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May 2016 Daily Journal for GTNP & JH

“May is the month the Park flexes and stretches its wings! Photographer, like the animals, are able to move around the area freely as most Park Roads open again.” 

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

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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May 31, 2016: End of the Month!

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Wow! It’s the last day of May…ALREADY! Tomorrow, I’ll post the entry page for June and the monthly journal will begin all over. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: This is a female hummingbird. Lately, I have been seeing mostly males, so I assume the rest of the females are on nests. I’d love to find one nearby. Both of there images were captured using three strobes. During the middle of the day, I still get a fair amount of ambient light, which tends to let the wings show a little motion blur. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

If you were to scroll through this entire month of journal entries, you’ll notice I had a great month with plenty of variety. I would expect June to be equally good with newborn babies, green grass and leaves, and Balsom Root wildflowers kicking in to start the month. I spent part of today organizing and culling some of the many shots I took this month.

Teton Photo Excursions. Now’s a great time to book a six to eight hour One-On-One Photography Excursion with me for June, July, August and September!  Learn how to better use your DSLR camera and find some of the better locations in the Park. Click the link for more details and photos!

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May 30, 2016: Memorial Day

American Flag

Memorial Day : I took this shot of a colonial flag at the Mountain Man Rendezvous at the Teton County Fairgrounds. The original Mountain Man period spanned roughly 1825-1840. According to USFlag.org, the correct flag for that period would have had either 23, 24, or 25 stars….but 13 works. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

JH Rendezvous

JH Rendezvous: Most of the Rendezvous people look at the JH Rendezvous as a “Trader’s Rendezvous”. While there is a place for shooting bow and arrows, and throwing tomahawks and knives, there is not a black powder shooting range. Part of this group will be heading to McCammon, Idaho  for the Port-Neuf Muzzleloader’s PORT-NEUF RENDEZVOUS held June 3rd, 4th, & 5th, 2016. Others will be at Fort Henry Buckskinners Rendezvous just outside Rexburg, ID. You can read more on this page: Mountain Man Rendezvous: – Best of the Tetons Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Hombre_May30

Hombre: I’ve been taking photos of Lee Fears (Hombre) for quite a few years now. He recently moved from Red Lodge, MT to a secluded area near Ouray, CO, but travels the Rendezvous circuit most of the summer. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Beads

Beads: It is possible to isolate some wonderful textures at a Rendezvous. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Subscribers to Best of the Tetons already know about the new Feature Post: Shane Movie Locations: This post includes maps and directions to the major movie locations used in the classic western movie. Before his passing, Walt Farmer took tours out to the spots, and he included the information on his JH Movie CD. Since then, it appears few people ever go to the sites. After viewing the new post, you’ll know where they were filmed. Remember, it’s not too late to subscribe to receive notices of upcoming Feature Posts!

Starling Nearby

Starling Nearby: I continue to watch and photograph a pair of Northern Flickers. One of the pair is almost always in the nest. I am anxious to see the babies coming to the opening to be fed. When I see this behavior, I know there is a Starling nearby. I continue to add images and comments on A Northern Flicker Journal : 2016. Nikon D4 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Moran Park Entrance

Moran Park Entrance: I exited GTNP at Moran Junction yesterday at roughly 10:30 am and stopped to snap this photo. When I entered the Park at 8:30, there were two rows of vehicles to about the 15 mph sign, then a row of vehicles in only the right side extending to the highway. There was only one entrance station open at the time, so it took a long, long time to get through. When leaving, there were three pay stations open and the lines extended almost to the highway. I include this photo to suggest you leave from town EARLY to avoid some of the lines. Both National Parks are bracing for record years this year, to surpass last year’s record years. National Parks Centennial: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph: IF the lines are too unbearable at the time you are going through, consider a few of the other options. One option, of course, is to stay on the EAST SIDE of the GTNP and visit places like Cunningham Cabin, Schwabacher Landing, Snake River Overlook, Lawrence S. Rockefeller Preserve, Murie Center, Mormon Row, the Shane Cabin, Shadow Mountain, and upper Gros Ventre area. You won’t have to go through a gate or pay an entry fee. (With the exception of travelers entering the Park at the Granite Creek Station near Teton Village)

Trout

Cutthroat Trout: My youngest son, Corey, is in town for the long holiday weekend. I showed him how to tie a killer little “streamer”, and he used it to catch a fish similar to this one using it. I caught this one today. Corey took this shot with my Nikon D5. Nikon 5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

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May 29, 2016:

Cemetery Hill

Cemetery Hill: The movie Shane was filmed in Jackson Hole in 1952. Did you ever wonder where the locations were filmed? The new page will contain info on the town site, cemetery hill, Three Tree Hill, the Lewis Homestead, and the Starrett Homestead. The image above was taken at the Cemetery Hill location. These were possibly headstone or grave markers in the movie. “SHANE” — The Epic Western Movie Filmed in Jackson Hole. Well…today, I visited the three obscure locations and took a few photos. They will be part of an upcoming Feature Post with specifics of all the locations. Everyone already knows of the Shane cabin on the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Starrett Site

Starrett Site: I did a lot of hiking today! There are no roads and essentially no trails. More importantly, there are no markers or plaques at the sites. In the sixty plus years since filming completed, sagebrush has reclaimed the areas. The new page will contain more photos and details, but you should get the idea with these couple of sneak preview images. If you are not already a subscriber to Best of the Tetons, NOW would be a great time to sign up! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

610 in Grass

610 in Grass: If you are a big fan of a collared bear walking across a field of early summer grass, you would have been a happy photographer if you were at the upper parking lot near Oxbow Bend today. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

610 Cubs in Grass

610 Cubs in Grass: How about running yearling “cubs”? Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: Oxbow looked good today by mid morning. At sunrise, there was not a cloud in the west. We’ll all be photographing from the road and parking lot until the Bald Eagles fledge and the Park Service lifts the closure around the river.

Fox In Sage

Fox In Sage: This fox was near the highway just north of Antelope Flats Junction. They are still shaggy as they shed their winter coats. I don’t know where the den is, but it must be somewhere in the vicinity, as I’ve seen one numerous times now. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bison at Wallow

Bison Wallow: Bison’s coats are starting to look good! This one was near Mormon Row Road. I saw several baby bison several weeks ago, but not a single one since. There are large numbers of bison at Elk Flats, but I still don’t see babies mixed into the group. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep:  I drove out the road to the National Elk Refuge (part of the Shane post) and was surprised to see a few lingering Bighorns. These ewes currently take the prize for the shaggiest mammal I’ve seen this year!

Miller House

Miller House: The historic old house on the National Elk Refuge opened for the season TODAY! There will be a couple of volunteers in the house to show you around and answer questions. At one time, this was a “show house” by the standards of the time. Best of all, there is no admission! You can find the Miller House and other ideas in this earlier Feature Post: FREE in Jackson Hole ~ Areas & Activities:

Miller House

Miller House Interior:  The Miller House has some of the antiques from area homesteads—torn down or burned.

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May 28, 2016:

Pee Week Queen

New Feature Post: Kids, Clowns, Cowboys, & a Parade. I spent my morning filling a 32 gig card with images from the Old West Days Parade. Downtown Jackson is truly a special place on a clear, crisp Saturday morning in late May. I went to the parade with my Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens and concentrated on the youngsters and personalities at this year’s event. There are a LOT of images! I am certain you will enjoy the captures.

Winged Creatures: Sue Ernisse sent a text today letting me know she spotted a few Long-billed Curlews in the sagebrush flats near Kelly. I’ve seen them along Antelope Flats road on many earlier occasions, but not a single one last year. While in the area, keep an eye out for Short-eared Owls, and possibly a Barn Owl along Mormon Row. A couple of Red-tailed Hawks and a pair of Swainson’s Hawks also cruise the area. In my back yard, I heard the familiar “meow” of a Gray Catbird this afternoon. Late in the day, I actually managed to see one of them. I’ll be looking for Cedar Waxwings soon and possibly a few Evening Grosbeaks. A sneaky pair of Gray Catbirds have been coming to my yard for around 8 years.

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May 27, 2016: Beginning of the Memorial Day Weekend

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: I hiked around the Gros Ventre looking for a Moose with newborn babies, but didn’t find them. This cow doesn’t appear about ready to have calves this year, and the other cow I found had a yearling calf. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I haven’t been seeing Moose out in the sage flats lately. I suspect they are finding plenty of lush munchables along the river bottoms. Nikon 810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Moose with Early Velvet

Bull Moose with Early Velvet: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Yep, they are still scruffy! Their new coats will be sleek and shiny soon. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Flicker

Northern FlickerNikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Jackson Hole Old West Days – Chamber of Commerce: Click t his link for specifics about events for the Memorial Day Weekend. Don’t miss the Mountain Man Rendezvous, Parade (10am Saturday), Brewfest, first of the JH Rodeos, Stage Coach rides downtown, JH Shootout, JH Shootout Dance and other activities.

One Last Thing!!!!!! Please let your friends know about this site! I’d like to see it grow and I’d love to have more subscribers! MJ

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May 28, 2016:

Pee Week Queen

New Feature Post: Kids, Clowns, Cowboys, & a Parade. I spent my morning filling a 32 gig card with images from the Old West Days Parade. Downtown Jackson is truly a special place on a clear, crisp Saturday morning in late May. I went to the parade with my Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens and concentrated on the youngsters and personalities at this year’s event. There are a LOT of images! I am certain you will enjoy the captures.

Winged Creatures: Sue Ernisse sent a text today letting me know she spotted a few Long-billed Curlews in the sagebrush flats near Kelly. I’ve seen them along Antelope Flats road on many earlier occasions, but not a single one last year. While in the area, keep an eye out for Short-eared Owls, and possibly a Barn Owl along Mormon Row. A couple of Red-tailed Hawks and a pair of Swainson’s Hawks also cruise the area. In my back yard, I heard the familiar “meow” of a Gray Catbird this afternoon. Late in the day, I actually managed to see one of them. I’ll be looking for Cedar Waxwings soon and possibly a few Evening Grosbeaks. A sneaky pair of Gray Catbirds have been coming to my yard for around 8 years.

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May 27, 2016: Beginning of the Memorial Day Weekend

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: I hiked around the Gros Ventre looking for a Moose with newborn babies, but didn’t find them. This cow doesn’t appear about ready to have calves this year, and the other cow I found had a yearling calf. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I haven’t been seeing Moose out in the sage flats lately. I suspect they are finding plenty of lush munchables along the river bottoms. Nikon 810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bull Moose with Early Velvet

Bull Moose with Early Velvet: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Yep, they are still scruffy! Their new coats will be sleek and shiny soon. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Flicker

Northern FlickerNikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Jackson Hole Old West Days – Chamber of Commerce: Click t his link for specifics about events for the Memorial Day Weekend. Don’t miss the Mountain Man Rendezvous, Parade (10am Saturday), Brewfest, first of the JH Rodeos, Stage Coach rides downtown, JH Shootout, JH Shootout Dance and other activities.

One Last Thing!!!!!! Please let your friends know about this site! I’d like to see it grow and I’d love to have more subscribers! MJ

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May 26, 2016: Back in the Park

Blacktail Butte

Blacktail Butte: This isn’t a great photo, but I thought I’d include it today to help illustrate a point. I am positive the parking lot at Schwabacher Landing was full this morning. Same for the Mormon Row barns. They would have staring at a blanket of gray fog during the sunrise period. Much of the valley fogs heavily following a day of rain, as it did yesterday. I’ve found it better to go to the “east side” of the valley on those mornings, away from the river bottoms. Consider going up Shadow Mountain and shoot over the fog. If the weather reports predict clear skies, but it is cloudy early, get out of the river bottoms! Check out the additional tips on this earlier post: Embracing Fog and Low Clouds.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: I did the Kelly loop this morning. The area is relatively quiet right now…not even many tour buses! I suppose everyone is filling in the bear jams up north. Bison are scarce in the south part of the part right now, too. This buck Pronghorn was near the East Boundary Road. I would have liked his left front leg to be a bit more forward, but that was the pose he gave me.

Early Fog

Early Fog: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Mormon Row Pano

Mormon Row: When I first approached the area, the fog was so thick, I could make out only ghosts of barn like shapes. Fog had already lifted in front of me, so all I had to do was wait for it to lift near the barns. This image was stitched from three horizontal captures. (Click this image to see it much larger!) Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Lifting Fog

Lifting Fog: Taken with a telephoto lens from Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Low Clouds

Low Clouds: Also taken from Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Corner Problems

Corner Problems: While in “teaching mode”, you might consider this old post: Abracadabra: Now You See Them—Now You Don’t! When I drove up to the Mormon Row barns, there 20 or more photographers and tourists waiting in front of the barns. Many of them left early. I snapped this shot with the guy and girl on two important corners of the barn. Their locations would make post production cleanup a real chore! Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Less Corner Problems

Less Corner Problems: The photographer in the white jacket didn’t move. I did! The two men in the earlier photo were moving through at the time and were out of the photo, but another lady was walking in. I waited until she was in a “good” spot and took the photo above. If you scroll up two photos, you can see a photographer, dressed in green, on the far right, but I cropped that problem out of the shots in camera. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Less Corner Problems

Fixed Photo: In Photoshop, I used the Spot Healing Brush Tool to remove the two figures. (I sometimes use the Clone Stamp tool if the correction calls for it.) I doubt I had more than 15-30 seconds of time making the repairs for this blog image. If I were going to print this capture, I’d spend a little more time on the high resolution image. And, if picky, I can see a light dot that repeats on the left side of the barn (between the two posts). I’d fix that with one more click. Abracadabra: Now You See Them—Now You Don’t! Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

It’s still early in the season here in the Tetons, but there are already lots of tourists. Most “experts” are predicting record years in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. I’ll occasionally include photographers in my photos, but if you desire a shot with no “distractions”, you can save yourself a lot of time in post production by picking your moments and angles when taking the shots.

Flicker

Northern Flicker: I read recently that Flickers find ants to bring back to their young. This female looks like she has been digging around, with dirt still on her beak. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Flicker Exit

ExitNikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch:  Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 25, 2016: A Day “For the Birds”

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: It was cold, dark, and rainy here today. I set up to photograph Hummingbirds using several Nikon strobes. While you might think you would need to have 1/8000 second shutter speeds, it isn’t necessary. This was captured at 1/250th second, F/6.3, and ISO 250. The strobes were set to Manual at 1/32, 1/64, and 1/128, based on distance to subject and which side I wanted to have the most light. The overall scene was underexpose about a stop. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: I put out a few plants, but they were not too interested in them.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Frozen Hummer

Frozen Hummer: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Other Birds: The D5 was set up with a Tamron 150-600mm lens today. It also received a lot of actuations. The three main attractions are Lazuli Buntings, Bullock’s Orioles, and Western Tanagers.

Skies are still dark and forbidding up North as I write this entry.

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May 24, 2016:

Eagle Nest(s) at Oxbow Bend: A huge section of the Oxbow Bend area is closed to human entry. Tourists can take photos from the roadway and parking areas, but can not go down to the river’s edge. I had intentions of adding a link today to show the closure map, but for some reason, the closure is currently not shown on the Grand Teton National Park web site. Keep and eye on this GTNP page: Alerts and Conditions.

Schwabacher Photographers

Schwabacher Photographers: Early morning at one of the Park’s most popular areas. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Beaver Dam

Beaver Dam: There still snow on the top half of the Teton Range. Most people around the country are dealing with Summer, but it was still 28 degrees in the Park this morning. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer: I’d love to get similar shots of this buck later in the year. Right now, he only has nubs for antlers. I found the two Whitetail Deer near Pilgrim Creek.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bounding Whitetail Deer

Bounding Whitetail Deer: At 1/640th Second, I still had slight motion blur. Next time…1/1000 or 1/1250th second! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Teton Photo Excursions. Now’s a great time to book a six to eight hour One-On-One Photography Excursion with me for May, June and July!  Learn how to better use your DSLR camera and find some of the better locations in the Park. Click the link for more details and photos!

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May 23, 2016:

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: Some of the males still have touches of brown along their backs. Others are already fully blue in preparation for the mating season. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Decision, Decisions! …Fur or Feathers? This is the time of the year I have to make a few touch decisions—mainly “Where do I want to be today?” In May, waves of colorful songbirds pass through my back yard. If they find food, water, and good cover, some of them stop for a couple of weeks. The appearance of the various species is usually staggered, but the window seems all too short. During the peak periods, I can take thousands of images per day—and at very close range. It’s a magic opportunity! The bounty of seeds and suet holds them for a short period, then they move on. In the Park, there are bears roaming around, newborn babies, and active adults feeding them. Unfortunately all of this happens at about the same time, and that creates my dilemma. Once I see a new songbird species, like yesterday’s American Goldfinch, I tend to stay home. Weather has a lot of influence on my decisions, too. I can stay dry under my blind on rainy days, which are not great for being out in the field hoping to see wildlife. This year is different for me. The Northern Flickers are still in the nest and I have many more hummingbirds visiting the yard. In the end, it is simply a matter of balancing conditions with opportunities. I’ll be back in the field soon!

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak:Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Another natural light capture. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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May 22, 2016:

Morning Elk

Morning Elk: I did a quick run into the Park, mainly looking for Owls. I found this small group of cows just as the first rays of light bathed the valley floor. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Brown-headed Cowbirds

Brown-headed Cowbirds: Males occasionally spread their wings and strut their stuff for the females. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: Females are mostly a buttery copper color, similar to this male’s chest.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: Taken at very close range this morning. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: Male in a seedling Aspen. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Oriole Female

Oriole Female: This female is still very pretty, but they lack the deep yellow and additional black markings of the males. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 21, 2016:

Elkfest 2016

ElkFest 2016: This weekend! Elk Antler Auction – Mountain Man Rendezvous – Chili Cook-off. The Mountain Man Rendezvous begins this weekend and continues through until the end of the Memorial Day Weekend. Click the link for more details.

Don Berch

Don Berch: Taken at the Mountain Man Rendezvous this afternoon. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: I found this buck near the Moose Visitor’s Center after spending much of the morning looking for bears up north. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Lake Creek

Lake Creek: Most of the streams and rivers are muddy, but Lake Creek feeds out of Phelps Lake.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: Finally! I’ve been looking for owls all spring. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Diving GGO

Diving GGO: This is a tight crop. I had to sharpen it quite a bit in Lightroom. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Flying GGO

Flying GGO: Today, we had overcast skies and rain off and on. I used my Nikon 200-500mm on the owls. It is a very nice, general purpose lens, I don’t think it is fast enough for “birds in flight”. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Hunter

Hunter: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: One of five males in my back yard today. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Two Ocean Lake Road is open again! I drove back to two ocean lake today. The road is muddy in places, but passable and rough. That area normally has good wildflowers as the season moves along, and it is one place I’ve seen Lazuli Buntings in the Park.

Bullocks Oriole

Bullocks Oriole: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Eurasian Collared Dove

Eurasian Collared DoveNikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 20, 2016:

Annual PassNew Feature Post: National Park Passes: Spend a Little More and Get a LOT More! Last year, GTNP and Yellowstone split up entry fees to use each park. People can buy a combo 7 day pass for a non-commercial vehicle for $50, good only for those two parks. For $30 more, travelers can buy an Interagency Pass good for all National Parks and Sites for an entire year. The page includes several informative links to help offset the additional $30. Yellowstone National Park is now stopping people coming OUT of that park at the South Entrance to make sure travelers paid to go through the Tetons.

Jenny Lake Construction: I drove through the Jenny Lake Visitor’s Center area yesterday. The area is now going through some major construction. Large campers are required to park and use one area. Some of the normal parking areas have been affected, but are open. The ferry ride to Cascade Canyon should be open soon, if not already.

RKO Road is Open, along with the Spaulding Bay road.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: First Tanager of the season! Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Calliope Female

Calliope Female: Nikon D4 and Nikon 200-400mm lens

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: I finally managed to get a few photos of the Buntings today. At one time, there were at least five males and a couple of females.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco: Juncos are common in Jackson Hole much of the year. They are ground feeders for the most part. Once in a while, one will land on a perch or stump and stay for a few seconds. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: There are three or four in the area now…some will have an even brighter red head. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove: With each passing day, Jackson Hole looks richer, vibrant and green.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 19, 2016:

Notes and observations: I saw my first Purple Lupine flowers along the Gros Ventre. Other wildflowers like Arrowleaf Balsom Root are starting to show around the valley, especially south of Jackson. Most of the “action” appears to be in the northern sections of the park — especially if you are hoping to see bears and wolves. I drove around the southern part of the park on Wednesday and it appeared fairly quiet. Still, you might find an active fox, coyote, or badger den almost anywhere. Baby moose should be starting to become visible soon. Owls should begin having to search for additional food for their hungry chicks.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: We had a spectacular morning. I headed to Schwabacher hoping to see the peak of the Grand, but it stayed covered all morning. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens

Barrows Golden Eye Pair

Barrows Golden Eye Pair: These birds typically fly off with only seeing a human. This pair hung around for a few shots and were still in the pool when I left. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

Barrows Golden Eye Male

Barrows Goldeneye Male: Male Goldeneyes have a white, crescent shaped patch on their cheek. Common Goldeneye males have an oval patch. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens

399 and Cub

399 and Cub: I missed 399 and her new cub crossing Pilgrim Creek. As I was walking back to my van, she appeared from between two parked vehicles. I’ve heard a few calling this cub “Snowy”. If it is going to have a name, I like “Bandit” better. I assume the biologists will give it a number at some point—if not already. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Backlit 399 and Cub

Backlit 399 and Cub: I took a few shots from the road, then vacated the area. It was getting congested! Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

399 Standing

399 Standing: The pair appeared again a few hundred yards away and stayed 175-120 yards from people lined up to see them. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

399 with COY

399 with COY: Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Mother Grizzly and Youngster

Mother Grizzly and Youngster: I never know how many shots to include on a daily entry? I’ve been busy taking a lot of birds lately, so it was nice to be able to include some “fur” today. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bandit or Snowy? What name would you give this little cub (sex is unknown)?

Changing Weather: The local weather reports call for rain over the next few days. There’s a “100%” chance of precipitation—along with possible thunderstorms this afternoon.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak: The first pair of Grosbeaks came into the yard this afternoon. I would expect to hear and see a few Evening Grosbeaks soon, too. The Lazuli Bunting is still eluding me, but I hope to get lucky. Cassin Finches are becoming plentiful. They appear in waves. I’ve also seen a few White-capped Sparrows and a Chipping Sparrow for the first time today. I expect to see a few Western Tanagers any day now. I love this time of the year! Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 18, 2016:

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: I did a quick run through the southern part of the park at 7:00 am today. I looked specifically for Great Gray Owls and baby Moose, but didn’t see either. I also drove down Mormon Row, but it was unusually quiet. Lastly, I left my vehicle and hiked along about a half mile of prime river bottom on the Gros Ventre, but didn’t see a moose of any sex. This female Bullock’s Oriole was taken from the blind in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Lazuli Bunting: I saw my first Lazuli Bunting male today. More should follow and they usually coincide with Western Tanagers.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 17, 2016:

Gosling Parade

Gosling Parade: I was culling through some of my recent images this morning and saw this cute little shot of a family of new Canada Geese. When I was at the Visitor’s Center last week, there were numerous clutches of chicks in all sizes. There were still a few pairs on nests. You can probably still catch some of the action. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Foxes?: I received a text from the landowner with the foxes. Over the weekend, the Vixen moved the kits to a new den.

Moose? Kerry Singleton posted a photo of a Moose Cow and newborn Calf on the Teton Photography Group (Facebook Page). Time to start watching for them!

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: Half the fun of photography is simply experimenting with the equipment. This one used two SB910 strobes, controlled by a Nikon SU800 and a set of Radio Poppers (I don’t have the new strobes and wireless features yet). D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: The sun light eventually brightened the area, so I switched back to natural light. Calliope Hummers often back away from a feeder, pause for a second, and then feed again. Broad-tailed Hummingbirds more often stay in the feeder until bloated, then fly away. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Male Northern Flicker

Male Northern Flicker: If you are new to this page or this site, I have a pair of Northern Flickers nesting in my back yard. I haven’t seen any chick heads yet, but I believe there are a few inside the cavity. You can keep up with the progress by watching this page: A Northern Flicker Journal : 2016

Teton Photo Excursions. Now’s a great time to book a six to eight hour One-On-One Photography Excursion with me for May, June and July!  Learn how to better use your DSLR camera and find some of the better locations in the Park. Click the link for more details and photos!

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May 16, 2016:

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: These creatures are usually weary of people. They stealthfully approach the feeders from the thicker willow branches. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Brewer's Blackbird

Brewer’s Blackbird: These males have an Iridescent sheen if you can catch them in the right light. ISO 5600. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Northern Flicker

A Northern Flicker Journal : 2016 The pair of Northern Flickers have been active at the nest. Today I saw the pair fend off a Red Squirrel. It would make a great behavioral series if I can ever capture the action. I am almost certain there are eggs and possibly chicks in the nest. I watched the female get some suet from a feeder and immediately go to the cavity. The male stays in the nest more than the female right now.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: I shot this one with natural light in front of my house. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird: I thought I was seeing a Black-chinned Hummer, but they can be easily confused with a Broad-tailed Hummingbird until light hits their gorget at the right angle. I’ve only seen a few of these birds over quite a few years of watching and photographing Hummingbirds. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Calliope Hummer

Calliope Hummingbird: The smallest of the three Hummingbirds I photographed today. In the afternoon, I changed to a Nikon D5 and the Nikon 200-500mm lens. The 75 point focus area worked very well today since the birds filled most of the frame. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 13-15, 2016:

A Weekend in Cody: Last Friday, I packed the truck and headed through the newly opened south gate to Yellowstone. The main goal was to photograph wild horses at the McCullough Peak HMA (Horse Management Area). A trip to Cody through the Parks is roughly 180 miles. The same trip around the park is roughly 335 miles. I say roughly because I seldom go there in the winter anymore—and the mileage is only a recollection.

Harlequin Ducks

Harlequin Ducks: As everyone knows, you can spend weeks in GTNP or Yellowstone. I was prepared to stop if I saw bears, or baby bison, or something of unique interest. One of those could be the Harlequin Ducks at Lehardy Rapids. Nope! There were only two and they were both sleeping. Onward! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: I saw a couple of Bison near Mary Bay, but well off the road. There were a few ducks and waterfowl on the Lake, but not worth stopping to photograph. A small group of mid-sized Bighorns were along the road on Sylvan Pass. Worth a photo! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Rock Formations

Rock Formations: The drive out of Yellowstone and into Cody is quite memorable. I need to dedicate a day to it sometime, but Wild Horses beckoned me. It’s still a little early for wildflowers along that road. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Wild Horse Bite

McCullough Peaks: I’d say I had a “good” shoot at McCullough Peaks…not “great”. A few more days would have helped. My main goal is to capture fighting and action shots of the horses—after all—a horse is a horse unless it is displaying wild horse action. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Neck Bite

Neck Bite: I had lots of “near misses”. Horses looked like they might rear up and fight, but just bit and push each other. Action is usually short and swift and it’s easy to miss it. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

A Chase ... A Bite

A Chase…A Bite: This sequence had promise. The pinto horse was chasing and biting the dark horse. The D5 was getting a workout! A couple of frames later, the front horse kicked his back legs up and hit the back horse under the jaw. Unfortunately, at that split second, they had run behind another grazing horse and half of the front horse was hidden! Dang. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Rolling Stallion

Rolling Stallion: Besides the chasing, kicking and biting, I managed to get a fair number of behavioral images. While mares will occasionally roll, stallions seem more likely to partake in the activity. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Shaking

Shaking: A good roll deserves a good shake. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Nursing Colt

Nursing Colt: The BLM has been darting most of the mares with PZP to inhibit the birth of new foals on the HMA. This year, there were only two new foals, and instead of a normal May birth, these colts are already a couple of months old. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

McCullough Wrap-Up: All totaled, I took over 4000 images and drove 777 miles. Yes, it was a successful trip, but of course we always want and hope for more! If it were easy, we’d get bored and complacent! I used my Nikon D5 and 200-500mm for all of the action shots. I believe the pair worked well for the area. Richard used a D300 and an 80-400mm on two of the days…also a good combo! I just received a note from him telling me he was ordering a new D500.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: The HMA is shared by many animals including this buck Pronghorn. Most of them were very spooky (They get hunted in the area, but I am not sure if they are hunted on the HMA). We saw a large number of Cottontails, Prairie Dogs, and Horned Larks.  In previous years, I’ve seen Golden Eagles, Ravens, and Burrowing Owls. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush: There weren’t a lot of flowering plants on the HMA this weekend. These clumps of pink colored Indian Paintbrush caught my eye. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Mountain Cascades

Mountain Cascades: On my way back up the North Fork, I stopped a couple of times to photograph some of the cascading mounting streams. All of the rivers, streams, and lakes are full and rushing. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep: Also captured while on the North Fork as I was heading back to Yellowstone. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Teton Fox

Teton Fox: On the way home, I spotted this Red Fox sprinting along the bike path in Grand Teton National Park. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

At Home: I noticed several Bullock’s Orioles in the back yard. The Northern Flicker pair are still “on the nest”. I heard people saw Grizzly 610 and her cubs and 399 and her new single cub over the weekend. Some people saw wolves.

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Friday, May 13, 2016:

Kits with Food

Kits with Food: One more shot from yesterday. The mother fox caught a vole or large mouse and dropped it outside the den. These two were fighting for the prize. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Yellowstone’s South Entrance opens today at 8:00 am. I should be in line about that time to drive through the southern portion and out to Cody. Hopefully, I’ll see a few subjects of interest on my way through. The plan is to photograph wild horses, if I can find them! I’ll have my laptop and should be able to post a few shots. Check back daily over the weekend!

Western Wyoming Foxes? I’ve had a couple of different people tell me some of the dark foxes in our region were a result of at least one Fox Farm that let the foxes go once the venture became unprofitable. I found this: Hamsfork History. Near the middle, a section called First Ranch includes this info: “The Fox Farm started here in 1928. On Dec. 9, 1952, Roy A. Mason, President of the Fox Farm, sold 40 pelts for $60.00 each.”  The old Farm is reported to still be around, but the owner raises sled dogs.”

Michael Seiler found this information and passed it along:

Wild Mammals of North America, edited by Feldhamer, Thompson and Chapman, The Johns Hokins University Press, Baltimore, 2003, A section reads as follows: The polychromatism in red foxes is genetically based and is determined by three alleles (…) that produce the three color phases (red, silver/black, and cross) observed in red foxes. All three color phases can occur in the same litter (…). There are (…) behavioral traits that appeared to be consistently associated with each color phase. For example, red-phase individuals appear to be more wary than silver/black- or cross-phase individuals.

Michael Seiler adds: The latter is quite interesting, as it might explain why the cross fox did serve you guys well as a wildlife model. I had the same experience with a cross fox that we saw up in Jasper last year. Fascinating that a gene that determines color also seems to have behavioral effects!”

If you have any credible information about the Fox Farm, please pass it along.

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May 12, 2016:

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

I did a morning loop around Kelly. I made several observations:

  • More Pronghorns have moved into the area since I was there last.
  • There were fewer Bison than I would have expected for this time of the year.
  • I only saw a couple of Moose in the area.
  • Mormon Row Road is now open all the way through.

JH News & Guide Story: 399 + 1 emerge at Pilgrim Creek You can read the paper’s story of 399 and her cute COY (cub of the year).

Vixen and Kit

Vixen and Kit: I’ve had a couple of people send emails asking if I could disclose the location of this den. Unfortunately, the den is on private property and I promised the land owner I would not tell of the spot. I guess you could say this is one of the perks of actually living here for 30 years…you meet a few people willing to let you enjoy an exclusive shoot as long as you stay true to your word! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Vixen and Kits

Vixen and Kits: There should be other kits emerging from dens all over the region over the next week. Keep an eye out in the normal regions! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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May 11, 2016:

Grand Morning

Grand Morning: I pulled to the side of the road and took this image of the Grand with first light. The small cloud on the left side of the Grand began to fill in. By the time I was heading home, it covered the top portion completely. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake: The lake is filling fast now, along with most of the rivers and tributaries. The temperature was between 19° and 24° F this morning as I took this image. D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Blondie Exiting a Stand of Lodgepole Pines

Blondie Exiting a Stand of Lodgepole Pines: I didn’t find 399 and her new cub, but Blondie gave everyone a good show. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Blondie

Blondie: I knew Blondie was in the area, but didn’t know exactly where. I parked in a nice spot with a reasonably open view and then just waited. About 30 minutes later she appeared and I got a few shots from my window before the ranger asked me to move my vehicle outside the 100 yard zone. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Blondie with Collar

Blondie with Collar: Most of the Grizzlies in GTNP have tracking collars and ear tags. Occasionally, they’ll turn where the collar is only minimally visible. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Blondie Crossing the Road

Blondie Crossing the Road: D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Blondie Watchers

Blondie Watchers: Just before heading home, I stopped to get a shot of the people lined up to get shots of the bear. For a fly fisherman, that next cast could be the one to bring up a 22″ Cutthroat Trout. For a photographer, you never know when the bear will appear over the knoll, get spooked by a barking dog and stand up for a portfolio shot.

South Gate to Yellowstone: Friday, at 8:00 AM, the south gate into Yellowstone opens for the season. The size and intensity of the bear jams can magnify quickly as tourists pass through the park. News of 399 and her cub apparently brought many regional photographers into the Park this morning. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

A D5 with CF Card Slots is available for immediate purchase at Perfect Light Camera (at the moment). Some of the cameras may be difficult to find for a while if the earthquakes damaged any of the Nikon factories.

Pasqueflower

Guest Photo: Pasqueflower: My wife, Darla, hikes some of the trails along Snow King Mountain. She found this Pasqueflower a couple of days ago.

Hunting Vixen

Hunting Vixen: A male fox is called dog, regnard or tod.  D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Red Fox Kits

Red Fox Kits: Three of the five kits are red. The other two are cross-foxes. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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May 10, 2016: A Day of Babies

Grizzly Sow 399

Grizzly Sow 399: Last Fall, a hunter was reported saying he killed 399. Everyone hoped that was incorrect—and today she proved him wrong. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Young Grizzly

Young Grizzly: 399 appeared in the north part of the Park with a single white faced cub! It is adorable! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Goslings

Goslings: Found along Flat Creek this afternoon. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Gosling

Gosling: It is hard to image the little flap on this chick’s side will eventually form a full sized wing! D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Fox and Kit

Vixen and Kit: Mother’s Day was Sunday. I didn’t see many babies that day, but I found a nice variety of them today! D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Fox Kits Playing

Fox Kits Playing: These kits are on private property, outside the Park. I can’t tell people where they are, but can suggest everyone keep an eye out for the youngsters beginning to come out of their dens. This litter contains five kits. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

On1 Photo 10 Update: If you own On1 Photo10, you can get a free update to version 10.5. Just open On1 and click the option to updade the program on exit. Mine is installing as I write this post. On1 is announcing a new Camera Raw option for later in the year, too.

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May 9, 2016

Arrowleaf Balsom Root

Arrowleaf Balsom Root: I made a trip “down the Canyon” this morning. I’ve been hearing the Mountain Goats are still coming down to the road—and I’ve seen several photos of them on Facebook. Unfortunately, they didn’t come down while I was there. Balsom Root plants are now on the hillsides south of town and they get even more common south of Hoback Junction. I took this one near Alpine Junction. Just about everything south of Hoback is very green and Springlike. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Spring Falls

Spring Falls: I saw this little Spring tributary on the way down. I caught it on the way back home. During most of the year, this is only a trickle of water. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: I also stopped at the “South Park Feedgrounds” on the way home. It opened May 1st. Birders should like the area. I saw an eagle, hawk, red-winged blackbird, mergansers, magpies and these pelicans today. You might also see sandpipers, killdeer, sandhill cranes, yellow rumped warblers, and a wide variety of ducks and other waterfowl. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Male Flicker

Male Flicker: A slightly different angle of the Northern Flicker nest. D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

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May 8, 2016 – Happy Mother’s Day!

BearCrossingsign

Bear Crossing Sign: This sign flashes a message to people entering GTNP at Moran Junction. A third messages says “Please Slow Down”. I went up today and never saw a wolf or bear. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Elk Crossing

Elk Crossing: Instead, I saw Elk crossing the road near Jackson Lake Junction. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: Over the years, I’ve seen a few White-tailed Deer in the valley. Mule Deer are much more common. I found this group near Jackson Lake Lodge. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse: This well camouflaged bird was also near Jackson Lake Lodge. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Willow Flats Lake View

Willow Flats Lake View: This is a cropped single shot of Willow Flats taken with a 35 mpx Nikon D810. When cropped, the resulting size is  7216 pixels x 2641. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Jackson Lake Pano

Jackson Lake Pano: This image was cropped from a group of four stitched pano images taken with the same D810 camera. The final size is 18013 x 4159 pixels. I almost always capture pano parts when I am looking at an image I know I will later crop! D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: Back in town, I captured this image just north of the JH Visitor’s Center. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Goose Take Off

Goose Take Off: Also at the JH Visitor’s Center. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird: Taken at the Flat Creek Wetlands on the north side of the JH Visitor’s Center. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 7, 2016

  Robin

Robin: I set up my LensAlign this morning to double check a few of my lenses. A Robin found my setup to be a worthy perch.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: While working on my lens adjustments, a small Hummingbird came to a feeder nearby. This was with low light and slow shutter speeds.

Calliope Hummingbird

Calliope Hummingbird: Also with natural light using a Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Chocolate Black Bear

Chocolate Black Bear: I made it to the north portion of the park today and was able to see this beautiful dark chocolate colored Black Bear. The wildflowers are “Yellow Bells”. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Chocolate Black Bear

Chocolate Black Bear: Nice to see a bear without a collar and ear tags! D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 6, 2016

Wet Flicker

Wet Flicker: I can’t tell if my back yard Flicker pair has eggs in the nest or not, but one of them is almost always in the cavity. If not, it appears they are protecting their new home from other birds and squirrels. It started raining after lunch, so I moved a tripod and camera under the bird blind and took a few shots. D5 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: Magpies hand around all year. They are opportunistic scavengers, willing to eat carrion, suet, and nuts. D5 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Wet Magpie

Wet Magpie: Most of the birds hunker down during a heavy rain, but return to feeding as it lets up. D5 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: A few days ago, I mentioned I’ve seen Bullock’s Orioles as early as May 6th. Presto! One showed up today. I’ll get better shots of them later, but it’s nice to see one return this year. I hear him long before I saw him. D5 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Cassin's Finch

Cassin’s Finch: I’ve seen a few of these birds over the past few days. They usually arrive in large numbers. D5 and Nikon 200-400mm lens.

Hummingbirds: I heard my first Broad-tailed Hummingbird yesterday, then saw a male Calliope Hummingbird check out a feeder. I saw a male and female Calliope Hummingbird after installing several Perky Pet Hummingbird feeders this morning.

Campgrounds: The Gros Ventre Campground was scheduled to open today—the first of the season in GTNP. The Virginian RV Park opened in town last weekend.

Creeping Gas Prices: After a winter low of around $1.78 per gallon, unleaded gas is now at $2.29 per gallon at most stations. The Colter Bay convenience store gas was $2.53 per gallon when I was there a couple of days ago.

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May 5, 2016

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Taken along Mormon Row just as the sunlight cleared the clouds in the east. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Old Headgate

Old Headgate: Also taken at the T.A. Moulton Barn. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Irrigation Ditch

Irrigation Ditch: We had nice clouds this morning, keeping me glued to the area. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

John Moulton Homestead

John Moulton Homestead: This one is stitched together using three images. Click the image to see it quite a bit larger. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: I have lots of better shots at Oxbow, but included this one from today to show the status there. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Approaching Bison

Approaching Bison: The south end of the park seemed quiet this morning. The area around Elk Flats near the Buffalo Fork River had more animals than what I’ve been seeing lately.  D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Bison

Bison: This is one of the bigger, older looking bull I’ve seen in GTNP in quite a while. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Spring Creek

Spring Creek: Taken on the West side of Elk Flats. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Cow Elk

Cow Elk: One of the elk cows migrating north today. I took the shot of this one near Cunningham Cabin. A tourist was walking his dog in the pullout at Cunningham and it got the attention of the elk. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Male Flicker

Male Northern Flicker: How about a Flicker shot from this afternoon?   NikonD5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 4, 2016

Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon: Rising over Blacktail Butte this morning. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: The remains of Alpenglow over the John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row. D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks: Alongside the Peach House on Mormon Row.  D810 and Nikon70-200mm lens.

Blondie

Blondie: Near Pilgrim Creek. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake: The pathway is still closed heading down to the lake shore. This was taken as the first of the clouds were floating in and before the wind ruffled the water’s surface. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot: This critter was visible at the overlook at Jenny Lake.  D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

TA Moulton Barn

T.A. Moulton Barn: I included this today to show the green grass beginning to cover the valley floor. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

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May 3, 2016

Milky Way Over String Lake

Milky Way Over String Lake: I took out a couple of experienced clients this morning. We scouted this location the day before and then got up at 2:00 am and out of town at 3:00 am. D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

String Lake

String Lake: Sunrise was to begin at roughly 6:13 am, so we had about two hours or time. The “blue light” period starts changing the night sky about 2 hours before that time. D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Crescent Moon

Crescent Moon Over the String Lake Outlet: The Crescent Moon began rising in the East.  D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

The Last Star

The Last Star: I switched from my Nikon D5 to my Nikon D810 for many of the sunrise shots. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Sunrise at String Lake

Sunrise at String Lake: There weren’t any clouds at sunrise, which was great for the star shots. I cropped tight at the top and included a diagonal log on this one. It helped me move the horizon line from it’s normal center you normally see in reflection images. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Elk Crossing the Snake River

Elk Crossing the Snake River: After leaving String Lake, we headed north and spotted this water crossing below the Jackson Lake Dam. I didn’t have time to set up a tripod, so I hand held the capture while leaning the lens against a sign post. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Beaver at the Jackson Lake Dam

Beaver at the Jackson Lake Dam: This one was also hand held. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Blondie

Blondie: After leaving the Jackson Lake Dam area, we headed on North and stumbled upon the sow bear. A Ranger was on site to keep everyone back 100 yards. My client was shooting with a Canon 800mm and was bringing in the subject much better than me at 500mm. If I can afford the purchase, I’d like to add a Nikon D500. Allowing for the DX crop on a 200-500mm lens, I’d be capturing images close to what he was getting. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Road Crossing

Road Crossing: This image compressed the distance from the bear to the other photographers. You can see the collar in this one. It can disappear if she is looking in your general direction, though her ear tags can usually seen when she does. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Female Flicker

Female Flicker: The back yard Northern Flicker nest seems to remain active. The female flew back to the nesting cavity when she saw a Magpie entering the area. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

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May 2, 2016

Early, Early Morning at Schwabacher Landing

Early Morning at Schwabacher Landing: We didn’t have clouds this morning, but the color and quality of the morning light is still amazing. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Peach House

John Moulton’s Peach House on Mormon RowD810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Grizzly

Grizzly: This sow is commonly called “Blondie”. She was milling around in the North end of the park this morning. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Cover Shot

Cover Shot: While I personally like clouds in my landscapes, some editors like clear skies. I did this quick mock up to illustrate the possibilities.

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May 1, 2016 : A New Month!

Be sure to check in on this May Journal page regularly throughout the month! Animals will still be on the move in May, including a few babies. Bison have already begun to drop some newborns. Snow is still visible on the Teton Range. I expect a great month for all visitors.

Cathedral Group

Cathedral Group: The Teton Park Road (Inner Park Loop Road) opened for today’s travelers. I was up early and made my way to String Lake for first light. A small cloud settled in between Teewinot and the Grand, but it still made a decent shot. D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

String Lake

String Lake: Each year is different on opening day for this region. The lake is mostly thawed this year. In some years, I’ve been able to walk on the thick ice and get to places few people ever see. Most of the valley floor in the are is clear of snow already where other times the snow was as high as the top of my vehicle. There weren’t a lot of animals in the region, at least for me!

Northern Flicker MaleNew Feature Post: A Northern Flicker Journal : 2016

Besides today’s initial entry for the May Journal, I added a new Feature Post. It will be updated regularly until the chicks fledge.

 

Bull Elk in Layered Morning Light

Bull Elk in Layered Morning Light: I’ve always liked this kind of shot with light glancing across my subject. D5 and Nikon 200-500mm lens.

Park Roads and Facilities: I already mentioned the Teton Park Road being open. Same for the connector on the Moose-Wilson Road. The RKO Road is still locked at both ends. Signal Mountain Summit road is open already! Schwabacher Landing is open. Pilgrim Creek Road and Cattleman’s Bridge Road are still barricaded. Many of the secondary roads inside the Colter Bay area are closed to vehicle traffic. The Colter Bay convenience store is open, but most other places won’t open for another week or two. Signal Mountain Lodge usually opens for Mother’s Day weekend. Jackson Lake Lodge opens May 16th, and the Gros Ventre Campground opens next weekend.

May is also a good month for songbirds as they migrate through the valley. Expect Bullocks Orioles soon, followed by Western Tanagers, Lazuli Buntings, Black-headed Grosbeaks, and Evening Grosbeaks in May. Many bird species are already in the valley. Canada Geese are already on eggs.

Blondie

Blondie: This bear appeared yesterday from what I was told. She was along Pilgrim Creek Road, but stayed 150 yards out while I was there. Some rangers had speculated she might show up this year with new cubs, but she didn’t have any with her on either day. 399 has not showed up, leaving some to speculate she will have new cubs. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Grizzly at Oxbow Bend

Grizzly at Oxbow Bend: I spent some time with this boar this morning. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Grizzly and Geese

Grizzly and Geese: I don’t know this bear’s name or number. It has a couple of red ear tags and a semi-visible collar. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm lens.

JH News & Guide Story: Roadside griz viewing picks up in Teton park.  The story indicates people are seeing 6 or 7 different grizzlies, with 399 still absent from the scene. Tom Mangelsen was interviewed in the article. He is not happy about most of the grizzlies being collared and tagged.

 

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Comments (8)

  1. jeff c birmingham

    I feel your pain if we could just get all of the equipment we want. Man how i would love a 400mm 2.8 / 600mm and another camera to go with it. I have been building up my bag based off of your equipment list you have on here and i’m almost there. I would love to be able to get some night shots like you have. Those are amazing shots!!!!! I’ve tried it but just never got it right. What a great shot of the elk crossing you are so lucky to live there!!! I have run in to you over the last couple years on the road out by kelly in the winter. I think my wife and i are going to have to go with you this year for a full day trip. Great pics your page helps a us a lot almost like being there. Thanks for all the great work!!!!!!

  2. Hi Jeff, I hope my blog helps lots of people have a great trip to JH even if they don’t take a trip with me. If you decide you can take a trip with me, that’s great! I know I am blessed to live here and if any of my photos or comments help, that’s why I write them! Cheers, Mike Jackson

  3. I had a great time shooting with you Mike. Learned a lot in a short period of time. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Hi Tom, Thanks for taking the trip with me. Tom Thompson’s Photos on SmugMug You already do some wonderful photography, so if I can help you even in a small amount, it was a successful trip! Cheers, Mike Jackson

  5. Mike, as always WOW. I’ve been on the road in May so I’ve missed a lot of your posts but I caught up today. I knew that the bears were out and running away from the cameras but I hadn’t seen the variety birds. This month you have really gotten a good collection of great bird shots. Good lessons for us to catch-up on who-is-who in the land of birds.

  6. Hi Randy, Thanks for the comments. My blind is only 8′-10′ from the birds, and once they get used to the area, they become great subjects. I am still waiting for more American Goldfinches, Evening Grosbeaks, and a few Cedar Waxwings.

  7. Johnny Hsu

    I really enjoy your photography. I see the bears get pretty close to the people sometimes. Do they pose any danger? I am planning a trip to The Tetons in June to photograph sunrise at various locations. I am concerned about the possibility of bear appearances when I am out there alone in the dark. Is that something to worry about? And what defense options do I have?

  8. Hi Johnny, Most people carry “bear spray” when out in the field or while camping. Bear attacks in GTNP have been very rare, but everyone has to be aware and alert when in bear country. The Park Service can probably supply you with specifics of the risks. Have a great trip! MJ

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