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May 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“Depending on where you are in the valley, it is either: Late Winter > Spring > Early Summer” 

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Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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May 30, 2017:  – Wednesday – End of the Month!

Jackson Lake Pano

Jackson Lake Pano: This is a stitched pano created from six vertical captures. I removed some clutter in the water in Photoshop. (Click the image to see it much larger!) The shot was taken at the boat ramp at Signal Mountain Lodge. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70  Lens. Tripod.

Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot: Captured at the north end of Pilgrim Creek Road. This yawn revealed his large teeth. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

You might also enjoy seeing this Feature Post: Critters!

White Pelican

White Pelican: Captured at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF. 1/1250th second.

Colter Bay Boat Dock

Colter Bay Boat Dock: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70  Lens. Handheld

Jackson Lake Canoes

Jackson Lake Canoes: Also taken at Colter Bay. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70  Lens. Handheld

Boat Dock Detail

Boat Dock Detail: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70  Lens. Handheld

Bison in Flowers

Bison in Flowers: Taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

Willow Flats

Willow Flats: Late afternoon as clouds rolled in. I waited for a couple of bands of light to hit the foreground. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200  Lens. Handheld

Triangle X Ranch Gates

Triangle X Ranch Gates: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm  Lens. Handheld

Road Closure: I recently reported that Signal Mountain Road is open, but there are signs at the gate indicating the road is closed daily from around 9:00am to 4:30pm. Crews are cleaning up dead fall trees and stumps.

Mormon Row Road is now open all the way from Antelope Flats Road to Gros Ventre Road.

At some point, I will be starting a brand new Daily Journal for June 2017 tomorrow.

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May 30, 2017:  – Tuesday

Corey Jackson Ski and Skateboard Video: My youngest son is a ski coach at Park City, UT. He’s always posting videos of his skiing, so as a proud Dad, I hope you can take a couple of minutes to see what he can do on skis!

Mike

Last Friday, I was set up along the Gros Ventre, hoping this cow Moose and calf would stand up. Craig Knecht stopped and took a few shots of the resting Moose, then snapped this one of me. I had been there a while!

My old Gitzo tripod has a section of black foam tubing taped to the upper section to help protect my shoulders. There’s a braided cord connecting my tripod to my camera body and lens to hopefully catch it if the lens ever slips out of the clamps. I added it quite a few years ago after hearing my Nikon D4 and Nikon 200-400mm crash to the ground. There’s also a thin cable connecting a black wash towel and a partial roll of Gaffer’s tape. I use the towel at times to protect my lens and body during a light drizzle, as on Friday. I put it on the ground to keep my knees from getting wet when kneeling.  I occasionally use the Gaffer’s tape to tape a Neutral Density filter to the front of a lens. It can be used to make a temporary “snoot” on a small flashlight, or tape a tube to a light. Lots of uses!

Vintage Car Emblems

If you are in town this weekend, you can see the EIEIO (Eastern Idaho Early Iron Organization?) group around the valley. Their restored classic cars add a nice nostalgic touch to the town. Most of them can be seen at the Virginian Lodge on West Broadway, and then again at a Parade on Saturday. Watch for Craig Knecht and Thunder directing traffic during the parade!  Vintage Car Emblems A few years ago, I did a photo essay for SignCraft Magazine featuring a lot of chrome emblems photographed on the vintage vehicles at this parade and at Red Lodge, MT and West Yellowstone, MT. Click the link or the image to see a lot more emblems!

Drones: You might assume that most Drone owners know they are illegal to fly them in the US Parks (without a lot of heavy duty permitting and maybe not ever!) When I was heading home yesterday, a guy was flying a drone over the bison herd at Elk Ranch Flats. The Park Service has small A-Frame signs in several key areas to notify people—but apparently not all people are getting the message.

Back Yard Birding:
It appears that the big wave of birds has passed through the yard for the season. There are still a few Tanagers, Orioles, & Buntings but not as many. Brown-headed Blackbirds are taking over. The Flicker family are still using the tree as a nest, but I haven’t seen any chick heads sticking out of the opening yet. I disassembled my temporary blind yesterday. I’ll use the new Grill Gazebo to photograph Hummingbirds if it appears there are enough to make it worth the effort. The old Grill Gazebo collapsed under the weight of this years snow.

Teton Photo Excursions

If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast.

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May 29, 2017:  – Monday ~ Memorial Day

Cinnamon Black Bear

Cinnamon Black Bear: Most of the photos I took today were what I call “record shots”. The image above was taken at a high ISO setting, in lousy light and of a feeding bear at a long distance. He was seen between Colter Bay and Leek’s Marina. I went to the area hoping to see Blondie and her two new cubs, but I don’t believe she came out all morning. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Road Closures: While in that area of the park, I checked the two roads at the north end of Pacific Creek Road. Two Ocean Lake road is still closed, along with the National Forest Service road. RKO Road is still closed. Many of the other roads are open except the one from Flagg Ranch to Ashton, ID.

Bison in Flowers

Bison in Flowers: I shot this image at Elk Flats on my way home (I would like it better in the evening if the Bison were still there). This one is backlit, but I liked the idea of the herd in the bright yellow flowers. The Bison on the other side were lit better, but were not in flowers and were bedded down. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes: These were spotted on the National Elk Refuge. Apparently, they have now walked their babies off the nest. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

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May 28, 2017:  – Sunday ~ Memorial Day Weekend:

Bison in Sagebrush

Bison in Sagebrush: I did a quick Kelly loop, mainly to check Mormon Row Road. Still closed! This is one of half a dozen bulls along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: Captured near the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Found close to Kelly. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Arrowleaf Balsom Root

Arrowleaf Balsom Root: Taken near the Taggart Lake Trailhead. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Lucas-Fabian Cabins

Lucas-Fabian Cabins: Maybe I can do a feature post on these cabins. Right now, there aren’t signs along the roadway to let you know they are accessible this year. There are only two parking spaces at the gate. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70  Lens. Handheld

Signal Mountain Vista View

Signal Mountain Vista View: The gate has finally been opened to the top of Signal Mountain. I didn’t see Dusky Grouse today, but they are often in the area. I’ve seen Ruffed Grouse near the bottom. There aren’t a lot of flowers along the road there right now, but Aspens are turning green. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70  Lens. Handheld

Grizzly Sow

Grizzly Sow: I ended up in a huge Bear Jam near Colter Bay. There were plenty of photographers, plenty of Park Rangers, plenty of Wildlife Brigade volunteers, and more than plenty tourists going to and from Yellowstone. The bears (at least while I was there ) stayed back at about 120 yards, and eventually lumbered back into the forest. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Grizzly Cubs

Grizzly Cubs: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Grizzlies in Action

Grizzlies in Action: This sow is “Blondie”, also identified as 793. She has two COY (cubs of the year). 399 also has two new cubs. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Young Cross Foxes

Young Cross Foxes: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Young Cross Fox

Young Cross Fox: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

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May 27, 2017:  – Saturday ~ Memorial Day Weekend:

New Feature Post: Old West Days Parade 2017: Kids, Horses, Dogs and Magic Memories.

Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon : Taken near Teton Village early this morning. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon:

Osprey Nest

Osprey Nest: Captured just north of the Granite entry station on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Osprey and Peak

Osprey Nest: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Morning Clouds

Morning Clouds: Taken while watching the Osprey nest. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Lake Creek

Lake Creek: I pulled over and snapped this shot from my window. There’s a parking closure in each direction for 1 mile. The best (legal) way to photograph this is to go to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve and then hike up. Nikon D5 and Nikon 22-70 Lens. Handheld.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

White Grass Dude Ranch

White Grass Dude Ranch: This restoration project has been ongoing for a lot of years. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Elk in Velvet

Elk in Velvet: I shot this from a long distance, mainly to document the size of the velvet colored antlers at this time of the year. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Memorial Day Parade

Memorial Day Parade Color Guard: I ended up with quite a few photos from the parade, so I created a separate page for it. New Feature Post: Old West Days Parade 2017: Kids, Horses, Dogs and Magic Memories. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200  Lens, Handheld.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

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May 26, 2017:  – Friday ~ Memorial Day Weekend:

Parade on Saturday.

  • Mormon Row Road is still partially closed.
  • Signal Mountain Road is still closed.
  • RKO Road is still closed.
  • Wolf Ranch Road is open.
  • Elk Ranch Road is open.
  • Cattleman’s Bridge Road is open at Oxbow.
  • Willow Flats is closed to humans. Same for a large zone around Oxbow Bend.
  • Two Ocean Lake Road: No news.
  • Spaulding Bay Road: No news.
  • Five Mile Road is open between Turpen Meadows Ranch and the Highway.

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake: I spent much of the morning looking, waiting, and hoping to find Grizzlies in the northern portion of the park. Baby Grizzly bears would be even better! I didn’t see any bears of any kind or any ageNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Bison In Snow

Bison In Snow: This photo was taken after going down the Elk Ranch Road—crossing several irrigation ditches while my truck was in 4-Wheel Drive. My kids would say the crossings are “sketchy”.  Wolf Ranch Road is open for about a mile before hitting a deep ditch with big yellow signs saying not to attempt crossing. That one looked a little too sketchy, so I had to turn around and go back through the same ditches.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Elk Ranch Pano

Elk Ranch Pano: Four shots stitched in Lightroom. This is one of the old dude ranches in Jackson Hole. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Elk Ranch Cabins

Elk Ranch Cabins: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Bison In Rain

Bison In Rain: Also taken on the Elk Ranch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Bison

Bison: Actually, this is a composite of two images. I took quite a few, but all of them had a large flake or two in just the wrong place. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: On the way home, I did a reverse direction “Kelly Loop”, turning at Antelope Flats Road, down the East Boundary Road to Kelly and then back to the Highway. This newborn calf was alongside one of the side channels of the Gros Ventre River, visible at times from the road. The calf is probably a couple of days old. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Nursing Moose

Nursing Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

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May 25, 2017:  – Thursday

Goslings In Grass

Goslings In Grass: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Family of Canada Geese

Family of Canada Geese: These little ones are probably only a few days old. Others along Flat Creek are much bigger. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Three Goslings

Three Goslings: At Flat Creek Wetlands, north of the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Abandoned Egg

Abandoned Egg: Along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Female Red-Winged Blackbird

Female Red-Winged Blackbird: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: At Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren: Atop a cattail at Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Fox in Deep Grass

Fox in Deep Grass: This Vixen is not in Grand Teton National Park. I photographed her last year about this time. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Cross Fox Face

Cross Fox Face: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Greetings

Greetings: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Fox with Vole

Young Fox with Vole: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Four Kits

Four Kits: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Moose with Flowers

Moose with Flowers: Captured along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Fox Yawning

Fox Yawning: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Looking On

Youngster: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

In town, gasoline is still $2.45 per gallon for regular.  Expect to pay roughly $2.69 at pumps in the Park and along the highway to Dubois.

There will be a Parade on the Town Square on Saturday—part of Old West Days. The Mountain Man Rendezvous is already going on at the Rodeo Grounds.

Time to carry bear spray AND insect repellent! I got bit several times yesterday.

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May 24, 2017:  – Wednesday

Milky Way

Milky Way: I used Stellarium to find out when the Milky Way would be overhead and then set the alarm. This was taken at String Lake. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24 Lens. Tripod.

Milky Way

Milky Way: Taken at the outlet of String Lake. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24 Lens. Tripod.

Milky Way

Milky Way over Jenny Lake: Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24 Lens. Tripod.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: A few minutes after this photo, the cloud covered the top of the Grand and held there during the sunrise.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24 Lens. Tripod.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: By mid morning, the wind picked up and by afternoon, it was howling. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak: Birds are still coming to my yard. I’ve seen less Grosbeaks this year than in the past. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: Each day, the valley gets a little greener.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

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May 23, 2017:  – Tuesday

Mallard

Mallard: Captured in Leek’s Ditch from my back yard blind. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: Late May is a great time to see migrating songbirds. I am waiting at home for Fed-Ex to deliver my D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. I sent it in for micro adjustments on the lens, a free service from Tamron. (It cost me $45 to send it in and they pay the return shipping). Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: These birds are generally ground feeders, so catching one on a branch is a valued photo. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Afternoon with my Nikon D5 and tuned Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens

Fed-Ex dropped of my Nikon D5 and “tuned” Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens at 3:00 pm this afternoon. I took a few shots in the back yard, then headed out to photograph “something”.

Splashing Moose

Splashing Moose: I found this young bull Moose near the Rendezvous Park along the Moose-Wilson Road. When I first saw him, he was moving quickly and he wasn’t in a good mood! I have a feeling a dog had chased him. The young bull made several passes around the shallow pool, splashing and thrashing in the water. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Splashing Moose

Splashing Moose: I could probably process 20 images from the event. I’ve seen Moose in this “mood” numerous times, but never in the water. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Cross Fox Kit

Cross Fox Kit: I only had time to take a dozen or so shots of this young fox before it went back into its den. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Purple Lupine

Purple Lupine: There were several patches of Purple Lupine near Wilson, along with patches of Low Larkspur. Arrowleaf Balsom Root isn’t quite as common in Wilson, but some can be found along Fall Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal: I took this photo at the Flat Creek Wetlands (north of the Visitor’s Center). Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Backlit Gosling

Backlit Gosling: The chicks at the Visitor’s Center are growing fast. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren: Also captured at the Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Mother Moose and Calf

Mother Moose and Calf: This is the same youngster shown in this recent post: Newborn Moose! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Splashing Calf

Splashing Calf: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Tripod, VC OFF.

Comments: I’m very happy with the D5/Tamron G2 lens! I was happy with the replacement before sending it in for the FREE fine tuning, and I am even more happy with it afterwards. It cost me $45 for shipping to Tamron, along with 2 1/2 weeks of being without the pair. The time without them gave me an opportunity to put my Nikon D500/Nikon 200-500mm lens to work. I’ll use that combo when I need the extra reach and the D5/G2 when I have less light and need to D5’s great high ISO.

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May 22, 2017:  – Monday

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Staying closer to home today… We should start seeing a few GHO babies out on branches soon. This is probably a male. Red-naped Sapsucker: I caught this bird with back light in the same area as the GHO. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Taken south of Jackson. Red-naped Sapsucker: I caught this bird with back light in the same area as the GHO. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Red-naped Sapsucker

Red-naped Sapsucker: I caught this bird with back light in the same area as the GHO. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Red Fox Kit with Prize

Red Fox Kit with Prize: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Young Fox

Young Fox: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Red Fox

Red Fox: This one is mostly black, but it’s still a Red Fox. All Red Foxes has white tipped tails. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Balsom Root Flowers

Balsom Root Wildflowers: Patches of yellow are showing up all over the valley. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks: Last of the evening light finding its way through a stand of Aspens. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

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May 21, 2017:  – Sunday

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot: My main “purpose” in going to the Park today was to look for Marmots. I found a few on Pilgrim Creek Road. I’ve also seen them at White Grass Ranch and near the Cascade Canyon boat ramp on Jenny Lake. A few are on the Golf Course at the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

yellow fritillary

Yellow Fritillary: You can probably find flower IDs on this page: Wildflowers of Grand Teton National Park. There lots of these flowers along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

I’ll go on record suggesting this will be a banner year for Arrow Leaf Balsom Root flowers, especially south of Ditch Creek on the East Boundary Road. They are showing up all over the valley, too.

Grizzly on Mountain Ridge

Grizzly on Mountain Ridge: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Grizzly on the Move

Grizzly on the Move: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Grizzly on Snow

Grizzly on Snow: You just have to love the playful personalities of some Grizzlies! Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Romper Room

Romper Room Time! The little three day old Moose is now much more active and agile. This afternoon, it circled the mother several times before she finally put a stop to the nonsense! See more baby moose photos on this recent post: Newborn Moose!

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May 20, 2017:  – Saturday

Young Calf

In case you missed it, I added at New Feature Post: Newborn Moose!   The calf above is the same one I photographed yesterday starting when it was only an hour old. My wife and I went back today to get a few shots of it at day one. It is still clumsy, but getting around better. If you viewed the  Newborn Moose!   page yesterday, you might want to look again. I added several additional shots from today. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld.

Earlier this morning, I did a fairly quick run through the southern end of the Park. I checked a few places for other Moose with newborns. I didn’t see any, but I didn’t have time to hike through the river bottoms. I stopped at Mormon Row to see if the connecting road is open yet, but it is still gated. The top of the Grand was covered, but there was a low cloud band running across the bottom of the peaks. I carried around the 70-180mm Zoom Micro lens and took a few more detail and texture shots, plus a few of the barn. Those images are on the camera that’s still in the truck.

Moody Mormon Barn

Moody Mormon Barn: I waited for a band of light to hit the face of the barn on this one. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

Corrals

Corrals: Seemed like a B&W kind of day when processing these. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

Antler Sale and Auction

Antler Sale and Auction: Downtown was busy today with the Annual Elkfest Antler Auction and Sale. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

Trader's Row

Trader’s Row: The Mountain Man Rendezvous began this week at the Rodeo Grounds. The event will run through Memorial Day. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

Candy Canon

Candy Canon: When a few kids show up at the Rendezvous, they blast off the “Candy Canon”. Don is loading it as the kids look on. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

Fire in the Hole

Fire in the Hole: I probably shook a bit on this one as the blast can catch you off guard. It’s very loud! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

Candy Canon Kids

Candy Canon Kids: This reminds me of an Easter Egg hunt! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld.

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May 19, 2017:  – Friday

Baby Moose

What an experience! I spent the day with a cow Moose and newborn calf. Earlier in the morning, my wife sent me a short video of what she called a “mangy moose”. A short time later, she called to let me know she had just given birth. It took me about 20 minutes to get there. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld.

Baby Moose

Ideally, I would have had a bit more of a “natural” background, but the Moose chose a spot between the main house and a guest house. It was tight, but I managed to get a few fairly clean shots. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld.

New Feature Post: Newborn Moose! Instead of piling too many photos on this Daily Update, I created the new page with a lot of photos of the baby moose.

Western TanagerWestern Tanager: I spent the morning in the back yard working with the songbirds. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

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May 18, 2017:  – Thursday

There have been reports of a Grizzly sow and two Cubs of the Year (COY) in GTNP. Some say the sow is 399. I spent a good portion of the day yesterday looking for them, but I don’t believe anyone saw them.

I checked my bird feeders this morning to find the sugar water in my Hummingbird feeders and Oriole feeder frozen. Our thermometer reads out 28ºF with light snow in town.

News: The South Entrance to/from Yellowstone opened this morning.

Here are a few quick shots from this morning.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow: We had another light layer of snow this morning. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Oriole and Tanager

Oriole and Tanager: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Mallards

Mallards: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Pelican Taking Off

White Pelican:  I went north at Noon, cruising for Bears, but the only ones I saw were way too far off. No problem! I spent a nice period of time at the Jackson Lake Dam taking photos of White Pelicans. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Flapping Pelican

Flapping Pelican: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: Downstream, much of the Snake River is off color or brown, but below the Dam, the water is still clear and green. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

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May 17, 2017:  – Wednesday

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Today, I counted six male Western Tanagers, three male Bullock’s Orioles, and a bunch of male Lazuli Buntings. Several females of each species are also arriving. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Visitors

Visitors: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

SparringBison

Sparring Bison: Taken at Elk Flats.  Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Sandbag, VR OFF.

Bison Bull In Snow

Bison Bull In Snow: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Sandbag, VR OFF.

Wagon In Snow

Wagon In Snow: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Sandbag, VR OFF.

Three Pelicans

Three Pelicans: Taken at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Pelican in Flight

Pelican in Flight: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Bluebird

Bluebird: Also at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow: Taken at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Calling Raven

Calling Raven: Taken near Colter Bay. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Raven's Face

Raven’s Face: Taken near Colter Bay.  Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Leeks Marina

Leeks Marina: Snow fell most of the morning in the Park, drastically changing the landscape, if only for a day! Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Sandbag, VR OFF.

Nursing Bison

Nursing Bison: Taken at Elk Flats later in the afternoon. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Sandbag, VR OFF.

On the Move

On the Move: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Sandbag, VR OFF.

Coyote

Coyote: Hunting along the bike path near the JH Airport. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the Highway near the entrance to the Airport. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

It is much colder today, and I hear snowing is falling in the Park.

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May 16, 2017:  – Tuesday

Bull Elk With Velvet

Bull Elk With Velvet: Captured on the Teton Park Road near the Potholes turnout. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Elk Cows

Elk Cows: Captured near the Climber’s Ranch Road on the Teton Park Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Tetons and Clouds

Tetons and Clouds: Taken from the Inner Park Loop Road near the Mt. Moran Pullout. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld, VR ON.

Arrowleaf Balsom Root Flowers

Arrowleaf Balsom Root Flowers: I saw this bouquet of flowers next to the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. On the way home, I noticed larger fields of the same flowers on the hillside above the National Elk Refuge. Dandilions are common now. I saw my first cluster of Low Lockspur near the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR ON.

Pilgrim Creek Road is now open. The pond is full this year. Purple Lupines are typically blooming there in early to mid June.

Grizzly on Ridgeline

Grizzly on Ridge Line: Check out this page: Finding Bears in Grand Teton National Park: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Grizzly on Logs

Grizzly on Logs: No news yet on 399 or Blondie. Both should be out soon with cubs of the year (COY). Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Grizzly

Grizzly: It was a good day! Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Grizzly Face

Grizzly Face: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: In case you missed it, I added a new Feature Post last night called: One Day in May: Back Yard Birding. All of the photos were taken during a single day. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

American Robin

American Robin: I didn’t get shots of the Robins yesterday, even though I saw a few. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Brewers Blackbird

Brewers Blackbird: The Robin and Blackbird were taken today. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Tanager and Cowbird

Western Tanager and Brown-headed Cowbird: The Tanager was interested in the slice of orange and the Cowbird was apparently a little too close. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

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May 15, 2017:  – Monday

Bull Bison

Bull Bison: Captured near the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Rolling Bison

Bull Bison Rolling: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Rolling Bison

Bull Bison: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Moulton Barn Pano

Moulton Barn Pano: I drove around Kelly and the East Boundary Road, primarily looking for Bison. There should be a lot of babies by now, but I didn’t see many bison at all. Light was nice and there were just enough clouds so I stopped at Mormon Row for a few shots.

Mormon Row: Portions are still gated.
Pilgrim Creek Road: Barricaded.
Two Ocean Lake Road: Gates are locked.
Moose-Wilson Road: Open all the way through now.
Cattleman’s Bridge Road: Barricaded.
Spaulding Bay Road: Barricaded.
RKO Road: Gates still locked.

Goose In Flight

Goose In Flight: Taken at the Flat Creek Wetlands near the Visitors Center. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Swan On One Leg

Swan On One Leg: Captured at the Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Goslings

Goslings: Babies—A true indicator of Spring! Flat Creek WetlandsNikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird: Flat Creek Wetlands on North Cache. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: Back yard visitor. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

American GoldFinch

American Goldfinch: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: I should be able to improve on this shot, but wanted to post it as a reference date for future years. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

White-capped Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

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May 14, 2017:  – Sunday

Teton Range

Clouds over the Snow covered Tetons: Taken from the East Boundary Road this morning. Nikon DD810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose with Spring Antlers: Taken near Christian Pond. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Black Bear

Black Bear: Taken near the Spaulding Bay entrance on the Teton Park Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Black Bear

Black Bear: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

We were in the Bahamas for a week. Upon our return, it is apparent the region is changing quickly. Aspen and cottonwood leaves are turning green. Run-off is now underway in all of the rivers and streams. The South end of the Park is quiet. I looked for bison early, and only saw a few well off the road. Around the house, I noticed a Yellow Warbler, a few Lazuli Buntings, Brown-headed Cowbirds, American Goldfinches, and other small Sparrow-like birds.

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May 13, 2017:  – Saturday

Ft. Lauderdale

Back in Florida! We are about ready to disembark the boat after a week in the Carribean. We’ll be back in Jackson Hole tonight and will be out in the Park tomorrow. I’ll probably make a post with photos and textures from the trip. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-180 Lens. Tripod.

Sorry for the lack of posts during the week. The connection was possibly slower than the old 14.4k days of dial-up. It took me over an hour to post the single text paragraph below!

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May 10, 2017:  – Wednesday on the Boat

Internet Service is terrible!

Half Moon Cay

We are having a great time in the Caribbean. Yesterday, we celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We are heading towards Grand Turk today and Dominican Republic tomorrow. I have been taking a lot of photos and lots of “textures”. If the service improves, I’ll try to post a couple of photos. MJ

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May 6, 2017:  – Saturday

Green River Lakes

Outside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph

Green River Lakes

A few years ago, I packed up the van and drove down to Green River Lakes. I got there in time for the afternoon sunset, then stayed for the stars. Sunrise the next morning was cloudless and not too impressive. Information about the place is located in the link above.

I am packing up to go on our 30th Wedding Anniversary trip to the Bahamas. I’ll be back next Saturday and hope to post a couple of photos along the way. MJ

Ft. Lauderdale

Nite Time Update: We made it to Ft. Lauderdale and had a nice dinner on the riverwalk. Tomorrow, we board the Carnival Cruise Ship and head to Nassau, Bahamas.  I left the D810 at home and added the 14-24mm lens. (I took this shot out the window with an iPhone 6) Check back!

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May 5, 2017: Friday – Cinco de Mayo

Grizzly

Grizzly: Yesterday afternoon, I was fortunate to get to photograph this Grizzly Sow.

My Blog Realities: Some of the locals don’t like me posting ANY information about ANYTHING in Jackson Hole, and ESPECIALLY information and locations about bears and owls. The mission statement on Best of the Tetons is:  “What I would want to know, and need to know, if planning a trip to Jackson Hole”. I’ve always tried to accommodate, or balance the two worlds here on Best of the Tetons. Grand Teton National Park is a relatively small park and the bears most people would see inhabit only a small zone. To appease a few locals, I can say, “Yes, some bears are out of their dens, and if you are in the area—just ask around and people will tell you where to look.” For the past ten years or so, there are always a few Grizzlies and a few Black Bears roaming the park and forests. Not much is ever really a secret.

More than likely, there are lots of Facebook posts and other sites that give the exact spot(s), but at least the concerned locals can’t specifically blame me if 30 photographers show up. (They show up regardless). A couple of years ago, the Grizzly Sow “Raspberry” and her cubs were reported on Sylvan Pass in Yellowstone. That’s enough info, right? All I had to do was drive there and either ask around or look for large numbers of vehicles pulled over. Of course, most animals won’t be in the same place two days in a row.

WestWorld: A few days ago, I was in the Oxbow Bend area of the Park early in the morning looking for bears. I was driving around—just like everyone else—scanning hillsides, ravines, and sagebrush fields.  It occurred to me that each morning resembles the TV show WestWorld. The Park “resets” and then the day unfolds with actions and  variables changing the day. For the “early birds”, there is no way of telling if or when a bear will show up. Until one does appear, the day is an undeveloped script. The bears could be “anywhere”. If you drive up later in the morning or day, there will likely be clusters of people along the road, even if no one can see a bear, but they are there because one was seen in the area earlier in the day. The script at that point is already in motion for the day.

Tamron G2

Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens: My Experiences. Yesterday was a bit of an “acid test” for the replacement Tamron 150-600mm lens. The first one I received just wasn’t right and I never really trusted it when I was in a critical shoot. The new one is performing very well and I grabbed it for much of the Grizzly photograhy!

I haven’t mentioned it on the blog yet, but tomorrow morning, Darla and I will be getting on a plane to Ft. Lauderdale, FL and then on a cruise ship to the Bahamas. The week long trip is a celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary on May 9. I am in the process of packing up my new Tamron G2 lens and my Nikon D5 to send in to the Tamron USA Service Center. They will carefully tune my #1 body with this new replacement lens while we are on the trip. If they can make it even better, that is great, but the new lens is preforming very well with only the basic LensAlign adjustments I made in the AF Fine Tune settings. The Grizzly photo above was taken with the D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Bahama Cruise: I plan on taking a lightweight tripod, a Nikon D500, Nikon 24-70mm lens, and a Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens for this trip. I’ll also take a Nikon SB 910 strobe.  I don’t know if I will have room to take the Nikon D810 body. Darla has a waterproof Panasonic Lumix point and shoot camera and we both have iPhones. I’ll try to make a couple of posts while on the trip.

Evening Grosbeak

A pair of Evening Grosbeaks showed up today. This is the less colorful female. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Other JH Notes: Elk and Bison are still moving around the valley in large numbers. Wolf Ranch Road and Elk Ranch Road are closed. That’s normal, since a pack of Wolves den at Elk Reservoir. Dead Man’s Bar and Schwabacher Landing are open. RKO Road is closed. Tree Swallows have moved into the valley in large numbers. Northern Flickers are active and can be seen mating. I haven’t seen Owls in a while. I expect the first Bullock’s Orioles today or tomorrow, with Western Tanagers and Lazuli Buntings coming through soon. I heard my first Hummingbird this morning and am filling the feeders. Expect to see the first Fox kits visible in the next week or so, too. Just for reference, Self-Serve Unleaded gasoline is $2.45 per gallon at most stations in town and roughly $2.69 in many parts of the Park and outskirts.

Grizzly Sow and Cub

Grizzly Sow and Cub: Shooting Data: NIKON D5, Tamron 150-600 mm G2 Lens, 460 mm, 1/1250 Second at f/10, Manual Mode, -2/3 EV,  Auto ISO 250, ©2017 Mike R. Jackson, All Rights Reserved

Bears On Snow

Shooting Data: NIKON D500, Nikon 200-500 mm, 380 mm, 1/1250 Second at f/9, Manual Mode, -1/3 EV, Auto ISO 280, ©2017 Mike R. Jackson, All Rights Reserved

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May 4, 2017 : Thursday

Welcome Back! It has been a frustrating two weeks with emails, text messages, Facebook comments, and phone calls from people having trouble getting onto the site. Many had no problems, but too many reported an Error 20 page access. Today, I finally told Sitelock to turn off the firewall and let people back on. The issue is between Sitelock and Network Solutions who hosts the site.

Turpen Meadows

The Buffalo Fork at Turpen Meadows: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Common Mergansers

Common Mergansers in the Buffalo Fork River near Turpen Meadows. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Osprey in Flight

Osprey in Flight over the Buffalo Fork. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Osprey Nest

Osprey Nest on the Buffalo Fork. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Grizzly

Grizzly: Standing on an early Spring morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Red Fox

Red Fox: Near Spread Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Bison Red Dog

Bison Red Dog: This is the first baby Bison I’ve seen this year. Earlier, I heard of one at Elk Ranch Flats but I never saw it. This one was along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Calling Raven

Calling Raven: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

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May 3, 2017 : Wednesday

Fighting Geese

New Feature Post! : Flat Creek Wetlands: My St. Vrain I didn’t plan this new post. It just happened! After I came home from Flat Creek Wetlands yesterday morning, I discovered I shot a couple thousand images. I processed a bunch of them and realized I had too many to post in the Daily Journal entry yesterday. A new Feature Post made sense, so I went back later in the day and shot another 750 images at the same spot.

I have to attend a Commercial Use Permit holders meeting this morning. I should come home with some helpful information about Grand Teton National Park. Check back!

Flat Creek Wetlands and Park

Flat Creek Wetlands:  On the way home from the meeting, I stopped to take this two shot stitched pano image using a D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Micro Lens.

Park News: We had a good CUA Permit Holders meeting at the Craig Thomas Visitor’s Center this morning. Moose-Wilson Road will open when the road dries out. Schwabacher Landing and Dead Man’s Bar should be open very soon. There will be some road construction this summer, but most of it should still allow traffic flow. South Jenny Lake area will still be under construction much of the summer. The Park is going to be jam packed with visitors over the weekend and Monday of the Solar Eclipse. Fireworks are not allowed in the Park, and not during the Eclipse.  Flashlights and strobes will not be allowed in the Park this year for photography purposes.

Grizzly Sow and Cub

Grizzly Sow and Cub: Late evening in the North country. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Night at Schwabacher

Night at Schwabacher Landing: Schwabacher Landing opened today. I stayed long enough to catch a few stars. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens.

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May 2, 2017 : Tuesday

On my drive through the park yesterday, I made these notes

  • May 1: Inner Park Loop Road is Open
  • Moose-Wilson Road is closed.
  • May 1: Curtis Canyon Open to the campground.
  • Bridger Teton Forest is Open, but with limited travel due to drifts.
  • Shadow Mountain is Closed.
  • Granite Creek is Closed.
  • South Park Feedgrounds is Open.
  • May 1: Mormon Row Road from Antelope Flats Rd. to Gros Ventre Road is Closed.
  • May 1: RKO Road is Closed.
  • Road to Spaulding Bay: Snowed in: Barricaded.
  • Road to the top of Signal Mountain: Barricaded.
  • Road to Dead Man’s Bar is Barricaded.
  • Schwabacher Landing: Gate Locked.
  • Pilgrim Creek Road is Barricaded.
  • Pacific Creek Road is open all year, but the road to Two Ocean Lake is closed.
  • Cattleman’s Bridge area: Barricaded.
  • Upper Gros Ventre Road past Red Rock Ranch opens later.
  • Grassy Lake Road won’t open until at least June.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: I had another variety filled morning. This Bull was part of a group of nine bulls moving toward the Gros Ventre. I parked and waited for them to approach. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Bison Fur

Bison Fur: Texture shot taken along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: One of three Red-tails I photographed this morning. This one was on the East Boundary Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Coyote

Coyote: Captured on the Gros Ventre Road.  Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Flat Creek Wetlands

Flat Creek Wetlands: It this single photo, there are several Canada Geese, a pair of Trumpeter Swans and a group of Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

I captured enough photos at the Wetlands, it is probably best to make a new Feature Post with shots from there. Sign up to be one of the first to know about it! This Yellow-headed Blackbird will be on the page, along with Red-winged Blackbirds, Geese, Swans, Wrens, Coots, and so forth.

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May 1, 2017 : Monday

May Day!  This is a day to celebrate! The Teton Park Road (Inner Park Loop Road)opens for the summer season. The middle section of the Moose-Wilson Road was scheduled to open today, but I heard it was still locked.  Other areas, like Schwabacher Landing, Dead Man’s Bar, and Mormon Row should open soon. Areas of the National Forest open on May 1st, but vehicle access may be delayed due to snow drifts and wet roads. Some areas may still feel like Winter, especially close to the mountains and over the passes—while spring grasses and even a few flowers are starting to appear. By the end of May, almost all lower zones will be lush and green.

As always, it takes a few days to start filling a new Daily Journal page. For now, check out April 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

Grizzly Scratching

Scratching Grizzly: How about a hodge-podge of images to start May? I was all over the valley, taking photos of anything that caught my eye using a Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Water Drops

Abstract: Water Drops: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Red-tailed Hawk

Wildlife: Red-tailed Hawk: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Pilgrim Creek

Landscapes: Pilgrim Creek: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Leek's Marina

Landscapes: Leek’s Marina: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Jackson Lake Dam

Industrial Grunge: Jackson Lake DamNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Grizzly Face

Wildlife: Grizzly Face: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Buffalo Valley Barn

Landscapes: Buffalo Valley Barn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Wagon in Early Spring

History: Wagon in Early Spring: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens. Handheld, VC OFF.

Night Barn

Night Barn: I took this shot at about 10:30 pm on Saturday. There was a sliver of a crescent moon. It is in the “waxing” stage, meaning each night it will be more and more visible until it transitions into a full moon. At times, the moon went behind a cloud, but when it was visible, it added a considerable amount of light into the entire scene. The image above was captured with only the light from the crescent moon. On Wednesday, I am supposed to attend a Commercial Use Permit holders meeting where I am fairly certain Park Officials will talk about the use of artificial lights for photographic purposes in the park. I’ll report back on the situation on Wednesday.

Pine Cone

Pine Cone: I picked up a few pine cones (outside the Park) a couple of weeks ago. Last night, I put one on a tabletop and took a few photos of it using a small pin light to illuminate it in a dark room. Nikon D801 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens. 30 seconds, F/7.1, ISO 100

Teton Photo Excursions

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Comments (18)

  1. Dorothy Knoell

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for all the great photos and information. I visit your page a LOT! We were lucky enough to get in on the “three bears” moment at Willow Flats a couple of weeks ago, although had to leave before they crossed the road. Your photos (and the info that they cubs had been “kicked to the curb” recently) were most welcome. SO cute!
    Wondered if you could give me a few suggestions on where it might be good to look for wildlife early next week. We’ll be in town and would love to make the best use of our wildlife looking time. I know you don’t got into exacts, and that’s fine, just wondered if you could point us in a direction or two. Would appreciate any help you could give us in the next few days.

    Thanks again for all the great photos and information. This is a great web site!

    Dorothy

  2. https://www.bestofthetetons.com/2013/09/14/where-to-find-wildlife-in-the-tetons-and-jh-area/

    Hi Dorothy, this page should help a lot. There’s a lot of activity in the Kelly area, around Elk Flats, and around Oxbow Bend and the Dam.

  3. Dorothy Knoell

    Thanks, Mike, we’ll pay close attention to those areas. Hope Moose-Wilson and Mormon Row may be open by then. Any Great Grey Owls around? Also, I checked out your Flat Creek Wetlands post — soooo good. Where do you park to check out the area? In the little area by the picnic tables or by the visitor’s center? I love the “little birds” shots in particular!

    Dorothy

  4. Dorothy, You can park about anywhere. I usually park somewhere near the pavilion. Owls have been scarce lately.

  5. Becky leppert

    I have been in Jackson since last friday. Saw 2 moose when we were coming down from slide lake area. One crossed road in front of us in wilson. Reminded me of northern exposure. I do check your site every day. Couldn’t find any owls. We went to Yellowstone yesterday,, lots of red dogs. Saw 2 grizzled in Lamar valley. Heading home tomorrow. Hate to leave. Thanks for a!I your pics and info

  6. Jackie Ireland

    I just tried to send a long paragraph, and it didn’t go, long story short, Thank you, Awesome photo’s, tips and info… but sometimes I just follow the 12 or 22 license plates when I am in the GTNP or sometimes a government vehicle will lead me down a road that “only the locals know”…..

  7. Kathy Harrison

    Happy Anniversary, Mike. Thanks for the exif info on the two bear photos. I’m always interested in how expert photographers manipulate the settings.

  8. Oscar

    Hi Mike. Beautiful photographs as usual. How are you liking the D500? Would you recommend it? Do you have a preference between the Tamron and the Nikon used in your photos for this month? Thanks for sharing your images.

    P.S. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary.

  9. Hi Oscar, Before we left for the Carribean, I sent my D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 in to Tamron so they could tune the two together. I expected it to be here early this week, but I just received the note telling me it will be here next Tuesday. I took the D500 with me to the Bahamas and have been using it since we have been back. The D500 paired with a Nikon 200-500mm is a really good combination. The high ISO on D500 is not as clean as the D5, but otherwise it is a strong performer. It is definitely value priced!

  10. Richard Hanks

    Regarding the Grizzly with Mt. Moran in the background, I love the photo. Using the 810 with the 70-200 seems that you were physically rather close for comfort but since you survived, it turned out to be worth it with the great shot.
    Thanks for all the past and future photos.

  11. Richard Hanks

    My bad. It’s Tetons clipped by the clouds and not Mt. Moran.

  12. Mike, there are very few photos I have seen that are more emotional for me than the shots you took in late May of the mommy and baby moose. They are beautiful and bring out so many gentle, family, loving, emotions in me. Very special.

  13. jeff c birmingham

    Mike glad to see sending your camera and lens in was worth it. It sure made mine work way better!!! The shots you posted look super sharp! We just booked our trip in late Sept 28 – oct 7 we can wait to be back in JH!!! Next year we are going to book a trip in may as well.

  14. Carl Gandolfo

    Mike, great stuff as always!!

    Are things greening up in the northern part of the park yet, such as the Oxbow area? I’ll be up there on June 3rd for about a week and hoping for spring in full bloom, tree-wise.

    P.S. Would love to meet you and say hi after all these years of following you…maybe even a cold beer in town!!

  15. Hi Carl, Yes, things are getting green in the north part of the park. The southern half is farther along. Wildflowers are now becoming part of the landscape. Looks like a good year for them. Yes, a beer would be great!

  16. Jeff, I wish so much that my first copy of the G2 was as good as this one. I would have kept a lot more photos and spent a lot less time trying to figure out what was wrong. The new G2 is much, much, much better!

  17. Randy, you might want to keep an eye on the page. I hope to go back off and on until they leave. I added 8 new photos yesterday.

  18. Jim Kiedinger

    Hey Mike! I watched the video of your son. Very talented dude! I’m glad to see that your new Tammy G2 is doing so much better. I decided to rent one for my trip out there. We will be arriving on June 7th. Hopefully we will see you out there. If so and the timing is right, I;; buy you a beer in town. My son gets married on Sunday and we plan to stay a few days after. Maybe I’ll get a chance to put that G2 to use. Thanks for all the info you share on this site!

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