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On the Move

March 2016 Daily Journal for GTNP & JH

“Look for an early Spring in 2016! March is always a month of transitions”

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:

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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March 28, 2016 :

Gator

New Post Nikon D5 (and Nikon 200-500mm lens, etc.) on Sanibel Island

I have been loading the page with shots from our trip. Everything is lush and green here, in stark contrast to Jackson Hole right now. My wife received reports of heavy snow back home. Spring Break is in full swing in JH. The JH Mountain Resort will remain open for skiing until next weekend.

Reddish Heron

Please check in here and on the new D5 page. MJ

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March 27, 2016 : Easter Sunday

On the ground in Sanibel Island, FL

Brown Pelican Taking Off

Brown Pelican Taking Off: I downloaded the Nikon D5 manual to my iPad and was able to read through much of it on the trip. We made it to the condo at 1:30 am last night. I got up at 6:00 am and was out for the sunrise. There were too many clouds for a good sunrise, so I switched to the new Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Palette Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker: I saw a couple of these birds last year, but was never able to photograph one. They are high on my target list for this trip…so I am darned happy already!

White Ibis

White Ibis: The bird was just to the side of our condo. I did a quick run through Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve, but it was hight tide and pretty quiet.

The Nikon D5

Very impressive! I like the new touch screen feature for zooming, advancing and reviewing images. It also allows us to touch an area while in live view to set the focus. It should make video recording much better. There are a LOT more focus points…not sure how that affects things yet. Group Area Focus is a nice feature ported from the D800 and D810 bodies. I was able to use the L-Bracket from my D4, but it looks like I’ll need to replace it with one made specifically for the new design. It is difficult to access the USB3 port with the old bracket.

*The D5 came with a new Sony 32 Gig Series G XQD card and a new Sony Series G card reader. That new reader did not read either of my earlier XQD cards. One of them is a Sony Series S 64 Gig card and the other is a Lexar 1333x 64 Gig card.

Nikon 200-500mm Lens: I haven’t had a chance to do AF Fine Tuning with the D5 yet, but on first pass, it looks like this lens is fairly sharp with default settings. I brought the Tamron 150-600mm lens on this trip, along with my Nikon D810. I’ll have a week to work with all of the combinations. There are usually lots of “Birds in Flight” targets here.

I’ll make this entry, then start a new journal page for images from here. 

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March 26, 2016 :

Teton Range

Teton Range: After quite a few mornings with too many clouds, this morning had no clouds. I saw lots of moose north of the Kelly area.

Kings Highway Mailboxes

Kings Highway Mailboxes: These mailboxes are on Spring Gulch Road.

Perfect Light Camera & SupplyJust returned from Idaho Falls where I picked up my Nikon D5—just in the nick of time for our trip to Sanibel Island, FL. Over the years, I purchased my D4, D800, D810, and now the D5 (plus a few lenses) from Perfect Light Camera and Supply in Idaho Falls, ID. Nikon requires all retailers to charge the same retail price, so I’ve found it a great gesture to support our local (smaller) dealers….and I typically get my gear long before the masses that sign up on the long lists at the big online retailers. My contact at Perfect Light Camera and Supply is Christopher Balmer, the owner and a very fine photographer. Anyone on the staff can take your order and they can ship anywhere in the States. They came through again! Thanks Christopher!
Oh yes, I picked up a Nikon 200-500mm lens for this trip. Check back on the site during the week to see how it goes! MJ

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March 25, 2016 :

Trail Creek Ranch

Trail Creek Ranch: I wasn’t able to pick my D5 body today. Bummer! There’s a remote chance I can pick it up tomorrow before heading to Florida…not too optimistic at the moment. I did a quick trip out to Wilson this afternoon. There are always lots of “possibilities” in that area, but not always “probabilities”. This old barn is along “the Old Pass Road” just west of Wilson. I was watching for Moose, Foxes, Coyotes, Stellar’s Jays, Owls, and Showshoe Hares.

Young Moose

Young Moose: I found this moose feeding on the underwater vegetation in Fish Creek, just north of Wilson. She appeared to be on her own. I saw a Belted Kingfisher nearby, but didn’t have a chance for a shot. If you haven’t seen this page, you might find a few areas to visit slightly “off the beaten path”:  Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph

Teton Photo Excursions. I am now booking trips for April and May (and any month for that matter). I am expecting a big month with animals leaving the National Elk Refuge. Click the link and let me know if you are interested!

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March 24, 2016 :

News Flash!!!!!! The Nik Collection of desktop photo editing software is now 100% free!!!! Back “in the day”, it would have cost you around $500 for the collection. MJ

Moose in Snow 4-100-f8-1600

New Feature Post: Moose and a November Snow Storm. I uploaded this new post today, showing how you can adjust the shutter speed to affect the amount of streaking in blowing snow. Check it out!

Holding My Breath! On Saturday, my wife and I get on a plane to Ft. Meyers, FL and then on to Sanibel Island. I called Perfect Light Camera earlier today. It sounds promising that my Nikon D5 is being shipped tonight, and if things go in my favor, I should have one tomorrow night. That will give me time to read through the manual and practice with the body on the flight. FWIW, I opted to go with the XQD version over the CF version. That decision was based on the pending D500 slots that will be offered in either XQD or SD, and not CF. I am sure there a lot of differing opinions on this topic.

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March 23, 2016 :

Mamma Moose

Mamma Moose: I took some people out for a tour today. The stars aligned and we found animals just about everywhere. We saw around 20 moose in the GV Junction area and in the sage flats north of Kelly. This moose became very focused on something. We looked to see a Red Fox trotting down the road towards us. I’ve heard of Foxes in the Kelly area, but haven’t seen one with my own eyes until today.

We found Bighorns on Miller Butte, Geese in the Kelly Warm Springs, Geese and Swans north of the Visitor’s Center and lots of Swans at Boyle’s Hill. Bluebirds, Robins, and Black-billed Magpies were also common today.

Red Fox in Shadows

Red Fox in Shadows: My client just sent me an image he took with his Leica camera that is much better than this one. Oxbow and the mountains looked good once the clouds pulled back.

Afternoon in the Park

Kelly Red Fox

Kelly Red Fox: I drove back out to the park this afternoon and was able to get at least a record shot of the Red Fox near Kelly. Across the road, I saw at least two coyotes mousing out in the fields. I also saw my first Meadowlark of the season next to the Kelly Warm Springs…another indicator of Spring. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Gros Ventre Elk

Gros Ventre Elk: There was a herd of around a dozen elk huddled in the hay fields north of Kelly. I drove out the Gros Ventre Road past the park boundary and found around 40 elk on the ridge line. It appears at least some of the elk are beginning to move off the refuge. Could get good fast! Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Pepe Le Pew

Pepe Le Pew: This is a unique find! Okay, it’s only a striped skunk, but they are not easy to find and not too easy to photograph if you do! Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: This beautiful adult raptor was perched on a snag along the Snake River. I was able to take the photo from the window of my vehicle. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 22, 2016 :

Fall's Companions

Fall’s Companions: This is a new composite image I just added to TetonTextures.com. The bull on the left is one I call Washakie. I originally thought the one on the right was Elvis, but tines at the tip of the antlers are not long enough.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: This area is closed to all human activity until May 1st. I have been going through photos and ran across this one from early November.

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March 21, 2016 :

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Antelope Flats road was still locked this morning, so I hiked in to the area. I wouldn’t have know the top of the Grand and much of the range was covered with clouds, since I left home in the dark. I spent most of my morning along the road closer to the TA Moulton barn.

Facing South

Facing South:

Fence Post Still Life

Fence Post Still Life: This one is stylized—mostly using negative Clarity in Lightroom. I think a shot like this has a lot of possibilities…maybe seen again on TetonTextures.com!

The Park snow plow operator was out early today. He was coming out as I was walking in to Mormon Row at 6:30 am. He passed me as I was about 200 yards in. He unlocked the gate, drove through, and then locked the gate behind him. The entire road is plowed including Mormon Row Road.

Cross Fox: As I was driving North in the dark, I saw a Cross Fox on the highway near Moose Junction. Another person reported seeing one at the south end of Blacktail Butte a while back. I haven’t had any news on the attempts to capture the one with the broken leg.

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March 20, 2016 : Spring Equinox

North Country TrapperNorth Country Trapper:
This is a small crop of a larger image I added to TetonTextures.com. Subject matter on that site can be “all over the place”, but this project is based here in the Tetons. Teton Textures allows me to spread my wings, experiment, and work with a lot of the third party filters and plug-ins as I composite my images. Check it out! Sign up to follow that site if you like what you see!

Equinox: We’re halfway to the shortest day of the year! Jackson Hole still has a lot of snow on the ground, but there are plenty of initial indicators that Spring is on its way in the Northern Rockies. The Town Downhill races are ongoing today on SnowKing, along with the “Pond Skimming” this afternoon. As I write this at 9:20 am, it is still 10°F. If you go to the Pond Skimming, be aware some of the skiers try spray watchers and photographers with a sharp “hockey stop”…stay back!

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day: This little Bighorn lamb has some out of control fur on the top of its head. There were 40-50 Bighorns off the butte today on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Shaggy Evening Moose

Shaggy Evening Moose: Late in the day, I drove to Snow King to see if the Pond Skimming action was over. It was. The snow graders were already busy plowing down the snow at the Tube Park in preparation for next week’s Hill Climb weekend. I drove out to Kelly and then up to Antelope Flats Road. The gates are still locked there. I saw a dozen or so moose this afternoon, including this one near Gros Ventre Junction.

Golden Trunk

Golden Trunk: There were quite a few big tracks coming out of the Gros Ventre river bottom today. I walked down to get a low shot of this old spruce trunk. Some of the tracks were wolf tracks, plus a few deer and small critter tracks.

B&W Trunk

B&W Tree Trunk: Definitely a different look.

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March 19, 2016 :

The Forests Have Eyes

The Forests Have Eyes: Lately, I have been busy building the new site for Teton Photo Excursions. Unfortunately, Teton Textures hasn’t received the time and effort I would like to give it. The image above is a new addition there. The page includes some information about the filters I used and some of the steps.

It is a beautiful day here in Jackson Hole…assuming you like bluebird clear skies! Later this evening, the Zack Brown Band is performing at the Jackson Hole Mountain Restort. Many of the tickets were distributed for free—they went fast. The newspaper suggests 15,000 people will be there, and I’ve heard people say it could actually be closer to 25,000.

March MadnessLast night, I logged into KelbyOne to watch a new video by Dave Black on light painting and night time star photography. In one of the shoots, he was lying on his back trying to focus and compose on a half buried old wagon wheel. I was thinking how much easier it would have been to set up a CamRanger, then compose, focus and shoot from a comfortable position. It has been a while since I had mine out and working. I thought I’d pull it out, charge all the batteries and make sure it worked with my iPad. I took this test shot from our kitchen counter using a D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. Worked fine!

Bird Feeder Test Shot

Bird Feeder Test Shot: This is a test shot using the same gear. With the PT Hub, I can sit in a chair on the deck, then pan, focus and shoot. I don’t think the setup is great for action shots, but it’s nice to have the equipment and know it is working. Nikon D810 and Tamron 70-200mm lens.

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March 18, 2016 :

PreSunrise

Pre-Sunrise: There’s a period of time in the early mornings about 30 minutes before the first hints of light hit the valley floor when the snow show white and the sky is a beautiful hue of blue. Sometimes, there are hints of purple and magenta in the sky. That gives way to a murky gray period before the clouds begin to pick up morning color. With the gate still locked, I had planned on hiking out to Mormon Row…about 3/4 mile along Antelope Flats road. There was a slight breeze and the thermometer read -8°F. I like to see the top of the Grand in my landscapes, but decided to start hiking out. Sometimes a cloud like the one above blows off. I made it about 300 yards and realized how cold my fingers were already. I decided I didn’t need more barn shots today, and turned around. I was darned cold when I made it back to the van, and the heat from the warm vehicle was quite welcome. I don’t know how the early Mormon settlers made it through the winter each year. Nikon D810 and Nikon D810 and Tamron 24-70mm lens.

Ridgeline

Ridgeline: Taken from Gros Ventre Road. There were at least 8 moose within a hundred yards of the Gros Ventre Junction this morning. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Peaks and Clouds

Peaks and Clouds: Taken from Gros Ventre Road south of the Airport. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

WidgetBanner350 You might notice this new banner in the navigation bar. I had to renew my Commercial Use Permit with the National Park Service recently, and in the process, I changed the name from Mike Jackson’s One-On-One Photography Excursions to simply Teton Photo Excursions. I created a new site specifically for that endeavor, which includes a lot more photos and a special new page called:  A Photographer’s Trip to Jackson Hole. Even if you never plan on taking a photo excursion with me, you might like the page.

I could probably still squeeze in a trip next week before we head to Sanibel Island. I hope to be shooting with a new Nikon D5 while down there, so please keep checking in even if I am not here in the Tetons.

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March 17, 2016 : St. Patrick’s Day!

Visitor's Center

Craig Thomas Visitor’s Center: I was out early, again hoping to get to the Mormon Row barns, but the gate is still locked on Antelope Flats Road. A barricade is still in front of the entrance to the Chapel of the Transfiguration. I took this shot of the Visitor’s Center at Moose. The close snow is lit by the running lights on my vehicle. Nikon D4 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Green River Lakes

Green River Lakes: I was thinking about posting a lush, green meadow scene today to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day. In the process, I saw a folder called “Green River Lakes” and pulled this photo out instead. This is in a remote area of Wyoming—not often visited by tourists just passing through the state. We used to take the kids camping there on some of the long weekends. In 2012, I drove down in the afternoon, then slept in my van to be up early for this shot. Squaretop Mountain is in the distance.  Click Here to see a map via TPE.

Wildlife: This morning, I saw a few moose around Gros Ventre Junction and along Gros Ventre Road. There were around 50 Bighorns along the road on the National Elk Refuge. The Refuge sent a note telling tour guides they will be reducing supplemental feeding, except along the highway. The Sleigh/Wagon rides will continue operation until April 2nd.

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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March 16, 2016 :

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: It snowed overnight here in Jackson Hole. I made the executive decision (gamble) to go down the Snake River Canyon to look for Mountain Goats. After a big storm, they often stay high, but if they come down during or after the storm, the shots are often memorable! I tell myself that anyway. On my first couple of passes, I didn’t see a single goat. There’s an Elk feed ground just south of the small town of Alpine. Lacking goat subjects, I drove the couple of extra miles and found a few elk fairly close to the road. Alpine also has a lot of Robins milling around right now, plus quite a few Dark-eyed Juncos. I suppose a lot of them will be in Jackson soon. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Goats Before the Storm

Goats Before the Storm: I finally found three Mountain Goats with reasonable range. They were just bedding down when if found them. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Goats in the Storm

Goats in the Storm: Within just a little while, a storm front moved through. I took a few shots and headed back to the vehicle…looking a lot like a snowman after 30 minutes standing in this storm. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Hog Island Barn

Hog Island Barn: This quaint little barn has been holding itself together for decades just south of Jackson. The farmer recently sold his property to the Teton School District to eventually be used for a new school. I am afraid this old barn’s days are numbered. Maybe I should add it to this page: “Don’t it always seem to go? You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Robertson Barn

Robertson Barn: Back in 2013, I drove up to the old barn.  Mr. Robertson pulled up is his tractor. I asked if I could take some photos. The reply went something like, “That old barn?….yep, take the photos if it makes you happy.” It’s not in great shape, it’s not the prettiest barn in the valley, and it doesn’t have the Grand as a backdrop, but it’s still a historic structure!

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March 15, 2016 :

Incoming Sleigh

Incoming Sleigh: Each morning, a couple of wagons and extra horses make their way across the pastures on the National Elk Refuge. The crews prepare for the tour that run through most of April. Earlier in the year, they were using sleighs. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Miller House

Miller House: Another shot of the historic old Miller House on the National Elk Refuge, taken just after the first light hit it.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorn Ewe and Lamb

Bighorn Ewe and Lamb: I initially drove out to Antelope Flats, hoping the gates would be open. Nope! Same for the Chapel of the Transfiguration. We had snow overnight and gusty winds, causing some areas to drift. I made a drive out to the National Elk Refuge to see if the Elk were clustered up again, and to have a remote chance to see a few wolves. I found 20-30 Bighorns instead. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ram's Eyes

Ram’s Eyes: My Tamron lens focuses to about 7.5 feet or so. This ram was wanting to lick the salt and chemicals off my sludge covered van, but I had to stand between it and the van to stop him. It gave me a chance to get some intimate shots of them today. The Refuge is asking people to keep the Bighorns from licking salt. They are worried about the spread of diseases. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Elk Feed Truck

Elk Feed Truck: I’ve never been able to get much of a shot of the feed trucks on the National Elk Refuge until today. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 14, 2016 :

Wapiti En Masse

Wapiti En Masse: (Wapiti is another name for Elk) I drove over to the National Elk Refuge before lunch and ended up staying a couple of hours. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Elk Herd

Elk Herd: There were several thousand Elk bunched up on the hillside south of the roadway, patiently waiting for an opening to cross the road and up Miller Butte. I probably only managed to get half of them in this one capture.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

En Masse 2

En Masse 2: I am not exactly sure how to photograph that many elk and do it justice. I waited for a couple of them to raise their heads in this shot. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Running Elk

Running Elk: Eventually, a group of them made a break for Miller Butte. This small grouping had one of the few bulls in it so I concentrated on them. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Ribbon of Elk

Ribbon of Elk: This is the leading edge or point to the long ribbon of Elk that crossed in front of me.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Elk on the Ridge

Elk on the Ridge: Vehicles came through and split up the big herd. About half of them stayed on the south side and headed back up Crystal Butte and the other half crossed Miller Butte and onward. All things considered, the “spectacle” of seeing so many Elk on the run was probably better than the photos I captured. Worth the trip today! There were also quite a few Bighorns grazing at the other end of the Butte. I didn’t see any of the larger rams close, so I headed on home with about 500 morning elk shots on the card. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 13, 2016 :

Soggy Barn (Raw)

Soggy Barn (Raw): Today was a mixed bag of clouds, wind, snow, sleet, and rain. The sun even found a few openings in the clouds to shine on parts of town. Today, I found another “waterfowl” resource. Check out the pond at the National Fish Hatchery. At this time of the year, you can drive right up to it and park in one of the nearby parking spots. I saw several pairs of Barrows Golden-eyes, a few Mallards and possibly a couple of Cinnamon Teal. The day was gray and dark so it was difficult to pin down the color of the ducks. The barn above was taken on Spring Gulch Road on my way back into town, taken through a barrier or rain, sleet, and snow. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Soggy Barn Adjusted

Soggy Barn Adjusted: Here’s the same image after a few tweaks in Lightroom. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm

Bluebirds,Hawks and Critters: All of the Bluebirds I saw a few days ago were males. I’ve started seeing a few females now. I saw a Red-tailed Hawk today along the National Elk Refuge. If flew off when I stopped. It is also time to start seeing Uinta Ground Squirrels and Yellow-bellied Marmots again. Kerry Singleton on the Teton Photography Group recently posted her fist Marmot image of the year.

Daylight Savings Time: Wyoming is still part of the country following the Daylight Savings Time platform. I set the Date/Time in both cameras today to make sure they are accurate.

Upcoming JH Events: Next weekend in the Town Downhill with racers seeding down SnowKing Mountain. A week later, is the SnowKing Hill Climb. One March 26, the JH Ski and Snowboard Club hosts the Pole, Pedal, Paddle event, starting at the top of the mountain at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and ending at the Astoria boat ramp. You can click the Chamber of Commerce link on the side to get more info on each event.

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March 12, 2016 :

Old Hansen Place

Old Hansen Place: The golden willows in front of this old homestead were vivid orange this afternoon, especially when they were against the dark mountain. This was taken on Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Lucas Barn

Lucas Barn: Also on Spring Gulch Road. A week or so ago, there was a very large bank of snow in front of this barn. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Lucas Barn with Dark Clouds

Lucas Barn with Dark Clouds: Another angle of the same barn. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Lucas Wagon

Lucas Wagon: BarBC Ranch now owns the property where one of the Lucas families once homesteaded.  This wagon has apparently been sitting in the same place for a long time. The willow trees have woven themselves through the back wheels. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Saturday Evening: I did the loop up Spring Gulch, then up to check on the closure on Antelope Flats Road. Still closed! I drove out to the Kelly Warm Springs, but it was also pretty quiet. On my loop, I counted 17 moose. It appears many of them are making their way farther north. Half a dozen were north of the Airport Road this afternoon. Another storm is headed our way.

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March 11, 2016 :

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: I was out early again today. First light on Mount Moran was spectacular against the dark skies. I might have set up for a pano, but the Grand was still unlit. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Squatters

Squatters: Canada Geese occasionally claim an Osprey nest in March before the April arrival of the Osprey pairs. Some Osprey pairs are able to push the Geese off, but some are forced to find another nesting location. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Moose on the Loose: While on my morning loop, I saw at least 18 Moose. Most of them were fairly close to Gros Ventre Junction. Half a dozen were north of Kelly. I didn’t see any indication elk and bison are moving off the Refuge. The snow on the refuge is almost gone, elk are moving around, and the newspaper said they are cutting back on their feeding program.

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March 10, 2016 :

Box L Barn

Box L Barn: From home, it looked like the Teton range was lighting up beautifully for the afternoon light. I drove out Spring Gulch Road. Yep, it was beautiful, but the top portion of the Grand was covered. I’m spoiled. I drove up the road looking closely for bluebirds, owls and any other sort of critter. Spring Gulch Road happens to be the area where I photographed the Owl with an Ermine in its beak. The Box L Ranch was built by one of the Lucas family patriarchs. Jennifer Lucas-Flanagen once told me her father took great pride in the fact his barn faces due north—lined up with the North Star. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Area Loose Ends: This Sunday, the time changes back to Daylight Savings Time. My cameras don’t automatically adjust the changes. After resting at $1.79 per gallon for a few weeks, I saw one of the stations raising the price of unleaded self-serve back up to $1.85 per gallon. I saw my first Bluebirds a few days ago. Today, I saw several American Robins. Both are harbingers of Spring for most people around here. And, of course, the Spring equinox is only a week and a half away. For better or worse, March is already a third over!

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March 9, 2016 :

Cross Fox 2009

New Feature Post: “The Cross Fox” of GTNP. I spent some time last night working on this post. It fills in a few details and includes a few photos of other Cross Foxes I’ve photographed over the years.

If you own a Nikon D4, D4s, or are planning on buying a Nikon D5 or D500, this might be of interest. Adorama and B&H are now offering the Lexar 2933x XQD memory cards at 50% off!  Other vendors might soon follow suit?

Male Bluebird

Male Bluebird: In yesterday’s post, I mentioned finding a lot of Bluebirds near the entrance to the National Fish Hatchery. They were landing on the fence posts after flying around in the sagebrush. What I forgot to mention was ALL of the ones I saw were males. If there were any females, I didn’t see them in the mix. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Morning Outing:  We had a light snow overnight. I made a quick trip down the Snake River Canyon. Most of the Mountain Goats I found were staying high. A straggly group of nine or ten were on the road.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Of the nine, one had a collar and tags, one had a broken horn, several had very dark shaggy fur on the bottom half of their bodies, and most had dirty faces. The only relatively clean one stayed back in the trees. There’s an “old man of winter” in this photo. Look for the two eyes, nose and smile just behind the rump of the goat. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Snake River Canyon

Snake River Canyon: A new layer of snow helps make just about everything look better. I took this one at the mouth of the canyon. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Wagon

Wagon: I stopped for gas at Hoback Junction. This old wagon is at the station. I added a few textures in Photoshop. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Tractor

Essence of a Tractor: This old tractor is in front of one of hotels in Alpine. I ran the image through Topaz Impression. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Cross Fox additions: A friend saw my post about the Cross Fox and sent some great information. I’ll be adding it to the page in a few minutes. Here’s the link again: “The Cross Fox” of GTNP.

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March 8, 2016 :

Frosted Fox

Frosted Cross Fox: I am getting reports this fox has been injured…lost teeth, cuts, and a broken leg. Many people have been identifying it as a male, but I am fairly sure it is a female. Read on…

On February 2nd, two other photographers and I watched this fox stalk a duck along the Moose-Wilson Road. I could see it crouching to make the jump into the creek, but there was too much clutter between us and the duck. Next thing we heard was a splash, followed by a frantic duck flying straight for us, fleeing the scene, but apparently unscathed.

Around Spruce

The wet fox exited the water, then ran to a spruce tree where it circled it a dozen or so times—rubbing up against it to remove some of the water. It then made a run towards the road where we were standing and ran by us to a sunny spot on the roadway. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Marking

Along the way, it made a quick stop to mark a post, hiking its leg. That behavior has been seen by many people, leading most viewers to believe it was a male. I always believed it was a male, too. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Frosted Fox

The fox found a sunny spot on the road and began pulling off the numerous balls of ice. The three of us captured a lot of images. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Back Side

Back Side: A day or two later, I bumped into the other two photographers. They told me they were sure this is a female, suggesting I inspect my images from that day. When I returned home, I did just that. This is a very tight crop of an image taken just after it left the water and was heading towards the large spruce tree. I had another showing the anus when the tail was raised higher. I am not a biologist, but I’d at least suggest the shapes seen here are female parts. I never planned on posting this image, but I copied it to my iPad and showed it to a few people. I was asked to post it. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Another View

Another Back Side View: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

The photos above were all taken on the same morning. This particular fox is easily identified by the cut on the right side of its muzzle and ragged right ear—as seen in the image at the top of today’s entry.

Marking Post

The image above was taken of a different red fox, found farther north in the Park. Even though the fox hiked its leg, the urine is exiting much farther back on the body than I would expect to be if this was a male. At least for me, the leg hike at a post is not limited to male foxes. Of course, I will openly acknowledge I have been wrong on many topics, and could be wrong again! Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

The report I received suggests someone is trying to set a trap to get the fox some help. The Park Service seldom steps in to save an injured animal, so hopefully it appears at a place outside the park’s boundaries.

You can check recent posts on Facebook by Bernie Scates and Lisa Wan for additional info on the fox. It looks like Lisa is the one that found it with the broken leg. I added a shot on Mike R. Jackson on Facebook. Also note: Lisa’s report suggests she has a torn ear, cut, and missing teeth. I believe all of those injuries predated the broken leg incident.

Fox with Mallard Duck

Fox with Mallard Duck Wing: This is the same fox taken on January 27th. “She” was polishing off a Mallard Duck wing she had apparently stashed in a snow bank. The shot I always wanted to capture was of her jumping into the water to attempt to catch a duck. I got close, but never the exact shot I was wanting. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Male Bluebird

Male Bluebird: I spent part of my morning and afternoon actively looking for Bluebirds. I saw a random one in several locations. My wife told me she saw around 15 all lined up on fence posts south of town as she was walking the bike path yesterday. I saw one near the turn in at the National Elk Refuge this afternoon, and after watching for a while, it became apparent there were LOTS of Bluebirds along the fence near the parking area. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Moose

Moose: This cow moose was grazing near Gros Ventre Junction. A younger one was by itself about 1/4 mile away towards Kelly and another adult was back in the cottonwoods south of the two. Some are beginning to look shaggy. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorn Ewe

Bighorn Ewe: This image was taken yesterday on the National Elk Refuge. A nice sized group of them were south of the road, grazing away. Something spooked them and they bolted towards the butte. This one was a straggler trying to catch up. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Area News: The Craig Thomas Visitor’s Center is open again at Moose. I drove by to see Antelope Flats Road still locked. The road to the Chapel of the Transfiguration is still closed. The attendant at the entrance didn’t have specific opening dates, but said there has been talk of a “soft opening” for GTNP on the 15th. That’s next Tuesday. Hopefully, a few areas will open even sooner. The Inner Park Loop Road section is scheduled to be plowed next week. On April 1st (sometimes sooner), people can hike and bike the dry road, including with leashed pets.

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March 7, 2016 :

Bluebirds are back!...a few of them anyway. I’ve seen a couple along the fences on the National Elk Refuge. I’ve heard of someone seeing a Bluebird near the Kelly Warm Springs. The larger waves of Bluebirds should be coming soon. The males are always so beautiful at the first of the season. At lunch time, checked out the National Elk Refuge, and then made a loop up to Gros Ventre junction and back to town along Spring Gulch Road. Those are also good areas to spot them. I’ll post a photo as soon as I get close enough to one to make it worth while.

Nikon D5: I’ve had a D5 ordered since last summer (not sure what I would be called back then). They are scheduled for release on the 26th of March, which happens to be the same we get on a plane to go back to Sanibel Island, FL. If things go correctly, I should have mine on the 27th in Sanibel…so be sure to keep an eye here for some “hands on” shots.

Great Gray Owl

Behind the Scenes: For the past week or two, I have been busy culling photos and submitting the keepers to the US Copyright Office. I’ll be glad when that project is complete and I can spend more time in the field. The owl image above was captured last October. Despite a lot of looking, I haven’t seen one so far this year. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 6, 2016 :

Antelope Flats Road

Antelope Flats Road: The snow plows have been busy in GTNP lately. They’ve plowed Anteope Flats Road, Schwabacher Landing road, the road out to Lost Creek Ranch and many roads around Colter Bay. After plowing the areas, they have been putting up barricades and keeping them closed. Schwabacher Landing is closed to humans until May 1st, but the other areas should be open soon. We had rain most of the day. Expect the current snow pack to drop quickly. The mountains probably received a good layer of snow. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Trumpeter Swan Family

Trumpeter Swan Family: I stopped at the small pond north of the Jackson Hole Visitors Center on North Cache. As I was pulling the tripod out of the van, a Trumpeter landed in the pond containing eight or nine others, along with a few ducks and mergansers. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Scuffle

Scuffle: Two of the swans looked like they might fly, but instead chased another single Swan from their area.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Flapping

Trumpeter Flapping: After the action, both groups flapped their wings. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 5, 2016 :

Sunrise

Winter Sunrise: It took numerous attempts: too many clouds…not enough clouds…thick fog. Today, I finally hit it right. Snow is melting fast around the valley, so shots like this have a short window. This was taken near Triangle X Ranch.

Teton Range

Teton Range: This is a crop from a 35 megapixel capture. While there, I captured the same scene with four shot panoramic parts. It was a beautiful morning here in Jackson Hole!

Red Fox

Red Fox: Foxes seem to spend a lot of time curled up like this. I found this one in the northern part of the park. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Yawner

Yawner: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Stretcher

Stretcher: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Scratcher

Scratcher: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 4, 2016 :

Frosted Tetons

Frosted Tetons: Yesterday afternoon, I made a reconnaissance run into the park.  A park snow plow was working on Antelope Flats Road. Great!  I went back early this morning to find the road plowed, but the gate is still blocking traffic. We are expecting some warm weather today, so I’d expect the thin layer of snow and ice to melt very soon. Hopefully, they’ll open the gates in the next day or two! This shot was taken long before sunrise from Antelope Flats Road. I’d like to include some sort of foreground subject (like barns), but we are still limited on where we can go. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

The Grand

The Grand: I did a quick loop to Moose Junction. The road into the Chapel of the Transfiguration is still plowed in and snow covered. I took this image from Moose/Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Moose Crossing

Moose Crossing: I also made a quick drive out Gros Ventre Road and turned around just before Kelly. This cow Moose was standing along the stream. I moved to a good spot just as the sun started clearing the mountains and just as the moose crossed the river into a side channel. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Side Channel

Side Channel: These two images of the moose were taken within the first minute of sun light this morning. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

On the way back into town, I drove down Spring Gulch Road hoping to see deer, elk, coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls, eagles, and so forth. Always worth a drive, even if I don’t see much.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker: I heard the familiar chirp of this bird in my back yard. I grabbed a camera and tripod and waited for it to land on a nearby tree. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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March 3, 2016 :

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: I found this raptor in a cottonwood tree just south of town. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: This pair was taking off from the pond at Boyle’s Hill. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorns: I did a quick drive out to the National Elk Refuge just before lunch. I saw and counted 46 in one area.

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March 2, 2016 :

Watching Fox

Watching Fox: I set the alarm for 5:30 am this morning and was out the door in the dark. The weather looked good in the south end of the valley…stars and a few clouds, but when I made it to the top of hill near the National Fish Hatchery, all I saw were clouds. I have a couple of place I still want to photograph while we still have snow, but that wasn’t going to happen today. I turned around and drove home. I got a lot of work done on the computer, then headed north after lunch. It all worked out in my favor, as I found a fox and got a few nice shots. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Fox on Snow

Fox on Snow: The early morning clouds blew off—except for the ones that clung to the Grand. By afternoon, I had broken clouds and a lot of variety of conditions. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Snow Fields

Snow Fields: There are quite a few “critter” tracks in this capture.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Close Quarters

Close Quarters: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

I kept my eyes open for Otters, Ermine, and other critters. Other than a couple of Ravens, a couple of Gray Jays, about the only other wildlife I saw were a few Trumpeter Swans. There’s still quite a bit of snow up north, and most of Oxbow Bend is frozen over. There’s a perfect opening for Otters, but I didn’t see a single track.

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March 1, 2016 :

All you have to do is click on March 2015 Daily Updates to get a feel of what to expect!  February ended about the same as the last of February in 2015. There’s minimal snow on the ground in the southern portion of the valley and a good snow pack in the mountains and at the base of the mountains. I expect an early exit by the wildlife on the National Elk Refuge—and that opens up all kinds of photographic opportunities! I’ve seen park snow plows out getting an early start on the season, including plowing the parking area at the Craig Thomas Visitor’s Center at Moose. Hopefully, they’ll plow Antelope Flats road and the road to the Chapel of the Transfiguration sooner than later this year.

The bulk of the tourists visit Jackson Hole during June through September, but they are potentially missing some of the best opportunities for wildlife in March and April. Of course, some of the animals are missing antlers and some of them are more shaggy than we’d all like, but it’s a natural stage in the yearly cycle…and well worth experiencing!

High Mountain Goat

Mountain Top Billy: Taken in the Snake River Canyon at the second pullout. Check out this post for more information about the pullouts: Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Nanny and Kid

Nanny and Kid: Taken at the third pull-out. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Nanny

Nanny: While I was in the Canyon, I found three Mountain Goats on the road licking salt. Semi trucks spook them off the road, but they usually go back for more. Some are shaggy. Some are almost pure white. Some have stained or muddy features. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.


You’ll find this initial entry “lean”, but I add to it constantly during the month. Please drop in regularly!

Teton Textures

If you haven’t been to the site lately, you might be interested in my NEW site called TetonTextures.com. Teton Textures is similar to this site, but it focuses on some artistic possibilities for post processing, including a few step-by-steps, links, resources, and information about the various Photoshop plug-ins you might find useful. If you like what you see, take a second and sign up to follow that site, too.

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Comments (2)

  1. Mark Coleman

    I had a ram come right up to my vehicle and lick the tire a few weeks ago, had to put down the 300mm lens and use the 18-105

  2. The Forests have Eyes is an absolute artistic gem! Fantastic work! The passion, knowledge & the wizardry is what keeps me coming back to this page every few days!. Keep on enthralling us so Mike!

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