Best of the Tetons

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: 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!


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Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

April 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Elk Migration

“Wildlife on the Move”

Daily Updates Archives: ~
2018: 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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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.

If you are interested in taking a Best of the Tetons Photo Tour with me, click the photo below! For inquiries, send an email to info@bestofthetetons.com. I can still offer a trip or two in April, and there are 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 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

The Jackson Hole valley is magically transformed into a “Winter Wonderland” following a big overnight snow storm. Four to eight inches of the white powder is perfect—allowing the new layer to blanket the old dirty snow and clutter. When this happens, the world looks pristine again. It’s a great time to be cruising the Park’s available roads and trails!

Alpenglow at Snake River Overlook

There are plenty of landscape opportunities, both after a Winter storm and during the storm itself.

Hansen Barn

A lot of Grand Teton National Park’s 310,000 acres is closed to human activity in the Winter. Likewise, many of the roads and pullouts are closed to vehicular traffic. It occasionally feels like we have little access, but there’s a fair amount of GTNP open to hiking, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing. Additionally, I like to augment my Winter photography by traveling some of the area’s county roads.

Tetons and Setting Full Moon

Varying Conditions

You’ve probably been to a sub shop with a paper order form and a small pencil on the counter top. You check your choice of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, mustard and so forth. They assemble the sandwich to order based on the checked boxes. Wouldn’t that be nice for landscape photography! It doesn’t work that way, of course, but there are a few elements that we all wish for—and would check if we could.

Grand Pano

Winter landscapes in Grand Teton National Park often include views of the Grand and the Teton Range. That’s why people come here! Ideally, Mother Nature offers up some great morning light and clouds behind the snow covered peaks. Clouds and dramatic lighting often separate an every day image into something special. Early morning shots typically offer more chances to get the romantic lighting, but it can happen at any time of the day.

Sun and Branches

Conditions do not always have to be perfect!

On days I can see the mountains, I am looking to put some sort of subject, like a small barn, in front of a wide view of the valley. The barn or stand of trees might simply be an accent or foreground element. On overcast days, the snow covered barn or stand of trees might be THE subject.

Snow Banks

Just like photography in the other seasons, it helps to be flexible and adjust to the conditions.

Jackson Lake Sunrise Pano

I think there are two scenarios for landscape photography. In the first one, you find a location and composition you like, then wait for the dramatic light and clouds. It might even take several trips to get the shot. In the second scenario, you are driving around and “presto”, the dramatic scene is staring you in the face. Stop, set up, and take the shot. Few people viewing your photo will ever know which scenario was in play when you captured the image, but you’ll know! There is never an apology needed for the serendipity shots.

Winter Night

Snow

Not all fresh snow is the same. It can wet and sticky or dry and fluffy. Additionally, with no wind, the snow can gently settle on any horizontal plane or it can be windblown and drifted. Sticky wet snow can cover the sides of vertical planes during a windy storm. There’s so much variety and so many opportunities!

Photography during a snow storm can be more challenging. The size of the flakes and the distance to the subject are two of the big factors. Exposure time can be adjusted for artistic, streaking effects. It helps to check the front of the lens regularly. Blowing snow always seems to find the glass!

Bronze Elk

After a storm, the prime “window of opportunity” can be limited. Wind can blow fresh, light snow off the branches and structures. Sun often begins the melting process.

Wedding Trees

The Winter Season

Winter often feels like our longest season. That, of course, depends on where you are in the valley. By May 1st, some people have already mowed their yard at least once, but snow banks and berms near String Lake can still be higher than most vehicles. By late Fall, I am always ready to see fresh snow and by late Winter I am ready to see hints for green grass and budding trees.

Snake River Overlook

Even as Winter wanes, I almost always think about the shots I didn’t take or places I wish I had gone. There’s always next year.

Landscapes and Photographic Considerations

Daylight hours are limited during the Winter months. The shortest day is usually December 21, but it takes a month or two either side of that date to see much of a change. The low sun, when you can see it, casts long, beautiful shadows. Bounce light from the snow helps reduce harsh shadows. On overcast days, morning can start out quite dark, yet by midday, the clouds can act like a county sized light box. Filtered sunlight can all but eliminate shadows.

Teton Range

I particularly like the Winter days with patchy clouds. The clouds cast shadows in some areas, but allow the sun to create bands of light in others. On those days, chances of getting a dramatic landscape are greatly improved.

Mt. Moran Colors

During the Summer months, most Alpenglow happens at the far south end of the valley. During the Winter months, Alpenglow usually occurs between the Grand and Mt. Moran. Perfect! Snake River Overlook offers a good chance to capture Alpenglow, and the parking lot is usually plowed.

Sleeping Indian

In a nutshell, Winter photography can be challenging. Cold temperatures can push the equipment and the photographer’s ability to withstand the conditions. Heavy coats, insulated underwear, lots of layers, and hand warmers help on many mornings.

Box L Ranch

I augment the GTNP photographic opportunities buy frequenting some of the county roads around the Town of Jackson. Not many of them offer vista views of the mountains, but the barns, fences, and landscapes can offer some great shooting.

Lockhart Ranch

Both short and long telephoto lenses can be used for landscape photography. They are great for “getting to” subjects on private property or to subjects that might require shoe shoes if using a standard lens. Telephoto lenses can help isolate and compress a scene and can be used for panoramic images.

Shadows

Exposures and Processing

Metering in many cameras can be fooled during the Winter. Specifically, auto metering will typically result in underexposed images. I’m a “histogram person”—checking the histogram on the back of my digital camera regularly. Many snow captures require 2/3 to 1 stop positive EV and sometimes more. I get a lot of chances to shoot in these conditions and can now make quick adjustments to the EV values. Relative to wildlife photography, landscape photography is more forgiving. Landscape photographers usually have more time to take a test shot and adjust as necessary.

Elk Ranch Flats

Digital noise is seldom an issue in Winter captures. Dark zones are usually limited in winter landscapes, and as I mentioned earlier, light is often reflected back into the shadows. High ISO settings are seldom needed. On many days, we get to use fast shutter speeds, reasonably high aperture settings, and relatively low ISO on hand held shots.

Grand Pano

No matter what time of the year you are here, Grand Teton National Park is perfectly suited for panoramic landscape images. Current software makes stitching two to nine images a breeze.

Overcast days are often dull and gray. Right? There’s seldom anything in a scene that is bright white. That’s not the case on a sunny day, but the shots taken on a gloomy day often need some additional post processing help. But, how much?

Southpark

My artist side, especially the watercolor artist side, loves the pure white aspect of Winter shots. This is especially true on photos taken on an overcast day. A watercolor artist starts with a white sheet of paper and then applies paint where they see subject matter. Some areas stay white.

Rolling Fence

Although I change my approach and attitude on this topic off and on during the year—and over the years—I still like the simplicity available to me on Winter shots. In Lightroom or Photoshop, I can usually make a dull image pop considerably by adjusting the “white” slider and then tweaking the rest of the sliders to taste. Note: JPG shooters will have less flexibility in post processing than the RAW shooters.

Sunrise at Snake River Overlook

Modern cameras are extremely forgiving when photographing in RAW format, and the software is getting so good, I seldom use graduated ND filters anymore. The white snow and reflected light in the bottom of a Winter landscape capture enough information to bypass the filters in most situations.

Teton Range Reflections

Jackson Hole

If you’ve never been to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park during the Winter months, you are missing out! There are virtually no crowds and the pace of the day seems much less hectic. There are plenty of subjects if you are willing to be out in the cold weather. Get here, bundle up, and capture some shots of your own!

Evening Barns

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

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March 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

March Stream

“Winter, with hints of Spring”

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Check Out These THREE Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole and Winter in the Tetons: Tips for travel and photography.

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March 31, 2018 Saturday

Jackson Hole Ski Resort

Jackson Hole Ski Resort: April 1st is the traditional “GaperDay – (Wikipedia)” on many mountains including 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.

Tetons

Tetons: Taken from Gros Ventre Road. Antelope Flats Road is still closed. Expect delays at Gros Ventre Junction starting April 2nd. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Elk

Elk: Each morning, additional Elk are moving off the National Elk Refuge and back into the Parks and National Forests. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Shoshone Dancer

Shoshone Dancer: I took this photo several years ago at Ft. Washakie. I met John Pingree at the Ft. Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous and managed to meet him at his house at Ft. Washakie the next year. We spent several hours at some red cliffs near his house where he posed and danced as I added a ton of actuations to my Nikon D300. One of the images from that day was featured on a full page in the Cowboys and Indians Magazine photo contest.

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 another year. 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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March 30, 2018 Friday

Snake River Overlook Sunset

Snake River Overlook Sunset: I had a photo tour/workshop yesterday afternoon. My client’s main goal was to get a sunset with the Teton Range. We timed the evening to be at Snake River Overlook at sunset. Before that we spent some time driving around Oxbow Bend, around the Dam, and all the way up to Pilgrim Creek and Colter Bay. There is still a considerable amount of snow in the north. The dividing line right now is Antelope Flats Road. South of there, much of the snow pack is either gone or very thin, and north still has snow. We saw a Red Fox on the ice at Oxbow, along with a big Beaver at the edge of the open water. Most of it is still frozen and all of Jackson Lake is frozen.

The photo above is an HDR Pano, consisting of four horizontal sets of three HDR Pano images. The HDR portion were captured as three shots: 2 stops over, Normal, and 2 stops over. The resulting four sets of HDR composites were then stitched into a single Pano, then adjusted as normal. Click the image above to see it much larger. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Level Tripod.

Feathered Fridays: This is the last of the Feathered Fridays at the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. The Teton Raptor Center will be there from Noon to 2:00 PM with four of their Raptors.

Easter Egg Hunt: For the kids at the Town Square. The event starts at 10:00 am and is over at 10:05! We were there every year when our kids were little. It’s a fun event.

Wolf and Eagle

Wolf and Eagle: There was a lot of activity near Kelly this morning. A Gray Wolf was on an Elk Carcass as we pulled over at the site. It walked off soon afterwards, but returned to run a Bald Eagle off the carcass. My clients probably got more and better shots than me as I was helping them get set up and going. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Coyote and Raven

Coyote and Raven: When the Wolves moved off, three Coyotes and several Bald Eagles, Ravens and Black-billed Magpies moved in. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: The carcass is roughly 100 yards from the road. Scavengers will be cleaning it up for a couple of days. The Wolves could return? Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bighorn Rams

Bighorn Rams: There are a lot of Bighorns still on Miller Butte at the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bighorns on the Run

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

South Park Barn

South Park Barn: We are still in the transition between Winter and Spring. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwings

Bohemian Waxwings: Found in East Jackson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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March 29, 2018 Thursday

Red Fox

New Feature Post: Foxes of Winter and Spring 2018   If you are already a subscriber at Best of the Tetons, you would have received a notification of this new post. Sign up now to get future notifications!

Warm Springs Elk

Warm Springs Elk: Captured at first light next to the Kelly Warm Springs.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Coyote

Coyote: Photographed just north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Meadowlark

Spring Meadowlark: Also captured near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: This raptor was seen on Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing: I spotted a large flock of Bohemian Waxwings near the Post Office and spent about 15 minutes with them before a pair of Black-billed Magpies spooked them from the neighborhood. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing: It was good shooting while it lasted! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 28, 2018 Wednesday

Another Foggy Morning

Another Foggy Morning: Taken along the Gros Ventre this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Two Gray Wolves

Two Gray Wolves: This is a long distance, cropped, oversharpened “record” shot of two Wolves seen in the Kelly area this morning. I missed them crossing the road by only a couple of minutes. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Licking Vehicle

Moose Licking Vehicle: A few weeks ago, the Park Service installed a flashing sign on Gros Ventre Road telling people to NOT let the Moose lick your vehicle, but the sign has been gone for quite a while. I had never seen them licking until today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Licking Vehicle

Moose Licking Vehicle: This shot illustrates how large an adult Moose is. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Cow

Moose Cow: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Historic Barn

Historic Barn: This barn is located on private property inside Grand Teton National Park. I’ll have to find the photo on my iPhone, but I was told this is the oldest barn remaining in the valley. Currently, the lower half is being used as a woodworking shop and the upper section is used at times as a playroom for the kids. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing: A flock of Waxwings were in my neighborhood this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 27, 2018 Tuesday

Grand Peak

Grand Peak: Sunrise on the Grand. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Morning Notes: Crews are adding new signs and beginning to grade around the Gros Ventre Junction Roundabout. Yesterday, snowplows cleared Antelope Flats Road, but it is still gated. I missed the Wolves by a few minutes again this morning, even though I spent all of my time is the area. It appears Snow King is closed to skiing now. I saw my first few Meadowlarks north of Kelly today.

Elk Migration

Elk Migration: Captured on the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Shane Cabin

Shane Cabin: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Warm Springs

Warm Springs: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Warm Springs

Warm Springs: The Park Service has been talking about killing off the tropical fish in Kelly Warm Springs. These fish are thriving in the outlet stream. If they try moving downstream, the cold water will kill them, and if a few make it to the Snake, I’d suggest they would be the perfect sized food for the native Cutthroats. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Afternoon

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Seen along Spring Gulch Road late in the day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Also seen on Spring Gulch Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: Seen north of Kelly just before sunset. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

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

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March 26, 2018 Monday

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: I would expect some of the Wintering Trumpeters to begin their migration soon. These were photographed at Boyle’s Hill pond, but they are currently scattered all over the valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Area Comments: The Snow King Hill Climb is over. Contestants, tourists, and all of the trailers are leaving the town. Also, Spring Break began last Friday, so the town will feel quiet for a couple of weeks. When I was in the Kelly area today, I noticed the two dirt roads (Warm Springs Road and Powerline Road) have new Road Closed signs. Antelope Flats Road is still closed, but there isn’t a lot of snow on the road. Sage Grouse are likely on the leks early in the morning.

Lockhart Cattle Ranch

Lockhart Cattle Ranch: This barn is south of Jackson. I saw a newborn calf in one of the pastures—another indication of Spring. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

South Park Barn

South Park Barn: Yesterday’s new snow melted fast in many areas of the valley. This barn is also located south of town. Canada Geese are entering the valley and flying over regularly. I saw two pairs already staking claims on some of the Osprey nests. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 25, 2018 Sunday

Bull Moose

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

I got up early, with snow falling, and decided to take my time getting out. The Tetons were covered with heavy clouds and the sky was originally dark in the east. No hurry. As it turned out, if I had headed out 15-20 minutes earlier, I could have seen a couple of Gray Wolves crossing within 20 yards of the vehicles near Kelly Warm Springs. The Wolves moved into the hay fields north of Gros Ventre Road—roughly 400-500 yards out. While waiting and hoping they would move closer to the road, I photographed this Bull Moose. Notice the “globe” of new growth on this bull’s antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Fence Line

Fence Line: After giving up on the Wolves, I went back into landscape/wildlife “hybrid” mode. I didn’t notice them at the time I took the first few shots of this fence, but there were two Coyotes just to the left of the fence on Spring Gulch Road. I was watching for Owls, Coyotes, Wolves, Hawks and Eagles. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red Barn

Red Barn on Spring Gulch Road: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Number 5

Number 5: The fresh snow supplied the drips on this old truck seen in Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Young Bighorns

Young Bighorns: I found around 30 bighorns on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 24, 2018 Saturday

Moose

Moose: I didn’t actually count, but I’d estimate I saw at least 20 Moose again this morning. There were a huge number of Elk moving north on the National Elk Refuge, some of which have already moved north of the Gros Ventre River and back into Grand Teton National Park. I spotted at least three Bald Eagles, numerous Ravens, Mule Deer, and at least three Coyotes, but no Foxes. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: I went down the Snake River Canyon where I only saw six Mountain Goats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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March 23, 2018 Friday

Mountain Goat

Wet Mountain Goat from yesterday.

I had some requests for more details on the Moose-Wilson Road closure:

“In addition to the road plowing operations, the segment of Moose-Wilson Road between Murie Ranch Road and the Death Canyon Road will be closed to all users, including cyclists, for two weeks to accommodate road drainage improvements. From April 30 through May 13, a contractor will replace drainage culverts to prevent future flooding on the road in the area south of Sawmill Ponds”

Summer Travel in a Nutshell: Visitors and locals are going to have to plan ahead this spring and summer—allowing a lot of extra time for getting around in Jackson Hole. The construction at the roundabout will delay all visitors between 15 and 30 minutes each direction. If you think you can skirt the issue by going down Spring Gulch Road, you’ll have to wait at the one way light at the bridge over the Gros Ventre, AND still get caught up in the delays at the highway junction. The middle section of the Moose-Wilson Road normally doesn’t open until May 1st, but will not open until May 13th this year. When it does open, expect heavier than normal traffic, and remember it is not open to campers and trailers at any time of the year. I haven’t heard much on the plan to limit the number of people/vehicles on the Moose-Wilson Road that was supposed to go into effect this year, too.

Morning in the Park

Foxes

Foxes: I saw a couple of Foxes this morning, but they were never close enough for quality photos. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Teton Morning

Teton Morning: Light and clouds changed several times in the morning hours. Antelope Flats Road is still closed. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Teton Morning

Teton Morning: Taken at roughly the same spot, but maybe an hour later. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Scruffy Moose

Scruffy Moose: I counted 20+ Moose this morning. Of course, none of the bulls still have antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Three Moose

Three Moose: I was hoping all three of the Moose would raise their head at the same time, but I could only capture them one at a time. These three, plus the cow above, were grazing near the highway near Gros Ventre Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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March 22, 2018 Thursday

Valley Notes

We are three weeks into March now and the hints of Spring I mentioned at the first of the month are in full swing.

  • Snow King Hill Climb 2018 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming coming this weekend! Town will be “buzzing” with the roar of the snowmobiles and extra tourists.
  • The Pole, Pedal, Paddle event is also this weekend.
  • Check out Feathered Fridays: The Raptor Center shows off four raptors each Friday from Noon to 2:00 pm at the Visitor’s Center on North Cache.
  • The north end of the Moose-Wilson Road will be closing for road construction soon.
  • The bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road is still under construction

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats: Yesterday, I was “grounded” a bit with my truck getting a new fuel gauge sensor. Today, I drove down the Snake River Canyon where I found around 50 Mountain Goats coming off the high peaks to graze closer to the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat Nanny

Mountain Goat Nanny: I took around 2400 images today!…then processed 20 of them for the blog. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats: I wasn’t sure if I got this scuffle. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: There was light rain or drizzle almost the entire time I spent photographing the Mountain Goats. It made their fur look more matted than on dry days. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Warm temperatures are melting the snow quickly, but I managed to get a few moving across sections of snow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 21, 2018 Wednesday

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco: I dropped my truck off at the dealer today to get a fuel gauge sensor replaced, so I didn’t have a chance to drive around. I added some food for the birds and took a few shots for today’s entry. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

House Finch

House Finch: I’ve seen a few House Finches lately. Other people are reporting seeing Redpolls. The JH News and Guide had a photo of a Virginia Rail on the front cover yesterday. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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March 20, 2018 First Day of Spring

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: I counted 18 Moose this morning as a drove around Gros Ventre Road and East Boundary Road. This cow was near Gros Ventre Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: This bull Moose is beginning to grow its antlers. He still has a beautiful coat, while the cow above is already shaggy. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 19, 2018 Monday

Four Dog Day!

Red Fox Jumping

Red Fox Hunting: This afternoon, I managed to photograph three different Red Foxes and a Coyote in the sage flats north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Digger

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

Watching

Watching: 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.

Third Red Fox

Third Red Fox: I jumped out and snapped this quick shot. It wasn’t as sharp as I like, but it documents the third fox of the day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Coyote

Coyote: At first, I thought this large Coyote was a Wolf, but when it turned its head, I knew if was a Coyote. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 18, 2018 Sunday

Bald Eagle

Backlit Bald Eagle: Seen at the edge of the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: Fresh Wolf tracks were nearby on the East Boundary Road. This Fox was moving away from them and seemed more skittish than normal. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

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

Morning Clouds

Morning Clouds: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road as the morning clouds began to lift. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

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March 17, 2018 St. Patrick’s Day

Free Concerts at Teton Village today!!!!!

Winter Ghost

Winter Ghost: Captured during a heavy snowfall in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

White Ghost

Ghost at the Edge of the Forest: There were other, closer Mtn. Goats during the storm, but I liked the distant ones against the trees. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Nanny and Kid

Nanny and Kid: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Scratching

Scratching: Traffic was getting congested at the spot where Mtn. Goats were in the snow storm. A Highway Patrol Officer came by and turned on his flashing lights. I drove down the canyon only a half mile and found half dozen other goats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Steller's Jay

Steller’s Jay: I had planned on heading down the Canyon all along, but when I saw the Steller’s Jay, I postponed the trip and managed to get a few shots of him. The fresh snow added to the scene! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker: I never know what is going to appear in my back yard. This male only hung around for a few minutes. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco: This variant has a dark cape and light chest. The Dark-eyed Juncos have a blue-gray cape and more rust under the belly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Sparrow

Sparrow: I’ll have to look this sparrow up later. It was a nice poser today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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March 16, 2018 Friday

Rendezvous Spring Concert

Rendezvous Spring Concert: TheSt. Patrick’s Day weekend is filled with festivities and music. Broadway, on the Town Square, was closed today for the evening and night concerts. I carried a Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm for the first act, then took it back to the truck to exchange it for a much warmer jacket.

Mavericks

The Mavericks were the headline band tonight. I took this with an iPhone 7 from around three people deep in the crowd. They put on a heck of a concert! The Christmas Lights on the Town Square are still on, adding to the magical feel of the evening.

There will be bands at the Jackson Hole Ski Resort tomorrow afternoon and night.

I’ve heard of people seeing bear tracks in the Northern zones of GTNP. There seems to be quite a few photographers looking for them, but I am unaware of any actual Grizzly sightings. I’ve heard of a couple of Black Bear sightings near Jackson and also around Teton Village.

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March 15, 2018 Thursday

Pair of Trumpeter Swans

Pair of Trumpeter Swans: I hung around for a while, hoping these two Swans would take off, but they seemed to like their spot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: Bluebirds are fairly common along the National Elk Refuge fence line. I pulled into one of the turnouts and waited for one to land on a nearby post. I didn’t have any luck with the Bluebirds, but this Magpie flew in and posed for me. A few bleached out Bighorns were on the National Elk Refuge after lunch. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco: Today is the first day I’ve seen these little ground feeders. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Oregon Junco

Oregon Junco: These Juncos show up early in the season, then I seldom see them during the summer months. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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March 14, 2018 Wednesday

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Taken from Antelope Flats junction. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Sunrise Pano

Sunrise Pano: This stitched pano was taken at one of the pull-outs along the highway. Clouds stayed over the top of the Grand all morning, but the early color was great! Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran at Snake River Overlook. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Seen near the JH Airport. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose: Landing at Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird: Also seen at Flat Creek Wetlands. My wife said she saw “thousands” of Mountain Bluebirds on her walk south of town today. The should be scattering around the valley soon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 13, 2018 Tuesday

New Feature Post: Winter Landscapes 2018

Tetonia Grain Elevator

Tetonia Grain Elevator: Darla and I drove to Rexburg, ID to get the scheduled service work on her Rav 4. On the way, we stopped a few times for me to get a few shots. Tetonia has several old grain elevators and related structures like this one. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Tetonia Truck

Tetonia Truck: I’ve driven past this old truck many times, but the exposed grass and fields of snow helped make it stand out. I just uploaded a square format version of this truck on Instagram, if interested. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Ririe Elevators

Ririe Elevators: On the way home from Idaho Falls, we stopped in Ririe for a few more shots. I went “lean” with only my Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens—both DX. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: I’ve never thought of the D500 and Tamron 18-400mm as a wildlife combination, especially at 400mm (600mm equivalent) but it did okay in this late evening shot. Normally, I would use a Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Teton Pass Pano

Teton Pass Pano: We made it to the top of Teton Pass at about the right time for a sunset shot. This is a handheld three shot pano, stitched in Lightroom. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Textures

Textures: While away from home, I like to grab a few texture shots of all kinds. This was part of an old truck in Ririe, ID. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 12, 2018 Sunday

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Taken from Snake River Overlook. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Frosted Moose

Frosted Moose: Seen near the Jackson Hole Airport. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Swan in Flight

Swan in Flight: Captured at the National Fish Hatchery. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Stretching Swan

Stretching Swan: Taken at the Flat Creek Wetlands on the north side of the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 11, 2018 Saturday

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Taken just after first from the Highway into the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Fox Portrait

Fox Portrait: The Fox is saw on the National Refuge was still in shadows. This one was near the Highway. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: Seen near the Highway in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Remember to set the Time and Date info in your camera to reflect the changes in Daylight Savings Time.

Hints of Spring: I saw my first Mountain Bluebirds and couple of days ago. I heard of sightings of Red-winged Blackbirds. Red-tailed Hawks are becoming more common. Elk are gradually migrating off the Refuge. Mountain Goats are coming down more regularly. Foxes are pairing up and mating. Wolves are following Elk.

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March 10, 2018 Saturday

Morning on Spring Gulch Road

Morning on Spring Gulch Road: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Elk Herd

Elk Herd: Elk are moving around now—probably a good thing if watching for Wolves. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Taking off at the National Fish Hatchery. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Raven

Raven: These birds are active all over the valley, especially around carcasses. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Red Fox

Red Fox: Seen along the Highway this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mouser

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

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat: Taken in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat: There were around 30 Mtn. Goats on the hillside when I got down there. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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March 9, 2018 Friday

New Feature Post: Winter Landscapes 2018

Bighorns

Bighorns: Seen on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Immature Eagle

Immature Eagle: Eagles are feasting on Deer and Elk carcasses around the valley right now. Watch for clusters of Ravens and Magpies in trees and flying around a small zone. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Valley Barns

Valley Barns: Captured as a band of light hit the barns and structures. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Valley Barns

Valley Barn and Fences with recent snow: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

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March 8, 2018 Thursday

The Grand

The Grand: Early morning in Grand Teton National Park. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Swans and Duck

Swans and Duck: Steaming, 7°F morning at the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: These two were making their way to the Gros Ventre River Bottom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Crossing a side channel of the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

First BluebirdFirst Bluebird: I spotted three or four Mountain Bluebirds feeding on an exposed hillside south of town this afternoon. Keeip and eye out for future waves of the Spring birds. (This is a tight crop of a distant shot) Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 7, 2018 Wednesday

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Captured along Miller Butte on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bighorn Rams

Bighorn Rams: These are two of the four Rams close to the road today. Others were grazing in the open areas south of the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Preening Trumpeter Swan

Preening Trumpeter Swan: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mallards on Thin Ice

Mallards on Thin Ice: Captured on the partially frozen pond north of the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Reflections

Reflections: Also taken at the Flat Creek Wetlands pond. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Wildlife Notes: A few friends have been keeping me updated on the Mountain Goats in the Snake River Canyon. So far in March, they haven’t been coming down. That’s typical after heavy snowfalls. Wolves have been active on the National Elk Refuge, causing the Bighorns to (often) stay on Miller Butte and not along the roadway. Foxes have been spotted off and on, but may be moving to different hunting zones after the heavy snow. Owls have been scarce again this year. I haven’t heard of River Otter sightings in a while. Eagles, Hawks, and Kestrels have been more common subjects.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Seen on Spring Gulch Road this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Magpie and Carcass

Magpie and Carcass: Seen along the Highway. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Last of the evening light. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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March 6, 2018 Tuesday

Sunrise

Sunrise: Taken from the National Elk Refuge as the low clouds thinned.