Best of the Tetons

May 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Blondie

“The Park Awakens!”

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Check Out These Popular Pages:  If I Had Only One (Summer) Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole and May 2017:May 2016: | May 2015: | May 2014: | 

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May 19, 2018 – Saturday

Elkfest

This is ElkFest Weekend: Antlers, gathered from the National Elk Refuge, are auctioned off on the east side of the Town Square, while antler vendors sell antlers, skulls, and horns along Center and Deloney streets. This was taken as people paused for the National Anthem. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

ElkFest

ElkFestNikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

ElkFest

Calm in the Midst of CommotionNikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

ElkFesth

ElkFest TexturesNikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Young Collectors

Young Collectors at ElkFestNikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Mountain Man Rendezvous

 Mountain Man Rendezvous: Numerous traders have rendezvoused at the Fairgrounds for the week, with more to come during the week. This event continues until the end of the Memorial Day weekend. The Old West Days parade will be held Saturday morning. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Loose Ends: There is some construction going on a the Chapel of the Transfiguration. Don’t expect that to be a good shoot for a while. A white trailer was there. Crews recently removed another half mile of iconic buckrail fencing south of Triangle X Ranch.

You REALLY need to read this page: The 100 Yard Rule(s)  Information on the page could save you a ticket—viewing rules in GTNP are different than in Yellowstone.

Note: Tourists coming out of Yellowstone’s South Entrance do not get GTNP rules and regulations or newspapers as they enter this park. I am not sure how the GTNP rangers are expecting this group to know the rules. There are no signs on the subject as you enter from the North.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: Things are turning green all around the valley now. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Western Tanager

Western TanagerNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm 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. May tours are about filled, but if you are interested, let me know and I’ll see if we can fit it in. June has numerous open spots. Remember…book early for September…slots are filling fast!

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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May 18, 2018 – Friday

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black-headed Grosbeak: A recent arrival in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

The Gros Ventre Road will be closed for up to five nights from Tuesday, May 29 through Saturday, June 2. The road will be closed between Gros Ventre Junction and Gros Ventre Campground from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. If rainy or poor conditions prevent grading and paving activities, the closure will be postponed to the following week. The closures will not affect traffic on U.S. Highway 89/26/191.

Spaulding Bay Road is open! I spent a few hours at a “Bear Jam” near Pilgrim Creek Road last evening. There were at least three Law Enforcement Officers in the area and easily that many Wildlife Brigade Volunteers telling people to move down, move across the road, get back in their cars, and generally protecting the huge gathering from the wildlife. It sometimes takes persevering through something I find unpleasant to get a few shots, but in general, I’d really rather be somewhere else. As the Spring season progresses towards the Summer season, I welcome any new road opening like the one to Spaulding Bay.. It’s a little rough in places, but you may find Bears, Deer, Elk, Owls, and many of the smaller critters taking advantage of the relatively quiet zone. There are three or four campsites near the lake, a boat launch , and restroom facilities.

Blondie and Cubs

Blondie and Cubs: A tight crop of a long distance shot, taken in the Colter Bay area as they moved from zone to zone. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Grizzly 399

Grizzly 399: Okay…you REALLY need to read this page: The 100 Yard Rule(s) – This one is too important to miss! I took this image from my window while parked on the side of the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Park Rangers are EXPECTING all viewers and photographers to move back, EVEN WHILE IN YOUR VEHICLE, if a bear approaches within 100 yards.That means starting your engines and moving into the already congested travel lanes to “get away” from the bears.

Don’t expect this line to work: “I was parked 100 yards away initially and the bear approached me.”

100 Yards

100 Yards: I took this shot a couple of days ago while standing next to a Wildlife Brigade Volunteer.  He was using a rangefinder and telling us we were 99 yards from the bear. He was possibly a couple of yards in front of me. Unless I switch the same lens (Tamron 150-600mm G2) to a 1.5 crop body, this is the largest a Grizzly will fill a photo without cropping. I typically crop a lot of my images to save space on this journal page, but this photo should give you a good idea of what to expect. The other option would be to use my Nikon D850 (45.7 mpx) and crop a bit more. Some photographers are using a 1.5 crop body, a 1.5 teleconverter, with a 600mm prime lens. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Grizzly Crossing

Grizzly CrossingNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mother Moose

Mother Moose: The rules state you must stay back 25 yards from wildlife (200 yards from Bears and Wolves), but they also state you must stay far enough away to keep from stressing an animal. This was taken near Moose Junction at a distance of about 80-90 yards. I heard of another baby Moose on the trail to Taggart Lake. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Check out this post from May 19, 2017: Newborn Moose! It appears this one was right on “schedule”.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: This is one of our resident Trumpeter Swans that have been hanging around along Flat Creek lately. They “should be” on their nests now and then appear with their babies in June. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Great Gray Owls: A few reliable sources are telling us that none of the known Great Gray Owls are on nests this year. They didn’t produce babies last year either. Biologists are baffled and alarmed by the situation.

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May 17, 2018 – Thursday

Fast Moving Storm

Fast Moving Storm: The initial entries for today are actually an extension of yesterday and last night. I drove north late in the day and began hearing thunder. I was hoping to get lightning over the Grand, but aimed where the action looked best. This was captured using a Lightning Trigger. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: This dark and moody shot was taken at Snake River Overlook. I was sitting in my truck with a rain jacket covering most of the camera and lens. The equipment was on a tripod just outside the door.  Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod.

Blondie and Cubs

Blondie and Cubs: When this sequence happened, onlookers and photographers were being held back 90-100 yards, and skies were dark. For the most part, watching bears is much like watching paint dry. Most of the time, they are feeding with their heads down. Especially during dark periods, I drop the shutter speed. In these photos, was shooting a 1/320th second, and wide open at F/6.3, and of course at 600mm. I would have liked to be at 1/1000sec or 1/1250sec and at least at F/7.1 or F/8 to help freeze the action a bit better, but my “grazing” settings did fairly well. Blondie and the cubs were near Leek’s Marina Junction last evening. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Pelican

Pelican: As I was driving over the Jackson Lake Dam, I noticed three Pelicans. I turned around to get a few shots. The Pelicans were glowing against the dark, clear water. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Night at String Lake

Night at String Lake: I took the Teton Park Road home from Jackson Lake Junction. It was already late, so I decided to stay out for some night time shots. This shot was taken just after the first few stars appeared. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens F/2.8, Tripod.

Tree Line

Tree Line: The soft clouds in this photo were lit by the night sky pollution of the Town of Jackson and possibly a bit by the JH Airport lights. You’ll often notice a glow over the Tetons from the Victor/Driggs/Tetonia side of the mountain, but overall Jackson Hole has great dark skiesNikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens F/2.8, Tripod.

Night Trees

Night Trees: Also taken at String Lake. Yesterday, my alarm went off at 5:30 am and I didn’t return home until just before midnight. Instead of staying up all night processing images, I got some sleep and did last evenings photos and posts today. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens F/2.8, Tripod.

Afternoon Images

399 and Cub

399 and Cub: Seen near Pilgrim Creek in the afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

399

399Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

399 and Cub

399 and Cub: 399 still has a collar, but I have been told it is not working anymore. Hopefully, it will fall off soon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

White Pelican

White Pelican: Seen at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

 

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May 16, 2018 – Wednesday

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: Instead of going too far north again today (in search of Grizzlies), I stayed a little closer to home, and instead of trying to get shots of the big animals, I chose to work with some of the smaller subjects. This little critter was along the Moose-Wilson Road. I also photographed a Red-naped Sapsucker. I watched for Great Gray and Great Horned Owls but didn’t see them. A couple of Moose and even a Black Bear have been spotted there recently. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Goslings

Goslings: The little tikes were at Flat Creek Wetlands on the north edge of town. I was trying to get shots of a Marsh Wren, but again, he wasn’t too cooperative. I managed to get a few shots of a Red-winged Blackbird and a Yellow-headed Blackbird, along with lots of Goslings and adult Canada Geese. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Western Tanager

Western Tanager: My back yard is starting to glow with color. This is the first Tanager I’ve seen this year, but expect quite a few more over the next week. Other colorful birds include American Goldfinches, Buntings, and Orioles. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: These are beautiful little birds. There are three or four males hanging around now, apparently waiting for the females and the rest of the migrants. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole: More of these are showing up every day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Mid-May Notes and Construction: Elkfest is this weekend on the Town Square. Mountain Men are setting up their tents at the Rodeo Grounds. They’ll be around until the end of Memorial Day. Memorial Day Weekend is the official kickoff for the summer season, which includes the Saturday parade and numerous other events. Each day, I see a few more wildflowers around the region. Expect delays of the Snake River Bridge near Wilson for a couple of days. The big construction project at the “Y” intersection is mostly completed, but there will be construction most of the summer at the bridge over the Snake south of town. Work continues on the Spring Gulch bridge over the Gros Ventre River. The delays at the Gros Ventre Junction roundabout have been minimal so far, but expect delays soon.

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May 15, 2018 – Tuesday

Arrowleaf Balsam Root Wildlfowers

Arrowleaf Balsam Root Wildlfowers: This isn’t a great photo, but it documents the first clump of these iconic early summer flowers I’ve seen this year. The gray in the background is Pacific Creek. I saw other clumps of Balsam Root along the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Opening and Closing Dates for Grand Teton National Park

Facility First Open Day Last Open Day/Night

Roads and Pathways

Teton Park Road May 1 October 31
Moose-Wilson Road May 12 October 31
Signal Mountain Summit Road Mid-June, weather dependent October 31
Grassy Lake Road Mid-June, weather dependent Weather dependent
Two Ocean Road Mid-June, weather dependent Weather dependent
Paved Multi-Use Pathways Open

Visitor Centers & Ranger Stations

Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center March 5 October 31
Colter Bay Visitor Center May 11 October 8
Jenny Lake Visitor Center May 18 September 23
Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Center June 2 September 23
Flagg Ranch Information Station June 4 September 3
Jenny Lake Ranger Station June 2 September 2

Campgrounds 

Gros Ventre (gtlc.com) May 4 October 13
Signal Mountain (signalmountainlodge.com) May 11 October 13
Jenny Lake (gtlc.com) May 4 September 29
Colter Bay (gtlc.com) May 24 September 29
Colter Bay RV Park (gtlc.com) May 10 October 6
Headwaters Campground (gtlc.com) June 1 September 29
Headwaters RV Park (gtlc.com) May 17 September 29
Lizard Creek (signalmountainlodge.com) June 15 September 2

Lodging

Signal Mountain Lodge (signalmountainlodge.com) May 11 October 13
Jackson Lake Lodge (gtlc.com) May 18 October 6
Colter Bay Cabins (gtlc.com) May 24 September 29
Triangle X Ranch (trianglex.com) May 22 October 7
Jenny Lake Lodge (gtlc.com) June 1 October 6
Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch (gtlc.com) June 1 September 29

 

Night Clouds

Night Clouds: Technically, this is a Monday shot, but I just processed it today. I took it from Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Light Painters

Light Painters: There were a couple of photographers doing light painting at the TA Moulton Barn last night. They were using an extremely bright, cold colored light.

Homestead

Homestead:  Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Raven Portrait

Raven Portrait: I found this bird sitting on a dumpster near the north end of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Raven

Raven: Same bird in a natural setting. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Reflections

Reflections: I spent most of my morning looking for Grizzlies, but filled in some of the time taking other images that interested me. Seen at a pond near Leek’s Marina. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Tree Textures

Tree TexturesNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

 

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May 14, 2018 – Monday

Road Notes: Now Open: RKO Road, Bar-BC Road, Cattleman’s Bridge dirt road, Turpin Meadows Road. Many of the other side roads are still closed.

Moose-Wilson Road

Speaking of Roads…The Moose-Wilson Road recently reopened after crews added some drainage tubes. When you go there, expect to see these parking barriers spread along much of the roadway. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose-Wilson Parking

Moose-Wilson Parking: Over a span of .8 miles from the Sawmill Pond Overlook and south past the Moose Pond, expect to find a grand total of 5 parking spots—that’s if four people politely park in the one pullout. Rangers often take one or two of those during the Fall Black Bear seasonNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Lake Creek

Lake Creek: Taken quickly out the window from the one way bridge on the Moose-Wilson road. Lake Creek flows from Phelps Lake to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve. It is clear, while most other streams are rushing with muddy water. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Robin

Robin: This bird struck a nice pose against the blue sky as I was walking around and taking parking barricades on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: If you are up early enough, you might get a glimpse of the bulls. They move back into the forests not long after first light or after they see their first humans of the day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane: I had to stop for this shot near the Jackson Lake Junction. There are lots of Sandhills in the valley right now, but most of them stay well off the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Blondie and Cubs

Blondie and Cubs: I would have liked to bring home a card full of wonderfully expressive photos of the Grizzlies, but opportunities were extremely limited while I was in the Leek’s Marina area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Blondie

Blondie: The trio spent most of their time deep in the shadows and thick underbrush, and when they were visible, kept their heads down feeding. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Teton Range

Teton Range: This stitched pano was taken in mid-day light from Togwotee Pass. A Grizzly sow has been sighted a times on the pass. Instead of waiting with the growing crowds inside GTNP, I decided to take my chances away from the rangers and tourists. It did’t work out for me today, but I have no regrets. There is still a lot of snow on Togwotee Pass, if you want to experience Spring down below and remnants of Winter in the high country. Note: The road to the restrooms and observation area east of Togwotee Lodge is still snowed in.  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

 

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May 13, 2018 – Sunday  – Mother’s Day

Bull Elk in Early Velvet

Bull Elk in Early Velvet: This nice bull was posing alongside the road near Oxbow Bend.

Coyote

Coyote: Seen near Signal Mountain.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Seen along Spring Gulch Road. The female is in a nearby nest.

Today: We had thick fog and low clouds early in the morning. I managed to get quite a few very nice landscapes while on the East side of the park. I suspect  the people that went to the river bottoms, such as Schwabacher Landing had a long morning of staring at a soupy white cloud.

TA Moulton Barn

T.A. Moulton Barn: Mystical low clouds and fog completely changed the mood along Mormon Row.

Bison and Morning Clouds

Bison and Morning Clouds: Taken along Antelope Flats Road.

Peach House

Peach House: On Mormon Row.

Cottonwoods

Cottonwoods: Taken along Mormon Row.

New Aspens

New Aspens: Taken along Spring Gulch Road in the early evening. Fresh Aspen leaves are vivid pea green right now and seem to glow when shafts of light hit them.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek.

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May 12, 2018 – Saturday

Road Update: The Moose-Wilson Road opened this afternoon.

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: A couple of days ago, I had an afternoon Photo Tour. The trip started at 1:00pm after an hour lunch. Most of my tours begin well before sunrise to get the colorful morning light and wildlife on the move, but an afternoon trip was my client’s only option. We made it to Snake River Overlook at around 5:00pm with what I would call “unromantic light”. Still, it had some interesting clouds. I took this handheld shot with a Nikon D850, which is what the client was using. Other than the crop, the photo above is “as shot”. The shot was captured with the histogram was “to the right”, but nothing was overexposed or blown out

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: Out of curiosity, I processed the image as a black and white. The otherwise bland shot transformed into something I didn’t really expect.

Ansel Adams 1942 Snake River Overlook

Ansel Adam’s Snake River Overlook: My B&W image above shares at least some of the characteristics of Adam’s famous 1942 photo—but there are a few differences. We, unfortunately, have to deal with 76 years of tree growth that blocks the bend in the river. Ansel probably labored for days to process his original film image. I labored around 5 minutes in Lightroom!

Snake River Overlook

For more information, maps, and additional photos, check out this earlier Feature Post!

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: Female captured in my back yard. Overcast days, even with rain or snow, always make good photo days for the birds. The trick is to aim in directions where there is no white sky. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Northern Flicker

Northern FlickerNikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned SparrowNikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow: The sparrow was dining away on a sunflower seed when a pushy Cassin’s Finch tried to take over the branch. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: This is an extremely difficult bird to photograph on a sunny day! Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed MagpieNikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

 

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May 11, 2018 – Friday

Blondie

Blondie: Seen in the Pilgrim Creek area this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

The South Entrance to Yellowstone opened this morning, which causes much more traffic along the main roadways. Many of the side roads are still barricaded.

Blondie

BlondieNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Grizzly Cub

Grizzly Cub: Blondie’s cubs are quite a bit smaller than 399’s cubs, born the same year. 610 should appear with a few cubs of the year, but I don’t have any reports of anyone seeing her yet. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Grizzly Cub

Grizzly CubNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

American Bison

American Bison: One of half a dozen bulls seen at Gros Ventre Junction. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch: This male is still morphing into its breeding plumage. I have three males in my back yard now. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Additional Back Yard Birds: Brown-headed Cowbirds and Brewer’s Blackbirds are becoming common. Still lots of Juncos and Cassin’s Finches. I saw and heard my first Black-headed Grosbeak today, too.

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May 10, 2018 – Thursday

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes: Seen at Elk Flats after a morning of looking for bears. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting: Back at home, I managed to capture a few of the incoming songbirds. Some of the feathers on the head of this male are still turning blue. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch: I saw several males today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Green-tailed Towhee

Green-tailed Towhee: This is an elusive little bird, preferring the ground cover. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco: I included this image to show the green leaves. Juncos have been around for a couple of months. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Robin

American Robin: Robins are in full breeding color now. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Bullock's Oriole

The first Bullock’s Oriole made an appearance today. I also heard my first Hummingbird. Things are picking up! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Blondie and Cubs

Blondie and Cubs: After getting skunked earlier today, I went back for another try. These bears were near Pilgrim Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Blondie and Cubs

Blondie and CubsNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Blondie and Cubs

Blondie and CubsNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

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May 9, 2018 – Wednesday

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the observation platform along Flat Creek. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Chambers Homestead Pano

Chambers Homestead Pano: Taken along Mormon Row as a four shot pano, then stitched in Lightroom. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: Captured at the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese: Seen at Flat Creek Wetlands on North Cache. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Gosling

Gosling: There is a lot of green now around town and even on some of the hillsides. Spring is definitely showing! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Back Yard Birding: Yesterday, I was fairly certain I saw a Lazuli Bunting. Today, I definitely saw one. Pine Siskens are back, along with a couple of Yellow-rumped Warblers. I am anticipating seeing a few Bullock’s Orioles very soon and Western Tanagers a bit later.

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May 8, 2018 – Tuesday

Sunset

Sunset: The weather reports called for clear skies last night, but instead, we had plenty of clouds. I had planned on going out for the stars, so I left home just as the sun was beginning to set. That worked in my favor for the splendid sunset we received as a result of the “pesky” evening clouds. It’s fairly easy to change gears when the sky starts turning orange! I processed this one before going to bed, but didn’t post it. It’s 5:15am here right now, and I’m heading out for a morning shoot. I missed this morning’s clear sky, star show (the clouds eventually moved on through), so I am not in a huge hurry to rush out the door.

The South Entrance to Yellowstone opens tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. That’s good news if you want to go to Yellowstone, but with the roads opened, more people are traveling through GTNP. Any bear seen near the main roads will cause bigger and quicker bear jams. Right now, most people in the park are regional photographers and are usually respectful of the viewing distances, but the new crop will be less informed and usually well under equipped or bear and wolf photography. The ranger’s usually become less tolerant with the offenders and more strict with the rules as the crowds build throughout the season.

Baby Bison

Baby Bison: This morning was another one with lots of possibilities, yet things just didn’t pan out as I would have hoped. I found a small herd of Bison in the early morning light, but they were moving away from me. The herd had one baby as seen above. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Black Bear

Black Bear: Photography is a lot like fly fishing. If you had a good day one day, you can hardly stand to stay home the next day. None of the Grizzlies were seen (that I know of anyway), but this beautiful Black Bear made an appearance. I killed about an hour hoping it would get closer, or even in the open, but it stayed back and usually behind small shrubs and branches. This one was near Pilgrim Creek Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Finding Bears in Grand Teton National Park : This post from a few years back might help you understand which zones to cruise at various times of the year.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron: This Heron often hangs out at Oxbow Bend and is generally more tolerant of humans than some around here. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Roads Still Closed as May 8 : Signal Mountain Road to the top, Spaulding Bay Road, Cattleman’s Bridge Road, Pilgrim Creek Road, Grassy Lake Road, Two Ocean Lake Road, Forest Service Road from Pacific Creek Road, RKO Road, BarBC Road, along with both two track roads off the East Boundary Road.  The roads have barricades, but I am fairly certain it is still legal to walk down them.

Cowboy Bar Sign

Cowboy Bar Sign: The owners of the Wort Hotel bought the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar a while back and have been doing some facelift work on the wood work and history old sign. The Cowboy and horse portion of the sign has been gone for a few weeks and now has a glossy new paint job. The crew is adding a rotating device for him, which could make for some interesting photos. Also, the old Jackson Drug is being renovated. From what I heard, the old neon sign was in storage in the basement during the years when the building was used for a rug gallery. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

 

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May 7, 2018 – Monday

Big Dipper

Big Dipper: This was stitched using three vertical captures in order to include the Big Dipper (over Mt. Moran). I took this shot 4:35 am, during the morning “blue light period” between 4:10 and 6:10 am. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Stars over TA Moulton Barn

Stars over TA Moulton Barn: The moon had about 1/4 coverage this morning…just enough to light the mountains.  Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Teton Range Reflectiuons

Teton Range Reflections: Four shot pano. Early morning at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Eagle on Ice

Eagle on Ice: I took this shot at the Leek’s Marina boat launch.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Eagle ih Tree

Eagle in Tree: This photo was taken at ISO 25600. It was handheld at 1/1600th second, F/7.1 with a Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens.

Eagle In Tree

Eagle In Tree: This one was taken at ISO 6400. It was handheld at 1/400th second, F/7.1 with a Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens. 

Grizzly 399 and One Cub

Grizzly 399 and One Cub: This is my first time to see 399 and her cubs this year. I captured quite a few shots with all three in the same frame, but each time, at least one had their head down.  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Fence Crossing

Fence Crossing:  Today, the family was near “the Dump Road”.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Tripod.

Coyote

Coyote: It’s not often that a Coyote doesn’t look back at someone in a vehicle. This one never glanced way!  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

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May 6, 2018 – Sunday

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: Seen near Elk Flats Ranch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Osprey Landing

Osprey Landing: This male brought in a trout, then the female returned for a meal. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton BarnNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

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May 5, 2018 – Cinco de Mayo

Old Patriarch Tree

Old Patriarch Tree: I hiked out to the Old Patriarch Tree very early this morning. It was’t bad…the snow was frozen solid enough well enough to let me walk across it. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Tripod.

Old Patriarch Tree

Old Patriarch Tree: You might enjoy seeing this old post: May Day at the Old Patriarch. It has photos taken on May 1st (or within a few days of the 1st since 2008). You can see how the snow pack compares this year to some of the other years. I went to the area on May 1st this year, but the clouds were completely covering the Tetons as seen in the May 1st entry for this page.  Amazing!!!!!! Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Tripod.

Bison on the Run

Bison Crossing: Just up the road, there were several groups of tourists trying to take photos of specks (bison) at long distances. It makes sense if you figure they were the first ones they saw, but if they had driven another mile, bison were close on both sides of the road and even on the road. I was probably in the photo being taken with an iPhone from inside the car. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bison on the Run: This group of Bison, along with a few Elk, were at Elk Ranch Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Osprey__

Osprey: I took this image near the Snake River. Most pairs have now staked out their nests, but this female didn’t appear to be sitting on eggs yet. The burned edges were done in Topaz Studio. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Road Closures: If you scroll down to the May 1st entry, I included a list of the recently opened and still closed roads in GTNP. From all I have seen, they are all the same now.

399 and her two cubs appeared in the Dam and Willow Flats area yesterday, prompting a news story in the daily paper.

 

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May 4, 2018 – Friday

Backing Up! Last week, I bought a G-Tech Shuttle 24TB RAID drive for my images, files, and catalogs. Then, after feeling like I am putting all of my eggs in one basket, I ordered a G-Tech RAID drive to backup or mirror that one. It arrived just now, and the files are being copied to it. The 24 TB drive has an effective yield of 18 TB, so the 20 TB drive should hold all of the information. That’s one story. I have been told it would be a good idea to store at least one copy of my images off premise, or on the “cloud”. A few days ago, I signed up for Amazon Prime to get unlimited photo storage. It has a huge caveat. After 64 hours, it has uploaded .14 TB of 3.25 TB in just my Wildlife Folders. I also have a Landscapes Folder, Trips Folder, WildWest Folder, and Grunge Folder. At this rate, it will take over 46 days to upload the Wildlife Folder. Unless I can get access to a fiber optic line to upload, I don’t see this as a viable option for anyone with lots of images.

Morning Elk

Morning Elk: Captured just North of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Pine Marten

Pine Marten: Captured in low light conditions near Moose Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Taken at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Common Merganser

Common Merganser: Also taken at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: There can be a lot of bird and wildlife activity at Schwabacher Landing. Today was a waterfowl day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

South Park Cabin

South Park Cabin: This old cabin is on the nature walk at the South Park Feed Grounds. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Barrow's Golden Eye

Barrow’s Golden Eye: Captured in the South Park Feed Grounds. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

 

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May 3, 2018 – Thursday

Jackson Lake Dam

Jackson Lake Dam: I spent my morning around Jackson Lake Junction, mainly hoping for a chance to photograph a Grizzly or two. While driving around the zone, I caught a few other subjects. I thought the golden light made the dam look moody, especially when accompanied by the snow covered mountains. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Townsend's Solitaire

Townsend’s Solitaire: This gray colored bird was resting near the dam, along with a pesky and elusive Belted Kingfisher. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Oxbow Bend and Clouds

Oxbow Bend and Clouds:  I didn’t see any Bears or Foxes, despite a fair amount of time and energy looking for them this morning. When I returned home, I heard a report of 399 and her two cubs milling around up north. Elk and Bison were plentiful in the Elk Flats area. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Early Aspens Leaves

Early Aspen Leaves: At least a few Aspens are displaying their first Summer leaves now.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

 

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May 2, 2018 – Wednesday

Mormon Row Elk

Mormon Row Elk: The road connecting the Mormon homesteads and Gros Ventre Road is still gated. I took this shot looking South at the north gate. There is a LOT of wildlife still out in the hay fields, including coyotes, bison, and elk. I am watching for Long-billed Curlews to show up again. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

This Morning: I did a fairly large figure 8 this morning, starting on a loop south of town. I saw a few more Osprey than last time I was there. The South Park Feed Grounds are open again. I drove up Spring Gulch Road, out to Kelly, and then looped around to the Mormon Row barns.

Uinta Ground Squirrel

Uinta Ground Squirrel: Chislers have been out of their dens for a while now, and that brings in the Raptors and Badgers that feed on them. I’ve been seeing a lot of Badger diggings at the barns, so I stopped there today with the Tamron 150-600mm G2 to see if any were out. You might be more lucky than me today. Watch for Red-tailed Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, and Great Horned Owls in the barn areas. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Yesterday was the first of May. I loaded the May 1st entry with a LOT of focused information on Road Closures, Landscape Opportunities, and Wildlife Status. If you visited yesterday and only looked at the photos, I’d suggest taking a few minutes to read the reports.

Peach House Window

Peach House Window: There weren’t a lot of clouds over and around the Tetons today. This shot hints there are mountains in the distance, but the subject was really the deteriorating window. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Additional Reports: The rivers and streams are now flowing high and fast with silted, blown out water. Fishermen are now looking for lakes and spring creeks or heading to tailwater areas like the Green River below Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The newspaper reported a Grizzly feeding on a Bison carcass on the north end of the National Elk Refuge. As of yesterday, it is possible to drive into some of the Refuge. Watch for Burrowing Owls in the sandy soil if you drive out. I haven’t seen them, but I know people who have. The Gros Ventre Campground opens again this Friday.

Jackson Peak

Jackson Peak: I included this photo today to show how yesterday morning’s snowfall has already melted. It was taken from the Mormon Row Road junction along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Afternoon in the Park

Jackson Peak Pano

Jackson Peak Pano: Captured as two photos and stitched in Lightroom. I took this from Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: One of about a dozen nice bulls hanging around the roundabout construction zone on Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Taken from the observation platform on Flat Creek.

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May 1, 2018 – Tuesday  – Mayday!

Grand Teton National Park is in the process of welcoming this year’s visitors—but it happens slowly! Many roads are still closed, but one of the major arteries, the Teton Park Road (aka Inner Park Loop Road) opened to vehicle traffic today. Moose-Wilson road between the Murie Center Road and Death Canyon Road will be closed to all users until May 13. Expect construction delays at Gros Ventre Junction all summer. The road to Curtis Canyon opened today, allowing antler hunters to access the National Forest.

Closed Roads as May 1 : Signal Mountain Road to the top, Spaulding Bay Road, Cattleman’s Bridge Road, Pilgrim Creek Road, Grassy Lake Road, Two Ocean Lake Road, Forest Service Road from Pacific Creek Road, RKO Road, BarBC Road, along with both two track roads off the East Boundary Road.

Recently Opened Roads: Schwabacher Landing, Dead Man’s Bar, Lost Creek Ranch Road, Teton Park Road, Antelope Flats Road, Northern portion of Mormon Row Road. The Murie Center Road is still open.

Recently Opened Facilities: The Visitor’s Center at Moose has been open for a month or so. The Convenience Store at Colter Bay Junction and the Convenience Store and Pizza Parlor at Dornan’s are open. Other commercial centers should open for the Mother’s Day Weekend.

Bison In Snow

Wildlife Opportunities for May 1: Most of the Elk and Bison have moved off the National Elk Refuge and have spreading out into the Park and Forests. Moose are moving from their wintering home on the Sage Flats into the river bottoms. A few Pronghorns are back in the Park. Grizzlies and Black Bears are reappearing, but April was much less productive this year than last year. May could be epic if Sows like Blondie, 610, and Falicia appear with two or three cubs each. 399 and her two cubs appeared for a day but hasn’t been seen in a while. 610’s sub-adult cubs have been seen off and on. Other random Grizzlies have been seen on sporadic timelines. A large Cinnamon colored Black Bear has been seen a couple of times. Wolves and Foxes were active for a couple of weeks in April, but it appears the females are in the dens. The valley is now loaded with Robins, Juncos, Starlings, Ravens, Crows, & Magpies. Osprey are on their nests. Hawks, Kestrels and Eagles are often visible. Owls are scarce but are reported to be mating and nesting this year after a terrible year last year. A few of the Bison cows have already delivered their young, often called Red Dogs. Throughout the month, watch for other babies. Moose calves are usually born at the end of May and the first week or so in June.

String Lake

String LakeNikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

The Landscape for May 1: We had a nice snowfall at the end of April, changing much of the area back to Winter for a few days. Rain and drizzle melted the snow around town. Grass is turning green in most areas in the south portion of the valley. Areas closer to the mountains like String Lake and Jenny Lake are still snow covered. The Northern portion of the Park has snow for now. Togwotee Pass was clearing for the first few miles from the base, but is covered from around Turpen Meadows Road to the summit. Jackson Lake is open the size of a football field at the dam, but is still frozen. It should drop soon. String Lake is about half open, but everything I could see of Jenny Lake is still frozen.

Jenny Lake

 Jenny LakeNikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Horses in Snow

Buffalo ValleyNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Group

Buffalo ValleyNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Buffalo Valley Barn

Buffalo Valley Barn: Expect hillsides like this to be green within a few days. The recent snow was heavy and wet. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cinnamon Teal Pair

Cinnamon Teal Pair: The Park offers a lot of wildlife possibilities, but it helps to not get too bogged down looking for a specific subject to show up. This pair of ducks was in courtship mode near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon TealNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: Captured near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain BluebirdNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

While I posted a lot of images for this initial Journal Page, you’ll want to make Best of the Tetons a regular stop. I’ll be adding photos almost daily throughout the month! The first week or so of May should resemble the last week or so of April, so check it out:

April 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

If you like what you are seeing here, please share the page and let your friends know about it. If you are not already a subscriber, I’d love to have you! MJ


 

10 Tips for a Grand Teton National Park Visit

Tips for a better visit from a 31 year resident and local photographer.

Sparring Moose

1: Do some pre-trip planning!

  • The good news…Grand Teton National Park is open all year! Summer visitors have access to most roads and facilities. It’s beautiful here all Winter, but you’ll find fewer roads and access.
  • Grand Teton National Park is home to many species of wildlife, however you might need to time your visit based on what you are hoping to see. For example, bull Moose will not have antlers from late January through mid-August. Many mammals will be shedding winter fur during the Spring months, but those months are the best months for the babies. Remember, some of the wildlife migrates out of the region while others hibernate during the Winter months.
  • Weather can be an issue at any time of the year. It helps to bring warm clothing at all times of the year. Temperatures can drop to below freezing overnight, even in the summer, yet warm up to comfortable temperatures by afternoon. We have experienced heavy snow on July 4th!
  • You’ll know you are in Grand Teton National Park via a few entrance signs, however much of the Park lacks clear signage  identifying its boundaries. This is especially true on the East side of the park. Pick up a Park map as soon as you can, or visit click the link below to view the official Park map. Note: Visitors entering GTNP via Yellowstone pass through a gate a Moran Junction, then enter the highway. Many believe they are out of the Park, yet they are still well within Park’s boundaries. Check the maps before letting your dog off its leash or considering using a drone anywhere in the Jackson Hole area!
  • Wildlife viewing rules state that humans must stay 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from other wildlife. Visitors must follow the instructions of on-site rangers and volunteers, even if they are are more strict than printed rules and documentation.
  • Click Here to view the GTNP Map
  • 18-12 Changes to Entrance Fee to Address Infrastructure Needs & Improve Visitor Experience.pdf
  • Check the Daily Journals in the list below to help plan your trip:
Daily Updates Archives: ~
2018: May:Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
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:

Alsenglow

2: Get up early for the most elbow room, best light, and most wildlife!

  • The Teton Range runs north and south along the west side of the valley. Landscape photography is often best early in the morning as the range wakes up with spectacular morning light.
  • Wind is often calm during the early morning hours. Be out early to have your best chances of getting mirror reflections in still or slow moving water.
  • If you are willing to get up EARLY, you’ll miss the bulk of the crowds. During peak times of the year, you can expect long delays getting through the gates. How early is early? Early means being somewhere of interest as the first rays of light clears the top of the eastern mountains. In mid-June, that’s around 5:41 am.
  • Wildlife, especially moose, deer, and elk, are usually most visible in the early hours. Moose can bed down in the sage or pull back into the river bottoms not long after first light. Deer and elk move out of the open and back into the shadows of the forest. Other large mammals, like Bison and Pronghorns, are often visible during the bright hours. Bears can be visible during random daylight hours.
  • The Jenny Lake’s Visitor Center area will continue to be under construction in 2018. Unless you get there very early, expect full parking areas there and at String Lake. If the ferry is running between Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon this year, be there for the first ferry and take advantage of the discounted “early bird” first run and be one of the first to hit the trails to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls.

Monday Morning Grizzlies

3: Buy an Annual Pass!

  • A seven day pass into just Grand Teton National Park will cost $35. If you plan on continuing into Yellowstone, the two park weekly pass is $50-$55 (2018 rates are still being formulated). A single pass is good for a whole carload of people. This might be an acceptable option, but if you travel the country much at all, consider purchasing an Annual Pass for $80 (only $20-$25 more). This inter-agency pass good for all* National Parks, Historic Monuments, Grasslands, and National Wildlife Preserves for a full year from the date of purchase!. For those 62 years and older, a Senior Lifetime Pass is available for $80.
  • Remember, you can purchase the Annual Pass at any National Park, National Wildlife Preserve, or National Monument along your way to the Grand Teton National Park and then use it at any of Wyoming’s three National Parks. (Note: There are a couple of Parks, like Mt. Rushmore, that require a parking fee)
  • Grand Teton National Park offers a Satellite Pass option for $10 to anyone buying an Annual Pass. If your family splits up, the Satellite Pass will get them into the Park if the primary pass is with another member. My wife and two kids each have a Satellite Pass, which comes in handy if they want to go to the lake for the day while I in other parts of the valley. The Satellite pass, like the full Annual Pass, will get a whole carload of people into the park!
  • Annual Pass
  • Click Here for GTNP Pass and Fees Info
  • *Click Here for a List of FEDERAL RECREATION AREAS covered with an Annual Pass!

Bison Crossing

4: Be open minded!

  • Especially during the peak months, the Park can become crowded. Not all visitors share the same values and a concern for others. Some will enter a shot you have been waiting for hours to get. Kids might throw a rock into a mirror reflection. Over the years, I’ve found I can usually out wait them, but in general, a little patience and forgiveness can help.
  • The park spans just over 310,000 acres. If one area is uncomfortably crowded, consider some of the side roads and lesser traveled zones.
  • Some visitors, especially photographers, have a laundry list of scenes and wildlife visions they’ve seen in a book, magazine, travel guide, or web site and are hoping to recreate it. Those photos might have taken the original photographers weeks to get and most likely a little luck was involved. Be open minded—and be opportunistic!

Sunrise

5: Stay a night or two in the Park!

  • There are numerous campgrounds and lodges within the boundaries of the Park. If you book early enough, staying inside the Park for a night or two might give you some advantages over tourists leaving town each morning. Obviously, lodging inside the park means you can sleep a little later and still be first on site at the popular spots!
  • A new “roundabout” will be under construction in 2018. Expect 15 to 30 minute delays all year at Gros Ventre Junction. Moose-Wilson Road, which usually opens on May 1st will be delayed to mid May for road construction, and even when the road is open, expect extra heavy traffic on the road with travelers trying to miss the roundabout construction project. Staying “inside” the Park offers even more value this year.
  • Click Here for a List of In-Park Lodging Options

399 and Cubs

6: Bring a Telephoto Lens

  • As mentioned before, GTNP (and all National Parks) have minimum wildlife viewing distances. Many of the professional wildlife photographers have telephoto lenses—used for many of the closeup images seen online and in books and magazines. If close photos of wildlife are on your wish list, spend the money to buy or rent a telephoto lens. Rangers have little tolerance for someone getting too close with a cell phone.

Bull Elk in Gold

7: Take a Guided Tour!

  • A guided tour might be a great option. There are several types of tour operations inside Grand Teton National Park and there are numerous options for each. Some of the tour companies offer relatively inexpensive trips, carrying 6-12 people in vans and small buses. Most have trained and qualified guides to explain the valley’s wildlife and geology.
  • Photography Tours and Workshops offer more intimate tours, heavily weighted towards photographic aspects.
  • Click Here for: Best of the Tetons Photo Tours. These are customized photo tours / photo workshops for one or two people.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

6: Visit the Park’s Museums and Historic Sites

  • Watch for the cultural and historical displays at the Craig Thomas Visitor’s Center at Moose Junction and the museum at Colter Bay. They are free! Volunteers, Rangers, and display signage can offer a range of information about the Park. The Park also offers guided tours—some of which are free.
  • Additionally, visit the Park’s historic sites like the Chapel of the Transfiguration, Mormon Row, Cunningham Cabin, and the Luther Taylor Cabin (also known as the Shane Cabin).
  • Don’t forget the JH Wild West Shootout and JH Rodeo in the Town of Jackson.

Yonder Sign

Milky Way Over String Lake

9: Think about doing a coffee table book!

  • Numerous companies offer custom printed books, using your images. Photos can be uploaded into templates—or design your own pages and layouts. These books are a great way to show off your trip to the Park.
  • Keep a possible coffee table style book in mind on your visit and you will likely be trying to fill it with not only the “obligatory” photos (the standard shots everyone takes), but also smaller filler shots like spider webs, pine cones, bark, textures, leaves berries, and the pint sized critters like ground squirrels, weasels, and even butterflies. Stop to “smell the flowers” and come home with many more memories of your visit!

Kamas Meadows

Great Gray Owl

10: Practice with your camera before your trip!

  • Many of the “special” moments in Grand Teton National Park are extremely fleeting. A short list of these special events might include a rainbow, a passing storm, and changing light on a beautiful sunrise. If lucky, you might find a pair of bull Moose fighting, a Grizzly standing, or a large mammal crossing a stream. It’s NOT the time to be fiddling around a camera’s menus to make the necessary changes. It can help tremendously if you practice before your Park trip!
  • As I discuss this issue with my photo tour clients, I suggest they spend time at their local youth soccer fields to become comfortable using their camera. It helps to understand the settings to freeze both near a far action, along with the various focusing options. After evaluating the results on a large monitor, the shooting data can reveal a wealth of information that can improve the photographer’s skills. Best of all, the photos have little or no long-term value. Delete them, then go back over and over until you have a good understanding of the camera’s settings. Learn how to make changes quickly!

Summer Rainbow

Check Out These Popular Pages:

Add Your Suggestions Below!

I thought about this list quite a while before writing the page, but I am sure I missed some good suggestions. If you have one I missed, please post a comment below with yours!


If you like this post, please share it on Facebook and Pinterest! It’s easy if you use the handy Social Media Icons! Also, if you like what you see, sign up to follow Best of the Tetons! MJ

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

April 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Elk Migration

“Wildlife on the Move”

Daily Updates Archives: ~
2018: May:Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
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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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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Foxes of Winter and Spring 2018

Winter is often a great time to find and photograph Red Foxes in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park. Their fur is full and beautiful! If against the pristine snow, they often are easier to spot.

Instead of loading this page with heavy copy, I thought it might be nice to simply post a lot of photos. All but two of them were taken in January, February and March of 2018. Almost all of them were captured in the southern half of GTNP.

Red Fox in the Rocks

Mouser

Mousing

Cross Fox

Cross Fox

Four Kits

A single litter can produce both Cross Fox and Red color variations, along with light and dark variations of each as seen in this litter from last year. Occasionally, someone might say they saw a black fox, but in this area of the country, they are all Red Foxes—distinguished by the white tip on their tail.

Portrait

Most readers at this site already know I have a Commercial Use Authorization permit that allows me to legally offer photography tours in Grand Teton National Park as Best of the Tetons Photo Tours. Throughout the year, CUA permit holders receive notifications from the Park to inform us of programs, road closures, and alerts. I’ve received three documents about the GTNP Fox Program: The page includes information about a male Foxes that was put down late in 2017—along with general information regarding the ear tags and collars you might see on some of the Park’s Foxes. The page includes information about the scope and purpose of the Fox study program.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox on the Move

Red Fox in Snow

Digger

Hunter: This honey colored Fox has a red and a green ear tag. I often remove them in Photoshop. The Cross Fox on this page has neither ear tags or a collar.

Red Fox Jumping

Mousing

Cross Fox

Where to Look: Red Foxes “can be” seen almost anywhere in the valley. This list documents many of the places I’ve seen them.

  • National Elk Refuge & National Fish Hatchery area
  • Cache Creek
  • Karn’s Meadows in town
  • Wilson: Including Fish Creek Road and Fall Creek Road
  • Kelly: Along the Gros Ventre and North of Kelly
  • East Boundary Road and around Kelly Warm Springs
  • Antelope Flats Road and along the Bike Path on the Highway.
  • Upper Gros Ventre Road to Atherton Creek Campground
  • Signal Mountain, Leek’s Marina, Colter Bay
  • Jackson Lake Dam area and Oxbow Bend
  • String Lake and Jenny Lake areas
  • Flagg Ranch complex
  • Elk Flats area and near Moose Head Ranch and Triangle X Ranch
  • Moose-Wilson Road & Teton Village area
  • Along the Highway near National Museum of Wildlife Art
  • Boyle’s Hill Road and Swan Pond Area
  • Flat Creek Wetlands north of the Visitor’s Center
  • Buffalo Valley Road
  • Shane Cabin area and the Teton Science School area
  • Teton Science School between Jackson and Wilson
  • Spring Gulch Road

So far this year, I can count 10 different Foxes.  I know there are lots more!

Hidden Fox

If you are having trouble seeing a fox, there’s a good possibility it doesn’t want to be seen! Unless they are out in the open, they can be difficult to spot!

Silent Watcher

And they can “hide in plain sight” —you just have to be watching for them.

Foxes often use the roads for quick travel.

Fox Portrait

Portrait

Cross Fox

Cross Fox

Curious Red Fox

Red Fox on the Move

Cross Fox

Cross Fox

Cross Fox

All of the beautiful Cross Foxes on this page are the same animal, seen randomly on the East side of the park. I’ve seen as many a three different Foxes in one day, but I’ve also been skunked on many occasions.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox

Red Fox

Red Fox

Portrait

If you are lucky enough to spend time with the Red Foxes, you’ll likely fall in love with them! If not harassed, many will flourish alongside humans. They are wild by Nature, but will readily build a den under the porch or crawl space of a house in a busy neighborhood, or even in a culvert under a busy road. Male Foxes hunt for the nursing Vixens and continue to hunt with the mother as the kit’s diet changes from milk to meat. There’s a lot to love!

As the snow melts, and Vixens move into their dens, it seems the Fox activity slows down somewhat until May. The hungry Kits begin appearing at the opening of the den and both parents are forced to hunt to feed the little ones. By that time, the adults are in the middle of shedding their Winter fur and replacing it with sleek short fur.

Photos on this Page

Every photo was taken with a Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 lens.

Interested in a Photo Tour / Photo Workshop?

My customized One-On-One tours help me fund this site, and are a great way for me to share the beauty of the Jackson Hole region. Click the photo to get additional information!

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

Winter Landscapes 2018