Best of the Tetons, Great Photography Tours In Jackson, WY

Gray Wolf

April 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Elk Migration

“Wildlife on the Move”

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Check Out These Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: If I Had Only One (Summer) Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole and Winter in the Tetons: Tips for travel and photography.  April 2017: | April 2016:April 2015: | April 2014:

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New! New! New! May 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

April 30, 2018 – Monday  – End of the Month!

Bighorn Ewe

Bighorn Ewe: This morning, I completed my yearly statistics form for the National Elk Refuge and dropped it off at the offices on East Broadway. We are getting waves of new snow today, so I drove on out to the Refuge for a reconnaissance run. There were eight ewes resting on the green hillside along with other groups on the ridge line. Tomorrow, the road will open to Curtis Canyon, and antler hunters will out in large numbers in the National Forests. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Birding: Yesterday, I posted a few shots of Cassin’s Finches. This morning, there are many more of them in the back yard.

Lightroom Update: Adobe recently offered a new update that seems to have fixed a few bugs in the last release. One of them fixed the jumbled up preset lists.

Afternoon in the Park

Bison in a Spring Storm

Bison in a Spring Storm: Captured along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Spotted in a tree south of town. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned OwlNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Watch for a new May Daily Journal tomorrow!

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April 29, 2018Sunday

Murphy Barn

Murphy Barn: This is a stitched pano from a couple of images still in the camera from last evening. I took the Lightning Trigger in case I saw a few bolts, but didn’t need it.(Click the image to see it much larger) Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Grand Clouds

Grand Clouds: Taken this morning from Antelope Flats Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: I had to wait a while for a band of light to hit the barns and trees. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

John Moulton Barn Pano

John Moulton Barn Pano: (Click the image to see it much larger) Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: This is just a tiny sliver of the huge herd of Elk moving across Ditch Creek and north to Antelope Flats. At one time, sections of the valley floor seemed to be moving. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Barrows Golden Eye Pair

Barrows Golden Eye Pair: Taken at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch: Also captured at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

The Park is coming back to life, commercially speaking! Dornans is now open, along with the convenience store at Colter Bay. More Rangers are on duty, along with some of the Wildlife Brigade volunteers.

Cassins Finch

Cassins Finch: The first wave of these birds usually shows up at the end of April, followed by large numbers in May. I usually get a lot of photos early on, then switch to the more colorful birds like Bullock’s Orioles and Western Tanagers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cassins Finch

Cassins Finch: Females lack the red in the head and neck. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Tripod.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow: I’ve been seeing these small birds for a while, including a pair along Antelope Flats Road this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Tripod.

If you are interested in taking a Best of the Tetons Photo Tour with me, click the photo below! The tours help me pay for this site and allow me to continue to supply all of the free information! For inquiries, send an email to info@bestofthetetons.com. I have openings available in May and all of June. Book early for September…slots are filling fast!

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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April 28, 2018Saturday

Schwabacher Landing Sunrise Pano

Schwabacher Landing Sunrise Pano: Ist night’s weather report called for partly cloudy skies for this morning. I set my alarm for 5:00 am and made it to Schwabacher Landing in time for the various stages of sunrise. This shot was stitched from five vertical images. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Schwabacher Landing Sunrise

Schwabacher Landing Sunrise: If you scroll down to yesterday’s entries, you can see a similar shot, but without the clouds. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Schwabacher Landing Beaver Lodge

Schwabacher Landing Beaver LodgeNikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Gray Skies

Gray Skies: Taken along one of the side channels at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Schwabacher Landing Beaver Dam

Schwabacher Landing Beaver Dam: The high water washed out all of the Beaver Dams on the main channel last spring. The Beavers rebuilt several of them over the summer.  Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: The clouds still looked good as I was heading back south, so I stopped for a few shots of the barns.Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Elk and Bison Migration

Elk and Bison Migration: April and May are great months to see large numbers of wildlife. This morning, a herd of Elk was tracking alongside the herd of Bison headed north. I mentioned leaving very early, which is a bit dangerous. I had to stop several times and swerve other times to miss Elk on the road in the semi-dark morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

First Red Dog

First Red Dog: This is the first baby Bison I’ve seen this year. Typically, GTNP’s herd is a week or two behind the Yellowstone’s herd as far as baby Bison go. Remember, the South Gate into Yellowstone will not open for a while. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 27, 2018Friday

Schawbacher Landing Sunrise

Schawbacher Landing Sunrise: I got up early to be at Schwabacher Landing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get clouds, but the light was still nice. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Moose Cow

Moose Cow: Several Moose were grazing near the highway north of Blacktail Ponds Overlook. Some of them are getting “shaggy”. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Cow

Elk Cow: Captured along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Large herds of Elk are still hanging around Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: Taken at Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

Yellow-headed Blackbirds: This group of Blackbirds were in the top of an Aspen tree in town near Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Other Wildlife: I’ve seen Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows in the valley lately. A Marsh Wren was blasting out its song at Flat Creek Wetlands. I’ve seen a few Killdeer around and possibly a few Sandpipers.

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April 26, 2018Thursday

Schwabacher Landing and Dead Man’s Bar are OPEN! The gravel road to Lost Creek Ranch is also open. The road to Cattleman’s Bridge is still closed. The Inner Park Loop Road opens May 1st.

Elk on the Move

Elk on the Move: Lots of small herds are still moving north. Herds on the National Elk Refuge are thinning fast. The bike path next to the Refuge is now open to walkers, runners, and bikers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans and Hitchhiker: Pelicans took of from Oxbow Bend and took advantage of the thermals to rise high into the sky. A Red-tailed Hawk made the trip with them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Osprey

Osprey: Captured along Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Osprey

Osprey: Taken along Buffalo Valley Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 25, 2018Wednesday

Springtime in the Tetons This post from 2014 might inspire you to visit the area before the big crowds arrive. I have a few openings in my photo tours for May and could still squeeze one in for the end of April.

Important Road Closure Info: The northern section of Moose-Wilson Road will be closed for two weeks beginning Monday, April 30 to accommodate road drainage improvements. The road segment between Murie Ranch Road and the Death Canyon Road will be closed to all users, including cyclists, through May 13.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Spotted along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: Captured along Moose-Wilson Road.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Whitetail Deer

Whitetail Deer: Photographed along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Whitetail Deer

Whitetail DeerNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Seen feeding in the cottonwoods along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: Much larger ears on this species! Also seen along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 24, 2018Tuesday

Grizzly

Grizzly: Well, I saw one! This isn’t much of a shot, but it documents my first actual sighting of a Grizzly for 2018. This bear grazed along the hillside for a while. I was set up to capture it in a natural setting, when a person walked out in front of me with his iPhone to get his shots. I got the back of his head. There were three Grizzlies spotted while I was out this morning. I hear as many as eight Grizzlies and one large cinnamon colored Black Bear have been seen in the northern portion of the Park.  Another Grizzly has been seen on several different occasions along the East Boundary Road. . Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow: I need to check my bird books, but I am fairly sure this is a song sparrow. It was near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: This raptor was sitting in a tree near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: Watch for around 30 White Pelicans around the Dam and Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

White Pelicans

White PelicansNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: Mt. Moran is in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: Clouds covered the upper third of the Tetons as I drove north this morning, but were beginning to clear as I drove home. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Eared Grebe

Eared Grebe: Seen again along Flat Creek in Town. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 23, 2018Monday

Mormon Row

Mormon Row: My Tamron G2 lens returned from the service center today. I did a few test shots in the driveway, then took it out for a test run. I liked the band of light hitting the homestead, along with the clouds above them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel: I’d prefer to catch this bird on a more natural perch, but with Kestrels, you have to take what they give you.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Osprey

Osprey: The Osprey, Heron, and Merganser below were all taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

Osprey Take Off

Osprey Take Off: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

Osprey Take Off

Osprey Take OffNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

Common Merganser

Common MerganserNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue HeronNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: The claws in this shot seem fairly sharp, but the head is a little soft. The bird flew by some thin twigs before landing, which might have affected the autofocus a little. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue HeronNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2Lens, Handheld.

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April 22, 2018Sunday

Streaming Clouds

Streaming Clouds: Captions later…check back! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Singing Meadowlark

Singing Meadowlark: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Grebe

Eared Grebe: (This could be a Horned Grebe?) It is a new bird for me.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Coot

CootNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Riled Canada Geese

Riled Canada GeeseNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Chaos

ChaosNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Aspen Bark

Aspen Bark TextureNikon D850 and Nikon 70-1800 Zoom Micro Lens, Handheld. 

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April 21, 2018Saturday

Night at the Moulton Barn

Night at the Moulton Barn: A crescent moon lit the mountains last night.  My small “way finding” flashlight helped add a little light. Without the light, this area would be very dangerous. There are numerous Badger holes and remnant posts and farm relics scattered in the pastures. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Tripod. 

Night at the TA Moulton Barn

Night at the TA Moulton BarnNikon D5 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Tripod. 

Night at the John Moulton Barn

Night at the John Moulton Barn: I didn’t check Stellarium to see where the Milky Way would be last night, but it was not prominent in the night sky between 8:30 and 10:30 pm. The crescent moon was strong enough to add light and even shadows, but it also washes out some of the Milky Way.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Tripod. 

Loose Ends: Gasoline prices jumped this week from around $2.74 per gallon to $2.99 at the same stations. Expect construction traffic along the highway on the West side of town and at Gros Ventre Junction. Most of the dirt roads inside GTNP are still barricaded, but the roads are drying out. A few Grizzlies have been seen in GTNP, but they haven’t been out while I was in the prime areas. There have been a few Wolf sightings, but not as consistently as we had a while back. The female Wolves and Foxes may now be in their dens. Elk and Bison are moving north. I would expect some to make it to Elk Flats and the Oxbow area soon. A few Pronghorns are visible now.

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April 20, 2018Friday

Oxbow BendNikon D850 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Handheld. 

Coyote

Coyote: Hunting near Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Coyote

CoyoteNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Coyote

CoyoteNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Willow Flats

Willow Flats Pano: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200 Lens, Handheld. 

Colter Bay

Colter Bay: I took this shot to show the amount of snow in the Northern part of the Park.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill CranesNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Osprey

Osprey: Captured along the Buffalo Fork Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Bounding Mule Deer:

Bounding Mule Deer: Taken along the highway near the Buffalo Fork River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Two Bull Moose

Two Bull Moose: Seen on the Buffalo Fork River. They were moving away from some sort of threat. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

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April 19, 2018Thursday

Resting Bull Moose

Resting Bull Moose: I did a quick “Kelly Loop” this afternoon and spotted four Moose very close to the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Moulton Barn

Moulton Barn: The “loop” is possible with Antelope Flats Road open again. Nikon D5 and Nikon 170-200 Lens, Handheld. 

Murphy Barn

Murphy Barn: Looking north on Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Nikon 170-200 Lens, Handheld. 

Running Pronghorn

Running Pronghorn: Pronghorns are back! Seen along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G1 Lens, Handheld. 

Wildlife: On my Kelly Loop, I saw a couple of Hawks, a few American Kestrels, additional Moose, lots of Elk, a few Bison, along with Magpies and Ravens.

Yellowstone’s West Entrance opens tomorrow.

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April 18, 2018Wednesday

Road Update:

  1. Antelope Flats Road is now open!
  2. Expect flagmen and delays during daytime hours at Gros Ventre Junction!

Sunrise Peak

Sunrise Peak: There weren’t a lot of morning clouds, but first light had a nice rose cast. I took this from the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Shane Cabin Details

Shane Cabin Details: I spent most of the morning looking for Wolves, but stopped for some specialty shots. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Herd

Elk Herd: Try clicking on this image to see it MUCH larger!. April never seems to get much fanfare, but in reality, it might be the month when visitors can see the most wildlife. Some wildlife reenters the valley, some wake up from hibernation, and others migrate from Winter zones to their summer habitat. This image is stitched into a very wide pano from numerous horizontal captures. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Mallard Pair

Mallard Pair: I took this along Flat Creek. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird: The first wave of Yellow-headed Blackbirds hit the valley today. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Drain Grate

Drain Grate: This is a drainage grate in the parking lot at the National Fish Hatchery, accented with some of the fresh overnight snow. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Fire Hydrant

Fire Hydrant: Again, the fresh snow added some interest to this common object, captured in town. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

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April 17, 2018Tuesday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Seen near Teton Science School.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Meadowlark

Meadowlark: There are lots of Meadowlarks in the valley now. This one was taken on the East Boundary road just north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

White Pelicans

White Pelicans: This group of Pelicans were resting along the ice at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Rolling Clouds

Rolling Clouds: I stopped at Elk Flats for this shot. It was cold and windy at the time. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Bison

Bison: A herd of roughly 150 American Bison had moved onto the hay fields northwest of Kelly when we spotted them today. By mid-afternoon, they were moving towards Blacktail Butte.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

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April 16, 2018Monday

Sunrise Reflections

Sunrise Reflections: Captured just after first light from the East Boundary Road. This is a three shot pano stitched in Lightroom. (Click the image to see it much larger). Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm G1 Lens, Tripod.

 

American Kestrels

American Kestrels: This photogenic pair was spotted along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

American Kestrels

American Kestrels: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats: Photographed in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Tripod.

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April 15, 2018Sunday

BB Moose

Bull Moose: New antler growth on a Moose seen near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Coyote

Coyote: Yipping to its buddy near the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: Finally! Seen near the Moose Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl:  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Jackson Peak

Jackson Peak: Taken along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Upper Gros Ventre

Upper Gros Ventre: Just a quick shot to show the snow pack above Slide Lake. The road is still barricaded past Atherton Creek Campground. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Reflections

Reflections: Also taken along the East Boundary Road this afternoon. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 14, 2018Saturday

Three Elk

Three Elk: Spotted early on Spring Gulch Road. Some of the elk have already shed their antlers and have “fist sized” new growth. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Elk on Ridge

Elk on Ridge: Seen along Gros Ventre Road with the Teton Range in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf: Spotted in the Kelly area this morning. I used to see photos of Wolves in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone that would walk between vehicles, but over the years, Teton wolves have been extremely skittish. This group of three seldom get really close, but are now going between parked vehicles. Notice how large this one’s paws are! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Gray Wolves

Gray Wolves: Two of the three walked across the hay fields for this shot. The third one crossed the road and eventually caught up with the other two. After hanging around quite a while, we saw a small herd of Elk huddle up, then run for their lives as the Wolves chased them close to a mile. The largest one chased an Elk across the road, running full speed through the tall sagebrush and across the road. He gave up and crossed the road again. It was an amazing morning…not something I see every day.

Gray Wolf: This one stopped and looked at me a minute, then headed off for another hunt. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Refuge Elk

Elk Refuge Elk: It would be all too easy to spend the day waiting and hoping the Wolves would reappear. Will they head North towards the Mormon Row homesteads, head back to Kelly Warm Springs, or bed down at the base of Blacktail Butte? Who knows? I stayed for a while and then looked for something else. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Refuge Elk

Elk Refuge Elk: This herd of about 25 moved across one of the ridges on the National Elk Refuge. All of them had small to mid sized antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Uinta Ground Squirrel: I’ve been seeing and hearing Chislers for a week or so. This one posed for me near the National Fish Hatchery.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Tamron 150-600mm G1 vs G2? My current G2 lens is a year old now. Needless to say it gets used regularly! A few weeks ago, I noticed the collar was very stiff when changing from horizontal to vertical and back. It kept getting worse and eventually froze. In the process, I had been having to twist harder and harder. When I finally took the collar off the barrel of the lens, I could see that two of the screws and washers had worked loose and at least one of them was wedged tight. As a result of all the pressure I put on the the body/lens, the F-Mount connection between had become sloppy and I was beginning to question the image quality of some of my shots. Last week I sent the G2 in for service, hoping it would be under warranty since the problem began when the screws worked loose. I received the notification the repair was going to cost me $285 (plus it cost $26 to ship it to them). I called to explain the issue with the screws but they still charged me for the repair. I offered to pay half, but still had to pay full price. Certainly, I have mixed feelings about the charge, but I guess the initial sting of the fee will go away when I get the repaired, cleaned, and recalibrated lens back. Right now, I am using my G1 version of the lens and it is doing a good job.

Other Wildlife: Yesterday, I saw the Mountain Goats in the Snake River Canyon, along with a dark phase Yellow-bellied Marmot alongside the road. When trying to get to the Pass, I saw a couple of pairs of Osprey staking their claims on their nests. Also watch for returning Sandhill Cranes and their eventual mating dances. This morning, I am fairly sure I saw a Nighthawk flying above the sagebrush flats.

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April 13, 2018Friday

Elk Herd

Elk Herd: This is a small group of a much larger herd of Elk gathered next to the Kelly Warm Springs. Elk are sprinkled everywhere in the south end of the Park.

Moose

Moose: This is one of a half dozen gathered next to the Teton Science School Road. This one is missing a substantial amount of her ear tips.

Yonder Sign

New Feature Post: 10 Tips for a Grand Teton National Park Visit

If you are not a subscriber at Best of the Tetons, you might have missed this new post. It is loaded with information intended to help visitors plan their trip and make the best of their visit.

New Park Fees: Supplied by GTNP via CUA Permit Holder’s email

 Grand Teton National Park Per

Vehicle

Per

Motorcycle

Per

Person

Park Specific Annual Pass
Current $30 $25 $15 $60
June 1, 2018 $35 $30 $20 $70

Read the entire document: : 18-12 Changes to Entrance Fee to Address Infrastructure Needs & Improve Visitor Experience.pdf

Mtn. Goats

Mountain Goats: I needed to go to Idaho Falls today. Unless there is a big storm, we usually go over Teton Pass, but I had to turn around near Wilson and go down the Canyon and along Palisades Reservoir. That adds 45 minutes to an hour to the drive. But, it gave me a chance to see a few Mountain Goats. This one wasn’t as sharp as some of the others, but I liked the action. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: They were apparently coming down to the road for the fresh, green grass. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Iona Grain Elevators

Iona Grain Elevators: I took my D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens with me today. It’s my lightweight “carry around” combo and did a nice job on all of the shots. This grain elevator is in Iona on the far east side of Idaho Falls. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Ririe Grain Elevators

Ririe Grain Elevators: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Iona Details

Iona Details: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 12, 2018Thursday

Winter Cottonwoods

Winter Cottonwoods: We had another storm roll through the region overnight. I headed north before first light and stayed a few hours. This moody shot was taken near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod.

Winter Cottonwoods

Winter Cottonwoods: This was taken in the same area, but at 1/30th second during a heavy snow period. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod.

Snow Capped

Snow Capped: Taken near the outlet of the dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: I shot this one hand held with heavy wind at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Migrating Elk

Migrating Elk: These two were part of several herds of Elk I saw moving off the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Other Wildlife Notes: I didn’t see any Grizzlies nor Grizzly tracks this morning. I saw a dark phase (almost black) Fox not far from Owbow Bend. Unfortunately, it was too dark for a shot. There were Geese, Swans, and other waterfowl at Oxbow, but no Grizzlies.

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April 11, 2018Wednesday

I received a note from the National Elk Refuge reminding everyone the pathway along the highway is closed through the end of the month. Joggers and bikers have begun using it, despite the signs and gates, and photographers are going up to the fence to view— changing their behavior during the Spring migration.

Badgers

Badgers: A shot from last June. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: Taken from Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Calf

Moose Calf: The center portion of Antelope Flats Road is still gated. The river bottom north of Moose Visitor’s Center and including Schwabacher Landing is now open to human entry. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Nautilus Shell

Nautilus Shell: Taken in my studio and processed in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro (Macro) Lens, Tripod.

Wildlife Notes: I saw my first pair of Sandhill Cranes yesterday. They usually show up at about the same time as the pairs of Osprey. I still haven’t heard of any sightings of Grizzlies. A recent newspaper article documents a Moutain Lion in some of the residential areas of Snow King Mountain. Other than the half dozen Bison I saw last week, the large herds haven’t migrated off the Refuge. Owl sightings have been very slow and scattered. Three Gray Wolves have been seen more often this year than in recent years. Watch for them along the highway south of the Airport, along the south end of Blacktail Butte, and in the sage flats and hay fields north of Kelly. Foxes were active last month, but haven’t been seen as often in April.

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April 10, 2018Tuesday

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Large number of Elk are continuing to leave the National Elk Refuge. This shot was taken from Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Taken just north of Kelly. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: These are two of a small herd along the highway on the south side of Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

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April 9, 2018Monday

Teton Photography Group: Tonight’s 6:00 meeting will be held upstairs at Jackson Hole Real Estates Associates’ meeting room upstairs in the Broadway Shops. The meeting will feature Steve Mattheis who will discuss some of his favorite Jackson Hole images from 2017, including stories of how the images were made, thought processes while making the images, camera settings, processing thoughts, and image selection. Visit Steve’s site at www.sgm.photography.

I’d suggest this would be a great time to attend one of their meetings!

Hillside Elk

Hillside Elk: Migrating Elk near the National Fish Hatchery. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cow Elk

Cow Elk: Seen near Gros Ventre Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf: One of three Gray Wolves crossing Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Wolf Tracks

Wolf Tracks: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro (Macro) Lens.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: I hiked out to the Mormon Row barns this morning. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Peach House

Peach House: Part of the John Moulton Homestead. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: Seen along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Immature Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle: Seen along Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G1 Lens, Handheld.

Evening

Relaxing Evening at Home: Another of my projects from last night. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro (Macro) Lens.

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April 8, 2018Sunday

Evening Poetry

Evening Poetry: I did this little project tonight using a Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro (Macro) Lens.

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf: This Wolf was quite a bit closer than the one I saw yesterday. Three of them were seen along the Highway this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I included this shot of a resting Bull Moose to show the new antler growth. He was spotted in Ditch Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shovelers: Spotted in Moose Pond along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Chapel of the Transfiguration: The road into the Chapel is now open. Some areas received rain overnight, while other areas of the Park received fresh snow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker: Captured in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Downey Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker: A pair of Downeys were checking out the feeders in the yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Downey Woodpeckers

Downey Woodpeckers: The male has the red patch on the back of his head. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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April 7, 2018Saturday

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf: At over 170 yards, I wouldn’t expect to get much more than a “record” shot, but here it is. The Wolf succeeded in tearing off a leg from the carcass and then split. Seen near the JH Airport. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Area Notes: Tomorrow is the last day of skiing at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort. Rain and possible snow is in the forecast. Spring Break ends tomorrow.

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April 6, 2018Friday

Barn Owls? The Raptor Center has a batch of baby Barn Owls…coming from a farmer who uncovered the nest built into some hay bails. They are desperately looking for area nests to insert them into so they can be naturally fledged. Ideally, they would like to return them to Idaho locations, but suggest they could probably get permits to move some of them to Wyoming or Montana nests. If you know of active Barn Owl nests, please contact them!

Elk On Ridge

Elk On Ridge: This shot was still in the camera from yesterday. Elk are all over the place! Snow has melted on the sage flats south of Antelope Flats Road and is disappearing fast North of there. Scattered herds of Elk are still on the National Elk Refuge. The Sleigh/Wagon Rides are still taking people out to the small remaining herds. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: I stopped at Flat Creek for a few shots of the Mallards. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Yellow-bellied Marmot

Yellow-bellied Marmot: This is my first sighting of a Marmot this year. I saw it near the JH Golf and Tennis complex. I also saw my first Bison of the season near Gros Ventre Junction.

Roads: Antelope Flats Road is still closed. There will be no construction or delays at the Gros Ventre Junction roundabout over the weekend.

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April 5, 2018Thursday

Moose ~ Sepia Tone:

Moose~Sepia Tone: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC have a new (free) update. Along with a few bug fixes and additional camera support, they added some new Presets for image editing. I picked the BW Sepia Tone for these shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Buggy Release!!! Don’t Update!!! LR Classic CC has a lot of issues with the new Presets. It looks promising, but I see a lot of issues, and the Adobe Forums are reporting problems. I’d wait.

Mule Deer ~ Sepia Tone:

Mule Deer~Sepia Tone: Mule Deer are increasingly more visible now. This one was in Kelly, but they are now scattered along the highway and Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk~Sepia Tone:

Elk~Sepia Tone: This group was ready to cross Gros Ventre Road near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk~Sepia Tone:

Elk~Sepia Tone: Besides the Elk and Deer, I saw between 20 and 30 Moose, a Coyote, numerous Red-tailed Hawks, Bluebirds, Meadowlarks, Ravens and other small birds. A Northern Harrier was hunting along Gros Ventre Road yesterday, along with a Great Blue Heron next to the river.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Seen along Gros Ventre Road this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Antelope Flats Road

Antelope Flats Road: The road is clear, yet the gate is locked. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 4, 2018Wednesday

Bull Moose in Snow

Bull Moose in Snow: Quite a few Moose are hanging around in the sage flats north of Kelly and south of Ditch Creek. I noticed one bull with a light bulb sized set of antlers, while most of the others just have globes. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

I missed getting a few shots of three Gray Wolves by a minute or two, then spent the rest of the morning cruising around hoping they would reappear. As of yesterday, there were still 45 or more Bighorn Sheep on the National Elk Refuge. This morning, huge herds of Elk were moving back and forth across Gros Ventre Road.  Antelope Flats Road is still gated. Construction crews are installing drainage barriers at the future roundabout at Gros Ventre Junction, but so far, there haven’t been delays.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: I spotted this Deer feeding alongside the Gros Ventre River this afternoon. She let me get a few shots before dropping down into the river bottom. There are pockets of White-tailed Deer along the Gros Ventre, in and around Kelly, near the Buffalo Fork River, and around Jackson Lake Lodge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 3, 2018Tuesday

Wind Blown Hillside

Wind Blown Hillside: This shot was in my camera from yesterday afternoon, taken from the parking lot at the Post Office in town. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: Captured at the Edge of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: I still haven’t seen Bison along the Gros Ventre or on the South end of GTNP. I would expect to begin seeing them any day. No news of confirmed Grizzly sightings. I’ve heard a few “Chislers” (Uinta Ground Squirrels) now. I saw my first Coots of the season along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Migrating Elk

Migrating Elk: This afternoon, it looked like a thousand or more Elk were trying to migrate north over Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: A Cross Fox was well off the road, then moved closer when a Coyote appeared in the area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Resting Fox

Resting Cross Fox: She curled up in a thicket of Aspens. I hung around for a while, but needed to head home. She was still curled up when I left.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 2, 2018Monday

Mallards and Swans

Mallards and Swans: Seen at the pond on the North side of the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: Also seen at the pond. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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April 1, 2018 Sunday – Gaper Day – April Fools Day – Easter

Jackson Hole Ski Resort

Jackson Hole Ski Resort: April 1st is the traditional Gaper Day at Teton Village. “GaperDay is a mountain tradition that takes place in ski resorts across North America. It is the day when locals can dress in the most ridiculous outfits and pretend to be like their gaper counterparts. Their getup can range from no or very limited clothing (only shorts) to the most retro ski attire there is.” Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Early April Notes:

Spring is coming early this year! Much of the snow pack in the southern portion of the valley floor has melted, allowing Elk to leave the National Elk Refuge earlier than normal. Moose are often in the river bottoms at this time of the year, but many are back in the sage flats. Wolves have been much more visible this year than other years as they follow Elk off the Refuge. Hawks, Eagles, Kestrels, and even Osprey have been spotted in March. Songbirds are also beginning to move through the valley. Bohemian Waxwings have been stripping the berry trees in town. I would expect April to be very active this year.

Roads: Construction begins on April 2nd at the Gros Ventre Junction Roundabout. Expect between 15 and 30 minute delays in any direction. Moose-Wilson Road will not be open until May 11th to May 13th, including the section from the Murie Center Road to Death Canyon Road. As of March 31st, Antelope Flats Road is still gated. The Teton Park Road (Inner Park Loop Road) is open to walkers, runners, & bikers (no vehicles) until May 1st.

The first week or so of April should resemble March 2018 Daily Journal for GTNP & JH: Also, check out the Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP

Windmill

Windmill: It snowed overnight…3″ -6″ in the valley and 11″-14″ in the mountains. I snapped this shot of the ornamental windmill in my back yard before heading out. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens, Handheld.

Dancing Clouds

Dancing Clouds: Taken along the East Boundary Road. I heard a report of a Wolf near Kelly. I saw a Cross Fox, but it was much too far out for a photo. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Fence and Cabin

Fence and Cabin: I’ve photographed this fence and cabin before, but the light was too pretty today to pass up another opportunity. For this image, I did two shots, focusing first on the fence and then on the cabin. The images were stacked in Photoshop and merged into a single sharp image. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Captured in the Snake River Canyon near Alpine Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Alpine didn’t get as much snow as the Jackson Hole area. It was melting fast in both areas. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Shane Cabin

Shane Cabin: I just looked over some shots of this cabin taken in 2008. The three long timbers that held up the roof have deteriorated considerably. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Antique Camera

Antique Camera:  I did this quick studio “Light Painting” project last night while keeping an eye on the NCAA Basketball games. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens, Tripod.

Teton Images

If you have never visited my photo site at Teton Images, check it out! Click the link or the image above. Prairie Warriors, the chasing stallions near the bottom, won first place in the Equestrian division of Cowboys and Indian Magazine. The photo of the Mountain Goat jumping the ravine was used in a European TV advertisement. The fighting stallions in the upper right we also in Cowboy and Indians Magazine. Photos on that site are available for sale via the Cart next to each image. The screen grab above shows just a few of the images in the Quick View Sampler.

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Comments (5)

  1. Jean-Claude Ardila

    Hi Mike, I am arriving on April 18th to Jackson Hole…However, I have been considering cancelling the trip since I am seeing many roads blocked. I am a landscape and wildlife photographer from Florida…and I really don’t want to waste a trip if roads are closed…I guess, I am asking for your opinion to see if it’s worth going this April.

  2. April 2017

    Jean-Claude, Many of the roads we are talking about now have been closed since November 1st — or at least sometime in early December. We’ve been taking photos every day all through Winter and Spring. And, there’s a good chance you’ll see more wildlife in April than any other month! ….*but most of elk, deer, and moose won’t have antlers.

  3. Hi Mike: I photographed sheep by you last nov-dec at the elk refuge. Was wondering if you have noticed any great gray owl nests this spring? Igot some good goat shots in mid march at alpine. Im coming back to jackson around may 18th for elkfest and to photograph. are the bears in good shape this early? Bye Dick Spencer southern idaho.

  4. Hi Dick, No owls…No bear sightings so far. I’ll mention them on the page when I hear or see them. (Note, I don’t specify locations of nests or dens for a long list of reasons!) Cheers! Mike Jackson

  5. Jean-Claude Ardila

    Hi Mike,
    I decided to still go and do what I can with whatever I will encountered. It will be an interesting and cold trip. Will you be around the Tetons on the 18th? I am hoping to get some images of the Tetons from the Schwabacher area, the Moulton Barn, and snake river, wildlife and more.

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