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June 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“Summer is officially here!” 

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

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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June 30th, 2017:  Friday

Looking for something different, check out the 2017 Teton Valley Balloon Rally in Driggs, ID. You have to be there EARLY!

I am working on the new July Daily Journal I’ll post tomorrow.

Jackson Hole LIVE: Another “almost free” concert at Snow King tomorrow afternoon/night.

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June 29th, 2017:  Thursday

Road News: The Gros Ventre Road is now open with a one way section controlled by traffic lights. This should give people a better chance of seeing Moose through the rest of the summer. During the Solar Eclipse, the Gros Ventre Road will be one way from the highway to Kelly.

Gros Ventre Stop Light

Gros Ventre Stop Light: Eastbound Light at the road damage site. It looks like the light cycles about every 2 minutes, though it might be sensitive to the amount of traffic. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Gros Ventre River Bank

Gros Ventre River Bank: Rushing water from this year’s snow melt washed out a bank along the roadway. The Park Service added a new section of road at the base of the ridge, allowing one way traffic. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Gros Ventre Road

Gros Ventre Road: This shots shows how the eastbound road is missing up to the center line in places. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Big Dipper Over the Moulton Barn

Big Dipper Over the Moulton Barn: Very early in the morning. I left home at 3:30 am and got set up at about the time the “blue light” period began.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Early Morning

Early Morning: T.A. Moulton Barn on Mormon Row. This was taken with almost no light and even a few lingering stars. Let’s just say I was there EARLY! No one was around at either barn, which is unusual. I left Mormon Row and was one of the first four vehicles in the park lot at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Riffle at Schwabacher Landing

Riffle at Schwabacher Landing: Raging rapids washed away the Beaver Dams at Schwabacher Landing. This pool is a result of a remnant rock base of an older dam. Stitched Pano. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Riffle at Schwabacher Landing

Riffle at Schwabacher Landing: This image is built from seven vertical captures, stitched in Lightroom. I used a Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter to get to a 4 second capture at F/16. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Beaver Dam at Schwabacher Landing

Beaver Dam at Schwabacher Landing: This was a large dam as of early spring. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Weed Core

Weed Core: Beauty is all around! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: Captured in the sage and grass between the road damage and the entrance to the GV Campground. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

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. There are still a couple of June openings and numerous openings in July. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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June 28th, 2017:  Wednesday

Flat Creek Sunrise

Flat Creek Sunrise: Taken from the Observation Platform along Flat Creek. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Flat Creek Sunrise

Flat Creek Sunrise: Same spot, different direction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Rainbow

Rainbow: Taken from Moose Junction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Rainbow with Topaz Studio

Rainbow with Topaz Studios: Topaz Studio is their newest program for image manipulation. I did the image above with just a couple of clicks using the Vintage Effects group. The basic set is FREE after creating an account. (Click the link the see more options and effects). The optional Pro Pack program costs $274.86, but it is still in the introductory phase of $99.99 (2 more days). Knowing it will work on both my Mac and PC for the same price, I spent the $99.99 and have all of the new tools in the toolbox. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Other News from Micron.  Micron is the parent company for Lexar. They are announcing plans to discontinue their line of cards many of us use.

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: Taken along Mormon Row.

Mule Deer Buck

Mule Deer Buck: Taken at Moose Junction. There was a Doe with two Fawns in the area, but I couldn’t get a clean shot of them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

Penstemon

Penstemon: I keep mentioning seeing Penstemon. Today, I stopped along the Moose-Wilson Road and took a few quick shots. There are usually a few groves of this plant around the Colter Bay Visitor’s Center and Marina area. Watch for Bumble Bees on them! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush: Similarly, I have been mentioning seeing Indian Paintbrush plants around. These were near the Sawmill Pond Overlook on the Moose-Wilson Road. There was a Cow Moose in the pond this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

The 2017 Grand Teton Climbing Season: The climbing blog at Wyoming Whiskey included a link to my site, so here’s on back to them. There is a TON of information about all kinds of topics on the page. Check it out!

BW Barns

Barn Under Buck Mountain: At the time I took this shot, the clouds were still thick in the East, making the scene essentially monochromatic. I liked the ribbon of clouds behind the barn. The peak of the Grand was covered up. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens. Handheld.

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June 27th, 2017:  Tuesday

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: I’ll try to identify the flowers later. I liked the clouds, so I did a hike up Antelope Flats Road towards the Hunter/Hereford ranches. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Yellow Wildflower

Salsify Wildflower: This is one of the non-native/invasive species of plants in the Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Today, I was on a bit of a reconnaissance mission to check on wildflowers. I took the zoom micro lens, which also works fine for normal landscapes. I left the tripod in the truck to save weight and unnecessary wear on my back. I’ll take it next time.

Shed and Mt. Moran

Shed, Raven, and Mt. Moran: In the north part of the park, you’ll find “Wildlife Brigades”. In other areas you will find evidence of a “Barricade Brigade” with barricades designed to keep people from parking in grassy zones. In the historic zones, you see the works of the “Door and Window Brigade”. The black plywood doors and windows help seal up some of the old buildings. They may be functional, but are definitely “aesthetically deprived”.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Hunter Barn

Hunter Barn: Most of the landscapes were taken as two or three shot panos.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Hunter Homestead

Hunter Homestead: Click this image to see it much larger.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Hereford Barn

Hereford Barn: It is roughly a mile and a half from the East Boundary Road to this barn. You have to hike it! Click this image to see it much larger. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

BW Yellow Flowers

B&W Yellow Flowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

Gears

Gears: Part of an old piece of farm equipment at the Hereford Ranch. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180 Zoom Micro Lens

I keep meaning to mention it…When I was driving home from Alpine Junction last Friday, I spotted an adult Mountain Goat on one of the ridges near Wolf Creek Campground. Worth watching the ridges if you are driving the Snake River Canyon. I missed a good shot of him by only a few seconds.

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June 26th, 2017:  Monday

April Bison

April Bison: I checked the weather report for today and decided to stay home for the morning. The afternoon forecast calls for building clouds and possible thunderstorms. I decided to “save my bullets” (time and gas) for this afternoon. I used the home time to cull through some of my images and clear up space on the hard drives. This bison shot caught my eye, taken back in April as the herds moved out of the National Elk Refuge and into GTNP. This one was captured at ISO 6400, which is high, but I think it works fine for this image. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens. Handheld, VC Off.

Moose at Pond

Moose at Pond: Cow Moose feeding on willows at Emily’s Pond near Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Pastoral Landscape

Pastoral Landscape: Taken along Highway 26 between Jackson and Wilson. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200 Lens VR Off.

Wrangler

Wrangler: Afternoon at one of the Dude Ranches. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

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June 25th, 2017:  Sunday

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Light was better this morning for photographing Pronghorns. This one was grazing along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

White-Crowned Sparrow

White-Crowned Sparrow: Found singing along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Arrowleaf Balsom Root and Mule’s Ear wildflowers can be found mixed together in some areas. This shot was taken along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: This photo was taken along the East Boundary Road. Better hurry there! They appear to be going into “past peak” stage. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Jackson Lake Sunset

Click this image to see it much larger

Jackson Lake Sunset: Taken at Leek’s Marina a few days ago. I hadn’t downloaded the card from that camera until today. This is part of a three shot pano, stitched in Lightroom CC 2015.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

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June 24th, 2017:  Saturday

Night Barn

Click this image to see it much larger. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. 

Night Barn: I went back to the Mormon Row barns last night to capture a full arc of the Milky Way. I had to wait for several groups to come and go, and for traffic on Antelope Flats to drop off. It takes me four vertical captures to build this pano, so timing is critical between series of shots. There’s a steady stream of vehicles heading East from the highway on Antelope Flats Road. Some are heading home to Kelly, others to the GV Campground, and others to camp and party on Shadow Mountain. You’d swear a concert just finished in town! If the lights from the travelers lit the barn fully, night time photographers would be tickled pink—but the lower 2′ of the barn stays in shadows. This pano was from the last set of images I took at 12:15 am.

The steps I used for this project are much the same as on this new page: New Feature Post: Light Painting Without Lights  

A few days ago, I created this Feature Post: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park. Today, I added all of the legal information found in the Park’s documents.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: I stayed home this morning, watching for activity at the Northern Flicker nest. It appears all of the chicks have now fledged. I did a quick buzz into the Park, hoping to see some baby Pronghorns, but only finding this nice buck. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: I snapped this shot as he passed by a clump of Purple Lupines. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Wildflowers: From what I’ve seen recently, the “hottest” spot for wildflowers is along the highway at the Climbing Rocks pull-out, just south of Antelope Flats road. I’ve seen more Penstemon and a few Indian Paintbrush plants.

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June 23rd, 2017:  Friday

Light Painting Without Lights

New Feature Post: Light Painting Without Lights

Afternoon

Ready to FledgeFlicker Chick: The baby Flickers in my back yard are ready to fledge. This one got really close to leaving while I was watching, but pulled back at the last second. It was quiet when I returned from Alpine, so one or two of them might have already split. Just before dark, I saw an adult trying to return to the nest, so the chicks could all be in the cavity. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Flicker Chick

Alpine Mountain Fest

Alpine Mountain Days – Alpine, WY ~ This event starts today and goes through the weekend. Besides the Mountain Man section, there are food vendors, artists, photographers, arts and crafts and so forth. There are only 10 or so traders in their section and it is difficult to get clean shots without power lines, vehicles, or buildings in them. They are hoping for a big turnout tomorrow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Tipi Ribbons

Tipi Ribbons: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Fire Engine

Fire Engine: This old fire engine was parked in Alpine, WY. I parked across the street and isolated it using the telephoto lens. I added some vintage grain and converted it to black and white in Lightroom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Gulls

Gulls: I know there are lots of species of gulls, so I’ll leave it generic for now. On my trip down the Snake River Canyon, I was amazed at how much water if gushing down the Snake and into Palisades Reservoir. The Grays River and Salt River also flow into Palisades, which is full to the brim. The three rivers become the South Fork of the Snake as it exits the Palisades Reservoir Dam. These gulls were on the Salt River inlet near the McCoy Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Gulls

Gulls: I don’t get that many chances to practice my “birds in flight” skills here in Jackson Hole. For some reason, few of the gulls spend time in the Jackson Hole valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

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June 22nd, 2017:  Thursday

Night Barn Original Capture

Light Painting without Light: I spent some time today working on this image and creating a bunch of screen grabs for a new Feature Post. The image above was the original capture and the one below was modified using a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. 

Final Layered Image

Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. At some point, I must have bumped the barrel on my lens last night. Many of the images were not as sharp as they should have been! It happens. This was an experimental project. Next time, I will be more careful!

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June 21st, 2017:  Wednesday

GV Road

Gros Ventre Road: This Park Service image was sent through an email to CUA permit holders. It shows recent damage to the Gros Ventre Road between the highway and Kelly. You can read more about the damage in the JH News & Guide Story: Officials have a plan for crumbling road

The bike path along the highway near the Gros Ventre River bridge was under about 6 feet of water for a couple of weeks. Water has receded and the path is open again.

JH News & Guide: Blondie, mother of 2, is acting like she’s ill. “Grizzly’s apparent sickness triggers worry and the closure of Pilgrim Creek Road.”

Loose Ends

Country Road

Country Road: Occasionally, I take a few photos on a camera, then neglect to download the images that evening. This one was taken along Elk Ranch Flats a few days ago. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: Magpies have now fledged. The young find a convenient perch and wait for the parents to find food for them. Besides the begging behavior, they can be identified by their shorter, rounded tail feathers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Teton Clouds

Teton Clouds: Yesterday, I heard thunder in town and headed out. I took this shot just south of the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Teton Clouds

Teton Clouds: Given time, the clouds turned to a more stormy state. I was driving up and down the road, watching for storm cells and lightning bolts. Eventually, a short lived rain squall passed over. I was ready and waiting for a rainbow that never materialized! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: On the way back into town, I saw the nice clouds and shadows at Sleeping Indian. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes: This isn’t a great shot, but it documents the babies seen along the highway on the National Elk Refuge. It’s difficult to get a shot with all four heads up at one time! Right now, the daytime high is in the mid 80s. Yesterday was the Summer Solstice—or the longest day of the year. I headed in early.  We cooked out on the grill and enjoyed the evening at home. It is supposed to be clear tonight, so I plan on doing sunset and stars until late. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

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June 20th, 2017:  ~ Summer Solstice

Tipi and Stars

Tipi and Stars: Technically, the photo above and a few below were taken on the 19th, but I didn’t return home until after midnight. Don’t miss this recent post: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park, Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens. 

Early Evening Tipi

Early Evening Tipi: Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens. 

Cattleman's Bridge

Cattleman’s Bridge: Spring Gulch Road’s Cattleman’s Bridge is sagging after loosing a pier. The bridge will be out of service for an indefinite period. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Elk Cows

Elk Cows: I spotted these elk feeding on the east side of the park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: I’ve heard of a few Pronghorn fawns, so I’ve been searching the sagebrush areas for them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Badger

Badger: The two Badgers I saw on Sunday were youngsters. This one is an adult. Watch for diggings and dens in sandy soil areas with good populations of Uinta Ground Squirrels. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR Off.

PicaridinSawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent My wife bought a bottle of this repellent before our trip to Costa Rica. We didn’t need it there, but I definitely needed “something” while waiting for the badger to come out of its den. When the wind died down, the mosquitoes were thick. I put some of this repellent on, which doesn’t smell at all, and the mosquitoes stayed about 10″ away. Use it at your own risk, but this site might give you some needed info. Picaridin General Fact Sheet – National Pesticide Information Center.

Badger

Badger: I found this adult Badger today a little while before it went off into the sagebrush to hunt. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

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June 19th, 2017:  – Monday

New Feature Post: Artificial Light for Photography in Grand Teton National Park, If you do any “light painting” (strobes or flashlights) in the National Parks, you’ll probably want to read this article. I don’t know how strict the enforcement will be, but the topic is definitely on the Park’s radar.

Rendezvous Park: Summer Solstice Party June 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Rendezvous Park, Moose Wilson Rd, Wilson, WY 83014, USA “Rendezvous Park has ponds, meadows, knolls, and trails for visitors to explore through a variety of passive recreation activities including cycling, walking, swimming, SUP boarding, kayaking, fishing, and picnicking. It is centrally located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and visited by people of all ages and backgrounds for free.” Click the link for more information.

Great Gray Owl on SnowGreat Gray Owls: People regularly write me asking where to see Great Gray Owls when they come to the Park. In previous years, a couple of GGOs have been regulars along the Moose-Wilson Road. Others have been spotted with frequency on Togwottee Pass, along with several pairs on private land. The Teton Raptor Center has been reporting NO new chicks this year on any of their known nests. Of the 20 plus study sites, only one pair attempted to use their nest and that one failed. The heavy snows and deep freeze over the winter is being blamed for a few known owl deaths and lack of Summer breeding this year.

JH Sun and Moon

New Permanent Link! You’ll see this new button in the navigation bar, showing tons of information for Jackson Hole’s celestial environment. Find the obvious sunrie/sunset, moon rise/moon set times, but also moon phases and times for the various phases of twilight. There are lots of sites on the Internet with this information, but I liked the visual display at this site.

Here’s a relevant tidbit from the site:June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 10:24 pm in Jackson. In terms of daylight, this day is 6 hours, 28 minutes longer than on December Solstice. In most locations north of Equator, the longest day of the year is around this date.”

Raptorfest

Raptorfest: Eagle. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld

National Elk Refuge to Host Talon Tuesdays: “The Refuge is partnering with the Teton Raptor Center to present live bird “Talon Tuesday” visits this summer at the visitor center.” You probably saw the face shot of the Eurasian Eagle Owl in yesterday’s entry. That image was from the Teton Raptor Center’s “RaptorFest” held at Snow King. You can still see them! Click the link to get the details for the Tuesday showings.

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June 18th, 2017:  – Sunday

Schwabacher Sunset

Schwabacher Sunset: I spent the evening in the park, then stayed out for the stars. This shot was captured as a three image bracket and then merged in Lightroom into a single DNG file. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

Tetons at Dusk

Tetons at Dusk: This was taken from Shadow Mountain. The tip of the Grand was covered at the time. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

Stars

Stars, Trees and Lingering Clouds: Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

Nightscapes

Nightscapes: I checked my Stellarium app to see when and where the Milky Way would show up. Of course, it was dead-on accurate! Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens. 

Incoming Clouds

Incoming Clouds: Clouds started filling the night sky, so I headed on down the mountain. By the time I hit the highway at Snake River Overlook at midnight, there were almost no stars to be seen, so I headed home. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24 Lens. 

Shadow Mountain is open, but there is a huge mud puddle on the crest road. I made it through in the truck in 4 wheel drive, but the thought of going through it again forced me to exit the mountain via the north route.

I am in the process of doing a brand new Feature Post about the use of artificial light in the “Parks”. Sign up if you want to get a notification!

Raptor Fest

Raptor Fest: Eurasian Eagle Owl. At a little over 6 lbs, this cousin of North America’s Great Horned Owl is capable of killing a small deer or even a badger. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens. Handheld

Badgers

Badgers: Captured along the National Elk Refuge. A few days ago, I drove through the National Elk Refuge to get to Curtis Canyon. Along the way, I probably saw a hundred badger diggings. If you go there, also keep an eye out for Burrowing Owls. I haven’t spotted them, but I’ve seen photos of the Owls from there.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

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June 17th, 2017:  – Saturday

Mormon Homestead

Mormon Homestead: We had rain overnight and some of the clouds and drizzle lingered in the east this morning. I was attracted to the layered hills behind the Mormon Row Homesteads. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

Peach House

Peach House: The rain accentuated the cracks in the stucco finish and the steel blue sky helped make the orange pop. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens. Handheld, VR ON.

Sticky Geraniums

Sticky Geraniums: These wildflowers are common in the valley now. I’ve begun seeing (purple) Penstemon flowers now. Yesterday, I saw a lot of them at the base of Curtis Canyon. The wind was blowing so hard I passed on trying to photograph them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

Hardiman Barns

Hardiman Barns: Some of the facility in downtown Wilson, WY is home to the Teton Raptor Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day: If you are in town, you can see some of the Teton Raptor Center’s birds at the Snow King ball field, held in conjunction with the music concert and Crawfish Feast. Admission is $5 for the raptors and concert. An additional fee is required for the Crawfish. These events usually draw a lot of locals and tourists.

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

You might notice I have been checking out a few of the other places around the valley. Recently, I went to Granite Falls. Last week, I headed up the RKO Road and historic Bar BC Ranch. A couple of days ago, I was up the Gros Ventre, and yesterday I tooled around Wilson and Teton Pass (where I took the barn photo above). If you find yourself feeling a bit “claustrophobic” following a couple of days of “Bear Jams”, consider some of the many other options in the region!

Telephoto Lenses For Landscapes

Many of the photos on this page were captured using telephoto lenses. They are obvious choices for wildlife, but I think they can be fantastic options for landscapes. Click the link for more examples.

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June 16th, 2017:  – Friday

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: This is the female Flicker returning to the nest. I shot this one at 1/320th second, F-6.3 with VC turned on in Mode 3. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC ON.

JHNews & Guide: Gros Ventre Road to open soon. Click the link to see a photo of the erosion next to the roadway. Despite the occasional delay, this is great news! Currently, there are barricades at the Highway entrance to the Kelly/GV Road and at the GV Campground on the other end. Also of note: Warm Springs Road is barricaded at the East Boundary Road. Throughout most winter months, we have been able to drive roughly a mile and a half on the road before hitting a closure gate. The “Powerline Road” (the dirt road portion of what people called Science School Road or Ditch Creek Road is still open to within a mile or so of Mormon Row. The Middle section of Mormon Row Road is still closed, and will probably remain that way until the GV Road is repaired (next year?)

Bald EagleYesterday, I was out early and in the north and northeast portion of the Park. I posted a pile of photos just before lunch. Later in the day, I went out again, and ended up going up the Gros Ventre. I posted another few photos from the evening, so if you checked in early, look again! I could have probably added another half dozen shots from the evening trip, but I had already posted a lot for one day.

While driving, I spotted a Red-tailed Hawk flying across the sky with a heavy load. I pulled over to see if I could get a shot when it dropped the payload. A Bald Eagle was in the area, attempting to take the large ground squirrel away from them. Action was fast and loud with all kinds of screeching. It was a tough shoot with the birds in the light sky, then down in the darker sage and trees. I wasn’t fully happy with any of them, but this shot at least captures the essence of the event as the Eagle picked up the prize.

Small Falls

Cascades: 1/4 second at F/22 and ISO 100. This little cascade feeds into Glory Bowl Lake below Teton Pass. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC OFF.

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June 15th, 2017:  – Thursday

NPS Update: – “The closed portion of the Gros Ventre /Kelly Road in Grand Teton National Park is anticipated to open to alternating one-lane of traffic in the affected area within the next two weeks. The plan includes an automated traffic signal which will alternate east-bound and west-bound one-way traffic for vehicles and bicycles.”

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend: Clouds looked nice as I passed by Oxbow, so I pulled over and took this quick shot. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens.

Summer Solstice is Tuesday, June 20th this year.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: I get emails fairly often asking about the status of the wildflowers in GTNP. Seems like I include this info regularly on this blog! Anyway, there are wildflowers everywhere in the valley now. Arrowleaf Balsom Root plants are most evident with some of the most dense areas near Oxbow Bend. Purple Lupine are good near the Gros Ventre Bridge and Spread Creek. Some are showing up along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Pair of White Pelicans

Pair of White Pelicans: Captured below the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR OFF.

Snake river Flows at Moose

Snake River Flows at Moose: Click the link for more information. Many of the tributaries are past high water—not raging anymore. The side channel flow that washed away the beaver dams at Schwabacher Landing is back to normal. The beavers have their work cut out for them this year.

Three Baby Marmots

Three Baby Marmots: Little cuties sunning on a downed trunk. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

Four Baby Marmots

Four Baby Marmots: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: Taken along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VC Off.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran and Bison: Taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Bison Cow and Calf

Bison Cow and Calf:Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VC Off.

Cunningham Cabin

Cunningham Cabin: Wranglers from Triangle X made a stop at Cunningham Cabin with their crew of tiny guests. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Red Hills Ranch

Red Hills Ranch: Quick afternoon trip “Up the Gros Ventre”. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Red Rocks

Red Rocks: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Gros Ventre

Gros Ventre River: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens.

Columbine

Columbine: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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June 14th, 2017:  – Wednesday

Remember the Road Closures:

  • Cattleman’s Bridge on Spring Gulch Road. (This might be closed for a year and a half)
  • Gros Ventre Road between the Highway and the GV Campground. (No updates)
  • Middle Section of Mormon Row Road (Likely closed until the GV Road is reopened)

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: I took this photo in my back yard this morning.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Western Tanager

Western TanagerNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Raven

Raven: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Back Yard Birding: Bullock’s Orioles have moved on for the year. I haven’t seen Lazuli Buntings in a while, either. Tanagers are still around in good numbers. I’ve seen a few Black-headed Grosbeaks off and on. In most years, I start photographing Hummingbirds when the other songbirds leave the yard. This year, I’ve seen and heard only a fraction of the normal Hummingbird visitors. The Flicker family is still active, but I haven’t seen any of the babies at the opening yet.

Six June Photos

Six June Photos: I did a quick trip into the Park, entering at the Granite Station on the Moose-Wilson Road. While in the Park, I was able to get a record shot of a Cinnamon colored Black Bear, a young Bull Moose, and a few shots of Elk on a ridge. I took all of them from the window of my truck. On the way back home, I found two other young Bull Moose along the Moose-Wilson Road. Most of these are what I might consider “record shots”. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

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June 13th, 2017:  – Tuesday

March of the GoslingsMarch of the Goslings: Caught at the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR OFF.

Great Blue Herons

Great Blue Herons: Found at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Handheld, VR On.

Elk Ranch Cabins

Elk Ranch Cabins: Remains of an old JH Dude Ranch with rainy distant mountains. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Taken at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe: Also at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: Captured near Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Dusky Flycatcher

Dusky Flycatcher or Western Wood Peewee: If I have the identification wrong on this one, please let me know! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Dusky Flycatcher

Dusky Flycatcher or Western Wood Peewee: Taken near Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

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June 12th, 2017:  – Monday

RainbowRainbow & Moon: Taken along the south boundary of Grand Teton National Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24 Lens.

Teton Peaks

Teton Peaks:

Monday Morning Grizzlies

Monday Morning Grizzlies: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod, VR Off.

Grizzlies On Knowl

Grizzlies On Knowl: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Arrowleaf Balsom Root

Arrowleaf Balsom Root: Taken near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks: Taken near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Sparring Bison

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

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: I did a quick run up Spring Gulch Road to check out the washed out bridge. This Bald Eagle was hunting near an irrigation ditch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Box L Barns

Box L Barns: I took this one from a long distance. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

Irrigation

Irrigation: Along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. 1/60th second, Handheld, VR On.

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June 11th, 2017:  – Sunday

Many Strings

Many Strings: At most rendezvous, Many Strings is playing a banjo. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

New Feature Post: Fort Henry Rendezvous 2017

Barrow's Golden Eyes

Barrow’s Golden Hen and Kids: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Barrow's Golden Eyes

Barrow’s Golden Eye Kids: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Barrow's Golden Eyes

Barrow’s Golden Hen and Kids: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Wigeon

Wigeon: Taken at Swchwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Kildeer and Kids

Kildeer and Kids: Taken near Elk Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Blondie and Kids

Blondie and Kids: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

399 and Elk

399, Kids, and Elk: Taken near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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June 10th, 2017:  – Saturday

Fort Henry Rendezvous 2015: I am heading over to the Fort Henry Rendezvous this morning. They should have clear skies or maybe partly cloudy skies, while we are having rain and drizzle here.  This page contains a schedule of some of the regional Rendezvous:  Mountain Man Rendezvous:

Idaho Fields

Idaho Fields: On my way to the Rendezvous, I stopped for a few farming photos. I want to go back and spend an entire day with the farms and barns.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Idaho Barn

Idaho Barn: There are lots of old barns and structures in Eastern Idaho. I had Rendezvous on my agenda, so I didn’t get much time for the other opportunities. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Fort Henry Rendezvous

Fort Henry Rendezvous: This rendezvous is in a wonderful setting. It is hardly a mile from the historic Fort Henry location—along the Henry’s Fork (of the Snake) River. Since it is in a rural area, the attendees have access to a shooting range for black powder rifles and muskets. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Fort Henry Rendezvous

Fort Henry Rendezvous: I didn’t plan on making a new Feature Post on this year’s Rendezvous, but I ended up with a lot of nice images. They seem to be screaming for their place on the site! The Fort Henry Rendezvous continues through tomorrow, so you still have a chance to go! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Tim Tanner

Tim Tanner: If you go to this year’s Fort Henry Rendezvous, look for Tim Tanner’s authentic trapper’s camp. He belongs to the AMM (American Mountain Man) group. They painstakingly research the Mountain Man period from roughly 1825-1840 and recreate the gear and lifestyle. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Gears and Chains

Sprockets and Chains: On the way home, I stopped at a few spots to “do the grunge” thing. This was on an old piece of machinery in Ririe, ID. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Grain Separator

Grain Separator: To be honest, I don’t know what this thing is? I can’t even begin to guess how anyone could engineer and build something like this! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Lark Bunting

Lark Bunting: This isn’t a great shot, but I’ll post it here in case there are any “birders”. From what I understand, this bird isn’t common around here. I saw it in the top of sagebrush on the “Powerline Road” (dirt road portion of Ditch Creek Road) on Thursday. Richard Pontius has been spotting a few of them east of Cody.

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June 9th, 2017:  – Friday

“Per Teton County Road & Levee Department, the Cattleman’s Bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road (County Road 22-4) is closed until further notice. Teton County Sheriff’s Office deputies noticed structural changes to the bridge and immediately notified Road & Levee. Upon arrival, Road & Levee personnel closed the bridge due to apparent compromising of key structural features, likely due to high flows from the Gros Ventre River.”..received through Nixel.

Another Day at the Office

Brand New Feature Post: Another Day at the Office! I didn’t plan on adding another Feature Post so close to the last one, but this page “fell into my lap”.

My recent Feature Post about Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park: mentioned going to Cascade Canyon and visiting Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. You can usually get there by taking the Ferry from Jenny Lake Visitor Area or hiking in from either end of the lake. A good friend, Maurice Horn added this comment to the page.

“On Monday, June 5, 2017 We found Hidden Falls closed for maintenance and to give the area a rest and recovery from the vast hordes of people over many years. Boats were not landing at the boat dock on the West side of Jenny Lake. Some of the boats are work boats. The trail from the String Lake parking lot was closed after about two and a half miles. It was blocked with a closed sign. At that point the trail up into Cascade Canyon was open. Needless to say the String Lake parking lot was jammed with cars. We met lots of hikers, but much less than if the ferry boats were landing. Most boats that day seemed to be operating sightseeing tours on Jenny lake without landing anywhere.” MH

Teton Wildflowers

Teton Wildflowers: The RKO Road is open (finally!) Yesterday, I went to Bar-B-C for a few shots. Today, I made the 16.2 mile loop. This shot was taken just after first light of a hillside of Balsom Root. At the time, there were no clouds. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

RKO Clouds

RKO Clouds: I’ve always driven the RKO road in a four wheel drive. I’d recommend one, even if you never put it into 4 wheel drive. The road is rough, and there are three rough, steep ravines. Around 7:00 am, clouds started rolling in. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Snake River

Snake River: The road follows parallel to the Snake in most areas, though elevated on a bench roughly 100 feet up. The Snake is running fast and muddy. It was supposed to have peaked yesterday, but I haven’t heard an official report. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Incoming Clouds

Incoming Clouds: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: In GTNP, Pronghorns can be quite elusive. This one seemed curious. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Bounding Pronghorn

Bounding Pronghorn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Blondie and Cub

Blondie and Cub: Captured near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

Pilgrim Creek Road

Pilgrim Creek Road: Typically, I don’t post the exact location of a bear, but you can see here that it was not a secret today. This is only a very small fraction of the people lining the roadway!

Blondie's Cub

Blondie’s Cub: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

Blondie and Cub

Blondie and Cub: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

399 and Cubs

399 and Cubs: I saw both sows with two COY each. This one caused and even larger bear jam. 399 has a collar. I cloned in some fur on this photo. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500 Lens. Tripod

Cathedral Group Plain

Cathedral Group Plain: I took this shot from the Inner Park Loop Road near the Spaulding Bay entrance. I didn’t use a Polarizing Filter, Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Cathedral Group with Polarizer

Cathedral Group with Polarizer:  This shot shows how the image looked with my Polarizing Filter attached. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Cathedral Group without Polarizer

Cathedral Group with Lightroom Adjustments: In Lightroom, I adjusted the Luminosity of the blues using the Blue slider in the HSL adjustments. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Cathedral Group NIK

Cathedral Group NIK: In this photo, I started with the same image as the first one in this series, then applied the Polarizer filter in NIK Color Effex Pro. Over the past few years, I’ve moved away from using a polarizing filter in the field, and especially when doing pano images. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Heading out early. Check back!

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June 8th, 2017:  – Thursday

Another Road Closure! Cattleman’s Bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Rd is CLOSED until further notice.

Gros Ventre Road

This aerial photo is on GTNP’s Facebook page, showing the erosion next to Gros Ventre Road. While on Antelope Flats Road yesterday, I saw truck after truck go by with large boulders in the trailer. I assume they are dumping them into the river to protect the road.

The gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road should be open at 8:00 am today.

Black Rock Ranger District site: This page shows some of the destruction and erosion in the Crystal Creek Campground.

Jackson Lake Root

Jackson Lake Root: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Spaulding Bay Wildflowers

Spaulding Bay Wildflowers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Spaulding Bay Wildflowers

Spaulding Bay Wildflowers: Arrowleaf Balsom Root. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Bar BC Fireplace

Bar BC Fireplace: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Bar BC Cabin: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Bison: Near Elk Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Morning Bison: Near Elk Ranch.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Pronghorn: Along the old Jackson Road near Elk Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Readhead Pair: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

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June 7th, 2017:  – Wednesday

New Feature Post: Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park: After 31 years in Jackson Hole, I can hopefully share some insights on how to dodge much of the congestion in the Park and help relieve stress in the process! Check it out!

GV Road Closure Map

Gros Ventre Road Closure Map: This is a HUGE closure! The swift, high current of the Gros Ventre is undercutting the bank in one portion of the road. The last time I went by there, the Park Service had placed about 50 cones to keep people from parking along the edge. Since then, they closed that section of the road. When a went to the permit holder’s meeting a month or so ago, we were told that portion of the road would be converted to a one-way road towards Kelly during the August Eclipse. This could throw a massive wrench in that plan if the road is still closed or under construction at the time. Also, notice they also closed a portion of Mormon Row Road.

The Other MAJOR Closure is the gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road. It will open at 8:00 am tomorrow. You might find other temporary closures where water from local streams is covering roadways. Numerous officials were inspecting the flooding on the east side of the highway near the GV bridge last evening.

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: There are lots of Arrowleaf Balsom Root wildflowers along the East Boundary Road this year. I should have been out earlier when the sky was slate gray and moody over the mountains, but now know to be ready. There are many more varieties of wildflowers that appear to be coming up in the same area. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

Traffic

Traffic: This was taken at the intersection of Antelope Flats Road and the East Boundary Road. A large semi-truck had bunched this group up, but large numbers of campers, tour buses, tourists, and construction workers are having to use the two narrow roads to get to the GV campground and areas up the Gros Ventre drainage. Beating the Summer Crowds in Grand Teton National Park: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

Stormy Skies

Stormy Skies: Taken at the Mormon Row barns. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

Murphy Barn

Murphy Barn: This homestead is on the north end of Mormon Row. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70 mm Lens.

Bison Bull and Brown-headed Cowbirds

Bison Bull and Brown-headed Cowbirds: Captured along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Sparring Bison

Sparring Bison: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Sparring Bison

Sparring Bison: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Tipi

Tipi and Soggy Skies: Also captured along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

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June 6th, 2017:  – Tuesday

Road Closures:

  • The gravel section of the Moose-Wilson Road is closed today for dust abatement and will reopen reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, June 8. You will still have access to the LSR Preserve from the asphalt portion coming in from the North.
  • Pilgrim Creek Road is closed due to flooding and Grizzly activity.
  • Cattleman’s Bridge near Oxbow Bend is partially closed due to flooding.
  • The Gros Ventre Road is closed between the Highway Junction and somewhere near the GV Campground. The river is washing out the bank under the road. You can still access Kelly and the Campground via Antelope Flats Road.

Sorry about the late post last night! Days are getting long and I didn’t return until close to dark. It takes a while to have some dinner and then go through the photos.

Big News Flash: I mentioned it last night, but the Beaver Dams along the river section at Schwabacher are gone. High water from the main river washed them away. The old reflection pool is still in good shape.

Teton Range

Teton Range: Call this one a reconnaissance image…something I do a lot. I would need to get up EARLY and get to the vista views from Togwottee Mtn. This was taken at mid-morning. I can see a ton of potential there if the peaks are visible and there are good morning clouds and light. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

Balsom Root

Arrowleaf Balsom Root are in full bloom on Togwottee Pass, mostly in the first few miles from the Hatchet Resort. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

Balsom Root

Balsom Root: Taken from a hillside location on Togwottee Pass if heading towards Dubois from Moran Junction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

Other Flowers: I am seeing Sticky Geraniums, early Mule’s Ear, Low Larkspur, more Purple Lupine, & Skyrocket Gillia scattered around.

Young Marmots

Young Marmots: Yellow-bellied Marmot babies are now starting to appear at the dens. This one was along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Young Marmots

Young Marmots: There were at least four babies in this group. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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June 5th, 2017:  – Monday

Afternoon Clouds

Afternoon Clouds: I spent the morning going through some of the recent images and doing a little paperwork. Hopefully, I can get out some this afternoon, so check back. The image above was taken along Spring Gulch Road as a band of storm clouds passed by. (I had planned on watching the NBA championship game and doing the paperwork I am doing now, but when I see this kind of clouds, basketball and bookkeeping can wait.) I captured this one just as a cloud darkened the lower section—adding drama and interest. This image was captured as a two shot vertical pano and stitched in Lightroom. Most cameras have an AF/L button, but a D810 also has an AF/L-AE/L button that can lock both focus and exposure settings. This makes it very quick and easy to capture pano image parts. If you have a Nikon D800 or D810, give it a try! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens,  Handheld.

Google® Nik® Collection Discontinued: “The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.” Learn more about Nik. (Source: Google)  Better get this free collection while you can!

Tomorrow!!!! – A temporary travel closure will be in place on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park June 6-8, for a dust abatement application. The temporary closure will begin at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 6 and the road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, June 8.

Meadowlark

Meadowlark: Before heading out this afternoon, I set up the LensAlign and AF Fine tuned the Tamron 150-600mm G2 with both the Nikon D810 and Nikon D500. This Meadowlark was on Mormon Row Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Garter Snake

Garter Snake: For now, I’ll call this a Garter Snake…could be a Ribbon Snake? This part of Wyoming has few reptiles so I typically don’t have to identify them. This snake was at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: Over the past few years, Beavers have been busy building a series of dams along the side channel of the Snake. They are all gone! Their handiwork is no match for this year’s gushing high water. The riffle above is from a remnant of the dam below the parking lot. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Baby Barrows

Baby Barrows: The upper reflection pond is holding up fine (so far) and home to a set of eight baby Barrow’s Golden-eyes. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Baby Chisler

Baby Chisler: There is a bumper crop of baby Uinta Ground Squirrels this year. There were lots of them at Schwabacher and I’ve seen a lot around the Barns. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler: All of the shots at Schwabacher Landing were taken with the Tamron G2 and Nikon D500. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Fuzzy Yellow Flowers

Fuzzy Yellow Flowers: Not sure the name of these flowers found in good numbers at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR Off.

Three Quarter Moon

Three Quarter Moon: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

Resting Cross Fox

Resting Cross Fox: This one is quite shaggy right now. His penetrating eyes are captivating. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR Off.

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June 4th, 2017:  – Sunday

Bull Elk In Velvet

Bull Elk In Velvet: I try to vary the subject matter here on Best of the Tetons. Grizzlies every day? (I wish I had that problem). I had a text report of one of the sows being visible this morning, but I opted to stay south and look for other subjects. These beautiful bulls were along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF at 1/500th second.

Bull Elk In Velvet

Bull On the Move: The sun was just beginning to show over the eastern mountains when I took these shots. That’s Jackson Peak in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On, Mode 3 at 1/320th second.

Bull Elk In Velvet

Bull Elk: These Elk were heading towards the cover of the forest when I first spotted them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On, Mode 3 at 1/320th second.

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse: I heard this male “drumming”, which helped me find him initially. Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

Granite Creek

Granite Creek: Just for something different, I drove around 30 miles south of Jackson to the Granite Creek Drainage. The creek is running high and off color, but nothing like the Oklahoma red mud color of the Hoback. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Handheld, VR OFF.

Granite Falls

Granite Falls:  After leaving the Hoback Canyon highway, the falls are roughly 10 miles up a gravel road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Handheld, VR OFF.

Granite Falls

Granite Falls: I made it to the area at around 8:30am. The falls were still in the shadows, but not for long. If going back, I’d either leave 30 minutes earlier or would wait for an overcast day. Later in the year, you can walk out onto the terraces of the falls. Some people wade it to get to a natural hot springs pool on the other side, but not now! There’s a lot of water blasting through the area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

Granite Falls

Granite Falls: I processed around 10 images from there, but will only post these few. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

Granite Falls

Granite Falls: By about 9:30 am, sun begins to hit the water in front of the falls, and eventually the entire zone. I shot this one using a tripod as a 5 shot bracketed set, with two stops between each capture. The five photos were blended to a single DNG file in Lightroom. Check out the links below for more information and maps to the Falls. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

Granite Falls and Granite Creek:
Lesser Seen Regional Waterfalls
Intermittent Springs: Another Lesser Seen Regional Waterfall.

Granite Creek.

Granite Creek: A fire swept through parts of the Granite Creek drainage last year. Fire crews protected the summer homes farther up the canyon. Evidence of the fire is visible in a few areas. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

Battle Mountain Lodge

Battle Mountain Lodge: When we moved to Jackson back in 1986, some of these structures were still standing along the Hoback Canyon at the confluence of Granite Creek and Hoback River. There’s not much evidence of the building’s existence now.

Tractor Grill

Tractor Grill: For quite a few years, the Teton Mystery Spot attracted tourists as they drove through the Canyon. It had an antique store associated with it, which had quite a few antique tractors, harvesters, wagons and so forth. The area is being rezoned for housing, so the antique remnants will soon be history. I stopped in today and took a few photos before they are gone. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

“Don’t it always seem to go? You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Afternoon Storm Clouds

Afternoon Storm Clouds: Taken along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

Scratching Fox

Scratching Fox: Late evening capture. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

Yawning Vixen

Yawning Vixen: A temporary rest after a long day of hunting. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR On.

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June 3rd, 2017:  – Saturday

I spent the day on a tour—teaching and assisting. We worked on switching between photographing landscapes and wildlife using one body and several lenses. We were adjusting the EV settings to modify exposures in varying conditions and subjects.

Wheels

Wheels: Experimenting with depth of field on one of the old wagons near Kelly. This one was taken at F/2.8 at fairly close range. Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200mm. Handheld

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Shooting up through the backlit Balsom Root flowers on the Inner Park Loop Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld

Bison in Summer Grass

Bison in Summer Grass: Taken along Antelope Flats Road. On these shots, I was explaining varying kinds of focusing methods along with tips on how to isolate a subject from distracting elements in the background. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm. Tripod, with VR off.

Cathedral Group

Cathedral Group: Taken along the road into the String Lake area. Nikon D500 and Nikon 24-70mm. Handheld.

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. June is filling, but there are still openings. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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June 2nd, 2017:  – Friday

Bison and Mt. Liedy

Bison and Mt. Liedy: Soft morning light across Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm. Handheld, VR OFF.

Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot: Captured along Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

399 and Cubs

399 and Cubs: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

399 and Cub

399 and Cubs: Everyone has to have at least one of these images in their collection. 399 has a collar with a couple of dangling straps, but I typically remove them in Photoshop. Too bad she has a collar in the first place! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: I took this image in the deep shadows of the forest. For most of my images, I have been turning VC/VR off when shooting above 1/500th of a second. For wildlife, that’s almost always! I had to hand hold for this set of shots. The first ones were 1/1250th second at F/6.3, pushing the ISO up to 16,000. I cut the shutter speed down to 1/125th second at F/6.3 and turned the VC on (Mode 3). ISO dropped to a very tolerable value of 1400. Since the squirrel was holding fairly still, I got some sharp shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR ON.

A Quick Drink

A Quick Drink: I stood in the shadows for a long time waiting for this Cow Moose to come down to the small pool of water near the Moose-Wilson junction at Moose. I got a few shots before a big truck with a diesel engine spooked her back into the dark cover. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

Grand Peaks

Grand Peaks: Taken near the Mt. Moran pull out on the Inner Park Loop Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm. Handheld, VR OFF.

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June 1st, 2017:  – Thursday

Most of the roads are now open in Grand Teton National Park with the exceptions of the RKO Road and Grassy Lake Road. Two Ocean Lake Road is now open. Signal Mountain Road is technically open, but crews are working along the road to the top during hours between 9:00 and 4:30 or so. Go there either early or late. Most facilities and amenities are open for the Summer.

MOOSE, WY- A temporary travel closure will be in place on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park June 6-8, for a dust abatement application. The temporary closure will begin at approximately 4 a.m. Tuesday, June 6 and the road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, June 8.

Oxbow Pano

To start the month, check out: May 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP. Information for the last couple of weeks on that page will typically resemble what you can expect at the first few weeks of June. Note: The initial photos on this page are from the last couple of days. I’ll replace them with new June photos sometime tonight.

Fence and Flowers

Wildflowers are starting to become common features across the valley. Dandelions blanket Elk Ranch Flats, while bouquets of Arrowleaf Balsom Root are springing up in many areas. Purple Lupine are blooming in many southern areas of the valley. Low Lupine are sprinkled among the Balsom Root plants. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm. Handheld, VR OFF.

Geese Family

June is a good time to see babies! Watch of baby Moose along the river bottoms. Watch for baby Bison along the Gros Ventre, in the Kelly and Mormon Row area, and at Elk Ranch Flats. Others may be seen along the RKO Road when it opens. Elk calves are being born and hunted by the Grizzlies around Willow Flats. Fox kits are out of the dens at times if you can find them. Same for Coyote pups. June is a good time to find young birds at nesting cavities. D810 and Nikon 70-120 Lens. Handheld.

Lazy Marmot

Lazy Marmot: Taken at the northern end of Pacific Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

Cow Elk

Cow Elk: Taken along Pacific Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

For much of the year, adult birds and mammals only need to find enough food for themselves. As young in dens and nests grow, and are needing to be fed, you will often find otherwise elusive wildlife forced to hunt during the daylight hours. The list might include Foxes, Coyotes, Badgers, Owls, Eagles, Hawks, and so forth. Timing is perfect! The new crop of young gophers, mice, and ground squirrels coincide with the needs of the hunters.

Coyote

Coyote: Taken next to Pilgrim Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Handheld, VR OFF.

Wildlife: Watch for White Pelicans at the Jackson Lake Dam. Two of the Grizzly sows showed up recently with two cubs each. Several other independent Grizzlies have also been seen in the northern portion of the park. A bull Moose seems to have taken up residence near the bridge over the Snake River at Moose Junction. Most people think of Schwabacher Landing as a place to go for landscapes, but you might also see Moose, Deer, Elk, Owls, Otters, Beavers, and various Waterfowl. Baby Golden-Eyes should be on the water soon! D5 and Tamron 150-600 Lens G2. Tripod, VR OFF.

You might also enjoy seeing this Feature Post: Critters!

Elk ranch Flats

Elk Ranch Flats: This moody shot was taken as stormy clouds began gathering behind the Tetons. D810 and Nikon 70-120 Lens. Handheld.

Other First of the Month Notes: Gasoline is still hovering at $2.45 to $2.55 per gallon, self-serve Unleaded at most stations in town. It is $2.69 in most places outside town and in the Park. This is the “long days month”. Meaning sunrise is at 5:45 am and sunset is at 8:57 pm today and will continue to lengthen until the Solstice around June 21st. Temperatures are now starting to rise enough to force the dark mammals into the shade during the warmer parts of the day. Be out early and late! Rivers and streams are extremely high and muddy. There is still plenty of snow on the mountains, but it is melting fairly fast with the recent warm weather.

Drones

I recently saw a “pilot” fly his drone over a herd of Bison at Elk Flats. Not everyone knows the rules. Not everyone that goes through the park on the Highway gets a flyer with the rules, and not all of them even know they are in a National Park.

Mallard Take Off

Mallard Take Off: Taken at the Flat Creek Wetlands north of the Visitor’s Center. D810 and Nikon 70-120 Lens. Handheld.

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!

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Comments (16)

  1. Carl Gandolfo

    Finally, June is here!!
    Hope to see you somewhere around town, or in the park, during my visit!!

    Thank you again for all that you do to help keep us visitors up to date!

    Carl

  2. Great news to see that the Tetons are banning drones in the park..

  3. Love your blog – thanks for taking the time! I read it regularly, and often share with family who have been to GTNP with me. I was thrilled to learn that 399 has two COY again. Given her age, we thought she might not have any more offspring. We had a fantastic time last May watching her interact with her COY, and were devastated when he was killed a week after we returned home. The obvious affection and tenderness she showed while playing with him was just amazing.

  4. Carl Gandolfo

    Mike, at what age do the researchers first tag and/or collar the new grizzly cubs and do they also keep track of their lineage?

    Thank you,
    Carl

  5. Carl, I heard 399 is 22 years old. She has been collared several times. She has been studied for years, so it makes everyone wonder why she would need a collar. You would think the more important information would come from the two year old bears as she kicks them off and they have to go their own way. As far as I know, neither of 610’s sub-adults got collared.

  6. Kathy Harrison

    Thanks for the exif on the red squirrel. Helpful.

  7. Phillip Jones

    In Aug, I’ll be heading to GTNP for the first time. Your website is full of valuable info. Thank you for taking the time to keep it up-to-date and posting advice.

    Your Tamron 150-600 G2 is sharp. I purchased one for my D500, but it wasn’t sharp. Tuned it w/ FocCal, but the adjustment did not overcome what I deemed to be an optical issue. My older Sigma 150-600 was way sharper. Ended up returning the G2.

  8. Phillip, sorry to hear your G2 wasn’t sharp (sounds like my first one). I had the added benefit of being able to test the new one on the spot before bringing it home. If the first one had been as good as the second one, I could have saved a lot of time and heartburn! MJ

  9. Brian Holberg

    Thanks for the baby marmot photos.

  10. Trevor

    In regards to the Gros Ventre Road Closure do you know if the Campground is remaining open? Is it being impacted in anyway?

  11. It’s open! Refer to the map to see you will need to enter from Antelope Flats Road!

  12. Dave Ryan

    Great images as always Mike. Thanks for the update on the Moose Wilson road, I was wondering when that would open up. Let’s catch up one of these days.

    -Dave

  13. Hey Mike, that’s my van on the corner at the bear jam. I’m in the pic, too. Good to see you again. We’re back at the office editing our Teton shoot.
    See you later,
    Jim

  14. Brian Holberg

    Mike – Any photos of the bridge washed out on Spring Gulch Road?

    Also are the bears less skittish now then a month ago? When we were there in mid may they were on the move. No way you could just stand there like your photos with a tripod and get them. In your photos they appear more at ease and could care less about the humans.

  15. Brian, I drove down Spring Gulch Road. Signs are up near then south entrance from the Highway saying the road is closed 5 miles ahead. I drove to the end where I saw a bunch of heavy equipment, barricades, and roped off areas. It was raining at the time, but I could see the bridge damage. This particular bridge is probably doomed, and it could be a year or longer before it is replaced. It was already scheduled to be rebuilt, but they hadn’t bid the project yet. According to a report in the News, they don’t want to spend money to repair what is left of the old bridge.

    Possibly the two Grizzly sows are more comfortable now than when they first appeared, but I don’t have much of a reference point. When I went up early looking for them, I didn’t see them at all. I happened to be at a good spot yesterday when they crossed, so all I had to do was shoot out the window. I couldn’t move even if I wanted because of the traffic. She didn’t stay by the road long, however.

  16. Diana LeVasseur

    Hi Mike,

    I think your dusky flycatcher is a western wood peewee. Great shots!

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