Best of the Tetons

Flat Creek and Barn

January 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

“In Winter’s Grip” 

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

Daily Updates Archives: ~
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Check Out These TWO Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole

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January 31, 2018 – Wednesday

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: I set my alarm for 5:00 am so I could have a chance to photograph the Lunar Eclipse. When I looked outside, the moon was just a glow through the clouds. Oh well! I went back to bed. One of my old 3TB hard drives apparently died over the past couple of days. I added a new 8TB and have been copying files from the backup drive to it. While the files were being transferred, I did a quick loop close to home and spotted this Great Horned Owl tucked in a dense tree. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

End of the Month! Watch for a new February Daily Journal tomorrow.

Christmas Lights are still on the Elk Antlers and Town Square Trees. Worth a shot or two if you are in town!

If you are interested in taking a Best of the Tetons Photo Tour with me, click the photo below! For inquiries, send an email to info@bestofthetetons.com. I have numerous openings in February and March. You can also book now for a May Photo Tour! Book early for September…slots fill fast!

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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January 30, 2018 – Tuesday

2018 Olympics begin February 8th

Corey and Ireland's Prime Minister

Please allow me a few minutes to highlight one of my two “boys”. Fathers get to do this once in a while…right?

This photo is of my youngest son, Corey, shaking hands and talking with Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar. Corey is the Half Pipe ski coach for Park City United Ski Team in Park City, UT. He coaches a youngster that recently qualified for the Winter Olympics in South Korea. They will be proudly representing Ireland in their new green gear!

Ireland's Winter Olympians, Coaches and OfficialsTeam Ireland Winter Olympians gathered for a photo op—sporting their new team gear. They left Ireland and headed for Pyeongchang with plenty of pins and swag to give away and trade in the Olympic Village.

I’m sure it will be a trip of a lifetime for Corey. We all wish him safety and success at the Olympics.

Corey Jackson On Instagram Click the link to see quite a few action photos and videos.

Tyler, the older of the two kids, is a graphic designer at a screen print shop in Denver, CO. He graduated at the University of Wyoming with a degree in Graphic Arts. Both were home recently during the holiday season.


Morning

Morning: Here’s one more photo of the moose from yesterday. I was ready if the bull stopped, turned and looked at me, but he didn’t. Light was spectacular in the close zones and on the distant mountains! From that location, we could hear Wolves howling in the distant snow fields. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

4H Fishing Club Catch and Release

In case you missed it, check out the new Feature Post: 4-H Fishing Club – JH Style!

Mallard Duck on Snow

Mallard Duck on Snow: Just before lunch, I did a quick loop around town and ended up at the Flat Creek Wetlands on the north edge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mallard

Mallard: Shooting in low light conditions, I managed to get a few birds in flight. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Barrow's Golden Eye

Barrow’s Golden Eye: This one is as much about the water as the bird. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Barrow's Golden Eye

Barrow’s Golden Eye: This part of Flat Creek should be frozen almost solid in late January but recent warm temperatures have reopened most flowing rivers and streams. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: The “Super Moon” should have come up near the Sleeping Indian this afternoon at around 5:00. I was there but the moon was a no-show. Notice the lack of snow on the valley floor and hillsides. There are a lot of cow and calf elk on the south end of the National Refuge. Most of the bulls are farther north. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

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January 29, 2018 – Monday

Morning Range

Morning Range: The lights in this photo are from the JH Airport, long before sunrise. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

First Light

First Light: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. This light dulled only a few seconds after I took this one. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: Captured North of Kelly as the first of the morning light struck the valley floor. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: Better light…maybe 10 minutes later. I am curious whether any of the bulls will still have antlers on February 1st. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Shots from today illustrate why I prefer zoom lenses. After leaving the truck, I don’t know if I will be taking head shots, full body profile shots, sparring shots or wildlife with a fair amount of the landscape. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Wolves

Wolves: There were three in this group and another a short distance from them. One of the group is limping. I would have loved to have been much closer! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: One of several hawks taking up residence along Spring Gulch Road this winter. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Take-Off

Take-Off: Split second after the take-off. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

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January 28, 2018 – Sunday

Super Blue Blood Moon: Early morning of Jan. 31st. We’ll have the second full moon this month, giving it the title of Blue Moon. Additionally, there will be a lunar eclipse, creating the Blood Moon part.

4H Ice Fishing

4H Ice Fishing: The 4H Fishing Club slayed the cutthroat trout at the Snake River Sporting Club event today. Weather was perfect! Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. Handheld.

Wildlife Report: I did a run down the Snake River to Alpine before going to the Ice Fishing event. I saw a total of five Mountain Goats, but they were high on the ridges. I didn’t even consider pulling out the gear. Hopefully, they will be coming down in numbers and on a regular basis in February. Alpine will be hosting their Winter Jubilee in a couple of weeks.

4H Michael Rhodes

4H Michael Rhodes: Grins from ear to ear were common for the kids, volunteers, and parents. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. Handheld.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Captured along one of the county roads.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 27, 2018 – Saturday

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: This is the first GGO I’ve seen this year—hopefully not my last! It was in a cottonwood grove on private property.

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January 26, 2018 – Friday

Pedigree® Stage Stop Race: Friday evening, January 26th on the Square in Jackson Hole.

Super Blue Blood Moon: Early morning of Jan. 31st. We’ll have the second full moon this month, giving it the title of Blue Moon. Additionally, there will be a lunar eclipse, creating the Blood Moon part.

Resting Moose

Resting Moose: Right now, sunrise is at 7:45 am and sunset is at 5:26 pm. The sun clears the eastern mountains at 8:00 or so (varies depending on where you are). Moose are usually active from around 7:30 am to roughly 9:30 am. At that point, they drop into the sagebrush and can be hard to spot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: There’s a carcass roughly 150-200 yards off the Gros Ventre Road, attracting quite a few Bald Eagles, Ravens, Crows, and Magpies. This eagle was in a tree fairly close to the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Refuge Elk

Refuge Elk: Apparently, the trailing calf entered one of the Elk Jumps along the highway, but the cow stayed on the highway side of the fence. The female ran down the fence line looking for her entrance spot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Barn in Snow

Barn in Snow: Taken during a brief afternoon snowfall. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Southpark

South Park: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 25, 2018 – Thursday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: At least three of the bulls I saw this afternoon still have antlers. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Winter Cattle

Winter Cattle: We had a bit of new snow today, with more in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon. In most years, snow would be covering the sagebrush where the bulls in the previous photo were standing. Captured on Spring Gulch Road during the short lived storm. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 24, 2018 – Wednesday

Winter in the Tetons Pano

Winter in the Tetons: Stitched pano. Click on the image to see it much larger. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Elk Herd

Elk Herd: Captured along the East Boundary Road. This group should soon join the growing herds now on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Wolves have been in the area, so both Moose and Elk are extremely alert and wary. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Kelly Wagons

Kelly Wagons: I like to stop for these old wagons when the light is interesting. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Raven

Raven: These scavengers are extremely opportunistic. In town, they look for trash cans with exposed plastic bags of garbage. They tear through the plastic and feast on the scattered prizes. They are also great indicators of a carcass near the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 23, 2018 – Tuesday

Frosty Bison

Frosty Bison: Captured on the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I spotted at least five different bulls with antlers this morning. Amazing! It’s January 23rd! This bull was in the sage flats north of Kelly. The spots in the far left distance are Bison…lagging on heading onto the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: This young bull was exiting Ditch Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels: We had three or four inches of new snow again today and the mountains got much more. Taken at the edge of Kelly. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: This River Otter, along the Moose-Wilson Road, returned to the ice shelf with a captured frog. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Flat Creek and Barn

Flat Creek and Barn: Taken near the end of the day in South Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Captured late in the day in South Park. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 22, 2018 – Monday

Starry Night

Starry Night at Snake River Overlook: Skies were clear when I headed north at 4:00am, but clouds were beginning to roll over the peaks when I made it to SRO. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Starry Night

Starry Night: Also taken at SRO. It was -10°F, with a slight breeze. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: By the time I made it to the East Boundary Road, snow was falling. I watched 9 Moose nervously moving across the sage before first light. They seemed to be worried about some sort of predator. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Of roughly 18-20 moose I saw this morning, two or three still had antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Morning Bull Moose

Morning Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 21, 2018 – Sunday

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle: Instead of going into the Park, I headed south this morning. I had hoped to find Mountain Goats on the cliffs in the Snake River Canyon, but none of them were visible today. On the way down, I stopped to take a few photos of this immature Bald Eagle. When driving back through the same zone on the way home, I saw a couple of Golden Eagles. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Alpine Elk Herd

Alpine Elk Herd: This bull was mixed in with a herd of cows in the Refuge just south of Alpine. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Truck in Snow

Truck in Snow: Spotted south of Alpine. It could have easily fit into this recent post: Rural Wyoming Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Vintage Wagon

Vintage Wagon: Taken at Hoback Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Winter Barns

Winter Barns: Captured south of Jackson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 20, 2018 – Saturday

Morning in the Park

Bison Cow

Bison Cow: Bison are moving south. Hunters are waiting for them to roam outside the Park boundaries and into the National Elk Refuge. After a few shots, many of them will be back in the sage flats. This Bison was photographed near the Kelly Warm Springs. People have been seeing Wolves in the same area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Morning Outside the Park

Coyote

Coyote: This is a fairly tight crop of a Coyote hunting along Spring Gulch Road. You might also see Coyotes on the National Elk Refuge, around Kelly, and on Elk Ranch Flats.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: Captured along Spring Gulch Road. This is one of half a dozen hawks I saw this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: This is a two shot pano stitched in Lightroom. Check out this recent Feature Post: Rural Wyoming Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Captured from the blind in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Downey Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker: Also captured from my back yard bird blind. If interested, check out these older posts!

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January 19, 2018 – Friday

Juxtaposed Centuries : Captured yesterday along the East Boundary Road.

Snow Day

Snowy Barn

Snowy Barn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Snowy Barn

Snowy Barn: Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Snowy Barn

Snowy Barn: Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

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January 18, 2018 – Thursday

 

Grand Pano

Grand Pano: Click the image to see it much larger! Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Tipi

Tipi: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

River Bottom Moose

River Bottom Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

River Bottom Moose

River Bottom Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bison Bulls

Bison Bulls: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bison on the Run

Bison on the Run: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Evening Barn

Evening Barn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 17, 2018 – Wednesday

Frosted Gros Ventre

Frosted Gros Ventre: Another frosty morning in JH. I took this shot from the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sun Lit Range

Sun Lit Range: Taken along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I saw four bulls with antlers this morning in the sage north of Kelly.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Lost Antlers

Lost Antlers: It looks like this bull lost his antlers earlier this morning. I could easily be wrong, but based on his clean ears and dewlap, he’s probably the same large bull I photographed yesterday. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Lost Antlers

Lost Antlers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sun Lit Structure

Sun Lit Structure: Captured along East Boundary Road. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured in the afternoon light at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: One of several Swan squabbles I witnessed this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Swans and Mallards

Swans and Mallards: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Swans and Mallards

Swans and Mallards: The pond is overseen by the Wyoming Wetlands Society. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 16, 2018 – Tuesday

Great Gray Owl in Cottonwoods

Last year’s January GGO: Last year, we had a LOT of snow in December. It was either a record year or close to it. Then in January, things warmed up and melted some of the snow. After that event, the weather turned very cold, creating a frozen crust or barrier. The Owls were having problems crashing through the top surface to get to the mice and voles underneath. Some of the owls moved to areas closer to roads where the snow pack may have been less and photographers had quite a few chances to capture them. A year later…not that much snow and I haven’t seen a single GGO. They are apparently scattered deeper in the forests.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: This morning, I spotted four or five bulls with antlers, including this nice bull. He has a twisted brow tine, seen quite a few times since fall. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: Much of the valley was in fog early, but this zone north of Kelly had beautiful, warm light for a short period of time. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: Ditch Creek’s cottonwoods can be seen in the distance, with part of Shadow Mountain behind them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: Quite a few of bulls are now “antlerless” but the bulls still display down turned ears as they approach another bull. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: The Moose were moving more or less parallel to the road this morning. I shot handheld from my window, or over a bean bag on the bed of my truck. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Frosted Farm

Frosted Farm: This was take south of Jackson. I saw -2°F for a while this morning and lots of 6°F. It’s 11:30 am now and most of the town of Jackson is still overcast. The weather report calls for “Mostly Clear” skies for the rest of the day.

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January 15, 2018 – Monday – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luthur King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Flags along Broadway in Jackson Hole. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Ravens

Ravens: These scavengers were lined up along the Highway next to the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Elk Refuge Sleighs

Elk Refuge Sleighs: Fog was a major player in Jackson Hole today. These two sleighs were taking tourists out to view the Elk herd up close and personal. There’s enough snow on the valley floor to allow the drivers to use sleighs and retire the wagons. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: Seen resting near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Foggy Kelly Structures

Foggy Kelly Structures: Recent Feature Post: Rural Wyoming This photo could have easily been on the recent post, but was taken only a few miles from town. Fog changes the mood and scene. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Wagons

Wagons: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 14, 2018 – Sunday

Bison Bulls

Bison Bulls: Early morning capture at Elk Flats in GTNP. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Bison Cow

Bison Cow: There’s quite a bit more snow north of the JH Airport than around town and the Gros Ventre area. A few of the Bison were south of Triangle X, but the big herds are still grazing at Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bison in Snow

Bison in Snow: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Running Bison

Running Bison: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mtn. Goat Nanny and Kid

Mtn. Goat Nanny and Kid: Taken in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat Nanny on Rocks: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Check out this earlier post: Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon: It includes more info and a few maps.

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January 13, 2018 – Saturday

Moose in Winter Sage

Moose in Winter Sage: Normally, by mid-January, heavy snow force Moose to leave the sage flats. This year, they are still grazing on bitter brush in the sage flats north of Kelly. Also, quite a few of the bulls still have antlers. Of maybe 15 moose I could see today, at least four still have antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Kelly Fence Line

Kelly Fence Line: The last snow storm closed Teton Pass and added a nice new layer to much of the valley.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Moose Hockey: There’s another hockey game tonight as Snow King. The puck drops as 7:30.

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January 12, 2018 – Friday

Coyote

Coyote: Spotted on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Seen along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Common Merganser

Female Common Merganser: Along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers: Another Winter Flat Creek resident. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 11, 2018 – Thursday

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: The mountains looked clear when I headed out this morning. By the time I headed up Spring Gulch Road, clouds rolled over the Grand. I occasionally crop in much tighter on the barn, but I liked the way the top of the peaks were lit. You might also notice the ski runs on the left side. They are part of the JH Mountain Resort at Teton Village. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: By this time of the year, the young calves of late May and early June are plenty capable of moving quickly across the sage flats and river bottoms. This is one of 31 Moose I saw this morning north of Kelly and along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Seen along Flat Creek around lunch time. Roughly 70 Bighorns were along the roadways at the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Light snow at Miller Butte this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Bighorns

Bighorns: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

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January 10, 2018 – Wednesday

Game Crossing Overpass

Game Crossing Overpass: This is an additional photo from my weekend trip to southern Wyoming. The Highway Department built several of these overpasses and many other game “underpasses” in some of the most accident prone zones. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. 

Wildlife Overpass

I read an article about these crossings—but couldn’t find the source just now. In short, the biologists watched Pronghorns the first year. They gathered on one side, but were spooked by the crossing. When ready, they sprinted across the overpass. In later years, they are reported to graze slowly across the same overpasses. Quick learners! Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens.

Windmill

New Feature Post: Rural Wyoming Many people are in such a hurry to get to their “destination” that they forget to enjoy the “journey”. While the page includes a lot of photos on my short trip, I would hope people see that photo opportunities all around us—and not limited to the high profile National Parks. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Craig and Thunder

Craig Knecht and Thunder: “My “Thunder” is one of those who came off the range south of Rock Springs 14 years ago, and as you know is a regular around the Jackson Town Square on Mounted Patrol Duty.”…Craig Knecht.

Wild Horses on White Mountain

Wild Horses on White Mountain: This horses may be some of Thunder’s distant cousins? The BLM corrals at Rock Springs are full of horses ready for adoption. I took this photo last weekend and the photo of Craig and Thunder were taken at the Memorial Day Parade last May. The Jackson Mounted Patrol is on hand during most of the parades, events, and Farmer’s Markets. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Afternoon on the Refuge

May Barn in Jackson Hole, WY

May Barn: Finally….snow! This barn is in East Jackson. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Resting Bighorn Ram

Resting Bighorn Ram: This afternoon, I counted 70 Bighorns. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bighorns on the Run

Bighorns on the Run: Something on the Crystal Butte sided of the road spooked this large herd, sending all of them at full speed to the Miller Butte side of the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bighorns on the Run

Bighorns on the Run: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Little Bighorn Lamb

Little Lamb: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 9, 2018 – Tuesday

Wild Horse Action

New Feature Post: Rural Wyoming I spent last night and this morning adding photos and text to this page from my weekend trip to SW Wyoming. If you like it, please SHARE it on your favorite Social Media Sites.

I did a quick spin to the National Elk Refuge this morning, mostly during the brief snow storm. I only saw half a dozen Bighorns on the Crystal Butte side of the road. Here’s a memo from the biologist at the Refuge: “The number of bighorn sheep visible from the Refuge road near Miller Butte has declined in recent weeks from a high of 64 on 12 Dec 2017 to an average of 27 in early January 2018.” I also did a quick check at a couple of possible owl locations and came up empty. That was at about the same time the snow turned to drizzle, so I headed on home.

Nikon 180-400 With 1.4 TC

Nikon: AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR: If anyone has an extra $12,399.95 lying around, feel free to order one of these and have it sent to me! (Joking, of course) Click Here to read Nikon’s introductory page. At least on my monitor, the example images look soft?

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January 8, 2018 – Monday

Sparring Partners

Sparring Partners: Even though I have around 4500 new images from my weekend Wyoming tour, I did a quick morning trip into Grand Teton National Park. I spotted roughly 20 moose, including four bulls with antlers fairly close to the roads. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Elk on the Move

Elk on the Move: I counted 100 Elk in this herd trying to make it to the hay fields north of Kelly. They’ll soon be joining thousands of Elk already on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Elk Trio

Elk Trio: The valley floor is still well behind our normal snow pack for early January. In fact, the two 2-track roads are still open in the Kelly area. Antelope Flats Road is as dry as a bone, but is still barricaded. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 7, 2018 – Sunday on the Road!

Boar's Tusk

Boar’s Tusk: This geological feature is located about 35 miles Northeast of Rock Springs. The first time I tried to find it, clouds and fog were so thick I drove by the formation and never saw it. This morning, I photographed the Boar’s Tusk from about a mile. People can drive right up to it if they know the right road and are willing to drive the rutted, snow covered roads. Cell service is spotty to non existent in many areas, and there are few people out driving around. It’s not a good area to be careless or overly bold in the Winter.  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

White Mountain Petroglyphs

White Mountain Petroglyphs: I spent an hour or two at these petroglyphs, located five not too far from the Boar’s Tusk. As it turns out, December and January are good months to go there (if you can get there) because the sun is so far south in the morning sky. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Covered Road

Covered Road: If you are just now visiting the January journal, I might mention that I did a weekend road trip to southern Wyoming. The plan is to make a post about “Rural Wyoming”…or something like that. I took a lot of images that most people probably pass right by, plus some wildlife, wild horses, abandoned houses and towns and so forth. I photographed farm equipment, textures, gears, fences, and essentially anything that interested me. I posted a few last night and will post a sampling from today. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Fence Hopping Mule Deer

Fence Hopping Mule Deer: Taken between Big Piney and Daniel, WY. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: I should probably mention that I made it home just before dark. My computer is downloading around 3,000 images from Friday and Saturday. It was a GREAT trip!…even though I didn’t get to South Pass City as I had hoped. I didn’t do my homework! The road to the town is not maintained in the winter, so I was forced to turn back. This raptor was photographed on 40 Rod Road between Daniel and Bondourant. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Two Tractors

Two Tractors: These two relics were photographed near Eden, WY. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Broken Glass

Broken Glass: Captured near Eden, WY. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

The Rim

The Rim: Much of Wyoming consists of wide open spaces and big skies, rolling sagebrush prairie and occasional bluffs and buttes. As tourists begin their decent off “the Rim” and into Bondourant, the landscape changes considerably. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

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January 6, 2018 – Saturday on the Road!

Green River Night Skies

Green River Night Skies: As I mentioned yesterday, I am doing a SW Wyoming “trip”. It has been fun and productive! This shot was taken at the edge of Green River last night. The rock formations were lit by the hotel lights a few hundred yards off. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Paint Mare and Black Stallion

Paint Mare and Black Stallion: This morning I headed out early and did the Wild Horse Loop at Rock Springs. I found around 50 horses, but not without a cost. I got a flat while on White Mountain. An hour later, I was limping off the butte into Rock Springs on my spare. The shard ruined the tire, forcing me to replace all four tires. $1400 later and I was on my way and a new set of 10 ply tires! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Chasing Stallions

Chasing Stallions: I ended up with quite a few wild horse images, most of which were just horses looking at me. Still worth it! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Superior Main Street

Superior, WY—”a living ghost town”: That’s what the sign says anyway. I took a bunch of shots there…some of which will be in the future Feature Post. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Rock Springs Main Street

Rock Springs Main Street: I took some shots last night, but went back late this evening after some rain and snow. Lots of nice shots from there, too. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Depending on the weather and morning skies, I’ll either go to the Boar’s Tusk and South Pass City tomorrow, or head SW towards Ft. Bridger and Evanston. Either way should be productive. The odds are pretty good I will be home tomorrow night, but I could stay out one more day. Sorry about the late post, but I had to wait for the computer to download all of the photos!

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January 5, 2018 – Friday

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Bulls usually start losing their antlers in late December and into early January. I’ve heard a few people suggest the larger bulls lose their antlers first, but I’ve never fully bought into that theory. Even though this isn’t a great shot (he bedded down immediately after this photo), it shows one of the larger bulls with antlers well after others have lost theirs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Spring Gulch Ranches

Spring Gulch Ranches: I am getting ready to pack up to make a photo tour into southern Wyoming. Seems like a great window of time for me. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Horses

Horses: I’m hoping to take photos of “rural Wyoming”, including wildlife, barns, roads, abandoned buildings, rusting vehicles, and so forth. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Rebar

Rebar: Crews are working on the new bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road. I jumped out of my truck while waiting for the traffic light to change to green and took a few “texture” images like this one. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

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January 4, 2018 – Thursday

Wilson Barn

Wilson Barns: Instead of going into the Park, I skipped over to the small town of Wilson at the base of Teton Pass. They have a lot more snow than areas on the East side of the valley. I only saw one Moose. It didn’t have antlers, but since the bulls are losing their racks almost by the day, it’s difficult to tell now. The Wilson area has reasonably good potential for Foxes, several species of Owls, Eagles, Hawks, Kingfishers, Moose, Deer, Elk, Ermine, and other critters. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Wilson Barn

Wilson Barn: This barn is on Fall Creek Road, just south of Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

D850 Updates: I purchased a Nikon D850 and the Grip a while back. The L-Brackets at both Kirk and Really Right Stuff have been “out of stock” until recently. B&H now carries the Kirk version while the RRS version is still on “preorder” status.

Food-Habituated Red Fox in GTNP Killed: via park newsletter “…One of these collared foxes, a two- or three-year-old male, was known to frequent the Jackson Lake Dam and Signal Mountain areas. Reports involving this individual over the last year include lingering around ice fisherman and receiving fish scraps as well as getting into dog food left unsecured by visitors in a campground. In recent weeks, park staff received numerous reports of the bold fox approaching visitors in the dam parking lot, and in at least one instance jumping up on a vehicle to beg for food.”

Bighorns: I’ve made several trips to the National Elk Refuge over the past few days to find a “ghost town” where there should be 10-70 Bighorn Sheep. Others have reported similar results—with only a few sheep visible through spotting scopes on the top of the ridge. I have been speculating this odd behavior has something to do with wolves in the area.

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January 3, 2018 – Wednesday

Setting Full Moon

Setting Full Moon: This morning could have been great, but It Takes Two to Tango. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Spotted on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Tandem Landing

Tandem Landing: Trumpeter Swans at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Tripod.

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January 2, 2018 – Tuesday

Full Moon Over Snake River Overlook

Full Moon Over Snake River Overlook: Tricky timing today! If trying to get the setting full moon over the Grand, you’d have to be photographing while the sky was still dark, which over a long exposure, turns the moon into one giant glowing ball. Tomorrow will actually be better for that shot. Today, I headed on North to give the moon time to set and let the sky lighten. I have a few more shots with the pink alpenglow, but the moon had already set by that time. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Tripod (three shot stitched pano).

Sunrise

Sunrise: This shot was taken from the eastern side of the valley. The “creek” is actually part of the irrigation ditch that runs from the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Tripod (three shot stitched pano).

Buck Rail Fences

Buck Rail Fences: I bumped into a friend and regular follower at Best of the Tetons a few days ago. He mentioned that he can tell when it is “slow” here in the Tetons when I post photos of fences and non-wildlife subjects. There is probably some truth to the comments, but not always the case. The shadows cast on the rippled snow in the photo above, taken yesterday, were enough to make me pull over for a few shots. In some cases, it is merely a matter of time and priorities. I saw Moose, but didn’t want to wait for them to get closer, and I saw Bighorns, but they hadn’t moved to the valley floor, yet. I could have stopped for Swans or Ducks and I passed up the possibilities of photographing Rough-legged Hawks on the Refuge fences. For me, it is all about day to day variety and also season to season variety.

First of the Year Notes: My camera bodies automatically modified the capture dates, but I had to manually change the “Copyright Info” from 2017 to 2018. I also had to create new “Export Presets” for the new 2018 signature line seen in the recent photos.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: After finishing some business requirements, I did a quick run and found this sleepy Great Horned Owl.  Just before the last of the evening light, he finally opened his eyes long enough for me to get a few shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Tripod.

Minor Business Name Change: As of January 1st, my main business entity is Best of the Tetons, Inc. and the photo tours is Best of the Tetons Photo Tours.

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January 1, 2018 – Happy New Year!

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook Pano: There are a few short minutes when the snow capped mountains glow against the dark, early morning sky. Occasionally, the sky turns screaming pink and purple, but for the first day of the year, most of the pink was farther north. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Tripod. (Three shots, stitched in Lightroom…click to see it larger!)

Sun and Branches

Sun and Branches: Taken at the upper parking lot at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. Handheld.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: First light on the Aspens, long shadows on the snow and and low clouds below the sun bathed Mountains caught my eye. Actually, I waited for the light to hit the stand of aspens before shooting. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. Handheld.

Cow and Calf Moose at the Jackson Lake Dam

Cow and Calf Moose at the Jackson Lake Dam: The north portion of the park has a nice layer of snow, but that’s not the case in the south part of the Park. The sleigh rides on the National Elk Refuge are still on rubber wheels. Elk have been showing up in large numbers over the past week or so. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Moose with Shed Antlers

Bull Moose: Bulls are beginning to lose their antlers for the winter, but to begin the month, many still have them. This bull was spotted near Buffalo Valley. Most of the Moose are seen in the sage flats north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

January Wildlife: Bighorns are still active on the National Elk Refuge. Bison are moving south from Elk Flats towards the Gros Ventre River. Foxes are usually more visible in January and February. Mountain Goats may be visible at times in the Snake River Canyon. Badgers and Ermine can be seen during the Winter. Wolves are following Elk into the southern portion of the Park. It looks like a good year for Rough-legged Hawks. Owls are being elusive again this Winter. Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles should be more visible as Winter takes its toll on some of the mammals.

Roads: Antelope Flats Road is closed, along with portions of the Moose-Wilson Road, and a large section of the Teton Park Road (Inner Loop Road). Many areas of the Snake River bottom are closed to human activity during the Winter.

Early January should resemble the last few weeks of December. Check out: December 2017 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Note: I often post slightly different photos on Instagram. You can follow me there, too!

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Comment (1)

  1. Nice! I’ve just got to time it when there’s more snow than there was the last week of October. I had just the first day with snow and got a few images with moose but none too worthy of making a fuss over. It was good to see you again though. Happy New Year!

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