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November 2015 Daily Updates & Photos for Grand Teton National Park & JH: A Monthly Journal

“November is a “sneaky” month — loaded with photographic possibilities!”

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

Welcome to the November Journal page!  The links above should give you a great idea of what to expect in any month around Jackson Hole. Additionally, click the link below to get a quick overview of each of the 12 months.

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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November 30, 2015 : Last Day of the Month!

Just the Fence

New Feature Post!: Grand Teton National Park’s Buck Rail Fences. Here’s your chance to submit a photo to Best of the Tetons and make comments about the disappearing historic buck and rail fences in GTNP!

Cyber Monday: On Black Friday of last week, I included quite a few discounted filters and packages. Many of the same sales are extended through today. Scroll down to see the list!

NE Lights

Dressed for the Season: Last night, I drove to the Town Square to do a few quick shots of the lighting. I added three to this page, but you might have missed them if you checked the page earlier in the day.

One-On-One Excursions Openings: I have an openings for most dates in December if you are going to be in the area. Check out December 2014 to get an idea of what you might expect: The trips are designed to help people learn to use their DSLR cameras and help photographers find some of GTNP’s nice shooting locations. Click the link for more information. (Golden Era Studios / Mike R. Jackson is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service and the National Elk Refuge.)

Ram and Ewe

Ram and Ewe at Miller Butte: This plenty respectable ram found a ewe coming into “season” and stayed close to her. It is apparent the rut is underway now. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ol' Timer Approaching

Ol’ Timer Approaching: I have been photographing this old ram for quite a few years. He’s easy to identify by the large scab on his muzzle. This year, it is more swollen than any previous year, but the swelling my be adding to his profile as he approaches other rams. All of them automatically give him the space he needs and the ewes he is interested in at the moment. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

OlTimerandEwe

Ol’ Timer and Ewe: Besides the bighorns, I saw a few ravens and a flock of Grey-crowned Rosy Finches working above them. At one point, the flock flew to the road for around 15 seconds, then headed back to the rocks. I’ve seen them in prior years, too. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Young Rams

Young Rams: These are far from the larger rams, but I liked their interaction. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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November 29, 2015 : Sunday

Mountain Top Sentinel

Mountain Top Sentinel: I made a trip down the Snake River Canyon hoping to find a few Mountain Goats. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Climbing Goat

Climbing Goat: I didn’t find that many, but the ones I did find put on a pretty good show. Instead of filling this page, I’m planning on creating a Feature Post with around a dozen photos. If you haven’t already signed up to follow this blog, please take a minute and add your email address at the top of the navigation bar. You’ll receive an email about the new post as soon as I submit it. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Snake River Canyon

Snake River Canyon: Taken near the mouth of the Canyon. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trio of Ducks

Trio of Ducks: When I drove back to Jackson, I checked out the National Elk Refuge for possible head butting with the Bighorn rams. There were quite a few along the road, but no head butting. Afterwards, I drove to Flat Creek. It is still mostly frozen, but I found some open water next to Dairy Queen. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: This one was also taken behind Dairy Queen. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Town Square with Streaks

Town Square with Streaks: The Jackson Town Square was lit for the season last Friday. Each day, a few more merchants are adding lights and decorations to the storefronts. D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens

Antler Arches

Antler Arches: This is the NE Corner arch. D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens

NE Lights

NE Corner Lights: On the way home, I noticed the ice rink now open at the Rodeo arena. Broom Ball leagues will be beginning soon.  D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens

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November 27, 2015 : Shop Local Saturday

Tetons from Spring Creek Ranch

Tetons from Spring Creek Ranch: Taken with my cell phone through our window at one of the cabins. I left the pro gear back at home last night.

Coyote

Hillside Coyote: This nice looking Coyote was crossing the road near Pacific Creek in GTNP. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Winter at Oxbow Bend

Winter at Oxbow Bend: Oxbow is frozen over. I looked for River Otters and whatever else might be roaming around. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Red Fox in Snow

Red Fox in Snow: Found in the north part of the Park. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Red Fox in Golden Grass

Red Fox in Golden Grass: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Sleeping Fox

Quiet Time: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Wildlife: There were several hundred Bison in the snow at Elk Flats as I was driving north. I saw several Bald Eagles in the north part of the park. Flat Creek was mostly frozen over this afternoon, with no Swans or Ducks visible.

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November 27, 2015 : Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday DEALS

Topaz Labs: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deal at Topaz – 50% off the Topaz Photography Collection: I like these filters! Buy or Upgrade, then apply the code BLACKFRIDAY2015 at checkout. If you are not sure, you can download the software and run it for 30 days. Here’s an old post featuring a few of the effects: Rescuing a Flat Light Image using Topaz Filters: I like these guys because once you buy a package, upgrades are free going forward.

JixiPix Software: Get 30% off their Premium Bundle with this Coupon Code: APPYHOLIDAY30 I bought this software a couple of weeks and have been experimenting with it.

Filter Forge: Get the new Filter Forge 5 at 80% off. Their page says “Ends Soon”. FF charges for upgrades every year or two.

On1: Get On1 Photo 10 at a discount price for Black Friday. This isn’t a deep discount, but if you were thinking about buying it, you can save money. On1 charges for upgrades. My upgrade just cost me $89, for example.

Plugs-n-Pixels: This site has good information and discounts on many Plugins and Filters: Click on the Discounts link.

Contrastly: The Complete Lightroom Presets Bundle: at 90% off until November 30th

2LilOwls: Click this link to get a FREE ebook, a few textures, actions, and presets. Their collections are 50% off until Nov 30 with coupon code BLACK50

AutoFX: Includes several Black Friday deals from 50% to 75% off.

Morning Skies

Morning Skies: Taken fom the East Boundary Road. D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens

Remains of the Rut

Remains of the Rut: Taken along the East Boundary Road near Ditch Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Moon Over the Moulton Barn

Moon Over the Moulton Barn: D810 and a Nikon 70-200mm lens

Schwabacher Landing

Clear Skies and Passing Ducks: Taken at Schwabacher Landing. D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens

Upper Pool

Upper Pool: Also taken at Schwabacher Landing. The road is closed, but we parked at the gate and hiked in. Most of the zones are frozen over. There were lots of elk tracks near the river bottom. D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Take off at Boyle’s Hill Pond. This place is always good for a few shots. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Swan in Flight

Swan in Flight: This one of the four from the previous group of swans as it passed by. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Incoming Swan

Incoming Swan: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Swans of Boyle’s Hill: This pages has more information and a map to the pond.

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November 26, 2015 : Thanksgiving Day

Rams Bashing

Rams Bashing: After lunch, I made a trip back to Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. Three or four rams were huddled up and would occasionally bash heads. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ram Quartet

Ram Quartet: Bighorns have slate gray tongues.  D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Rams Bashing

Rams Bashing: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Rams Bashing

Rams BashingD4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Rams Heads

Bighorn Rams: D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Two Rams

Two Rams: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorns of Miller Butte:  Check this post from last year. It has a few ideas for capturing the head bashing. Today, I shot in AUTO ISO, with the Shutter Speed set to 1/1250th Second and Aperture set to F/11. ISO fluctuated between ISO 250 to 1250 or so. On the D810, I used Group Area Focus and on the D4, I used 9 point CF or 21 point CF.

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November 25, 2015 :

Bighorns

Bighorns: Captured along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. The rams are beginning to be more interested in the ewes, with at least some chasing. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Fall Harvest

Fall Harvest: Along the Elk Refuge Road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Eagle Tree

Eagle Tree: It is still legal to pass on through the National Elk Refuge towards Curtis Canyon or NE. These eagles were perched in a tree about 200 yards off the road. While on the Refuge, I saw two pronghorns, several eagles, lots of ravens and crows, magpies, and one Northern Harrier. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Lichen Covered Rock

Lichen Covered Rock: Also taken on the National Elk Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Winter Beaver

Winter Beaver: Flat Creek had been frozen over for the past few days, but there was plenty of open water today. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers: Also taken along Flat Creek. I’ve been seeing Buffleheads, Golden-eyes, lots of Mallards, Ring-necked Ducks, and Coots. Trumpeter Swans were farther out and upwind from the observation platform. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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November 24, 2015 :

Winter is upon us! If you are new to this site, you might want to click the link in the upper right of the navigation panel called “Index of Old Posts”  Then scroll down to the Winter section for a lot of links to seasonal opportunities.

Teton Range

Teton Range: Colors were vibrant and beautiful on the Tetons and clouds this morning. I took this from the road just north of Kelly. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Running Young Moose

Running Young Moose: This youngster was running to catch up with its mother along the East Boundary Road. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Spring Gulch Barn

Spring Gulch Barn: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

JH Tidbits: Grand Targhee Ski Resort opened last weekend. Snow King has been making snow and has a few runs open, but it looks like they are being used for race training. JH Mountain Resort at Teton Village opens on Friday with discounted tickets. Thursday is Thanksgiving, of course. Friday night is the lighting ceremony on the Town Square. The Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides will probably start up again within a week of Christmas. Flat Creek was frozen today, so Swans are elsewhere in the valley. Check out Boyles Hill!

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November 23, 2015 :

Ram

Bighorn Ram: After lunch, I made a quick trip to the National Elk Refuge. There were a lot of Bighorns along the roadway, many of which were bedded down. I didn’t see any of the reported Pronghorns, nor did I witness any rut activity between the rams. I drove to Flat Creek to check out the swans, but almost all of the zone along the road is frozen solid. The few swans I saw were several hundred yards upstream. Each day, more and more elk are making their way to the Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

HunterNew Feature Post: A Photographer’s Morning Experience with the GTNP Elk Hunt ~ Is It Safe? I spent part of the morning finishing this post. I started it Saturday afternoon after a morning experience along the East Boundary Road. The topic itself is controversial, but I chose to try to identify and illustrate a safety issue associated with the current hunt.

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November 22, 2015 : Sunday

Early Morning Elk

Early Morning Elk: I was up early again and heading north at sunrise. This “record shot” of herd of elk crossing the sage was taken from the highway just north of the entrance to Schwabacher Landing. I could hear rifle shots in the distance. The herd crossed the highway and dropped into the river bottom. In the distance, you can see Mormon Row and the far north barns.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Yellowstone Sign in Winter

Yellowstone Sign in Winter: I made it to Flagg Ranch, where I expected to see the road barricade. The road was clear, so I drove on to the YS entrance. A park employee was digging out the flashing sign. He said the road will be blocked of at Flagg Ranch after today. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Yellowstone Gate

Yellowstone Gate: This is the locked gate just outside the YS entrance stations. They will be getting the roads ready for snowmobile tours soon. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Red Foxes

Red Foxes: While north, I found a couple of foxes, then later a surprise cast member. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Curious Lazy Fox

Curious Lazy Fox: The foxes spent a lot of time curled up and sleeping, especially while it was still cold. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Skunk In Snow

Skunk In Snow: I followed one of the foxes as it went off hunting. This varment was milling around in the fresh snow near me, allowing me to take quite a few shots.

Stalking Fox

Stalking Fox: The fox saw the skunk from a distance and approached cautiously.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Skunk and Fox

Skunk and Fox: The fox sniffed around at the skunk’s den. To my amazement, the skunk came out of the hole, intimidating the fox. She retreated and the skunk followed right behind it.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Skunk and Fox

Skunk and Fox: The fox was quite a bit larger than the skunk, however the large tail may have had some effect on the fox. I’ve never seen anything like this! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Skunk Attack

Skunk Attack: Okay…you just have to be laughing! This skunk had an “attitude”.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Face To Face

Face To Face: The skunk followed the fox over 100 yards. Finally, the fox turned on the skunk. Unfortunately for me, the confrontation was in dark, tight quarters. There was a bit of a scuffle, however I don’t think there was any sort of victor. The skunk sprayed its perfume, but it didn’t appear the fox took a direct hit. The scent cloud hung around for a long time. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Flying Fox

Flying Fox: Following the confrontation, the skunk hung around and dug up some sort of dead animal. It ate only part of the treasure before waddling back to its den. The smaller fox found the leftovers. This larger fox bounded out of the forest to take the food. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Wildlife Notes: I mentioned earlier I herd shots when I was taking the photo of the elk on the run. Apparently, one or more of the hunter’s were successful this morning. As I was driving home, I noticed ravens circling in the distance and a speck of a Grizzly could be seen. I spent part of my day looking for Otters, Pine Martens, Ermine, and Foxes. I didn’t see any large game or predators while in the northern part of the park.

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November 21, 2015 :

Washakie In Snow

Washakie In Snow: Yesterday morning, I had a great experience taking photos of moose in the sage along Ditch Creek. This morning, I was up even earlier to go to the same spot, however, when I drove up a dozen or more moose were running at break neck speed across the sage flats. Hunters were parked along the East Boundary Road and all along Ditch Creek Road. Washakie and two other bulls were running across the sagebrush flats south of Ditch Creek when I drove up. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Hunters in the Sage

Hunters in the Sage: This is one of the other two following Washakie. You can see the hunters. The three bulls crossed the East Boundary Road to join up with the bunch that had crossed earlier.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Running Elk Herd

Running Elk Herd: A herd of maybe a thousand elk flushed out of Ditch Creek and were running across the sage towards the East. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

HuntersHunters: A small group of around 15 elk were left behind. Hunters set up just off the road. For whatever reason, possibly the ranger parked on the road behind me, these guys didn’t take a shot. Three moose can be seen in the background. That was exactly where I was taking photos of moose yesterday morning. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Elk on the Run

Elk on the Run: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Personal Comment: There has to be a better and safer way to cull 250 elk out of 7000 that show up on the refuge. This is the second time I’ve felt in danger of being shot while stopped ON one of the Park’s major roads. The other time was several years ago along Antelope Flats Road.

Frosted Branches

Frosted Branches: Morning temperatures hoovered around -9°F all morning. After I took all I could stand of the morning hunt action, I headed back to Flat Creek for the awakening swans. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Swans in Flight

Trumpeter Swans in Flight: Taken from the observation platform on Flat Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Geese on the Wing

Canada Geese on the WingD810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Swan in Morning Light

Trumpeter Swan in Morning LightD810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Rams

Rams: Taken in the afternoon on the National Elk Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ram In Gold Grass

Ram In Gold Grass: This ram has a swollen muzzle with a scab from a battle many years ago. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Swans Taking Off On Ice

Swans Taking Off On Ice: Most of Flat Creek froze over last night with the frigid temperatures. These three took off in front of the observation platform. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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November 20, 2015 :

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: Moose seem to like to spar just before first light, then stop once the rays of light hit them.  D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Washakie in Snow

Washakie in Snow: This morning, I counted roughly 24 moose in the sage flats north of Kelly, mostly along Ditch Creek Road. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mormon Row Parking Baracades

Mormon Row Parking Barricades: I keep thinking about making a Feature Post called “GTNP Changes” in which I document changes people can expect on their next visit. This would be one of them. This was taken this morning in front of the TA Moulton Barn, looking North. Traditionally, people parking in these zones, but no more. There’s a new outhouse still under construction about 80 yards north, with parking spots there. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Chambers Homestead Barns

Chambers Homestead Barns: Taken along Mormon Row of the seldom photographed barns. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mormon Row Tracks

Mormon Row Tracks: I took these Grizzly tracks at the John Moulton Barn parking area. They were headed south towards the Gros Ventre. Hunter’s rifle blasts appear to be calling them. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Schwabacher Sign

Schwabacher Sign: This sign was down all summer. It went up just in time to identify people where they can’t drive. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Schwabacher Gate

Schwabacher Gate: With the recent snows, the road down to Schwabacher Landing is now closed to vehicle traffic. People can still hike down until December 15th. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm lens

Bighorn

Bighorn: Before heading home, I drove to the National Elk Refuge. There were plenty of Bighorns along the road, but I witnessed no rut activity. This young ram was keeping an eye on the action below. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Resting Bighorn Ram

Resting Bighorn Ram: This is one of the bigger rams on the National Elk Refuge again this year. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Grazing Elk

Grazing Afternoon Elk: This is part of around 200 elk that have safely made their way to the National Elk Refuge so far this year. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

My Tamaron 150-600mm lens came in today. I sent it off last week for some warranty service and cleaning. They received it last Friday, repaired it on Monday and shipped it out on Tuesday.

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November 19, 2015 :

Miller House

Miller House: This was taken at mid-morning. Since then, we’ve had snow falling most of the day. It could be a Winter Wonderland tomorrow. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Herd of Bighorns

Herd of Bighorns: Today, I counted over 70 Bighorns along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. There are indications of rut activity, but it seems to still be early. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Three Rams

Three Rams with Blowing Snow: D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

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November 18, 2015 :

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: I waited for a little sunlight and did a quick morning loop to Flat Creek and the National Elk Refuge. There were quite a few Trumpeter Swans and ducks. Only a few were close enough to photograph. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Bighorn Lamb and Ewe

Bighorn Lamb and Ewe: There are a lot more Bighorns along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge than there were before my quick trip to Denver. Instead of 26, I saw 45 in one area and probably another dozen on the Butte. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Bighorns

Bighorns: I didn’t see any head butting, but a few of the rams were chasing ewes. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mountain Goats? I received a report today that the Mountain Goats haven’t been coming down over the past few days.

Back Yard Birds: I put out some seeds and suet early this morning which quickly welcomed both Downey and Hairy Woodpeckers, Magpies, House Sparrow, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Chickadees. I didn’t get a good look at them, but I thought I saw a couple of Gray-crowned Rosy Finches. I’ve seen a White-breasted Nuthatch on several occasions.

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November 17, 2015 :

Wyoming Frontier Prison

The Wyoming Frontier Prison: On our way home from Denver, we stopped for a few minutes in Rawlins, WY. I snapped off 40-50 photos. This is a treasure trove of textures and grungy details. I am sure I will stop there again and dedicate a lot more time. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Guard Tower

Guard Tower at The Wyoming Frontier PrisonD4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Winter Vines

Winter Vines growing along the walls of the historic prison.  D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Rusting Steel Panel

Rusting Steel Panel: Textured panel at the prison. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Back Home: Darla and I returned home at 7:00 pm following a drive from Denver. Great trip! If you are ever traveling across I-80 and have a little time, I’d suggest pulling through Rawlins. Resort towns, with high land values like Jackson, have redeveloped most of the old buildings and torn down what some might consider eyesores. Rawlins has lots of old buildings and structures.

Random Notes: Gasoline prices ranged from around $2.25 per gallon here and in Rock Springs. In Denver, we bought gasoline for $1.80 and roughly $2.19 in Rawlins. We had good weather over the weekend, then snow overnight in Denver. Driving was slow between Cheyenne and Laramie, mainly due to blowing snow. My son lives in downtown Denver. We stayed in an old converted Bed & Breakfast on Colfax. I was hesitant to be walking around with several thousand dollars worth of camera gear in that area, so shooting was slightly curtailed in that area. Denver, like Rawlins, could be a great place to capture textures and interesting architectural details. I’d just like to have someone watching my back in some of those areas.

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November 16, 2015 :

On The Road: 

Coors Sign

Old Coors Poster: We made it over to the Adolph Coors Brewery in Golden, CO this afternoon after a quick trip up to Central City and Black Hawk. That area has changed tremendously since I was there last. Gambling casinos have changed the landscape. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Copper Kettles

Copper Kettles: Taken inside the brewery. I was using a Nikon D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens.

Copper Texture

Copper Texture: This is a crop of a shot of the stains and texture on the sides of one of the copper cookers. There were lots of textures at Central City, but we were in a hurry to meet the kid back in Golden. It was beginning to snow and light was terribly flat. Next time…  D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

We are headed home tomorrow. A winter storm is coming through Denver tonight.

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November 14, 2015 :

On The Road:

The Rim

The Rim: Darla took this shot with her iPhone 6s from the window as we drove over the “Rim” on our way to Denver. The Rim is a few miles past Boundourant on the way to Pinedale.

We made it to Denver just in time for the Colorado University and USC football game. It was a really good game…USC won.

A Day in Denver

Red Rocks

Red Rocks: We made a trip tip to Red Rocks this morning. I’ve seen lots of photos of the place but never seen it in person. Very impressive! D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

The Stage

The Stage: This is the view from the stage. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Red Rocks

Red Rocks: D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Wildlife

Wildlife: Pinyon Jay? D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Golden

Golden: Not exactly Abby Road…how about downtown Golden, CO. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

Coors Logo

Coors Logo: The butte behind the old brewery in downtown Golden. We had hoped to tour the brewery, but the wait on Saturday was over an hour and a half. We went downtown and had a cold one instead. Coors changed the logo recently. D4 and a Nikon 28-300mm travel lens

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November 13, 2015 :

On the road! We are headed to Denver for a few days. I’ll try to add a photo and comments along the way, but for now, here is a list of places and subjects I’d be concentrating on if I were still here. With fresh snow, the Tetons should look good the rest of the Winter!

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting: Photo linked from Cornell Labs of Ornithology. Keep an eye out for Snow Buntings this year. A few were reported along Ditch Creek Road.

Ermine:  I spotted an Ermine along the Gros Ventre river. They can be about anywhere in the valley, but of course are difficult to spot and even tougher to photograph.

Moose: Look for moose along Ditch Creek Road and in the sage flats north of Kelly. Others have been seen regularly near Moose Junction.

Beavers: I could be wrong, but it appears the beavers have ceased activity at Schwabacher Landing. They could be back out on a warm day?

Bighorn Sheep: Check out Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. At least 26 are in the area.

Mountain Goats: If you are traveling through the Snake River Canyon, keep an eye out for Mountain Goats.

Trumpeter Swans and Tundra Swans: Look for Swans on Flat Creek on the North edge of town.

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November 12, 2015 :

Quick Trip Down the Snake River Canyon

Mountain Goat and Falling Snow

The Beast of Winter: I hadn’t really “planned” on going down the canyon today, but with the fresh snow, I couldn’t resist! The goats were in the section I call “goat rock”—not my favorite area. There’s a lot of wire mesh to hold the falling rocks, so getting clean photos is tougher there. Half a dozen Mountain Goats were close to the road, and often ON the road today. They come down to lick the rock salt off the road after the snow storms. This is early compared to most years. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mtn Goat Portrait

Mountain Goat PortraitD810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mountain Goat Downhill

Mountain Goat Downhill: D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mountain Goat Uphill

Mountain Goat UphillD810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Here’s a previous Feature Post with more information and a map: Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon: 

Nikon 200-400mm? You might notice the use of my 200-400mm in the photos over the past couple of days…Yesterday, I packaged up my Tamron 150-600mm and sent off to the service center to fix the delay in autofocus I have been seeing lately. We are headed to Denver over the weekend to see out oldest son, so I figured it was a good window for the repair. The Nikon 200-400mm has better weather sealing, so it was a good option for today with the falling snow and winter conditions. The goats were close, so I didn’t need the extra range.

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November 11, 2015 :

NIK (Google) Analog Efex Pro: If you purchased the Google version of the NIK Efex Collection, you can get the new filter pack called Analog Efex Pro for free. Actually, this was available a year ago, but I never knew about it. Just download the new “Demo” version and install it. The software will see your original serial numbers and activate it for free. Not sure if there were additional updates in the other parts, but if so, they installed with this one. Of course, if you buy the entire suite now, it will be included.

Trumpeter Swan and Sleeping Indian

Trumpeter Swan and Sleeping Indian: This group of swan images was all taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek.  D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Swan Take Off

Swan Take Off: D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Morning Stretch

Morning Stretch: D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Afternoon Swans

Afternoon Take Off

Afternoon Take OffD810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Swan Against Mountain

Swan Against Mountain: D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

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November 10, 2015 :

Morning in Jackson Hole

Bull Moose in Fresh Snow

Bull Moose in Fresh Snow: Mid-sized bull along the Gros Ventre River. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: Also along the Gros Ventre. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Frosted Gros Ventre Cottonwoods

Frosted Gros Ventre Cottonwoods: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Today, there were 50 or more Trumpeters along Flat Creek. D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Muskrat

Muskrat: Several Muskrats are active along Flat Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorn Lamb

Bighorn Lamb: One of roughly 26 Bighorns now on the National Elk Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Afternoon Outing

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian:  Taken along the Elk Refuge Road. D810 and Nikon  200-400mm lens.

Raven Portrait

Raven Portrait: Along the Elk Refuge Road. D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Raven On Rock

Raven On RockD810 and Nikon  200-400mm lens.

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November 9, 2015 :

Another Stop at Schwabacher Landing

Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness: I went out early enough to see stars, then clouds started rolling in….right on queue! D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Early Light

Early Light: D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Frosted Grasses

Frosted Grasses: D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Morning Clouds

Morning CloudsD810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Beaver Ponds

Beaver Ponds: D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

The Old Beaver Den

Old Beaver Den: D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: The arrival of the Trumpeter Swans usually coincides with the arrival of the Bighorn Sheep. There were four new Swans plus the two resident Swans on Flat Creek this morning. D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorn Ram Portrait

Bighorn Ram Portrait: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Rams on the Road

Rams on the Road: Today, I counted 26 Bighorns on the National Elk Refuge. These six rams were greeting people on the road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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November 8, 2015 : Sunday Morning in the Park

Sunday Sunrise

Sunday Sunrise: This low cloud prevented me from going to Schwabacher for sunrise. I stopped along the highway to snap this quick shot. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Highway 89

Highway 89: Looking back south after taking the photo above.  D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: Same low cloud behind the Chapel. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Frosty Bull Moose

Frosty Bull Moose: There were a few moose near Moose Junction this morning. When I drove back by, two of them were close to the road. This one was only a few yards off the road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

In Shadows

In Shadows: Blacktail Butte casts early morning shadows. The two bulls were grazing on bitter brush mixed in with sagebrush. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

First Light

First Light: As soon as the sun hit the area, both bulls moved back from the road.  D4 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

TA Moulton Barn with Shadows

TA Moulton Barn with Shadows: D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Frozen Pond

Frozen Pond: Clouds looked good, so I made one more trip to Schwabacher Landing. The upper pond is frozen. I switched out one photo and added two more on the new Feature Post: Cold Morning at Schwabacher Landing: D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Bighorn Lip Curl

Bighorn Lip Curl: Taken at Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Yesterday, I saw 18 bighorns in the morning and then at least three additional rams in the afternoon. I found the three again this morning. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Bighorns

Bighorns: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 7, 2015 :

New Feature Post: Cold Morning at Schwabacher Landing:

Grand Reflections

Grand Reflections at Schwabacher Landing:  I made it to Schwabacher Landing this morning at 5:05 am to catch the blue light period of the night. It was 6°F there this morning. The link will take you to a page with quite a few photos, notes, shooting info and suggestions. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Snow Covered Range

Snow Covered Range:  I snapped this one to show the new snow across the entire range. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Moose Trio

Moose Trio: Taken along Ditch Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Moose and Grand

Moose and Grand: Mid-sized bull posing in front of the Grand near Ditch Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Icy Creek

Icy Creek: The 6° F overnight temps freeze some riffles of the small creeks like Ditch Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Ram Portrait

Bighorn Ram: A few bighorns have returned to Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 6, 2015 :

Ill Advised Challenge

Ill Advised Challenge: Washakie is staring down a youngster in this shot. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Washakie's Rack

Washakie’s Rack: This bull’s broken antlers are no match for Washakie’s arsenal of sharp tines. At this time of the year, the bulls are just playfully sparring. They are showing little interest in the cows anymore. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Washakie Feeding on Twigs

Washakie Feeding on Twigs: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Young Onlooker

Young Onlooker: At times, all three were clashing antlers this morning. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Ridge Line Bull

Ridge Line Bull: The Teton Range is in the background. The moose I hiked to today were along the Gros Ventre. I saw four more along Ditch Creek Road. I saw four Pronghorns along Warm Springs Road north of Kelly. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: I tried to get a few shots of the new snow this morning, but clouds covered the entire range. I went back this afternoon and had a better view of the range. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Beaver and New Snow

Beaver and New Snow: The beaver is seen here crossing the little dam on the right side of the previous image.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 5, 2015 :

New Outhouse for Mormon Row

New Outhouse for Mormon Row:  The path appears to be complete between the two barn areas. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Bus Turnaround

New Bus Turnaround: I took this shot (with tough light) a couple of days ago after the rainbow faded. This bus turnaround is a couple hundred yards east of the Mormon Row junction.

Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Ducks: As far as I can tell, the back three are Ring-necked Ducks. Not sure about the front female? D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck: These were taken from the vehicle window along Flat Creek at the north edge of town. The late fall waterfowl migration is well underway. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Afternoon:

Red Crossbill

Male Red Crossbill: I haven’t seen Crossbills in Jackson Hole since 2009. I heard their distinctive chirp when exiting the Post Office today. They were feeding under a Blue Spruce tree. In 2009, there was a mixture of Red Crossbills and White-winged Crossbills. I’ll  be on the lookout for both now. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Moose in Snow

Moose in Snow: There isn’t much snow on the ground yet, but I found a few bulls hanging around this afternoon during a short lived snow storm. The moose I found were well off the road along the Gros Ventre. 1/200th Second, F/8, ISO 3600. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Moose in Blowing Snow

Moose in Blowing Snow: I slowed the shutter speed down to 1/25th second (and a lot of other speeds) to try to show the blowing snow. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 4, 2015 :

Most Incredible Roadside Attraction in Every State: I was just checking the morning weather and ran across this link. Most readers here are either photographers or travelers, so the 50 photos might be of interest.

Morning Photos:

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: It took a little hiking today, but I found nine moose along the Gros Ventre. I spent most of my time with these two bulls. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Pair of Bulls

Pair of Bulls: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Head To Head

Head To Head: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Alert Bull Moose

Alert Bull Moose: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

There were a few breaks in the clouds in the east this morning, but the big clouds in the west covered the top half of the Teton Range. I haven’t been seeing bison lately. Pronghorns have also been scarce. Even though I have been out regularly since the Elk Hunt began, I haven’t been hearing shots. Bald Eagles have been more prominent lately. I assume they are hanging around to pick up scraps after the elk kills. Elk in the south end of the park are spooky. I saw a few at Schwabacher Landing a couple of days ago and along the ridges near the Moose-Wilson Road.

Afternoon in the Park(s)

Miller House

Miller House: The evening light started looking interesting, so I made a trip out to the National Elk Refuge for a look around. The road work is complete now. There are half a dozen new parking areas (still needs four or five more). The road is graded and rides much smoother and several new culverts should keep it that way a while. The first of the Bighorn Sheep should start showing up in a couple of weeks, depending on when we get the first big snows. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Blacktail Butte

Blacktail Butte: Taken towards the West late in the day. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Evening Light on the Grand

Evening Light on the Grand: Taken from Antelope Flats Road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 3, 2015 :

Bull In Golden Grass

Bull In Golden Grass: I spotted this moose near Gros Ventre Junction on Antelope Flats Road. He had two other bull companions. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

End of the Rut

End of the Rut: This cow approached the bull, but he chased her away, then settled down for a nap. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Washakie

Washakie: Resting in golden grasses after chasing off the cow moose. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Broken Antlers

Broken Antlers: I believe I can account for at least half a dozen bulls with severely broken antlers this year. Normally, it seems some end the season with broken tines and a few with large chunks of their paddles broken off. This year, at least three have only a stub left on one side, and this one has just his brow tines.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: Same bull after bedding down near the Gros Ventre. This morning, I saw the three bulls near the junction, plus seven near the GV road near Mormon Row, and three more along the Gros Ventre River.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Mormon Row Rainbow:

Mormon Row Rainbow: Right place…right time! I pulled out my Nikon 14-24mm lens to capture this one in one shot. I cloned out a few signs, posts, and the lingering porta-potty. Click this image to see it much larger!  D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens. 

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: With a new blanket of snow and interesting clouds, it’s hard to drive by and not stop for a shot! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 2, 2015 :

Fighting Pintos

New Feature Post: Wyoming’s Fighting Stallions ~ Iconic Symbols of the American West.

This new page contains lots of action photos, some general information about wild mustangs, maps and links. Check it out!

Afternoon Outing:

Moose In Snow

Moose In Snow: These two bulls were sparring near Gros Ventre Road during an afternoon snow squall. I saw additional bull moose near Ditch Creek, along the Moose-Wilson Road, and just south of the Gros Ventre Bridge on the Highway. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Homestead in Snow

Homestead in Snow:  Taken from the Antelope Flats Road. The snow will get old by March, but it is a refreshing change right now. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Beaver Crossing Dam

Beaver Crossing Dam: Taken at Schwabacher Landing.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Beaver with Willows

Beaver with WillowsD810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Winter Beaver

Preparing for Winter: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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Beaver Pond

Beaver Pond with Afternoon SnowD810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

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November 1, 2015 :

Broken Paddles

Bull Moose in Ditch Creek: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Settling into Winter:

Most of the winter months offer similar opportunities for both wildlife and landscapes: Nov: 2014 |  Dec 2014:Jan: 2014 | Jan: 2015. The first part of November should resemble the last part of October: October 2015:

Suggested “Opportunities: Right now, here are my top spots to check out. Some will be a bit of a gamble, but they might also pay off in a big way if you hit it right:

  • Flat Creek Observation Deck: Look for Swans, Geese, and Ducks.
  • Boyles Hill Swan Pond & Swans Along Flat Creek:
  • Miller Butte (after Thanksgiving): Look for Bighorns and a herd of around 50 Pronghorns.
  • Ditch Creek Road: Look for Moose, elk and flying bullets. Wear orange!
  • Kelly Area: Look for Mule Deer at the edges of town and around the Shane Cabins.
  • Alpine Junction: Watch for Mountain Goats. near the mouth of the canyon.

Important Road Closures: 

  • Inner Park Loop Road from Taggart Lake trail head parking area to Signal Mountain Lodge.
  • Moose-Wilson Road from Death Canyon road to Granite Canyon trail head parking area.
  • Mormon Row from the south homestead to just north of Gros Ventre Road.
  • South Entrance into Yellowstone.

Locked Gate

Moose-Wilson Road Comments: The first three miles of the Moose-Wilson Road is still open. In fact, it stays open all winter! This three mile section has always been the most productive section of the road with possibilities of Owls, Elk, Pine Martens, Foxes, Coyotes, Moose, Deer, Ravens, Magpies, Beavers and so forth. Many of the big game animals leave the area once the snow builds up to several feet in depth.

Snake River Moose

Snake River Moose: Taken near the Snake River Bridge at Moose Junction. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 

Moose in River Bottom

Moose in River Bottom: Taken in Ditch Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. 


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Comments (10)

  1. Paul Dunbar

    Mike, we were over at 10/10-12/15. We were at Oxbow Bend and got to talk to a man and his wife he works at Ace hardware he said you come in often i do not remember their names. He was asking about my lens the Tamron 150-600 i told him i was looking at buying it then you put an Best of the Tetons page on it. I love getting you’re Best of the Tetons e-mail..Thank You!! Paul Dunbar

  2. Gary F. Myers

    Mike I would very much like to be a subscriber to your posts: The Best of the Tetons. I hope this is enough info. I love your photos.

  3. Hi Gary,
    You are approved to be able to make comments at any time. To subscribe, click in the box under “Subscribe to Best of the Tetons via Email!” and enter your email address. Then click on Subscribe NOW! That’s it! You’ll get an email notification of the newest pages. Cheers, MJ

  4. Paul, you probably met Dave from Ace Hardware. Please continue to spread the word about Best of the Tetons when you can! It is greatly appreciated! MJ

  5. Love your website and beautiful images!!!

  6. Hi Ann, Thanks for the comments! Please post anytime! Mike Jackson

  7. Kathryn Wood-Meyer

    Totally enjoy your work. We’ve been visiting jackson for twenty years and the moose are by far our favorite animals but so allusive. I guess it comes down to knowing where to look and you certainly have that knowledge.

    Thank you for your awesome photographs.

  8. Hi Kathryn,
    Moose bed down within about an hour of sunrise, and after that, they are difficult to spot. Your best chances will always be early in the morning. There are times I can’t find one either! MJ

  9. As always, great to see you at a morning shoot. If Mario and I had arrived a bit earlier you could have taught us how to get those beautiful photos of the Tetons with stars. We then moved to the Kelly camp ground to see some of these moose. Great morning. Gotta get to Miller Butte to gets some photos of the Big Horns

  10. Kathryn, it helps to live here! I’ve been photographing the moose each fall since 2009, so I have a bit of an inside track on the moose. Right now, they are moving out into the sage flats and are much more visible. MJ

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