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February 2016 Daily Journal for GTNP & JH

“February is loaded with possibilities. Get out and find them! ”

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Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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February 29, 2016 : Leap Year

Bighorns

Bighorns: I’ve been neglecting the Bighorns on Miller Butte lately. I started taking photos of them in mid-November and continued all the way through the end of the year. At some point, you start to feel you have “enough” (for now) and start looking for other subjects. Today, as I was driving up to the butte, I saw a dozen or so sheep running across the upper rocks. At first, I thought they were being chased. Actually, I hoped they were being chased! Several of them stopped on a steep outcropping and stayed the entire time I was there. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Needless to say, some were close to the road, and even on the road. This one of the two Rams a few of us called “Chip”…notice the chip out of his right horn. The other one is almost identical. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Watch for a new March Daily Journal tomorrow. If you are not already signed up on this blog, click the Subscribe box and enter your email address, then hit the submit button!

March One-on-One Photography Excursions: I have several openings available in March. You can check out what I photographed in March (or any month for that matter) by clicking the appropriate month in the list near the top of the page. Here are links for the past two years: March 2015 :March 2014:  I should probably mention I offer the trips all year. September is probably going to be a good one and a couple of spots are already filled.

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February 28, 2016 :

Last Star

Last Star: It was still dark when I headed North this morning. I put a lot of faith in the “partly cloudy” weather report. Turns out, it was mostly cloudy over the Teton Range. I stopped along the highway to snap this shot, just to have a record shot of the morning.

River Otter On Ice

River Otter On Ice: I’ve seen a few otters this year, but today was the first time I’ve found one out of the water. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Otter and Creek Opening

Otter at Creek Opening: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Running Otter

Running Otter: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Red-winged BlackbirdRed-winged Blackbird: On the way back home, I stopped at the frozen pond just north of the Visitor’s Center. I saw and heard two Red-winged Blackbirds…first of the year for me. Trumpeter Swans were sleeping on the ice, but remained inactive while I was there.

 

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February 27, 2016 :

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: I found this resting bull Moose near Gros Ventre Junction, just as the first hints of light were washing the top of the Grand. The light dulled, so I headed on down the road. He was still in the same spot 45 minutes later! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Shane Cabin

Shane Cabin: This is one of the few GTNP cabins or barns you can get to in the winter without a healthy hike. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Shane Cabin Window

Shane Cabin Window: Handheld from inside the cabin. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Grand Morning

Grand Morning: Taken along Ditch Creek after a short hike. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Taken along Flat Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Flat Creek Moose

Moose in Flat Creek: I stopped by the house and grabbed my laptop, then headed south towards Snake River Canyon. I spotted these two in the creek near Smith’s grocery store here in town. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Falls Creek

Falls Creek: Earlier in the week, I stopped and took a few shots from the road. That was on a bright, sunny morning. Today, while overcast, I carried the tripod to roughly the same spot and took this 1/8th second shot.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Nanny and Kid

Nanny and Kid: A small snow storm was supposed to roll through the area late in the morning. It did! I got lucky and found a couple of Mountain Goats in just the right locations to show off the falling snow. I filled up a couple of cards! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Nanny

Nanny: Another shot from roughly the same spot. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Kid with Nanny

Kid with Nanny: The Nannys let their Kids roam around on all of the rock faces without any apparent concern. The little ones can go anywhere the adults travel.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

March One-on-One Photography Excursions: I have several openings available in March. You can check out what I photographed in March (or any month for that matter) by clicking the appropriate month in the list near the top of the page. Here are links for the past two years: March 2015 :March 2014:  I should probably mention I offer the trips all year. September is probably going to be a good one and a couple of spots are already filled.

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February 26, 2016 :

Third Party Photoshop Filters: I have a PC desktop computer here in my office/studio with a beautiful (old) 30″ Apple Cinema Display attached to it. I have to admit, I am spoiled! When I am out on the road, I take an Apple Macbook Pro. Yesterday, I spent some time adding my filter packages to the Mac that I had originally purchased to use on the PC. Amazingly, all of my packages loaded on both platforms with their single license except Filter Forge. They still require a separate license on both. I don’t use it enough to spend the extra money for it on the Mac. There are a few filter packages that are only offered on one platform or another, so of course, those weren’t candidates. If you are interested, you can see my list and comments at TetonTextures.com on this page: Resources: Software, Filters, Training.

While on the subject, anyone using the Adobe Creative Cloud can load the software on two computers for the same price. More importantly, you can load it on two PCs (like a desktop and a laptop), two Macs, or one of each. Before the CC offerings, we had to buy individual software licenses if you needed to install it on the two platforms and most of the filter packages needed two licenses. It was extremely expensive to keep everything up to date!

GV Cow MooseWildlife—Just a quick update: Our area had a spurt of opportunities to see and photograph foxes. I don’t know if they are now out of view and digging dens, finding new terrain, or if coyotes are spooking them off their recent hunting areas, but they have been less visible lately. As I drive around the valley, it looks more an more like the snow level is beginning to favor Owl activity. I had a report of a Great Gray Owl recently, so keep an eye out for them. Mountain Goats and Trumpeter Swans might be the hot ticket for a while. I hear some of the Bighorns are moving off Miller Butte and towards Curtis Canyon. Last year, the Shrine Club had to cancel their Cutter races due to lack of snow in February. We have more on the ground this year than last year, but the warm temperatures of February melted a lot of the snow, making it easy for animals like Moose and Deer to graze and move around.

Mountain Goats on Rocky Slopes

After a morning of working on office tasks, I headed down the Snake River Canyon. At least while I was there, the Mountain Goats were fairly high on the rock walls. This one was cropped from a 600mm capture. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Mountain Goat Kid

Mountain Goat Kid: This is probably the same “kid” I photographed earlier in the week. I didn’t see a Nanny nearby on either days, but it seems to be doing fine on his own. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Evening Thrasher

Evening Thrasher: On the way home, I spotted the shadow from the pulley wheel of this old thrasher. I went back for the last few minutes of evening light. I should be adding a new post on TetonTextures.com later tonight with a series of steps I took this image through to get to this spot. I used Topaz Texture Effects, Nik Analog Efex, Nik Color Efex, Nik Silver Efex, and On1 10 Texturizer.  TetonTextures is all about options for post processing images! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 25, 2016 :

Topaz Labs:  I just received a notice about the new release of Topaz DeNoise6. If you already own any of the previous versions, the upgrade is (always) free. Topaz and Nik are a couple of my favorite filter packages, used regularly here and on TetonTextures.com. They are running a special $30 off right now on DeNoise6. Use the coupon code: noisefree. I just downloaded it on my Mac and will add it to the PC tonight. The examples look pretty good for recovering high ISO, noisy images. MJ

Kelly Wagon

Kelly Wagon: I’ve posted a similar photo before, but included this one to show the snow pack. It might still be early for any kind of mass migration off the National Elk Refuge, but some may start soon. Bitterbrush is becoming much more visible, where a month ago it was buried under a 3′ layer of snow. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Evening Spruce

Evening Spruce: This old Spruce tree trunk sits in a little meadow just off the Gros Ventre Road. It is leaning more this year, so I doubt we’ll continue to see if many more years. Looks like a lot of cavity birds have made it home over the years. I shot this one from the road, but I’d like to get off the road and get much lower so most of the tree would be lit against the dark grove of Spruce…..someday? D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I spotted this Bull on my way out to Kelly, but waited to stop on my way back when I though the light would be better. He was bedded down at the time, too. There were four moose clustered fairly close to each other near the big pullout along the Gros Ventre. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Aspen Stand

Aspen Stand: Evening light and dark shadows can make even the most common of shots look so much better! I am guessing this shot will someday get used in a composition on TetonTextures.com.

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February 24, 2016 :

Moonset Over the Grand

Moonset At Snake River Overlook: I was out early for this one. Whether you take a single photo or not, this is a wonderful experience! D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Moonset over the Grand

Moonset over the Grand: I ran back to the van for the telephoto lens for this one. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Moonset over the Grand

Moonset at the Grand’s North Face: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Buck Rail Fence and Setting Moon

Buck Rail Fence and Setting Moon: Taken from the highway south of Triangle X Ranch. It was -5° for most of the morning today. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Swan Group

Swan Family: There were a few pockets of open water after a cold night. Trumpeter Swans sometimes get active just after the morning sun hits them. Right now, that happens around 8:30 AM. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Single Swan

Single Swan: The other three swans left the opening. All I had to do was wait! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

February and March One-on-One Photography Excursions: I have openings in most of February still available and several spots in March. You can check out what I photographed in February (or any month for that matter) by clicking the appropriate month in the list near the top of the page. Here are links for the past two years:  February 2015:February 2014:  I should probably mention I offer the trips all year. September is probably going to be a good one and a couple of spots are already filled.

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February 23, 2016 :

Sanibel Dreaming

Sanibel Dreaming: This is a crop of an image I just added to TetonTextures.com. The composite consists of numerous images I captured last April at Sanibel Island, near Fort Myers, FL. Here’s the link: Sanibel Dreaming

There are a lot more photos from our Sanibel Trip on this page of my Best of the Tetons Blog. I used a Nikon D4 and either a Tamron 150-600 or Nikon 24-70mm on most of the images…much like I do here in the Tetons.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee: A basic shot with a bit of texture. I took this one in my back yard this afternoon. Yesterday, I had planned on doing work around the house, but ended up in the Snake River Canyon. I stayed home today, instead. From all I could tell from my office window, there were no clouds this morning.

Sanibel Dreaming Version 2

Sanibel Dreaming Version 2: Tonight, I reworked some of this morning’s image. The more I looked at it, the more the Reddish Heron started looking like a Teradactle. Go to this page to see it much larger:  Sanibel Dreaming. You might find ways of making interesting Grand Teton compositions of your own. MJ

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February 22, 2016 :

Mtn. Goat Climbing

Nanny Climbing: Mountain Goats were scattered in several areas of the lower portion of the Snake River Canyon today. If you haven’t found the page, check out this previous post. Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon: It contains some useful information and maps showing where to look if you go down. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Kid Portrait

Kid Portrait: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Kid in Snow

Kid in Snow: This little one was on the rocks all by himself as a snow storm passed through. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 21, 2016 : 3 Weeks into February

Wildlife Status: We seem to be in an interesting time of the year. Right now, we have less snow pack in the valley than some years. The mountains still have plenty of snow. Moose are less common now…many may be munching resident’s trees in town and in the subdivisions near the Park. I’ve seen Moose along the Gros Ventre near Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis, resting on the greens of the golf course. Bison are staying out of sight on the north end of the National Elk Refuge. Mule Deer are commonly seen along the highway just north of town and in Kelly. Some of the bucks are beginning to shed their antlers. There are plenty of Elk on the refuge (7,000+). The rides are now on  rubber wheeled wagons instead of sleighs. The Refuge is feeding the elk, so they are congregated into several large groups. Some elk are hanging along the highway near the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Of course, bears are hibernating and out of sight. Some bears are reported to leave their den for a while on warm days. Bighorns can still be seen on and around Miller Butte, but are well past the rut and their coats are bleaching. Mountain Goats are usually more visible in late February and early March. Small critters are on my “radar” at the moment—mostly Foxes. Their coats are full and beautiful. Foxes are active and visible in many areas of the valley. Wolves are around…but you more or less have to be lucky to see them. Watch for Wolves wherever there are mule deer and elk. If the snow continues to melt on the valley floor, some of the game on the Refuge will begin to move to the edges. Like last year, Owls have been scarce. Trumpeter Swans and Eagles are much more commonly seen. People are seeing occasional River Otters, and an occasional Mink along Flat Creek.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured along Flat Creek this morning. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Take-Off

Take-Off: Taken a few minutes later. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Common Golden-eye

Common Golden-eye: Also taken along Flat Creek. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Morning Smoke

Morning Smoke: I saw this from the road and turned around to capture it. I liked the dark background and back lit smoke. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Falls Creek

Falls Creek tumbles into the Snake River just south of Hoback Junction. I shot this one from the road with a telephoto since the spot is on private property. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Fence

Fence: I saw this interesting fence line while walking back to my vehicle from taking shots of the falls. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Wreath

Christmas Wreath: This is one of the most creative wreaths I’ve sever seen. I found it at the end of one of the many dead-end roads around here. I was heading south in the Snake River Canyon to photograph Mountain Goats, but knew I was early. Just killing time and seeing new parts of Wyoming! D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Goats on the Road

Goats on the Road: I am lucky I didn’t go down too many other dead-end roads…when I got there, the Mountain Goats were on the road and stopping traffic. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Ridge Line

Ridge Line on Goat Rock: Taken from the road.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Goat Rock

Goat Rock: A few of us affectionately call this large outcropping “Goat Rock”. If it has an official name, I don’t know it. There’s a power line running the length of the canyon, so it takes a little creative cropping and often a telephoto lens. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Goat Inspecting the Other Side

Goat Inspecting the Other Side: I hardly ever see Mountain Goats on the river side of the highway. This Nanny was inspecting the greener pastures. This event only lasted a few seconds. I spun and shot. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

State Trooper

State Trooper: All good things must come to an end…right? The State Trooper drove up with his lights flashing and sounded a variety of sirens and whistles to run the goats off the road and up the hill. I had a nice chat with him, just making sure my vehicle was off the road far enough. He told me they have had to deal with several rear end collisions caused by people stopping in the road.  If you go there, do yourself and everyone else a favor and pull completely off the road or in one of the pull outs! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Goats on Wire Mesh

Goats on Wire Mesh: The section of the mountain near Goat Rock has wire mesh along it to help keep rocks and boulders from rolling into the road. It can ruin a lot of the better opportunities along the road. After the sirens, all of the Goats ran up the hill. They climb with ease over the wire mesh. Within about 15 minutes after the patrolman left, many of the goats were heading back to the road.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Ball of Fluff

Ball of Fluff: The young Mountain Goats (kids) can be quite animated. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

The Kid

The Kid: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Nanny on the Slopes

Nanny on the Slopes: The wire mesh is only a foot or two out of the edge of this shot. Much of the snow has melted on the hillside, but if you watch for opportunities, you can capture a Mountain Goat in pristine conditions. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 20, 2016 :

Today, I made a trip to “the Great White North”! (not Alaska…the north end of Grand Teton National Park).

Red Fox in Winter

Red Fox in Winter: I believe I got to photograph two different Red Foxes today. They were in the same area, but one has a small scab on the left side of its muzzle, just behind the nose. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Alert Red Fox

Alert Red Fox: In the bright reflected light, many Foxes squint. The challenge is to snap the shot at a time when they are alert and have their eyes open. This one has the scab on its nose.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Lounging Fox

Lounging Fox: On extremely cold days, foxes curl up into a little ball of fur. This one was just waking up and had finished stretching on the snow. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Fox with Flakes

Fox with Flakes: A few waves of snow worked their way through the park. I would have liked a lot more chances for this kind of shot! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Wolves: I received this information from the National Elk Refuge: “14 wolves were observed in Poverty Flats/Chambers area on 13 February 16.  These are all likely members of the Pinnacle Peak Pack.  Wolves have regularly been in the Poverty Flats area and the area northeast of Miller Butte for the past week and in the McBride area in the week before that.” I also received a reliable report of wolves being seen on and around Slide Lake near the Atherton Creek Campground.

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February 19, 2016 :

Teton Textures

Gears: If you are a photographer and have Adobe Lightroom, you might find this TetonTextures.com post of interest: Gears: & Lightroom Collections. The image above was built using numerous images I “gathered” from my current Lightroom catalog. Collections and Smart Collections are great tools for stashing images you might want to work on later. Smart Collections are a good way of finding specific subject matter scattered across multiple drives, multiple folders, and a captured on different trips.

Resting Nanny

Resting Nanny: Late yesterday, the snow storm sent me packin’. By late in the day today, the same snow storm had essentially melted in the Snake River Canyon. This Mountain Goat nanny was relatively close to the road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Resting Herd

Resting Herd: Just up the canyon, another small band of Mountain Goats were resting. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat: This single Mountain Goat was several hundred yards from the road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Nanny on Bare Hillside

Nanny on Bare Hillside: Within about 45 minutes, the resting Goat stood up and grazed on the knoll before heading up the mountain. I would have loved to find this goat at this distance yesterday with the snow falling!  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 18, 2016 :

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: I made a morning trip down the Snake River Canyon and found a few scattered goats—some the ledges. This one posed on the rocky perch for at least 15 minutes. At times, I had blue patches of sky and bands of beautiful light washing the outcroppings. A nice herd was working their way down when a winter storm hit the area. After about an hour of heavy snow, they were nowhere to be found! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 17, 2016 :

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: I made the hike out to Mormon Row this morning. With the recent warming, the snow has settled and packed considerably.  I hiked in from the West side over snowmobile tracks, but anytime I got off the tracks, I sunk in to about my kneecaps. If you go, I’d highly recommend having a pair of snow shoes. I captured a few dozen images, then figured I should head on back before the snow softened. D4 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Dancing Foxes

Dancing Foxes: You might enjoy seeing some of steps and layers I used for this image. Click the link to go to Teton Textures!

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February 16, 2016 :

Aspen Bark

Aspen Bark: The day started out slow…and dark. There were a few distant Sage Grouse near Kelly and a few Mule Deer hanging around Kelly. A cow Moose and two year old calf were along the GV near GV Junction, but too far out and too dark for a good shot. Another couple of Moose were in the river bottom on the Gros Ventre. A few coyotes were in the pastures at Elk Flats, but again, were too far out. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: The morning clouds began to break in areas and the low clouds started pulling back on the Tetons. There’s an open pool at Oxbow, with a few tracks around the edges, but I didn’t see otters there today. D4 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Red Fox

Red Fox: Around noon, things began to pick up in the northern end of the park. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Stretching Red Fox

Stretching Red Fox: Foxes on snow are hard to beat! Winter is the time to see them with their full, beautiful coats.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Gray Jay

Gray Jay: Stellar’s Jays and Gray Jays prefer conifer forests. I’d love to see them in my back yard, but they just don’t come around. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Gray Jay on Snow

Gray Jay on Snow: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

National Elk Refuge

National Elk Refuge: There were a lot of cow and calf elk near the Miller House on the National Elk Refuge. Temperatures have been in the mid-40s lately, melting some of the valley’s snow pack. Besides the elk, there were a couple dozen bighorns on the refuge. Their dark fur has begun to bleach out. A Golden Eagle was feeding on a carcass, but too far out for me. D4 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek.  There were numerous Trumpeter Swans, ducks, and geese along the creek, plus a lone River Otter. I had put the camera away at the time, but it was nice to see it. I’ve heard of a Mink in the area, too. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 15, 2016 : Presidents Day

Cutter Races

Zoom: I created this image and featured it on Best of the Tetons’ sister site, Teton Textures. I included information on how I achieved the effects. Check it out! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Winter Rainbow

Winter Rainbow: I drove north at lunch time and saw this unusual winter rainbow.

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February 14, 2016 : Valentine’s Day

Cutter Races

Cutter Races: Instead of filling this page up, I’ll go ahead and create a new Feature Post with half a dozen shots from today’s Cutter Races at Melody Ranch. Now would be a GREAT time to sign up to follow Best of the Tetons! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

New Feature Post: 45th Annual Shrine Club Cutter Races ~2016

Late Winter Sunrise

Late Winter Sunrise: While at it, you might want to sign up to follow my new site: TetonTextures.com This is a small crop of the larger image featuring a couple of Surface Blur effects and some additional layering.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Earlier in the month, I drove through Teton Valley (the Idaho side) and captured an image of a Bald Eagle. You can see the original image on the February 3rd entry near the bottom of this page. I am in the process of making a new page at TetonTextures.com with some of the steps and layers I used to create the image above.

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February 13, 2016 :

Hillside Cross Fox

Hillside Fox: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Morning_CrossFox_900px

I just posted this image on TetonTextures.com

I included a quick rundown of the steps I went through to create the image. Check it out! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Goat on the Edge

Goat on the Edge: There were a lot of people in town today for the Cutter Races. I headed south to see if I could get lucky again today. It was much slower, but I saw a few fairly close to the road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Unique Elk

Unique Elk: I went out on a sleigh ride to the National Elk Refuge last year. The driver said bulls with odd shaped antlers seldom get to breed with the cows. This bull has some sort of deformity on his left antler. When zoomed in, it didn’t appear to be broken and even displayed a tendency to point downwards. He also has an unusual palmated antler on the good side. The elk was alone in the Snake River canyon near areas where I sometimes see Mountain Goats. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 12, 2016 :

Teton Pass

Sunrise on Teton Pass: I got up early and headed over the Pass this morning. The plan was to find some of the barns and structures, then head home via the Snake River Canyon. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Victor, ID Barn

Victor, ID BarnD810 and Nikon 70-2000mm lens

Victor Hawk

Victor Hawk: I found several hawks and one Bald Eagle today, but they were on telephone posts. When they flew, they flew away from me today, so I didn’t get flight shots.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Nanny and Kid

Nanny and Kid: I had a good day with Mountain Goats today. Five of them were in, or on, the rocks most of the time I was there.  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Nanny on Ridge

Nanny on Ridge: There have been numerous avalanches in the lower portion of the Snake River Canyon. I’ve always theorized that was the necessary trigger to begin seeing Mountain Goats there. The area hasn’t had new snow in over a week, so some of the slopes are showing new grass chutes. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Agile Climber

Agile Climber: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Mtn. Goat on Teton TexturesThis is a small crop of a larger image I just posted on TetonTextures.com

I included a quick rundown of the steps I went through to create the image.

Check it out!

Grouse

Grouse: I found this Ruffed Grouse in my back yard when I returned from my morning Idaho loop.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: This bird showed up while I was photographing the Grouse.

Eurasian Collard Doves

Eurasian Collard DovesD810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 11, 2016 :

Spring Gulch Road

Spring Gulch Road: The last thing I did last night before heading to bed was to check the weather report for Jackson Hole and also Teton Valley. Both said it would be “Cloudy” this morning. Not “Partly Cloud”. I didn’t set the alarm, and didn’t plan on leaving early. Well…it was a beautiful morning with a dark clouds behind the Tetons. I know because I could see it from my window. Spring Gulch is in shadows for much of the morning. I like to make that drive towards the park when I am not in a hurry and usually a little later in the morning. I’m always looking for foxes, coyotes, eagles, hawks, ermine, weasels, and owls on that road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: I composited this images using two captures. I focused on the fence in the first one, then the barn in the second one. In Photoshop, I merged the two using the Auto-Blend Layers tool. The steps are fairly easy. If you are interested in the actual steps, check out Focus Stacking: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Senior PassFor $10 and 62 years, you can get your very own Senior Pass—good for all National Parks, Monuments, and National Recreational Lands. I turned 62 today and plunked down my $10 bill. This is an iPhone image…not great, but it did the job.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans:  I drove over to Boyle’s Hill for the remains of the afternoon light. None flew out while I was there, but these two Trumpeters flew in from the south. The temperature got up to around 44°F this afternoon.

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February 10, 2016 :

Warehouse Windows

Warehouse Windows:

How about a brand new site!….TetonTextures.com
I spend a lot of time taking photos of subjects other than moose, deer, elk, foxes, and landscapes, but never know where to post them. I believe most people are coming here to learn where the animals are and check on the landscape opportunities. This sister site has a different look and feel, and it definitely has a different mission statement. Besides the textured and layered images, there are links for textures, actions, filters, and training sources. If you like what you see there, please sign up to follow that site, too!

Afternoon Outing

We had thick fog this morning. Since I captured quite a few images of it yesterday, I stayed home and worked on a few of the pages on the new site. The fog burned off after lunch, so I made a quick run around the south end of the Park and then out to the National Elk Refuge.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: I was driving down the road and spotted this fox coming straight at me. I got out by the door and snapped off a few shots as it passed by me. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: This eagle was in the big cottonwood next to the Miller Houlse on the National Elk Refuge. There was another one just above it, but I couldn’t find an opening to get both cleanly in the same image. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Gathering

Gathering: There must be a carcass near the road near Karn’s Meadows. There were numerous Ravens and Magpies around. They didn’t appear to like having the immature Bald Eagle in the area. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle: I managed to get a little closer for this shot. It was still there when I left, seemingly unconcerned by my presence. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 9, 2016 :

Lacy Clouds

Lacy Clouds: Taken from the highway near the winter closure of Blacktail Ponds Overlook. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Winter Cabins

Winter Cabins: Also taken from the highway…this is the site of Harrison Crandall’s second photography studio. It was torn down a couple of years ago to make room for this new home and garage structures. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Hoar Frost

Hoar Frost: Taken from the highway near Anetlope Flats road towards Ditch Creek. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Snow Cornice

Snow Cornice: This cornice has been forming for the past week or two along Ditch Creek. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Wildlife Comments: I made the drive out to Kelly and beyond this morning. I saw one Moose in the river bottom, but none out on the sage flats. I saw a few Elk along the Gros Ventre River, and was hoping to see some Wolves. Most Bison have moved onto the National Elk Refuge. There’s an old deer carcass in the “S” curves leading to the Shane Cabins, but it is pretty well picked over. There were a few Magpies and Ravens on it, but they spooked quickly. Watch for Wolves and Foxes in the Kelly area, along with quite a few Mule Deer.

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February 8, 2016 :

1951 SRO Area Map

1951 SRO Area Map: (click the map to see it much larger) This is a 1948 (Field Check) map of the area near Snake River Overlook and Lost Creek Ranch. Ansel Adams took his famous photo at Snake River Overlook in 1942. I always wondered if he would have had to ride on horseback with his gear to the overlook, but it appears there was an unimproved dirt road to the spot. It might have been rough, but it looks like he could have driven to it over the pale blue portion above, or possibly the pale green section coming up from Moose. The orange road on the east side is still in existence.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian Sunrise: Taken from Gros Ventre Road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Tracking Plane

Tracking Plane: I spoke with a National Elk Refuge feed truck driver last night who told me they had been seeing 10 wolves at the north end of the Refuge. This morning, I was along the Gros Ventre River and saw this plane fly over. I believe it is part of Craighead Beringia South, doing research on the area’s wildlife. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Elk Crossing

Elk Crossing: I didn’t see the wolves, but saw a few of their possible prey crossing the Gros Ventre River. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: When the temperatures drop to single digits overnight, much of Flat Creek freezes. This morning, there were a few Trumpeter’s hanging around. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: I did a quick drive out to the National Elk Refuge and found a few of the rams feeding on the south side of Miller Butte. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Teton Range

Teton Range: Taken from the turn-around on the National Elk Refuge. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 7, 2016 : SUPERBOWL SUNDAY!

My oldest son is a graphic designer for a screen printing shop in Denver. I am obligated to say GO BRONCOS!

Death Canyon

Death Canyon Sunrise: The three peaks making up the Grand Tetons always seem to get the attention. Right? South of the Tetons, Buck Mtn. usually marks my ending zone on a panoramic shot. This was taken this morning from Teton Point Overlook and aimed towards Death Canyon. Buck Mountain has the clinging clouds on the left. I believe the mountain in the middle is Mt. Meek (? …someone should know). Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Screamin' Hot Tetons!

Screamin’ Hot Tetons!: There were a few thin clouds in the eastern skies this morning, helping to turn the first rays of the sun amber and pale rose. I shot a LOT of panoramic sets this morning. As I write this post, my Mac is chugging away making stitched DNG format composites. This image is a crop of one of the single images.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Teton Sunrise Panorama

Teton Sunrise Panorama: (click this image to see it much larger) This is stitched from four horizontal captures on my Nikon D810 camera. I believe everyone should get to experience one of these winter sunrises! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Morning Fox

Morning Fox: This fox was out hunting very early today. I love the light at this time of the day! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Hunting Fox

Hunting Fox: Same fox…maybe an hour later. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Old Number 11

Old Number 11: I took a chance and made the trip down the Snake River Canyon to find Mountain Goats. If any are down, you can almost always count on seeing this tagged and collared Nanny. Today, she was the only one down. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Ridge Line Mtn. Goat

Ridge Line Mtn. Goat: Okay…this one was a long, long ways off! They are difficult to spot, but if you look for a white patch with just a hint of amber, it will likely be a Mtn. Goat. This one was probably 400 yards away—close to the mouth of the Canyon. I spent only a couple of hours down the Canyon, but headed on home to make this post before the big game. Go Broncos!  D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 6, 2016 :

Mid Day Peaks

Mid Day Peaks: Taken from the Cunningham Cabin pull-out this morning. The sky was mostly lifeless, so I had some fun in Photoshop and applied half a dozen textures and filters. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Cross Fox Exploring

Cross Fox ExploringD810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Fox Moving Through Willows

Fox Moving Through Willows: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

On the Move

On the Move: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Evening Sky

Evening Sky: Taken from the highway as I was heading home. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

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February 5, 2016 :

Teton Sunrise

Teton Sunrise: “You win some. You lose some. Some get rained out — but you have to suit up for all of them.” That’s an old baseball term used by my college coach back in Oklahoma. The phrase rang through my head numerous times this morning. The weather reports indicated cloudy skies at sunrise, but instead, the clouds were beautiful. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

GTNP Entry Sign

GTNP Entry Sign: D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Moose in Motion

Moose in Motion: Taken near Kelly on the Gros Ventre Road. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Red Fox in Motion

Red Fox in Motion: Fresh snow and a beautiful Red Fox crossing it. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Approaching Red Fox

Approaching Red Fox: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 4, 2016 :

Mt. Haines

Mt. Haines – Yellowstone: Our snow coach picked us up at the hotel at 7:00 am in West Yellowstone. It would be just a day trip for me, then home. The main purpose of the trip was to find the Bobcats people were seeing last week. Unfortunately, no one has seen them since Saturday, and we didn’t see them today. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron – Yellowstone: We spent the day cruising the Madison River between Riverside Drive and Madison Junction. Everyone in the coach was on the same mission and had the same mind set…find a Bobcat! In the process, we found other wildlife including this Great Blue Heron. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Bison

Bison- Yellowstone: There were quite a few Bison along the Madison. This one was near the 7 mile bridge, where we also saw a couple of Coyotes. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Coyote

Coyote – Yellowstone: There was a report of a couple of Raccoons near Gibbon Falls, so the driver took us to the region. We didn’t see a Raccoon there, but found a Coyote near the river. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Raccoon

Raccoon: This ring tailed critter was in the Madison River. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

I’ll try to post a more detailed Feature Post tomorrow. It’s late here! MJ

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February 3, 2016 :

American Flag

American Flag: Taken at the Moose Entrance Station. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: After lunch, I headed over Teton Pass and spent a few hours in the Teton Valley. Raptors seem to prefer that side of the range, often seen on fence posts and power lines. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Taken on the West side of the Tetons. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Spud Drive-In

Spud Drive-In: Besides the raptors, I took lots of photos of barns and grain elevators. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

At the moment, I am in a motel room in West Yellowstone, MT. In the morning, I’ll be on a snow coach (van), entering Yellowstone in hopes of finding one or more of the Bobcats people have been seeing.

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February 2, 2016 :

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: It was -10°F during the Alpenglow period this morning, but luckily, there wasn’t a lot of wind. The recent storm turned much of the valley into a Winter Wonderland! D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Frosted Fox

Frosted Fox: This fox got wet and needed to dry off. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Removing Ice Balls

Removing Ice Balls: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Winter Vixen

Winter Vixen: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

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February 1, 2016 :

Wall of Spruce

We are starting February as a Winter Wonderland!

Winter Wildlife Opportunities For the First Weeks of February:

  • Moose are moving to the river bottoms. A few bulls may still have antlers. Check the Gros Ventre and Pacific Creek.
  • Elk are plentiful on the National Elk Refuge and along the east slope of East Gros Ventre Butte near the museum.
  • Mule Deer are moving towards Kelly, into town and along the east slope of East Gros Ventre Butte.
  • Bison are still occasionally seen in GTNP, but most are moving into the National Elk Refuge.
  • Bighorn Sheep spend their winter on Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge.
  • Pronghorns: I haven’t seen any this year, but they could still be on the National Elk Refuge.
  • Bears and many of the small critters are hibernating.
  • Otters: Keep and eye on Flat Creek and around the Dam.
  • Critters: Watch for Ermine, Squirrels, and Foxes. Foxes have been showing up in numerous areas.
  • Wolves usually follow the Elk. A couple have been spotted on the Refuge and in the Kelly Warm Springs area.
  • Mountain Goats are occasionally seen at the mouth of the Snake River Canyon near Alpine Junction. February can be a great month for them!

As always, I won’t have a lot of photos from the first of the month until I can get out and find subjects. For now, be sure to check out January. Many of the opportunities will be identical to the last couple of weeks of the month.

January 2016 Daily Updates & Photos for Grand Teton National Park & JH: A Monthly Journal

Also, be sure to check out February Journals for February 2015:  February 2014:

LRMobileOniPad

Last night, I uploaded a new Feature Post called: Lightroom for Mobile. If you have Lightroom CC, you might enjoy a few new features that can save time and motion!

Elk

The National Elk Refuge has begun supplemental feeding of the elk. Until recently, the elk were scattered all over the refuge, but are now clustered in much smaller zones. The group of elk above were on the hillside along the Refuge road late in the day on January 31st. I went there looking for Bighorns, but they were high on the ridges.

Area Tidbits: I just noticed the Shell station dropped the price of unleaded gasoline to $199.9 per gallon. That’s great for the travelers, and it helps me afford to travel around the valley to continue posting images and info! MJ

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Check back on this page often! I add photos and comments (almost) daily!

 

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Comments (6)

  1. You had a great day yesterday. Beautiful shot of the eagle. Hope all is well and take care.

  2. Lowell Schechter

    Mike, you certainly had a wonderful photographic day . I enjoyed looking at all the photos of the different animals and loved the Bald eagle the best . Lowell

  3. Jerry Hansen

    Hi Mike, Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your pics. I check them out every day. My wife and are planning a trip this weekend to Jackson and was just wondering if you would point me in the direction of where we might get some nice wildlife pics. Thanks, Jerry

  4. Hi Jerry,
    That’s what this site is all about. Right now, most of the action seems to be in the south half of the park. MJ

  5. Mark Coleman

    Thanks for the wildlife update, I’m coming up thursday and friday and really hoping to see some foxes.

  6. Mike, Not only do you have great wildlife and landscape shots but your eye for “everyday street shots” (I don’t have a good way to describe them) is impressive as well. “Gears” and “Warehouse Window” show patience and great composition.

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