and then on out to Slide Lake up the Gros Ventre. Ice on the lake is getting ready to break up.

St. Patrick's Day Clouds

St. Patrick’s Day Clouds: The golden filtered sun was setting behind this dark shape. I am not sure if it is much of a photo, but it was definitely a photo opportunity worth stopping to capture.

The Tetons were covered with clouds this afternoon. I drove up to the junction at Antelope Flats road. The road is bone dry as of today. Hopefully, the Park Service will open it soon. There were a couple of Bald Eagles on the power poles north of Kelly. I also saw my first Meadowlark and a few more bluebirds. While near the Snake River, I’ve been seeing a few Killdeer. I saw a Red-tailed hawk along the East Boundary Road along with a Ruff-legged Hawk. A Northern Harrier was also flying around in the same area. There were three Moose in the sage north of Kelly along with several at the Gros Ventre Junction. Snow is melting FAST!

My wife, her friend, and I went downtown to the Wort Hotel for a couple of green beers. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all!

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March 16, 2015:

Upcoming Weather

Upcoming Weather: This is a screen grab of the weather reports for the next week. C’mon…it’s March! Each year, the Boy Scouts gather elk antlers for the big sale on the Town Square. If this continues, the big bulls will be dropping their antlers in the Park or elsewhere off the Elk Refuge!

What’s Hot! Mountain Bluebirds. Watch for them on the National Elk Refuge, along the Gros Ventre Road, and near the Kelly Warm Springs. Moose are becoming much more visible along the Gros Ventre River basin, but many are starting to look shaggy as they shed their winter coats.

What’s Not!: Mountain Goats. March is usually a good month but they are not coming down this year.

Downey Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker: Lately, I have been seeing only the female, so it was a pleasant surprise to get to photograph the male today. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco: Juncos have been coming through the region in fairly large numbers. This one is often identified as an Oregon Junco…with the dark hood. Dark-eyed Juncos are mixed in about equally right now. Both are difficult to photograph as they are normally ground feeders. This is my first capture of a Junco this year. Hopefully, I will be able to get a lot more! Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: We had slightly overcast skies most of the day, making this shot of a black and white bird much easier. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch: This bird was active and abnormally vocal early today. I never know if this is a male or female. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Around JH: I made a trip with my wife to the airport and then out to Teton Village. There were seven moose around the Gros Ventre junction. The snow pack at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is thinning fast. There are now patches of ground showing on some runs. With the warm temperatures, I made a quick run south of town to do some fly fishing in the Snake River. I went later than I probably should have, but still caught my share. I heard a Red-tailed Hawk while on the river. Dippers fly by fairly often. Today, I saw my first Cedar Waxwing in the back yard for this year. It didn’t hang around long.

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March 15, 2015:

March 15, 2015

The Murphy Barn and Homestead: Yesterday afternoon—and again this morning—I walked out to the Mormon Row barns and homestead. Notice, I said “walked” and not “snow shoed”. The Park Service has been going over Antelope Flats road and Mormon Row with the big snow blowers and graders. When I walked out this morning, it was mostly clear and dry, but the friendly grader operator said they may wait a bit longer to let it dry off before opening the gates. I included this image on the new post: Bands of Light.

Antelope Flats

Antelope Flats Road: I turned around as I left the area and snapped this image. It shouldn’t take long to dry the road with the temps in the forecast.

Mormon Row

Mormon Row: In most years, they barricade Mormon Row for a few extra weeks. Right now, there’s about 1″ of slush and ice.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Some of the sagebrush is showing in front of the barn already.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: There’s roughly 14″ of snow in many areas around Mormon Row.

Moulton B&B

Moulton B&B: I included this for my friend Hal Blake.

B&B Gate

B&B Gate:

Mormon Row: It is roughly 3/4 mile from the parking area to the intersection of Antelope Flats Road and Mormon Row, then another half mile to the TA Moulton Barn. The road is plowed to just past the Ditch Creek bridge. Clouds were covering the tops of the Grand today, so I didn’t spend much time trying to get photos with the Teton Range in them.

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March 14, 2015:

First Shot of Sleeping Indian

First Shot of Sleeping Indian:

Second Shot of Sleeping Indian:

Second Shot of Sleeping Indian:

Sleeping Indian at the Gros Ventre:

Sleeping Indian at the Gros Ventre:

First Light:

First Light:

Moose with Grand Backdrop

Moose with Grand Backdrop: Taken near the Kelly Warm Springs. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200mm.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: Taken just north of the Visitor’s Center. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 13, 2015:

GTNP Entry Sign

GTNP Entry Sign: Just a quick shot to show the lack of clouds at sunrise. You can also see the lack of snow in the sage south of the Gros Ventre River.

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. I saw Sage Grouse flying from the sagebrush just West of Kelly. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch

Gray-crowned Rosy Finch: I found a large flock of these near Kelly. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Mule Deer Buck Backlit

Mule Deer Buck Backlit: At the edges Kelly. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Buck and Doe

Buck and Doe: At the edges of Kelly. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Young Mule Deer

Young Mule Deer: All four hooves in the air! Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: I am not sure when the bucks will begin dropping their antlers, but I found several today that still had them. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Wildlife Report: Besides the animals shown above, I found three moose in the Gros Ventre river bottom, plus two out in the sage flats north of Kelly. I only saw one Bluebird today. Along Spring Gulch Road, I saw a duck with a cinnamon brown head. I didn’t get to study it or take any photos. Normally, I see Bluebirds along the road during he migration. Still no owls.

JH News & Guide: “Most wildlife citations given to park hunters”.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: This is a TIGHT crop of a bluebird I found at the Kelly Warm Springs. I hope to improve on this shot as more migrate into the valley. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 12, 2015:

Moose In Kelly Warm Springs

Moose In Kelly Warm Springs: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Black Wolf:

Black Wolf: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf:

Four Wolves

Four Wolves:  I don’t see wolves very often here in the Tetons, but I stumbled across this group of four along the Gros Ventre. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

This afternoon, I saw a black wolf running down the Gros Ventre road. At first, I thought it was another dog off the leash, then immediately pulled over, grabbed the camera and tried to start shooting. The black wolf stopped on the ridge to look back. I was leaning against the van hood…uncharacteristically without a tripod. He let me get three or four shots, then turned and headed north. I noticed the other three, just coming out of the river and heading towards the road. I went to the back of the van, leaned against it and began shooting. I would have loved to have had an extra 30 seconds! I’d have turned off the van so it would have been steadier when I rested my camera against it. I’d have turned the VR back ON and I would have set the shutter speed at something closer to 1/1000th second or faster. My settings were slower (1/500th sec.) after just leaving the much slower moving moose. I see these animals so seldom, I wasn’t fully prepared!

A biologist saw me take the shots and came by to get a card. He suggested the three gray colored wolves were probably from the Pinnacle Pack. He said they weren’t sure whether the black one is part of the pack, or in this case was getting run out of the area by the other three.

Area Tidbits: I saw a few Moutain Bluebirds today. One was along the GV road and a couple were around the Kelly Warm Springs. They are welcome and usually elusive little birds—early harbingers of Spring! Two sources told me the Mountain Goats were not out in the Snake River Canyon as they passed through. A couple of porcupines were high in the trees in the S turns as you approach the Shane Cabin. Antelope Flats road is still barricaded, covered with about 8″ of snow. Regular gasoline at self-serve stations was at a low of $1.97 a few weeks ago, then jumped to $2.17 all around town. A few stations went up to $2.37, but most stayed at $2.17 for now.

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March 10, 2015:

Fiery Skies

Fiery Skies: I was up early for sunrise. It was difficult to know where to pull over for this kind of sky. This was taken just North of Triangle X Ranch.

Spread Creek

Spread Creek: The orange skies in the east wrapped a warm glow on the landscapes in the West. The bright colors didn’t last long enough!

Sunrise at Elk Ranch

Sunrise at Elk Ranch: Clouds in the east blocked the light on the Teton Range for quite a while. Eventually, a bit of sunlight broke through to the valley floor and later onto the mountain range.

Snake River

Snake River: Taken south of the confluence of the Buffalo Fork River and the Snake River.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend:

Snow Blower

Snow Blower: This industrial sized snow blower has been busy clearing parking areas around GTNP. This was taken at the boat launch area at Pacific Creek.

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March 10, 2015:

Clear Afternoon Skies

Clear Afternoon Skies: Sometimes, I take photos for this blog I might not have taken otherwise. I think of it as “boots on the ground”—simply reporting on what I am seeing. The mountains still have a good snow pack. The valley floor is melting fast. Areas north of the Moose Junction still have a layer of snow, but sagebrush is showing south of there and areas like the National Elk Refuge are almost bare.

Gray Jay

Gray Jay: I don’t get Gray Jays at my house. They prefer the conifer trees and higher elevations. I hadn’t planned on going North today, but decided to do a reconnaissance run at around 3:30pm. Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Red Fox

Red Fox: I found this nice Vixen in the latter part of the evening. Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Acrobat

Acrobat: I shot most of the afternoon with my D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. I was in Manual Mode with Auto ISO. The shutter speed was set to 1/1000th Second at F/8. ISO ended up at ISO 125.  I captured seven shots in this jump sequence via the fast frame rate of the D4. This one was the most dynamic. Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Raven Calling

Raven Calling: This Raven filled the frame at 450mm. Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: On the way home, I saw clouds forming behind the Grand. I made it to Snake River Overlook, hoping the clouds would fill in completely behind the range and then turn fiery red. It didn’t quite happen, but at least I was there and ready! I headed on home and made it into town at 8:00 pm. Daylight Savings Time is changing how late I am needing to stay out now. As Native Americans suggest, we cut a foot off one end of the blanket and sewed it back onto the other end.

Wildlife Recap/Report: Flat Creek is open with a few Swans on the water. It was 48° as I was driving North this afternoon. Elk were well off the highway, forcing the Refuge Rides to go much farther today. I saw two anterless Moose at the Buffalo Fork River crossing near Moran Junction, both on the West side. There were more openings in the ice at Oxbow Bend with swans and other waterfowl in many of the openings. I didn’t see otters (again). I’ve been seeing a few Grouse picking off seeds in cottonwoods and aspen trees lately. I had a reliable report of at least one Bluebird at the Kelly Warm Springs yesterday. More will be following, but it seems early to me. The blinking highway signs say to watch out for moose and bison along the road. Sounds like some of the bison are leaving the refuge already. With the unseasonably warm weather, it might be possible to spot a grizzly soon.

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March 9, 2015:

Warm Weather: Still a big story here in Jackson Hole and the West in general. I checked the 10 day forecast and see lots of high 40s and even mid 50s. Any moisture will be rain during that span. “The Town Downhill” is scheduled for next weekend at Snow King.  Snow King Snowmobile Hill Climb is on tap for Mar. 26-29 . We need a few snow storms! If you had asked me last December what I might be photographing in late February and early March, I would have said, “Mountain Goats”. The warm weather has taken its toll on that opportunity this year.

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: I was trying to capture the setting full moon on Friday and Saturday mornings, which meant being up very early. After Saturday’s attempt, I headed on through the gate at Moran Junction and then looked for otters, coyotes, foxes, pine martens, and the other various subjects. Some days, I have the patience to sit around and wait for something…other days…not so much. I left the park just after noon and headed on home. Sunday, I decided to go back for another chance to get a few owl shots. I felt I could do better than last time, and I’d hope to do better if I went another dozen times. I can’t afford the gas or time for that, however! It’s Monday, so I will probably hang closer to home. Check back later today. I am sure I will get a few shots of something!

Mtn. Chickadee

Mtn. Chickadee: Instead of going out, I spent quite a bit of time in the back yard—mostly cleaning and organizing feeders and perches. I had the camera set up and snapped off a few shots, but most of the birds stayed back with all the activity. This was shot with my Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. It happens slowly, but I see the sun slowly swinging to the north and changing the lighting in the back yard. Attracting and Photographing Wintering Back Yard Birds:

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March 8, 2015:

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: I got up early and headed to Idaho for one more chance to get a few owl shots. This Great Horned Owl was in about the same spot as earlier in the week. It’s easy to walk right by one of these birds and never see them. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Long-eared Owl In Trees

Long-eared Owl In Trees: It is difficult to find the owls in the first place, then harder to get any kind of shot through all of the dense branches. I only had three or four chances to get a shot today. Long-eared owls are smaller than Great Horned Owls. They can compress their feathers tight to their body so they are less visible. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Long-eared Owl on a Diagonal Branch

Long-eared Owl on a Diagonal Branch: This owl stayed put as I slowly made my way to it. I had to move in on my knees to shoot under some low branches. It let me take a few hundred images, including a variety of compositions, bracketed sets, wide open apertures, and stopped down shots. I was able to zoom in with the Tamron 150-600mm lens for some nice portrait images.

Long-eared Owl Portrait

Long-eared Owl Portrait: I felt blessed this owl held for me today. It certainly made the drive worth it! My earlier trip probably helped some. I was lighter and more quiet today as I moved around. Maybe I just got lucky? I liked having the blue sky behind the scenes, today, too. As explained at the Cornell Labs site: Long-eared Owls, their “ears” are really only feathers. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Cottontail Rabbit

Cottontail Rabbit: I found several cottontail rabbits running around early. I don’t often see them here in the JH Valley, but they are common in most of the rest of the state. I have been watching for Snowshoe Hares, but they are extremely difficult to spot. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 7, 2015:

Moon Over Snake River Overlook

Moon Over Snake River Overlook: The moon was in a good spot today. I had a minute of color on the peaks but clouds in the east dulled the scene.  This image was taken at 6:42 am.

Foggy Buck Rail Fence

Foggy Buck Rail Fence: Taken just north of the Cunningham Cabin.

Moosehead Ranch Fence

Moosehead Ranch Fence: Nice light on a simple subject.

Spread Creek

Spread Creek: This little creek runs into the Snake River just north of Moosehead Ranch. If it sounds like a broken record, I still like some clouds for shots like this!

Frosted Aspens

Frosted Aspens: Near the Jackson Lake Dam.

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March 6, 2015:

Moon Over the Grand

Moon Over the Grand: Taken at Snake River Overlook at 6:18 am. I could see this cloud forming as I was driving north. It started covering the Grand tip a minute or two after this shot.

Moon Setting over the Teton Range

Moon Setting over the Teton Range: Taken at 6:36 am. Official Sunrise was 6:51 am and Moon Set was 7:08 am.

Sun Lit Grand

Full Light on the Grand: Taken at Teton Point Pullout at 7:30 am. Tomorrow, the moon will officially set at 7:36 am. Depending on where you are in the valley, you’d subtract around 15 minutes if you are set up in front of one of the peaks.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: Taken from the Gros Ventre Road.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights…Jackson Hole Style!

Squiggles

Squiggles:

Humps

Humps:

Hoopster

Hoopster: Not exactly your every day shots of the Tetons! I used a remote strobe to light my wife’s face in this one.

Spinner

Spinner: We shot these at Teton Point Overlook tonight.

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March 5, 2015:

Thursday Morning in JH: COLD!…and clear! I’ll probably be out early for the next couple of mornings, so I stayed in today. I had to go to the bank to fill out a form. The thermometer in the van read 9°F. While there, a cow and calf moose grazed by the trees in front of Albertsons and then made their way across the busy highway. I watched a bit of the morning news and see the East coast and Southeast are getting hammered with winter weather again. We are used to it here in the Tetons, but I am sure they are sick of it!

Afternoon: I drove over to Boyle’s Hill and waited for a “fly by”. Only one pair took off while I was there but I managed to capture several of them.

Trumpeter Swan Leaving Boyle's Hill

Trumpeter Swan Leaving Boyle’s Hill: Shooting Data: NIKON D4, Tamron 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 400 mm, 1/1250 at f/10, Manual Mode, -1 2/3 EV,  Auto ISO 360

Approaching Swan

Approaching Swan: Same sequence…same settings. Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Stretching Swan

Stretching Swan: Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 4, 2015:

Quick Loop to the Kelly area: I didn’t get out until later in the afternoon. It was clear and cold this morning.

Running Mule Deer

Running Mule Deer: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Mule Deer Buck

Mule Deer Buck: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Buck in Gold

Buck in Gold: Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Evening Grand Peaks

Evening Grand Peaks: Taken over the North end of Blacktail Butte from the Gros Ventre Road.

Evening Sage Tops

Evening Sage Tops:

Winter Cottonwoods

Winter Cottonwoods: I liked the light and dark bands of snow on this one. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Full Moon

Full Moon Rising: I took this one from town. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Personalized One-On-One Photography Excursions: I have several openings in March and a couple available in April. They help me pay the bills and keep this blog going! Here’s a comment by a recent client: “I had a great great time and learned so much. Thanks for all the follow up answers too! You are amazing and a fabulous guy for sharing so freely. Thank you thank you. I can’t wait to do it again.” GW

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March 3, 2015:

Tuesday’s owl trip recap: I had to drive through a snow storm over both Pine Creek Pass and Teton Pass coming home from Idaho last night. I added some photos to the blog and called it a day. I’ve attempted to photograph Long-eared Owls before, but without much success. Even if someone told you where you could find them, actually finding them is still difficult. Here’s a link to the Cornell Labs site with more info: Long-eared Owls. I did manage to get a few shots this time. I learned a lot about trying to photograph them and I’d probably do better next time if I get to go back. Maybe I could have been lucky yesterday, but I’d probably need to go half a dozen times to nail the shot I’d like. I had one chance to get one isolated on a nice branch, but made too much noise getting ready to shoot. I used the Tamron 150-600mm lens and it performed very well on both the D4 and D800 yesterday.

This Morning: It is 8:15 am right now and snowing heavily. I’d love to try to get foxes in falling snow, but I’ve been out three long days in a row.

This Afternoon: Snow stopped by mid morning. I picked up the mail and drove out to the National Elk Refuge to look around.

Ram's Head

Ram’s Head: I counted over 70 Bighorns on the Refuge today. Some were licking salt on the road. Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ram Bash

Ram Bash: I witnessed a few head bashes. These two had their eyes closed at the split second of impact, then opened them on the next image. Shot with a Nikon 4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ewe and Ram

Ewe and Ram: Shot with a Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Refuge Comments: It was nice to see snow on the ground at the Refuge again. Elk were concentrated about 300 yards away from the road. I didn’t see any wolves, coyotes, foxes, bison, or pronghorns. A Golden Eagle was hovering around the ridge line. Flat Creek was open and had a few Trumpeter Swans and various ducks swimming and feeding.

Late Evening: I didn’t plan on going back out this evening, but I could see nice clouds over the Tetons.

West Gros Ventre Butte

West Gros Ventre ButteShot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. I shot a similar image on the first day I received the lens. After a little AF Fine Tuning, I believe it is even sharper on the D800.

The Snak River

The Snake River: Taken along the East bank near Wilson. Lots of people go there to walk their dogs, ride fat tire bikes, cross country ski, snow shoe, or just walk the dike. D800 and 70-200mm lens.

Rising Moon

Rising Moon: I drove along the highway to line up the moon over the ridge line on Snow King Mountain. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 2, 2015:

Fox On Snow - March 1

Monday morning quarterback…I was out most of both Saturday and Sunday. Last night, I made it home and added a few photos to the blog, then went to bed. Both days started out cold and ended up pleasant by the afternoon. Elk are often seen near the highway along the highway on the National Elk Refuge. Not much snow left there there. Flat Creek was open when I drove through last night, with lots of swans along it. Coyotes are fairly common now around Kelly and at Elk Flats. I haven’t been out to Miller Butte in a while, but I hear the Bighorns are still around. I got two reports of Mountain Goats in the canyon, but only a few and still high on the mountain. There was a winter kill in town north of the Shell station. I could hear eagles and saw ravens as I filled my tank. I’ve heard a few reports of some Elk dropping antlers, but I haven’t been close enough to any bulls to see that in person. Deer start losing theirs soon. I haven’t seen nor heard of any Great Gray Owls this year. I found two different foxes…15 miles apart. I heard of reports of a Pine Marten, but after several hours of waiting, I gave up. Notes on Fox above: This fox was on the move. I jumped out, set up the tripod and was getting ready to shoot when she stopped and looked back. I snapped off a couple of photos, then attempted to move a few feet to the right to eliminate the tree behind her. She started walking again and I didn’t get the second shot.

Monday Afternoon: I met a friend in Idaho. With his help, we found some Long-eared Owls and a couple of Great Horned Owls.

Long Eared Owl

Long-eared Owl: It was difficult to get clean shots without either a few or a lot of branches in front of them. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Long Eared Owl

Long-eared Owl: I believe this is a male. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Female On Nest

Female On Nest: This one was in an old Magpie nest. Shot with a Nikon D800 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. I hear there are a few Long Eared Owls in Yellowstone, but I’ve never seen one in the Tetons.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: The other GHO was in even more dense cover. This is probably a male, too. There was a nest nearby and we could see the female’s head over the top. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. This image was processed with these steps: HDR (High Dynamic Range) within Photoshop:

Ririe Grain Elevators

Ririe Grain Elevators: I had driven by these elevators earlier and didn’t take a photo. When the sun broke under a layer of clouds, I immediately headed back. Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Sunset Wind Farm

Sunset Wind Farm: Taken near Ririe, ID. Nikon D800 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Chipping Paint

Chipping Paint: Not everyone appreciates this kind of subject matter, but I enjoy finding it. This is on the side of an old ambulance in Ririe. I took this one from the window with the D800 and Tamron 150-600 lens. ISO ended up at 6400.

March 1, 2015:

Red Fox

Red Fox: Today, I shot with the D800 and the Tamron 150-600 for the wildlife images. Shooting Data: NIKON D800, Tamron 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 300 mm, 1/1250 at f/9, Manual Mode, -1 EV,  ISO 320.

Evening Red Fox

Evening Red FoxShooting Data: NIKON D800, Tamron 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 400 mm, 1/1000 at f/8, Manual Mode, -1 1/3 EV,  ISO 3200

Raven

Raven: Not exactly the most wild of shots, but I thought the camera did a good job of stopping the action, maintaining sharp detail and dealing with the high ISO during the low evening light. Shooting Data: NIKON D800, Tamron 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 320 mm, 1/1250 at f/9, Manual Mode, -1 1/3 EV,  ISO 3600

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Taken from the road near the upper parking lot a Oxbow Bend. D800 and Nikon 70-200mm

Moon Stack

Moon Stack: This shot is a composite of two images. I focused first on the trees and took a shot. The moon was very blurry. I then focused on the moon and took another shot, but this time the moon was sharp and the trees were blurry. Here’s how: Focus Stacking: Increased Depth of Field by Combining Multiple Images

Fox Jump

A Sequence Shot from Yesterday:

February 2015 Daily Updates & Photos for Grand Teton National Park & JH:

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Please Note: All images on this site are protected by the US Copyright Office in Washington DC. No image may be used, copied, forwarded, or posted to an other site without permission and/or compensation to Mike R. Jackson. Also, no image may be used as source material for paintings, drawings, sculptures, or any other form of art with permission and/or compensation to

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Comments (14)

  1. Lowell Schechter

    Mike, if I ever plan a trip during the winter months to Grand Teton Nation Park, I certainly will take all the information that you bloged and follow it closely. Looks like lots to do and great information about roads that are open and closed.
    Lowell

  2. Hi Mike:
    Really liked your “Moon Setting Over the Grand” today. Nothing like being there. You weren’t using the 150-600 on the Nikon D810 for this were you?

    Aloha, Bud

  3. Hi Bud,
    No…I used either a 70-200 or a 24-70 this morning. The timing was about 15 minutes off to be able to get details in the moon as it set. I tried adjusting the EV to get the details, but that made everything black. Maybe next time!

  4. Hi Mike:
    Very excited to see wolves in the Tetons. Great shots considering the circumstances. Don’t you hate it when a unique opportunity pops up when you’re not set up. I’m sure the wolves will be long gone by late May when I’m up there, but I’ll stay tuned to your web site to see where the daily action is. This is a great service you are providing to fellow photographers in your own backyard. Many thanks!
    Aloha, Bud

  5. Since wolves were reintroduced, I have only seen them about 8 times. And…that’s usually at a long distance. I have a feeling most elk and bison will have left the refuge by the middle of may, dragging the predators behind them. Good luck! MJ

  6. Sam Parks

    Well done on the wolves Mike! If you put yourself out there as much as you do, you are bound to have some lucky moments. Congrats!

  7. Adam Brubaker

    Mike, I went out in the the Elk Refuge this last week, the driver said the elk did started loosing their antlers about 2 weeks ago. Some of the elk that have lost them already have started growing them back. As a side note they are still feeding them.

  8. Hi Adam, Thanks for the update. I saw one of the sleigh ride drivers at the grocery store last night and he said the same thing. I saw two large herds still on the refuge yesterday on my drive to the airport. I figured they must have just driven through with the feed wagons as both groups were huddled tight. I haven’t seen any bison off the refuge except the three or four that wintered near the Cunningham Cabin this year.

  9. Elizabeth

    Beautiful photos – thank you for sharing!!

  10. Jim Kiedinger

    Dang, Mike. I don’t want to hear all this unseasonably warm talk. I’m headed there in mid June and want it to still be cool and snowy. Please make it so. 🙂

  11. Jim, Almost every aspect of the snow pack and status of the valley floor is a full month ahead of normal. There’s still snow in the north end of the park and still reasonable snow in the mountains. We had 62°F temps today.

  12. Adam Brubaker

    Mike, just read your post from today the 23rd, looks like I should have got up and came over instead of turning my alarm off. The bird on the post looks like an immature Bald Eagle, Golden Eagles don’t typically have the white on their face like a Bald Eagle.

  13. Adam, when I was looking at the eagle, I thought it was an immature bald eagle. It wasn’t until I saw the tail feathers that I even considered it might be a golden. I’ll change it.

  14. Hi Mike:
    Loved your shot of the chapel from this morning. Glad to see some snow up there. Also loved your shot of Grand from Jackson Lake dam. Neat perspective I’ll try out in May. Fox shots are terrific too! Really appreciate your willingness to share current info on JH. Really looking forward to May! Aloha, Bud

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