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Best of the Tetons

Foliage Reports September/October 2017

Jackson Hole & Grand Teton National Park

Changing LeafDuring September, I’ll work on two pages simultaneously. This September Foliage 2017 post will contain more specific information about the ever changing foliage status in the area. The September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP Page will contain some foliage information, but will focus more on wildlife and landscapes. You’ll want to go to both regularly.

Note: Think of this page as a day to day or week to week resource containing mainly “record shots”. The photos are not intended to be “wall hangers”, but more documentary in nature. Also, this page will grow in size and scope as the month progresses. Check back regularly!

Archived Resources:

You can go back to the September Daily Updates and Photos pages for the previous few years and probably get a good idea of how the entire month unfolds.

September 2017 | September 2016  |  September 2015   | September 2014:  | September 2013: It will probably be apparent that not all areas change at the same time and some of the fall foliage can go well into October.

Foliage Scale 2015

Foliage Scale 2017

This scale should help with visualizing the approximate color hues. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being summer green and 10 being peak), I will give a three part number. The first one is an average of the least changed. The middle number is the overall average and the last number is the status of the most advanced trees in an area. Note: Some aspens and some Mountain Maple turn orange and red, while many aspens, cottonwoods, and willows peak at something in the 8 or 9 range before the leaves fall or turn brown.

Remember, peak Fall foliage is not a one day event! It evolves over several weeks. Some areas go first, then lose leaves while others are just beginning. You should be able to find colorful foliage anytime from around the 10th of September to the first week in October.

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September 26, 2017  Tuesday

Snake River Canyon / Palisades Reservoir: I received a recent message saying the Canyon and areas around Palisades Reservoir is on “fire” right now…meaning the Mountain Maple leaves are prime. Today should be beautiful with a few morning clouds and lots of sun. The regional snow and rain appears to have knocked down most of the smoke and haze. Happy viewing!

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September 25, 2017  Monday

Cub

I feel like a broken record! Foliage is changing, but it seems when you want it to hurry, it slows down. You can find color, but it’s spotty. Low ground cover and small shrubs are ahead of the larger trees in most zones. A couple more days should make a big difference,

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September 24, 2017

Snake River Bottom

There may be people in the Park at this time expecting a foliage season that mimics last year’s season, but most areas are still at least a full week behind the last couple of years.

Arizona Meadows

Taken today at the meadows just west of Arizona Creek. I often call it Arizona Meadows, but it might correctly be called Kamas Meadow for the flowering plants there.

Arizona Meadows

This photo was taken on Sept. 21, 2014 at the same place.

Oxbow Bend is still four or five days away from being ready. The upper parking lot is farther along. There are a few yellow aspens near Jackson Lake Lodge.

Sprad Creek

Spread Creek is progressing, but not ready. The best color is on the West side of the valley.

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September 23, 2017

Togwotee

Aspens in Buffalo Valley are beginning to turn, but are scarce atop Togwotee Pass. As in yesterday’s post, many areas still need 3-7 days. The aspens behind the Chapel of the Transfiguration are barely showing changes. The area around Moose is usually bright yellow, but is also behind some years.

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September 22, 2017

Oxbow Aspens

Oxbow Aspens: Far from peak!

Oxbow Hillside Aspens

Oxbow Hillside Aspens: These are a little farther along.

Aspens

Aspens: A bright stand of Aspens near Spread Creek.

General Comments: I drove about 160 miles today, covering a lot of the park. Oxbow is still behind last year….probably prime Sept 29-Oct 3. The Cottonwoods near Schwabacher Landing advanced some in the past few days. If you want to find yellow and orange trees, just keep driving around. They are not dominant features yet. The leaves on the Black Hawthorn bushes are just beginning to turn, but are mostly green. In short, most of the valley is only at level 3 with a few 4 and 5 intensities if you compare it to the chart. Even with that said, there is still a lot of 1 and 2 values. I also drove up Togwottee Pass to the Lodge. That area also has a few yellow trees, but today most of the upper portions were covered in snow.

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September 21, 2017

David Langendonk Oxbow

David Langendonk took this photo at Oxbow Bend yesterday. Using my chart, it looks like there are some 1, 2, and 3 trees. David also included a photo of the hillside above the road at Oxbow. Those Aspens are more yellow, which is typical for that area.

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August 14, 2016: I’ll include this photo today showing a similar photo from last year. I’d suggest that it will take another couple of days relative to David’s photo to reach this stage. In other words, it looks like this year is roughly 7-9 days behind last year. Last year, peak at Oxbow was between the 19-21 +/-.  If using the same timing, I’d “suggest” peak should be around Sept. 27-30 this year at Oxbow Bend. The left tip of the Aspen stand usually goes off first and sometimes blows off before the right side peaks. Without heavy winds, peak could go into October. Compare the previous years: Foliage Reports September/October 2016 :  and Foliage Reports September/October 2015:

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: We are having a “Wintery Mix” today, meaning the upper mountains are probably getting pounded by snow. Great! Some people stay home when the weather is not “Bluebird clear”, but I like being out for the possibilities of unique shots. The Mountain Bluebird was on Mormon Row this morning.

Washakie with Snow Flakes

I heard reports of Yellowstone road closures, but as far as I know, the main roads in the Tetons are open. Part of Mormon Row Road is closed, but that is because of muddy conditions and not heavy snow pack.

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September 20, 2017

East Side

This photo was taken on the Gros Ventre Road after you turn towards Slide Lake. At the bottom of the hill is the Shane Cabin.

Shane Cabin

Old timers might recall there used to be a stand of old Aspen trunks in the opening, but they have all but one fallen down. The trees would have been visible in the 1950s Shane movie. Generally speaking, most of the foliage changes are on the East side of the Park and the South end of the valley.

Mormon Row

The cottonwoods and aspens along Mormon Row are often some of the last to change…usually in the first week of October. Note the snow on the peaks!

Chambers Homestead

Chambers Homestead from Mormon Row. You can see some of the Aspens beginning to turn on the hillsides above Kelly.

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September 19, 2017

Gros Ventre Willows

Gros Ventre Willows: Finally…the leaves on the willows along the Gros Ventre River basin are changing! Cottonwoods are not as colorful, and as you can see on the distant hillside, Aspens are just beginning to turn.

The next few days may include periods of rain and snow for much of the Northwest. That’s great news! Early season snow in the high country should make this year’s Fall Foliage season unique and potentially stunning compared to years with no snow. The snow and rain in the NW should also help firefighters and help us with clearer Fall skies.

In the mean time, this page might help during foggy and rainy days: Making the Best of a Rainy Day:

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September 18, 2017

Schwabacher Pano

Schwabacher Pano: This is a two frame Pano taken this morning at Schwabacher Landing. As you can see, the cottonwoods are just beginning to show any hints of changes in areas of the river bottom. The cottonwoods are farther along south of Moose Junction and around the Wilson Bridge. Reports still suggest the Aspens at Oxbow Bend are not turning much in the two big stands. (Click the image to see it larger)

Washakie

Washakie: Late evening along the Gros Ventre.  Changes…but not prime!

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September 17, 2017

Cottonwoods

Cottonwoods: Taken along the Gros Ventre River. The temperature dropped to around 28°F overnight, frosting the back of the Bull.

Careful Approach

Careful Approach:

East Boundary Road

East Boundary Road: There are several zones of yellowing aspens along the East Boundary Road. They seem to turn early each year. Aspens on Shadow Mountain appeared to be just beginning to turn.

Snow Capped

Snow Capped Tetons: A quick shot showing the fresh snow across the mountain peaks.

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September 16, 2017

Cottonwoods

This was taken in the spruce and cottonwoods along the Gros Ventre River. Depending on where you are in the valley, you might have experienced the first snow storm of the year. The mountains definitely have snow now, but I can’t say if it will last through the entire foliage season. It typically melts quickly. There are a few light flakes in the photo above. I haven’t been north in a while, but I have been hearing the trees are mostly green around Oxbow.

In the past day or two, I’d suggest there has been a switch has been flipped.  More of the trees are in the 2 or 3 stage of my chart above. In some areas, you might even say there are 4 and 5 stages, but there are very few areas with large patches of peak leaves.

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September 15, 2017

Black Hawthorn Berries

It was cool, dark and rainy this morning. I took this photo along the Moose-Wilson Road.

Misty Morning Cow Elk

Shot through a thin layer of drizzle at a high ISO near Cottonwood Creek.  A few trees will be colorful, a few mixed, and a lot just starting to turn.

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September 14, 2017

Changes

Changes: It’s almost the middle of September and I’m still struggling to find clumps of colorful trees. This photo was taken across from the GTNP entry sign at the south edge of the park. There are changes, but the zone is still more green than yellow.

Berry bushes along the Moose-Wilson Road are definitely changing. Some are orange and red! A few Aspens are beginning to change there. A few of the Cottonwoods along the Snake around Meadow Road are starting to have a yellow cast.

Ground Cover

Ground Cover: You can find a lot of color if you look down!

Choke Cherries

Choke Cherries: Look for berry bushes and then listen for Cedar Waxwings and other birds. They’ll likely be nearby.

Flat Creek

Flat Creek runs through the Town of Jackson. Some of the trees and bushes along it are beginning to turn.

Orange

These bushes near Karns Meadows should be vivid soon.

On my way to the Moose-Wilson Road, (see the Great Gray Owls on the daily report) I drove across the Snake River near Wilson. The Cottonwoods near the bridge are far advanced compared to Cottonwoods farther north in the Park. They are not peak, but will get there soon.

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September 13, 2017

East Gros Ventre Butte

East Gros Ventre Butte: I pulled off the highway to take this quick photo of a stand of Aspens above Flat Creek Motel and Elk Refuge Inn. The Cottonwoods and Aspens around the Mormon Row cabins and barns are still deep green. They usually change after October 1st.

Consider a trip down the Snake River Canyon now, then continue on to the Palisades Reservoir Dam for Mountain Maple color.

Gros Ventre

Gros Ventre Cottonwoods: Taken late in the evening along the Gros Ventre Road, with steel blue skies from a passing thunderstorm. Some of the Cottonwoods are beginning to turn.

If you are driving up from Salt Lake or from the South, consider Intermittent Springs: Another Lesser Seen Regional Waterfall near Afton.

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September 12, 2017

Fall at Oxbow Bend Each year, the big question is “When will it be peak at Oxbow Bend”. In earlier years, you could almost mark your calendar to be here for peak on October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In fact, during the Government Shutdown, they locked us out on the peak day of October 1st. The past couple of years have been earlier, but it appears this year might be back on the old regular schedule. I keep driving around looking for pockets of bright color and I am not finding it yet. Check last year’s Foliage Reports September/October 2016 : for Sept. 12. You will see a lot of yellow by this date!

Aspens are turning some in and around Wilson and some cottonwoods are shifting in color along the Snake River. There is not much changing on Teton Pass nor on the Idaho side of the range. I received a report that most trees are still green at Oxbow, but a few are beginning to change on the hillside above the road.

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September 11, 2017

Service Berries

Berries: I spent the morning hiking a nice section of the Gros Ventre looking for Bull Moose and yellow leaves. Across the GV zone, the cottonwoods and willows are now turning to a 2 or maybe a 3 on my chart. In other words, there’s a shift, but only a few trees actually have much color.

Weather: If you believe the weather forecasts, we are in line for a few days of rain towards the end of the week. The forecast also calls for low temps in the valley around 29-30°F, so there might be a chance of mountain snow. We had rain in parts of the valley yesterday with mostly clear skies this morning.

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September 9, 2017

Spring Gulch Aspens

Aspens on Spring Gulch Road: Of the areas I’ve driven, the aspens on Spring Gulch Road have the most yellow color. JH still has some haze, but as seen below, the sky has cleared considerably.

Teton Range

Cottonwoods on Spring Gulch Road: The bridge over the Gros Ventre River is closed, so Spring Gulch Road isn’t getting a lot of traffic this year. The cottonwoods are still green in most areas.

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September 8, 2017

Willows GV

Willows along the Gros Ventre are starting to change.

Another photo taken along the Gros Ventre. Yellows leaves are not dominant, but each day I see more of them.

Mountain Maples

Mountain Maples: Taken in the Snake River Canyon west of the Wolf Creek Campground. Overall, I’d say it is still early down there, but if you feel the need for some color, there’s a fair amount of reds, oranges, and yellows. The Aspens are far behind in almost all areas.

Mountain Maples

Mountain Maples: A few trees are in peak form, but they appear to be far from the norm.

Mountain Maples

Mountain Maples: There was a lot of haze when I went down, as seen in this layered image. This little canyon near the Palisades Dam typically explodes with color, and it even better if the Aspens and Mountain Maples are prime at the same time. I’d suggest giving this area three or four days.

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September 7, 2017

Choke Cherry Leaves

Welcome to the 2017 Foliage Report! Last year, I started it in late August, but last year was early. Even now, the 7th of September, you’ll find very few stands of yellowing aspens or cottonwoods. There are a few random trees in near peak color, but they are randomly scattered. With that said, things are changing! It usually doesn’t take long, and quite a few zones have begun to shift.

Mt. Moran Sunset

The last time I heard, there were at least 88 major wildfires in the “West”, but I am unaware of any wildfires in our immediate vicinity. The smoke is finding its way into the Jackson Hole Valley, and barring a huge regional rain or snow storm, expect your 2017 Fall photos to have a golden color shift.  There may be days when the Teton Range or Sleeping Indian is barely visible. The same smoke my also give you some striking sunrise and sunsets if you get up early or stay out late.

Black Hawthorne Berries

Berry bushes, like this Black Hawthorn tree can have advanced color. Berries are thick on most Black Hawthorn trees and a few Black Bears are finding them. 399 and her two cubs have been seen munching on them along Pacific Creek Road, but photography there is limited to only a few seconds if rangers are around.

Mid-Sized Moose

Underbrush is bright yellow in a few zones like the Moose-Wilson Road, and a few of the low willows are changing along the Gros Ventre River. The Snake River bottom is still mostly bright green, but I see evidence of changes on the horizon. The Aspens around Oxbow Bend are still green as of yesterday.

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If you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below! For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.
Teton Photo Excursions

Jackson Hole’s Historic Fences

Mormon settlers moved into Jackson Hole in the late 1890’s and began “taming the valley”. It’s difficult to imagine how challenging the century long task must have been while I am sitting in my warm truck—complete with heated seats and steering wheel, and wearing a goose down jacket and insulated boots. But the settlers did it! Along the way, the hardy group built towns, businesses, and farms and ranches. To maintain their horses and cattle, they needed fences. Today, there are numerous styles and kinds of fences remaining in the Jackson Hole valley to remind us of earlier days.

Back in 2015, I posted this page: Grand Teton National Park’s Buck Rail Fences. That page featured the area’s distinctive Buck Rail Fences, but there are several other types of fences used by the settlers and homesteaders. I remember roadside displays on the Blue Ridge Parkway highlighting the various styles of fences. Interestingly, there are no displays in GTNP on the subject. A few days ago, I cruised some of the valley in an effort to document variations of the remaining fences.

The Old Jackson Hole Road

This is a Harrison Crandall painted postcard showing the Old Jackson Hole Road. The caption on the back reads, “The Old Jackson Hole Road” which follows the east border of the Valley. Fences of the “buck and pole” type such as these are remnants of early days and are still a distinctive feature.” Another postcard featured a buck rail fence and included this caption, “The Tetons from Park Headquarters—Fences of the “buck and pole” type such as these, are a remnant of the early ranching days, and are still a distinctive feature of Jackson Hole scenery. (Security Lithograph Co, San Francisco, CA)

Personally, I love the old buck rail fences. They are romantic icons of earlier days and have been photographed by countless visitors. Lodgepole Pine trees are abundant in Grand Teton National Park. The materials were free, readily available, and close-by. Just add labor and a few long nails! They didn’t require digging holes in the rocky soil, and this type of fence could follow the terrain effectively.

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Panel Fence

There are a few remnants of these plank style fences remaining along Mormon Row. The three historic photos above were taken in 1962-1964 by Al Pounian during this three summers in the area. Fences around the John Moulton barn were all six to eight feet tall. The Moultons housed their horses in the corrals. I’ve always assumed the tall fences were to keep elk and predators out. Each year, more of these fences fall to the ground.

Barbed Wire Fence

Barbed Wire fences were apparently common in Jackson Hole. There are very few remaining inside Grand Teton National Park, but you can still see them along some portions of Mormon Row. Last year, the Park Service replaced the barbed wire fence in front of the TA Moulton barn with barbless wire. In many other areas of the park, volunteers have been systematically removing the fences for the safety of the migrating animals. As far as I know, only one section of land is still grazed by cattle in the Elk Flats area and another herd of Longhorn cattle grazes behind barbed wire fences near Kelly.

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This fence style may have a name, but I can’t find a reference for it. It was a hybrid buck rail fence and barbed wire fence. As before, this style of fence didn’t require digging post holes in the rocky soil. This fence was along what is now called the East Boundary Road, just north of Antelope Flats Road. The fence and cabins were gone before we moved here 31 years ago.

Shane Cabin

Buck Rail fences, like the old barns and houses were never meant to last forever. Weather takes its toll on about anything left to the harsh environment. The Park Service replaced the old buck rail fences around the “Shane Cabins” (properly labeled the Luther Taylor cabins) about 8 years ago, but are now letting the cabins and structures deteriorate. Currently, they are rated as non-essential “ruins”.

Worm Fence

Worm Fences (sometimes called Snake Fences) can be seen along the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis roads. I don’t know how prevalent they would have been in the early 1900’s but I’d bet you could find a few that took advantage of the plentiful Lodge Pole Pines. I am unaware of any stacked rock fences being built in Jackson Hole in the early days.

Post and Rail Fence

Post and Rail fences were common in Jackson Hole. You can still find a lot of them along Mormon Row as seen above and the historic photo below.

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Viewers might recognize this as the T.A. Moulton Barn, taken at a time when the farm was fully functional. The corrals and out buildings were gone when we moved to Jackson Hole in 1986. I’ve asked if these structures could be replaced, but the Park Service spokesperson says they barely have the budget to keep the existing structures from decay.

Post and Rail Fence

The image above runs along the property line of the Bed & Breakfast on Mormon Row. (Moulton Ranch Cabins) I’d suggest this is a contemporary fence built out of necessity for the safety of their guests. Bison migrate north and south along Mormon Row. It takes a hefty fence like this one to influence them to go around. The low mesh wire portion probably keeps the critters out. Oh yes, if you have a spare $5,000,000 you can pick up the historic bed & breakfast complex. Tell Hal Blake I sent you!

Wildlife Friendly Fence

Over the past few years, this style of “Wildlife Friendly” fence has been replacing miles of Buck Rail fencing. Advocates suggest that some animals, like Pronghorns, can climb under the smooth wire, while others can safely jump the fence. Unlike the early settlers that had to hand dig the post holes, modern day tractors with augers can make short work of a tough job.

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Friendly Fence

The new Wildlife Friendly fences aren’t as photogenic as the old Buck Rail fences. Wildlife advocates, some of which helped pay for the new fencing, suggest the fences make it safer for the migrating herds. No problem! I’ve wished for several years that the Park Service would replace about 100 yards of this fence at Triangle X ranch with the old Buck Rail fences. Historically, that spot was a popular stop for tourists and photographers, and photos from there were featured on posters, calendars, book covers, and so forth. The fence is used to keep the trail horses in the pastures, but the horses are only in the pastures during the mid-summer months—after the spring migration and before the fall migration. With no horses around during the migration, some of the top rails could be lowered in a few sections. At least from my perspective, it looks like a workable solution.

Buck Rail Fences

Where to see Buck Rail Fences now:

Buck Rail Fences are disappearing, but there are still numerous places to see them.

  • Buck Rail fences can be seen along Mormon Row Road, along with almost all other fence styles mentioned here .
  • There are still stretches of Buck Rail fences along the highway north of Triangle X ranch. They are deteriorating fast, so hurry!
  • New fences replaced the Buck Rail fences north of the drive into Cunningham Cabin, but look on the north side and around the Cabin.
  • Watch for Buck Rail Fences south of Moosehead Ranch near Spread Creek.
  • Luther Taylor (Shane) cabins have Buck Rail Fences.
  • Buck Rail fences surround the Chapel of the Transfiguration. There aren’t a lot of the fences on the West side of the Snake.
  • New Buck Rail Fences have been installed at Antelope Flats Junction.
  • Buck Rail Fences are seen in several sections of Spring Creek Road.

Of course, you may have found picket fences around the house at a few pioneer homesteads, and you can find a few examples in the Town of Jackson. Chain link fences and other contemporary style fences are common in town, but this page was focused on the fences I’ve seen in the Park area. You can also find a few electric fences being used along Mormon Row today.

Additional Fence Links

Wyoming Wildlife Foundation  http://www.wyomingwildlifefoundation.org/

Facts about fences  http://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Wyo_FenceGuide.pdf:

Smoky Mountains History: Fences. Additional photos of fences.

Area History and Cultural Events:

Jackson Hole has a rich heritage and history. The area was originally homesteaded by Mormon settlers. Their history has always intrigued me.

 

September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“My Favorite Month!

Daily Updates Archives:
2017: 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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September 26th:  Tuesday

Snake River Canyon / Palisades Reservoir: I received a recent message saying the Canyon and areas around Palisades Reservoir is on “fire” right now…meaning the Mountain Maple leaves are prime. Today should be beautiful with a few morning clouds and lots of sun. The regional snow and rain appears to have knocked down most of the smoke and haze.

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September 26th:  Monday

Interesting Note: Sunrise 7:14 AM and Sunset 7:14 PM

Lots of good wildlife and scenic possibilities popping up now. Elk are bugling, pronghorns are gathering, moose are in the rut, and bears are feeding and moving around. Snow in the high country and leaves are beginning to change.

Black Bears

Black Bears: Found near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Captured near the Colter Bay convenience store. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Blondie? Blondie was seen regularly for a period in the early Summer, then disappeared for a few months. There was some concern for her health. The photos I posted yesterday were taken yesterday. She and the cubs appeared healthy and plump. I didn’t see her today.

If you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below! For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com. I have openings Sept. 30 along with numerous dates in October.

Teton Photo Excursions

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September 24th:  Sunday

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: Click this image to see it much larger. The cottonwoods in the Schwabacher Landing area are changing, but slowly! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Black Bear Cub

Black Bear Cub: Captured along Moose-Wilson Road. There are still loads of berries on almost all of the Black Hawthorn trees. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Brooks Falls

Brooks Falls: This falls is part of the stream coming out of Brooks Lake on Togwotee Pass. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod.

Blondie

Blondie: A stunningly beautiful Grizzly sow captured in the northern zone of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Grizzly Cubs

Grizzly Cubs: These are Blondie’s two cubs, tagging along behind the sow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: Seen cruising the String Lake area late in the day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Cross Fox

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

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September 23rd:  Saturday

The early report! If you ever want to experience a back roads bit “Wyoming”, check out the little cafe in Buffalo Valley. We ate there yesterday just before heading up Togwottee Pass. Expect a quaint little eclectic cabin cafe, a slightly loud and rowdy staff, and a good ol’ western menu which includes Buffalo Burgers and fries. The sign at the entrance says some thing like “Please scrape the horse shit off your boots before entering.” You get the idea! The food is always good, too.

Weather: The report for next few days includes considerably more sun and broken clouds. Foliage Reports September/October 2017.

ChapelTrans

Chapel of the Transfiguration: A four shot stitched pano taken this morning. (Click this image to see it much larger!) Nikon D810 and Nikon 700-200mm Lens, Tripod, VR Off.

Chapel Window

Chapel Window: Snow capped Teton Range reflected in the window of the Chapel of the Transfiguration. Nikon D810 and Nikon 700-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: Taken at Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: Same buck taken on Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Barn with Aspens

Barn with Aspens: Taken on the way up Togwotee Pass. Aspens are beginning to turn in that area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Grizzly in Snow

Grizzly in Snow: Taken on Togwotee Pass. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Streamside Bull Moose

Streamside Bull Moose: Another shot from Togwotee Pass. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Togwotee Pass

Togwotee Pass: Looks like Winter is here in the high country! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

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September 22nd:  Friday

First Day Of Fall! The weather report calls for cloudy skies with a chance of rain mid-morning. For the fair weather photographers, I’d suggest scrolling through the photos I took yesterday (below). Subjects we’ve seen and photographed on dry days look completely different, and usually more interesting! These are words of encouragement…even if you can’t be out in the cold, fog and rain. I should be covering a lot of the park today, so check back later this evening or tonight.

Sow Feeding

Sow Feeding: Early morning on Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Eagle

Eagle: Seen at the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn Buck: Captured on Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

The Grand

Clearing Clouds: Taken from Elk Ranch Road.

Aspens

Aspens: Taken near Spread Creek. More photos on this sister page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017.

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September 21st:  Thursday

If you were to look at a calendar, you might notice that tomorrow is “The First Day of Fall”. David Langendonk sent a photo he took yesterday at Oxbow Bend. Check out Foliage Reports September/October 2017. I added a few photos yesterday, too. The switch has been flipped at Oxbow, but I’d say it will still be a while there.

As I sit here in front of my computer at 7:30 am, I received a report of snow along the Gros Ventre. I was planning on staying home this morning, but now I need to go out! Remember…”bad days can be good days!”.

Washakie in Snow: Captured near the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie with Snow Flakes

Washakie with Snow Flakes: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Great Gray Owl

Snowfall and Wildlife:  This page from earlier in the year might give you some ideas for capturing wildlife (and landscapes) with falling snow.

Washakie with Snow Flakes

Washakie with Snow Flakes: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie and Challenger

Washakie and Challenger: The smaller bull is now match for the venerable old bull. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Taken from a distance along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC On.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC On.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: Captured along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC On.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC On.

Cub in Black Hawthorns

Cub in Black Hawthorns: Most of my time was spent watching bushes rustle around, but this cub came out for about 20 seconds. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Black Bear

Wet Black Bear: The Black Bears were photographed on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

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September 20th:  Wednesday

https://i2.wp.com/www.bestofthetetons.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/SchwabacherRainbow1400px_Aug7.jpg

I just checked the weather reports for the next few days. They indicate we will have periods of rain in the valley and occasional snow in higher elevations. For the “fair weather photographers”, that might sound like bad news, but for the innovative and die-hard group, there are unique opportunities. You may not get “Grand Vistas” on the rainy days, but some of the mundane scenes and objects often come alive. A few years ago, I went out “because it was raining” and took all of the images on this page in the single day: Making the Best of a Rainy Day:. If your goal is to try to capture “something different”, foggy and rainy days give you opportunities missed by the groups that opt to stay home or spend the day shopping on the square.

I am looking forward to this year’s Foliage season, knowing the mountains are getting fresh snow. It might take a little luck and persistence to get breaks in the clouds to see the mountain range, but the payoff should be worth the time and effort.

Remember to keep an eye on Foliage Reports September/October 2017. I add additional photos and foliage comments there during September and October.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: One of the mid-sized bulls along the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cow Crossing

Cow Crossing: I haven’t seen any actual mating going on yet this year, but there has been plenty of rut behavior. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie Crossing

Washakie Crossing: He was in pursuit of the cow that had crossed only a few minutes earlier. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie Scratching

Washakie Scratching: Bulls use their antlers to scratch their back. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: Nice to see the details in the mountain again! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off

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September 19th:  Tuesday

Sizing Up

Sizing Up: These couple of photos are from yesterday’s time in the Park. It takes a while to go through that many photos! This photo gives you an idea why I love to photograph Moose. They are quite animated and have expressive eyes. Their down turned ears let other Moose know to tread lightly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Submissive Approach

Slow Approach: The initial approach is usually slow, and if there are no altercations, the two bulls can be “buds” all day. That’s until a cow is in the area. A female kicks in another gear in which the larger bull keeps the smaller bull at bay. A larger bull could enter the scene and push both smaller bulls away. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: The Hummingbirds left the valley a while back. A few Northern Flickers are still coming to my back yard, along with an occasional Clark’s Nutcracker. This Red Squirrel shows up for a few Sunflower seeds and an occasional peanut. Chickadees are year round residents, with other birds passing through. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie

Washakie: We had an ice pellet storm for about 10 minutes this afternoon. Washakie and the cow weathered the storm with no problems. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cow in Channel

Cow in Channel: One of several Cow Moose I found in the side channels of the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: While traipsing around in the Gros Ventre river bottom, looking for Moose, I found this nice buck. Occasionally, I see White-tailed Deer in the same area, which usually bound away on sight, but this buck didn’t seem to care about me being in his area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

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September 18th:  Monday

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: Just returned from a good day in the Park…thousands of photos! Yikes! This cow was in “Moose Pond” along the Moose-Wilson Road. At one time, a mid-sized bull and small bull joined the cow for some interesting interaction shots. One of the sow Black Bears and two cubs was also visible today. Rangers were amazingly cooperative as long as people parked off the roads. Check back as I have time to download the images and pick out a few more. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose Trio

Moose Trio: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose Trio

Moose Trio: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Tripod, VR Off.

Cub In Tree

Cub In Tree: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road.  Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Tripod, VR Off.

Schwabacher Morning

Schwabacher Morning: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Washakie

Washakie: Shot in the late evening at ISO 10,000. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

 

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September 17th:  Sunday

Washakie

Washakie in Morning Fog: Localized mountain weather reports seldom include the possibility of morning fog. When I started my truck there was a thin layer of ice, and I saw 28° on my trucks thermometer. By noon, most of the valley was clear—as predicted. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cows

Cows are often territorial around a big bull. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Thrashing

Thrashing: Washakie still has a bit of velvet to rub off, but it might be too late this year. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose Courtship

Courtship: Washakie was courting several cows this morning, including digging a scent pit for them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie

Washakie: Watch for Washakie along the Gros Ventre between the highway and Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Also in the Gros Ventre River basin. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

The Grand

The Grand and First Snow of Fall: The weekend snow covered the top third of the mountains. This was taken from the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR On.

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September 16th:  Saturday

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: Normally, I start out looking for Bull Moose, then backtrack to a cow and calf if I saw one earlier. That’s what happened today. I used a shorter F/2.8 lens today. capable of Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod, VR Off.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: As predicted, we had colder weather overnight, including snow in the high country. We had a flurry of snow along the Gros Ventre, but not enough to cover the ground. I heard of much more snow in the north portion of the park and I saw a Facebook photo of heavy snow in Bozeman, MT. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod, VR Off.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: I stayed with these two along the Gros Ventre until they bedded down for the morning. A nice sized bull was in Ditch Creek this morning, but was already bedded down when I got there. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod, VR Off.

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September 15th:  Friday

Weather Alert

 

If you are new to the site, there is a simple Weather Channel link in the right navigation bar (or at the bottom of the page on a smart phone.) If you want even more area forecasts,  look for the Grand Teton NP & JH Info / Area Links under the main banner. That page has a lot more weather report links.

I took the image above last evening with my iPhone. It shows the Winter Alert that popped up on my truck. It will be much colder tomorrow!

Keep an eye on the Foliage Reports September/October 2017 I added a few photos and comments last night.

Misty Morning Elk

Misty Morning Elk: I would say this was shot long before sunrise, but with the thick clouds, we never had sunrise today. This bull was near Windy Point. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Misty Morning Elk

Misty Morning Elk: Cottonwood Creek can be seen in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Buck Mule Deer

Buck Mule Deer: Taken near the Moose Visitor’s Center. Willows, Cottonwoods and Aspens are just beginning to change in that area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Portal Bear

Portal Bear: ?….the rest of the story… Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Portal

Portal: I drove down the Moose-Wilson Road this afternoon and found a “standard issue” bear jam. I found a legal parking spot and hiked back with my gear. The bear was well off the road and in a tough spot. I found a tiny hole in the lodge pole pines on the other side of the road and shot through the portal. The bear is in the bushes inside the circle. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Portal

Portal Bear: This is the uncropped image of the bear above, shot through the small opening. It worked for a reference shot or a blog post! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Black Bear

Black Bear: This sow has a couple of cubs higher in the tree. She was in the same spot this morning, which is one of the reasons I went back this afternoon. I had visions of her and her cubs feeding on berries close to the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Latch

Latch: I bought this old suitcase a week or so ago at a junk store here in Jackson. I’ve been planning on photographing it all week, but have been busy. I threw it in the truck before heading out this evening, then set it up on the back of the truck during the waiting game involved with a bear in a tree. I got plenty of strange looks as people passed by. I used a Lume Cube with a CTO filter and grid to add ins some light on a very dark day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Alligator Texture

Texture: I am guessing this is an alligator skin. Next time, I will photograph the same case with a Macro lens. Just one of Mother Natures amazing gifts. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

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September 14th:  Thursday

Thistle

Thistle: Even though they are just weeds, these plants lit up nicely.  I opened the Aperture all the way to soften the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Keep an eye on the Foliage Reports September/October 2017 The area is changing, but slowly! Overnight rains cleared much of the valley smoke.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: It was a treat to finally see an Owl! They’ve been scarce since March. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: This adult was on the Moose-Wilson Road near Death Canyon. This shot shows why it can be so difficult to spot them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: This photo was taken using a tripod at 1/200 Sec, F/6.3 and ISO 18000, well after the sun had gone behind the range. Actually, it was quite cloudy all evening with a Winter Storm Alert in effect for the next couple of days. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

The Moose-Wilson Road is open again. I spent quite a bit of time there today and didn’t see a bear. One was seen on numerous occasions, along with a cow and calf moose at Sawmill Ponds.

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September 13th:  Wednesday

Road Closure: The unpaved of the Moose-Wilson Road will remain closed today for dust abatement. Another section is being repaired near the small pond.

I added a new yellow Aspen photo on the Foliage Reports September/October 2017

Sunrise Clouds

Sunrise Clouds: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. I was tempted to stop closer to town and get similar shots with the Sleeping Indian in the scene, but I had visions of Moose crossing streams in the gold light. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Crossing Cow

Crossing Cow: One of a couple of Cow Moose that crossed the Gros Ventre while I was there this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Drinking Bull Moose

Drinking Bull Moose: Also captured along the GV River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull at Water's Edge

Bull at Water’s Edge: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Rainbow

Rainbow: Captured along the Moose-Wilson Road this afternoon. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens.

Clouds

Clouds and Tetons: Also captured along the Moose-Wilson Road. The road should be open by 8:00 am tomorrow. Nikon D810 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf: These two were grazing in the park on the north side of the Visitor’s Center on North Cache. It was captured at ISO 11400 as a record shot for the blog. A bull, cow and calf were in Ditch Creek this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

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September 12th:  Tuesday

Idaho Hot Air Balloon

Idaho Hot Air Balloon: Several times a year, we make a trip to Idaho Falls for a little shopping. Darla had her car serviced in Rexburg and then we headed on south for lunch. Along the way, I jumped out of the car and snapped this photo of a hot air balloon with the reverse side of the Grand. The sky on the Jackson Hole side of the Tetons were fairly clear, while a cloud of smoke filtered the sky on the West side.

There are a few aspens beginning to turn in and around the town of Wilson. The Snake River bottom’s cottonwoods are just now beginning to turn. As I mentioned on the Foliage Reports September/October 2017 post this morning, this year’s foliage season seems to be on pace with seasons four or five years ago and not as early as in the last couple of years.

Eastern Idaho Harvest: On our way to and from Rexburg and Idaho Falls, I kept seeing interesting farming and harvest opportunities. They have rolling hills, with golden wheat and potato pastures being plowed and harvested. Tractors kick up dust and is highlighted by morning and evening light. This could be a great way to fill in time waiting for this year’s foliage season…just thinking out loud!

Oh yes, I stopped in at Perfect Light Camera and Supply and got to put my hands on the new Nikon D850 camera. Chris has been shooting it for about a week. He is impressed with the high ISO on this body. It looked and felt much like a D500.

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September 11th:  Monday

Road Closure on Moose-Wilson Road …”Beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, September 12 on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. The road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, September 14. On Wednesday, September 13, travelers on the northern segment of the road will encounter delays of up to 30 minutes to accommodate repairs to a short stretch of flooded road.”

Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Closure Beginning Sept 11: News Bulletin….The main building is undergoing construction to repair and replace the roof. During the construction period, the trails leading to the observation platform, the bridge and the two trails are closed. A new access trail from the parking area will bypass this zone to connect with the upper trail to Phelps Lake.

Clear Skies

Clear Skies: I heard there was a heavy rain storm in the GV area that lasted 45 minutes yesterday afternoon. I didn’t see it at all in town. This morning, skies were clear with only a hint of haze. I took this image from the GV Road, over the top of Blacktail Butte. A few days ago, there was no detail visible in the distant mountains.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: This buck had 15 does gathered along the Gros Ventre Road. He had to work to keep them bunched up. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Sandhills

Sandhill Cranes: This group of three flew over the road as I was taking photos of the Pronghorns. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

I’ll add a photo and more comments on this page. Foliage Reports September/October 2017

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September 10th:  Sunday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Crossing the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

You might notice that I have been focusing on Moose lately. Other people are seeing Bison, Elk, Pronghorns, and occasional Bears. I’ve heard of a few people getting photos of young Raccoons. I’ll be covering more of the Park soon.

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September 9th:  Saturday

Washakie in Amber

Washakie in Amber: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Morning Range

Morning Range: Blacktail Butte and the Teton Range supply the backdrop for this Bull. There was much less smoke in the valley this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie

Washakie: Taken along the sage flats near the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Thrashing

Thrashing: Still trying to scrape the velvet from his antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Thrashing

Resting Bull: Near the Gros Ventre river bottom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

The Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival began this weekend. Darla and I did the Gallery Walk last evening. The Farmer’s Market and Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities filled the Square this morning.

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: This old barn is on Spring Gulch Road. With broken clouds, I waited until a patch of light hit the barn. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

I added a couple of photos and comments on the Foliage page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017

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September 8th:  Friday

New! Foliage Reports September/October 2017

Morning Sun

Morning Sun: Another shot to document the smoke and haze in the valley. Count on the temperature to be around 38°F in the morning and then warm up quickly! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Stripping Willows

Stripping Willows: A few of the Moose are eating bitter brush in the sage flats. They still seem to prefer willow leaves—stripping them off their stems. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Worked Up

Worked Up: Bulls thrash trees and shrubs most of the late summer. Initially, this is to finish removing the velvet, but later to let other cows and bulls they are in the area. Sometimes, they thrash long enough to work themselves into an unpredictable “tizzy”. I back up a long distance when I see this behavior. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Morning Drink

Morning Drink: Taken along the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Gros Ventre Crossing

Gros Ventre Crossing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Crossing

Crossing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Flower and Bee

Flower and Bee: I took this shot along the Snake River on my way back from a “Mountain Maple” run. See the photos on this page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017

Astoria Hot Springs

Astoria Hot Springs: There’s an effort to rebuild the old Astoria Hot Springs, located a few miles down the canyon from Hoback Junction. This spring supplies the hot water for the pools.

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September 7th:  Thursday

Morning Sun

Morning Sun: In some of the previous years, the Park Service and Forest Service set controlled burns during September. People could leave our area and go somewhere else with clear skies, but there’s nowhere in the West to go this year. This year, firsfighters have their hands full dealing with other large wildfires across the West. Last night, I used The Photographer’s Ephemeris to determine where I might want to be this morning for the setting moon. I was in the right place at the right time, but by the time the moon was moving into position, it was just a faint glow and the Grand was almost indiscernible. This shot was taken from Mormon Row Road as the sun came up. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Road Closure on Moose-Wilson Road Beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, September 12 on the unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. The road will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, September 14. On Wednesday, September 13, travelers on the northern segment of the road will encounter delays of up to 30 minutes to accommodate repairs to a short stretch of flooded road.

Cow Moose in River

Cow Moose in River: I was fortunate enough today to photograph three different moose cross the Gros Ventre River. Unless being chased, they cross slowly and deliberately. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie Crossing

Washakie: This venerable old bull disappeared for a few days while he stripped his antlers. He reappeared yesterday, but has an eye infection. He’s showing his age…something like 16-17 years old. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Mid-Sized Moose

Mid-Sized Moose: I almost 100% sure this is the Bull I photographed last Sunday. He stripped his velvet yesterday and his antlers are still showing blood stains today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Featured Moose

Moose at Water’s Edge Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Mid-Sized Moose

Moose at Water’s Edge Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Swan Family

Swan Family: Taken along Flat Creek. I added this photo to show how the amber/rose colored light is affecting the valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Afternoon Outing

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks: If you are getting bummed about the smoke covering the mountains, consider tight shots of other subjects! This stand of aspens is on the Moose-Wilson Road, but there are lots of other stands around the valley. Light will likely be rich and saturated. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm  Lens, Handheld, VR On.

Caterpillar

Caterpillar: I was on the Moose-Wilson Road looking for bears, but other fuzzy creatures can also be interesting. This reminds me a lot of the “wooly boogers” I tie for my fly fishing. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro, Handheld.

Sunset

Sunset: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm  Lens, Handheld, VR On.

Death Canyon

Death Canyon: The Grand Teton group gets a lot of attention, but keep an eye out for opportunities with Death Canyon and Cascade Canyon. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm  Lens, Handheld, VR On.

Starburst

Starburst: Back side of a thistle plant. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro, Handheld.

Evening Sun

Evening Sun: Taken along the highway as I was driving home. 8 bit JPGs have a tendency to band when there is very little difference in values. I shot this in 14 bit mode on my camera and can process it at 16 bit in Photoshop if I were going to print it. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

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September 6th:  Wednesday

Spider Web

Spider Web: The spider in my back yard has been busy filling in his web. Natural light was hitting the web at a good angle, so I grabbed the closest camera for a shot. At about the minimum focus on the Nikon 200-500mm lens, the background went out of focus and added a few bokeh spots. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: This bull and roughly 10 cows in his harem crossed near the Moran Junction. He seemed to be worried about something chasing him and not so much with the vehicles pulling over. I only had time for a couple of shots before he headed back into the Buffalo River bottom. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Spider and Prize

Ewwwwwww! That’s how my wife reacted after seeing the spider today. It had netted a wasp and was in the process of wrapping it in web material. It then carried the prize to its safe place along the house. Okay…probably enough photos of the spider, but it’s not something I see every day! Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens, Handheld.

Other Wildlife Tidbits:

We saw a nice Bull Moose at the Blacktail Ponds overlook parking lot the predawn hour. I received a report of Washakie being seen along the Gros Ventre with his already stripped antlers. Another smaller bull moose was in the area with stripping velvet and bloody antlers. A cow and calf moose were seen crossing at Schwabacher Landing, along with a very large beaver in one of the small side channels.

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September 6th:  Wednesday

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: This is a fairly good representation of the smoke in the valley at the moment. I had to take our Golden Retriever to the Vet this morning, so I only had a few minutes to get photos. This was taken from Spring Gulch Road at about 7:25 am.

Local Notes:

  • Today is the first day of school. I saw parents taking photos of their kids—just like we used to do!
  • Today is the beginning of a construction project at the “Y” intersection near Albertsons. Expect delays.
  • Spring Gulch Road is still closed. There are talks of a one-direction light being installed later in the year.
  • Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival begins this weekend.
  • Old Bill’s Fun for Charities is this weekend. Starting on the Town Square.

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September 4th:  Monday – Labor Day

Sunrise

Sunrise: Smoke was possibly the thickest it has been here this morning. I captured this image from Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.

Water Walkers

Water Walkers: Found regularly at the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve on Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.

Black Hawthorne Berries

Black Hawthorne Berries: Also taken at the LSR Preserve. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.

Cascades

Cascades: Lake Creek, tumbling out of Phelps Lake at the LSR Preserve. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.

Fawn

Fawn: Found in the Moose Visitor’s Center area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Three Cygnets

Three Cygnets: Taken along Flat Creek with the rose colored sky reflected in the slow moving stream. Right now, their wings are about the size of your palm. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: This is a “Chamber of Commerce” moose! He fed on aquatic vegetation in Sawmill Pond for quite a while this afternoon and evening, allowing hundreds of tourists and photographers to photograph him from the safety of the bluff. Judging from the couple of tears in his velvet, I would expect him to begin stripping his velvet tomorrow or Wednesday. (Sawmill Pond is on the north end of the Moose-Wilson Road.) Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

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September 3rd:  Sunday – Labor Day Weekend

Mt. Moran Sunset

Last evening, my wife and I drove up to Leek’s Marina Pizza Parlor for a Saturday Evening “date”. They have great pizza and the views from the deck are wonderful. Aside from the dinner, I took advantage of checking out the foliage in the north country. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Quick Foliage Report: Park wide, there aren’t a lot of changes. There’s a slight shift toward yellow, but very slight. There are a few random trees, or branches with more yellow if you look for them. In short, it is still early on the Aspens and Cottonwoods. Some of the leaves are turning red along the Moose-Wilson Road, but you might also notice that some of the Aspens there appear to be turning brown instead of yellow. Others look healthy. The Gros Ventre River bottom has a few trees with a hint of ochre.

Foliage Reports September/October 2015 :

Foliage Reports September/October 2016 :

Choke Cherry Leaves

Choke Cherry Leaves: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.

Fall Leaf

Fall Leaf: Lots of changes going on in this leaf. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron:  Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bull Moose at Water

Bull Moose at Water: This mid-sized Bull Moose took a quick drink from the Gros Ventre. He came back on the bank for a little while, then crossed to the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull in Gold

Bull in Gold: Same bull, taken a few minutes before he crossed the river. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Pronghorn in Gold

Pronghorn in Gold: Yesterday, a CNN report said there are at least 88 large fires in the West. Smoke from some of the fires settles into the JH valley, creating early morning gold and rose light. I like it for the sunrise and sunset shots, but the smoke irritates my eyes. This buck was seen along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Dragonfly

Dragonfly: Want a challenge? Try getting a shot of one of these comical faced creatures! This one was along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Spider

Spider: This little creature built a web in my back yard. I taped a piece of black “Fun Foam” to a light stand for the backdrop and then used a Lume Cube to add some light to the spider and web. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Zoom Micro Lens, Tripod.

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September 2nd:  Saturday – Labor Day Weekend

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe: Captured along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe on the Run: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison Bull: Also taken along Mormon Row Road. I only saw half dozen Bison this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: Bulls are usually the ones rolling in the dust, but I’ve seen a few Cows do it, too. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

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September 1st:  Welcome to Fall!

Fall's Sentinel

Fall’s Sentinel: It’s not exactly Fall yet, but there are hints of changes in all corners of the park. A few leaves are changing, but so far, they are not going off quite as early as last year. Then again, I thought the changes were early last year. A few of the bull Moose are beginning to shed their velvet before their rut. Elk are bugling. Pronghorns have been fairly dependable subjects. Bison are seen mostly around Elk Flats and possibly along the RKO road. Grizzlies are being seen in the North part of the park, but can be challenging to photograph. Owl sightings have been scarce in the summer of 2017. It’s berry season and there are plenty of berries. A few Black Bears are being seen.  The photo above was taken during the last few minutes of light on August 31st along the Gros Ventre Road. Notice the hints of Fall color! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

August was a great month! August 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP. Until I begin filling this new September Journal, check the August page. The first week or so of September should resemble the last week or two of August.

Foliage Scale 2015

2016 Foliage Reports: I will create a 2017 Foliage Reports page in the near future. For now, the 2016 page should give you a good idea of what to expect this year. To start September, most trees are still 1 or maybe a few 2. Some of the underbrush is turning and a few of the Black Hawthorn bushes on the Moose-Wilson Road are turning.

Morning: September 1st

Sliver of Sun

Sliver of Sun: Taken along Gros Ventre Road. September mornings can drop to temps in the high 30s and can climb to the low 80s. Weather reports suggest clear skies through the Labor Day Weekend, though there is some smoky haze throughout the valley. Morning photos often have a beautiful amber  or rose color cast. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Captured along the Gros Ventre River. Another smaller moose was in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Early Morning Moose

Early Morning Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: Moose, Grizzlies, and Wolves occasionally pass through Schwabacher Landing, but you can almost always find a few ducks and other potential subjects like Pine Martens, Squirrels, Mule Deer, Beavers, Otters and so forth. This Mallard is in one of it’s less colorful phases. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher: This morning, a Belted Kingfisher was working the area. They are almost always difficult to photograph. Kingfishers seem to know when you are trying to photograph them and tease you right up to the point you begin to press the shutter button before taking flight. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Soro

Sora: All About Birds says this about Soras, “A small, secretive bird of freshwater marshes, the Sora is the most common and widely distributed rail in North America. Its distinctive descending whinny call can be easily heard from the depths of the cattails, but actually seeing the little marsh-walker is much more difficult.” That makes two difficult birds in one day! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Female Barrows Golden Eye

Female Barrows Golden Eye: Golden Eyes seem to like the Schwabacher Landing area’s calm waters. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: If you were to watch the 1950s movie “SHANE” you could see little Joey crossing the stream in exactly this spot! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, handheld. 

Youngster

Youngster: This young Moose soon followed her mother across the channel. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, handheld. 

Labor Day Weekend: Remember, things will be winding down in regards to “tourist season”. The last two JH Rodeos are tonight and Saturday. Dornan’s Chuckwagon will stop their breakfast and dinners after this weekend, but will continue lunch for a couple of weeks. The last JH Shootouts and Stage Coach rides will end after this weekend.

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Local Color and Close-Ups

Photographers are naturally drawn to Jackson Hole’s wildlife and abundant scenic opportunities. Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area have some of the best of both! While most people pass them by, there are additional “small scene” opportunities. This page is a collection of some of the close-up images I captured in late July and August.

Morning Flowers

I have a tendency to start my day watching for the “big stuff”, and if that’s not happening, I begin to look down for the “little stuff”. In reality, there’s a lot more of it!

Weather plays a big role in most people’s success rate. Rain and fog can “ruin” some photographer’s day, but if you are willing to deal with the weather, you can get shots others don’t. In most cases, it is just a matter of looking down for alternative subjects. Rain drops are a great addition to flowers, leaves, pine cones & spider webs. A duck in a quiet pond with rings from raindrops may be more compelling and memorable than a standard duck on calm water.

Morning Flower

Typically, close shots have a very shallow depth of field.  I opted to take several shots and later “focus stacked” the group in Photoshop.

Berries

More often than not, I walk around with a zoom telephoto lens on my Nikon D5 body. I am ready to take a photo of a Bear in the bushes, a Great Blue Heron in the trees or along a bank, or a Moose feeding in a pond, but as it turns out, the same combination works fairly well for impromptu close-ups. 600mm at 7′ brings many subjects up close and personal.

Sunrise

The same “wildlife combination” works fine for many landscapes, too. For this photo, I had hiked to the river’s edge to photograph a bull Moose when this smoke enhanced sun started to rise above the trees.

Purple Centers

When possible, I use a tripod. It has a lot of advantages, but it’s heavy and clumsy if hiking around “looking” for animals. The VC or VR (Vibration Reduction) features on newer lenses is darned good if below 1/500th second. There’s typically not a lot of motion, so shutter speeds can be much slower than when trying to capture a moving animal.

Bee

There’s another benefit for taking time to photograph the “little stuff”. Often, wildlife is difficult to spot from a moving vehicle. Stopping to take the photos others neglect means you are out of the vehicle and mostly still. You would be amazed at how many times that tactic pays off! Shortly after taking this image a Black Bear strolled through the area and I managed to get a few decent shots. I could have easily missed the Bear if I had surveyed the scene, gave up and moved on.

Weed Center

Mother Nature seems to be willing to offer up interesting abstract subjects on a regular basis.

Columbine

Late evening or early morning light is great for adding mood to small subjects, like this wild Columbine. Wind can be a problem, and when wind is not a problem, summer Mosquitoes can be!

Sticky Geraniums

Long telephoto lenses are also good for blurring out the background. Critical depth of field can be only 1/4″ or less.

Spaulding Bay Wildflowers

Wildflowers add a blast of color back into the valley. They are always welcome following a long, cold winter.

Yellow Wildflower

While on my tours, I joke about not knowing the names of the various types of clouds overhead. I’m an artist…not a botanist, geologist, meteorologist, or biologist. At least at the time of the shot, none of that matters! Take the shot, then look up the name later.

Weed Center

At least for me, about anything “interesting” is fair game!

Thistle

Yep, it’s a weed, but it’s interesting!

Orange Leaves

By late August, some of the leaves begin to turn. Colorful leaves stick out like a sore thumb against the backdrop of green. It seems Mother Nature turns the page on the wildflowers for the year at about the same time she begins to reveal of colors of Fall. In September, I’ll start a new Foliage Reports page, but for now, the brightly colored leaves signal the valley’s pending transition.

Ripe Berries

Berries are another indicator of changes in the seasons. Years of experience tells me that Bears and birds will be harvesting the berries soon.

Abstract

In late July, the Teton County Fair thrills the kids with rides and gives me a week to “play” outside the Park. This is the Ferris Wheel, captured with a long exposure and a twist of the lens.

White Duckies

Many subjects are “on the move” during the fair, including these rubber ducks.

Peppers

Throughout the summer, Jackson Hole hosts Farmer’s Markets. The Saturday Market is on the Town Square and the Wednesday Market is held at the Snow King parking area. There are always a lot of textures and color, and most vendors allow you to photograph their products.

Beads

Photograph subjects out of your normal wheelhouse. That’s my advice on this page! You may be performing for an audience of one (yourself), but who cares!

Onions

It’s not likely this photo will ever adorn anyone’s living room wall, but at the time, it seemed to need photographing. I may use the texture on this image on another project someday. Who knows? But, I have it now.

Opening Ceremony

In a place like Jackson Hole, there’s always something happening! Remember there are fishermen, kayakers, paragliders, musicians, hikers, bikers and so much more that can make good subjects, even on cloudy or foggy days. Watch for chances to get close-ups of their gear, splashing water, and so forth. Get up early for chances for Bears, Wolves, Moose and Elk, but if they are playing hard to get, consider the smaller options! Experiment. Have fun, but keep an eye out for Bears, Wolves, Moose, and Elk!

A Few Steps Closer: Capturing the Finer Details


Equipment Notes

Instead of filling the page with EXIF data for each photo, I’ll include this paragraph with general equipment information.

Most of the images on this page were taken with a Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. That’s typically the combination I have in hand for my wildlife shots. When I know I am “going small” on purpose, I usually pair up an old Nikon 70-180mm Micro Lens and a Nikon D810. I occasionally hike around the river bottoms carrying a Nikon D500 and Nikon 18-300mm lens. That combination is lightweight, and the 18-300mm does a great job at very close range.


Teton Photo Excursions

 

August 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“The Heat of Summer and Prelude to Changes!

Daily Updates Archives:
2017: 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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NEW September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

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August 31st, 2017:  End of the Month!

Tomorrow will be the beginning of a new month. September is always dynamic and loaded with possibilities. With that said, August was no slouch! Just scroll through this page and see for yourself.  Watch for the September Journal tomorrow at some point, then begin filling it with photos and comments. Also, I will be starting a new 2017 Foliage Reports Page. If you have never signed up to follow this site, now would be a great time. I’d love to have you on board!

New Tassles

New Tassels: High School and College graduates traditionally have a tassel hanging from their cap during the ceremony. Often, a large slab of velvet scrapes from the outside of their paddles, but hangs on at the base of their antler. It can take a day or so for them to knock them off. This bull, one I’ve called Lewis, was along the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Lewis with Tassels

Lewis with Tassels: I’ve seen bulls scrape the bulk of their antlers in as little as 15 minutes. This bull will have a much harder time removing the velvet if it dries. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Shoshone Crossing Gros Ventre

Shoshone Crossing Gros Ventre: Three bulls were on the north side of the Gros Ventre today. One crossed after being spooked by something, then crossed the river much faster than a normal crossing. I hung around way too long, hoping the other two would cross, but eventually had to give up. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Stripping Willows

Stripping Willows: By late in the evening, Lewis had stripped most of the velvet from his right antler and the outside portion of his left antler. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Remember!…Sign up to follow this site. And…click Teton Photo Excursions if you are interested in a September, October, or November One-On-One Photo Tour in GTNP. I am a licensed tour operator in GTNP and the National Elk Refuge.

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August 30th, 2017:  Wednesday

Schwabacher Landing

Sunrise at Schwabacher Landing: Great moody morning at “Schwabbys”. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Tripod. 

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: Also taken at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Crossing Schwabacher Landing

Crossing Schwabacher Landing: It would have been great to be able to put the Grand behind the Moose, but there wasn’t an angle I could move to without being too close. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: One of several Moose I saw along the Gros Ventre this morning. I’d guess this one is 3 1/2 years old. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

More on Washakie :

Washakie 2006

Washakie 2006: This is a very old photo taken with a Nikon D200 at 1/50th second, F/4, ISO 400. Back then, ISO 400 was about as far as I could push it. Many of the Moose images now are taken at ISO 1250 up to ISO 4500, which allows me to speed up the shutter speed. I have a folder of “Moose” that contains over 28,000 images. Someone asked how old I thought Washakie is now. I spent some time digging through the oldest images. I’d suggest this is Washakie at about 4-5 years of age.

Not Washakie

Not Washakie: Back in 2006, this big bull worked the Gros Ventre. He had similar antler growth to the bull I’ve always called Washakie, but this bull lacks the dangling dewlap. When I created the Washakie page, I may have used a couple of his images by mistake. I’ll try to fix that soon.

Washakie 2009

Washakie 2009: I am fairly certain this is Washakie. Age: 7-8

Washakei 2011

Washakie 2011: Age 9-10. Moose are born in late May or early June. By fall and early winter, Moose are “and a half” years old.

Washakie

Washakie 2017: Assuming I am correct on the 2009 image, Washakie should be around 15-16 years old.

First Velvet Shed

First Velvet Shed: One of the three Moose I saw this morning began stripping his antlers today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

First Velvet Shed

First Velvet Strip: I would expect that most of the velvet will be cleaned off by tomorrow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Lewis?

Lewis? For several years, two large Bulls hung around under the Snake River Bridge. Seemed like they were always together. I called them Lewis and Clark. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Lewis

Lewis: This is a 2012 shot of the one I called Lewis, taken at the parking lot at Dornans. He has pronounced tines at the base of the large paddles (behind his brow tines). Scroll back up and look at today’s bull.

TOUR OPENING!!!!

A client had to cancel two trips in the “prime time of September” due to an unplanned surgery.  His dates were September 20-23. I believe I had to turn away a couple of trips requested for those dates, but they are now available. LMK if interested in taking any of them!  I also have openings for the end of August and several for early September.

If you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below!

Teton Photo Excursions

If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast. There are numerous openings in  August and a few in early September and October. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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August 29th, 2017:  Tuesday

Young Calf and Cow

Young Calf and Cow: I spent the morning watching for Moose activity along the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Morning Crossing

Morning Crossing: I shot over 1000 images today, and did quick processing on 14. These two crossed the river just as the fiery gold light hit the river’s surface. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Young Moose

Young Moose: Adult Moose typically cross rivers slowly and carefully. This calf of the year seemed to like to play as it crossed. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Washakie

Washakie: The tines on the top of his main paddles have grown quite a bit since I saw him last. It sounds like people are seeing him fairly often in the evenings from one of the big pullouts. Washakie has a cut in each ear, a remnant scar on the right side of his muzzle, and a very distinctive set of brow tines. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

End of the Month Notes and Tidbits

While there are still a couple of days left in August, I list off a few upcoming changes. Labor Day typically marks “The End of Summer” for a lot of local activities.

  • The JH Shoot Out and Stagecoach Rides end.
  • The JH Rodeo ends.
  • Many of the free concerts end.
  • The Farmer’s Markets end soon.
  • Fly Fishing gets better!
  • Elk are bugling and are probably in the rut.
  • The Fall Arts Festival begins after Labor Day.
  • Kids go back to school, so traffic drops off some.
  • Gasoline stayed at $2.49 most of the summer, went up to $2.69 just before the Eclipse, and went up to $2.84 per gallon (self-serve unleaded) overnight.

 

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August 28th, 2017:  Monday

2016 Foliage Reports: I will create a 2017 Foliage Reports page in the near future. For now, that page, should give you a good idea of what to expect this year. My wife said she saw numerous bright yellow aspens near Lost Creek Ranch yesterday.

Cow Moose in Sage

Cow Moose in Sage: The Moose Rut will begin in a week or so.  The bulls seem to be staying on the Refuge side of the river in the Gros Ventre area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cow Moose in Sage

Cow Moose in Sage: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Scratching

Scratching: This isn’t a great shot of a cow Moose, but I thought I’d post it to show behavior. This cow spent at least 45 minutes scratching her back and neck on the branches of this cottonwood grove. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Crossing

Crossing: The cow Moose eventually moved towards the river and crossed in a shallow side channel. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

 

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August 27th, 2017:  Sunday

Golden Morning

Golden Morning: A layer of smoke filled the valley again today, extending the sunrise colors. Taken across the Snake River Valley on the RKO Road, just after sunrise. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

White Pelican

White Pelican: Photographed below the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Cascades

Cascades: Taken from the Lupine Meadows Trail Head parking area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Cascades

Cascades: These two sets of cascades tumble off the Teton Range at Lupine Meadows. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

 

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August 26th, 2017:  Saturday

Moose Cow

Moose Cow: Captured along the Gros Ventre this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Moose Cow

Moose Cow: I’ve photographed moose in this portion of the Gros Ventre before. It’s a curios crossing, as the current picks up and gets fairly deep. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Moose Cow

Gros Ventre Crossing: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Moose Cow

Moose Cow: The cow made the crossing with little problems. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. When I saw these two earlier, it appeared they were eating berries on bushes along one of the slopes.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: These bucks were fairly close to the road. I shot over a bean bag on the bed of the truck. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

 

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August 25th, 2017:  Friday

The Grand

The Grand: Taken at Moose, WY (Near the Visitor’s Center). A bull moose was seen near the Snake River Bridge this morning. I saw him, but wasn’t able to get a good view of him.

JH News & Guide: Drone buzzes 399, pilot gets away. The Park Service is hot on the trail of a drone pilot in the Oxbow Bend area. I’ve seen a drone flying over a Bison herd at Elk Flats. There are signs in numerous areas that explain the rules, but apparently not everyone is following them, or possibly don’t know they are in the Park.

Ripe Berries

Ripe Berries: From what I am seeing, there is only one brown colored Black Bear hanging around the Moose-Wilson Road, despite a banner crop of berries. A Cinnamon colored Sow and two Cubs have been seen on the paths to Phelps Lake. The cones have been removed from the parking areas along the Moose-Wilson Road. At least for now, animal activity is low along the road.

New Feature Post: Local Color and Close-Ups The berry photo above is just one of the many images I included on the new page. If you subscribed to Best of the Tetons, you will have already receive the notice. Sign up to be added to the list!

 

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August 24th, 2017:  Thursday

Sunrise Clouds

Sunrise: Taken at Blacktail Ponds Overlook. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Cow Moose

Cow Moose: Taken just before sunrise. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Captured along Antelope Flats road just as the sun came up. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Even though I’ve heard a few reports of twin calves, I haven’t seen twins this year. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Windmill

Wind Turbine: Captured along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Mule

Mule: The Park Service keeps a few teams of mules in the pastures around the Chambers Homestead on Mormon Row. The early morning light and golden grasses caught my eye today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Mules

Mules: A crew recently replaced the roof on this shed at the Chambers Homestead on Mormon Row. The new boards are roughly the same color as some of the mules. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Mule

Mule: I liked the rim lit whiskers on this mule, along with the lit wire. The mules probably fit in with the Longhorn cattle sometimes seen near Kelly. They make good subjects, but possibly don’t trip the trigger of every GTNP visitor and photographer. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Chambers Barn

Chambers Barn: Beautiful light and clouds transformed this often overlooked set of barns on Mormon Row. The belly of Sleeping Indian (Sheep Mountain) can be seen on the left. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Chambers Pano

Chambers Pano: This image was stitched using four overlapping images. (Click the image to see it much larger). Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Park Notes: The barricades are now gone on Warm Springs Road.

T.A. Moulton Barn Notes: The T.A. Moulton Barn is the one located south of Antelope Flats Road, while the one on the north side is the John Moulton Barn. At this time of the year, a stand of trees on the east side of the road casts a shadow on the TA Moulton Barn at sunrise. Try the John Moulton Barn for sunrise this time of the year!

 

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August 23rd, 2017:  Wednesday

GTNP Founder’s Day Celebration August 25Entrance Fees Waived and Special Program with Ranger of the Lost Art Doug Leen

Road Closure

Remnant Road Closure: “Warm Springs Road” connects Mormon Row Road and the Kelly Warm Springs. It has been open most of the summer, but was barricaded on Monday for the Eclipse. The road usually offers chances to see Bison and Pronghorns, but it appears Park crews neglected to remove the closure barricades. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorns in Gold

Pronghorns in Gold: Three Pronghorn does along Mormon Road Road just after first light. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Ridgeline Pronghorn

Ridge Line Pronghorn: It is still a bit early for the Pronghorn rut, but they seem to be forming mid-sized herds with a buck or two hanging close. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Double the Wyoming Population? A story in the JH News and Guide suggested the Wyoming population doubled on Monday. After the Solar Eclipse, most of the temporary population was flowing back out of the state.

Ravens

Ravens: This morning, I hiked a nice section of the Gros Ventre River bottom, looking for Moose. The river bottom changed considerably during this year’s runoff.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers: Taken at the Wednesday Farmer’s Market at Snow King. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Shoppers

Shoppers at the Farmer’s Market: Rain cut this edition of the Farmer’s Market short. GTNP lifted some of the fire restrictions beginning tomorrow. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Onions

Onions: Farmer’s Market. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

Peppers

Peppers: Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON. 

 

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August 22nd, 2017:  Post Eclipse Day

JH News & Guide: Eclipse awes everyone in valley. Well…it’s over! The initial hype sounded a lot like the Y2K scare, but thanks to extensive planning, it appears the event came and went with little downsides. At least to me, the day felt like a holiday. Most businesses were open, but many closed for the hour between 11:00 am and 12 Noon. I did a quick run through the Park this morning. The Porta-Potties are still up and a few barricades block access to roads like Warm Springs Road. I didn’t see a lot of litter, which is amazing! I heard traffic along the main highways in Idaho was terrible as people made their way back to Salt Lake.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Captured along Mormon Row Road this afternoon. The dirt road (Warm Springs Road) is still barricaded which kept me from the Bison there. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: Captured along the Moose-Wilson Road late in the evening. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

 

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August 21st, 2017:  Solar Eclipse Day

Powderhorn Park

Powderhorn Park: 10:21 am. Traffic was light, skies were clear and blue, and the crowd was scattered sparsely throughout town. I heard Gros Ventre Road filled quickly after the 6:00 am opening. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Snow King Ball Field

Snow King Ball Field: I did a quick loop through town including a stop at Snow King. These were taken at 10:30 am. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Snow King

Snow King Chair Lifts: This was taken roughly an hour before totality. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

North Cache

North Cache: I doubt I’ve ever seen North Cache empty during any summer day. Apparently, everyone was already in their chosen spot. Miller Park and the Fairgrounds also had pockets of viewers. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Visitor's Center

Visitor’s Center: I would estimate two hundred people gathered in the park just to the North of the Visitor’s Center. This was taken at 11:20 am. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Visitor's Center

Visitor’s Center: By 11:21, the valley began to cool off and the sky darkened. I saw a flock of birds fly by as onlookers prepared for totality. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Total Eclipse

Solar Eclipse: This photo was captured at the Visitor’s Center just as the sun began to reappear. Early projections made it sound like it could be a “zoo” in the valley with bumper to bumper traffic. I had planned on staying home and getting a few shots from my front yard, but after making a trip through town earlier in the day, I decided to go somewhere and be part of a crowd. I think that was a great decision. Onlookers cheered as the moon moved into position in front of the sun, and again as the sun began to reappear. The event was over WAY too fast!  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

If you missed this eclipse, set your calendar for April 8, 2024 and head farther east! The path runs from Texas to Maine.

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August 20th, 2017:  Sunday

Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse: August 21: A page loaded with helpful links!

Eclipse Info Station

Eclipse Info Station: Located north of Kelly at the GV/Kelly Warm Springs Junction. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Local Eclipse Notes

I stopped at the station above and asked a lot of questions, worth passing along here.

  • Camping is allowed in GTNP ONLY in the campsites. Rangers will be running off out of bounds campers this evening.
  • The Gros Ventre Road will be one way only from the Highway to Kelly on Monday.
  • The Park Service installed porta-potties every 1/4 mile from the Highway to Kelly and in numerous other areas.
  • The Park Service mowed the North side of the GV Road to allow for roughly 1600 vehicles. The east bound side of the road will be left open for travel.
  • IMPORTANT: The Gros Ventre Road from the Highway to Kelly will be CLOSED between 5:00 am and 6:00 am to add signs and turn it to one way.
  • Access to the Upper Gros Ventre between 5:00 am and 6:00 am will be via Antelope Flats Road.
  • IMPORTANT: No roadside parking along US Highway 26/89/191, Moose-Wilson Road, and Teton Park Road. Park in official pullouts only.
  • IMPORTANT: Viewers and tailgaters will be allowed to set up AFTER 6:00 am.
  • If you go to the Park between 4:30 am and 6:00 am, you can park at trail heads and hike into the back country, but you can’t set up for tailgating.
  • Fire Danger is HIGH. No Charcoal Fires. Propane style stoves okay.
  • The JH Airport will be restricting Eclipse Parking.

Area Links: Including numerous different weather reports. The Weather Channel is predicting Partly Cloudy at 11:00 to Mostly Sunny at Noon. Expect chilly temps around 39-45° in the morning and up to around the mid 60’s for totality.

Teton Morning

Teton Morning: I was out early today expecting to see big crowds in town for tomorrow’s Solar Eclipse. Instead, it was fairly quiet during the morning hours. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Tripod. 

Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier: I was set up for landscapes when this Northern Harrier flew by. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Channel Crossing

Channel Crossing: Bison crossing the outlet stream from the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bison Bull

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

Aquaduct

Aqueduct: How about a little history? After the land slide that created Slide Lake, the mud pots at Kelly began flowing with warm water. Residents dug ditches to irrigate the valley floor. The main ditch from the Kelly Warm Springs crosses Ditch Creek via this aqueduct, then continues NW towards the John Moulton Barn while Ditch Creek flows east to the Snake River. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Taken along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm

 

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August 19th, 2017:  Saturday

Pronghorn Doe

Pronghorn Doe: Early morning photo of a Pronghorn Doe in the hay fields between Gros Ventre Road and Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn Youngsters

Pronghorn Youngsters: I would estimate seeing 75 Pronghorns this morning, along with a couple of herds of Bison. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm

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August 18th, 2017:  Friday

Bison In Gold

Bison In Gold: Gold light, morning haze, and bison moving across the valley floor. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn in Gold

Pronghorn in Gold: Pronghorns and Bison share much of the same terrain in the southern portions of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorn and Bison

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

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

On the Move

On the Move: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

JH News & Guide: Campers Try Their Luck. This article echos a comment I made yesterday about campers lined up at the Gros Ventre  Campground office—some since 4:30 am. I also mentioned that the Park Service put up rope barricades along Mormon Row Road. The bison herd “fixed” some of that this morning.

Evening in the Tetons

Bison in Gold Grass

Bison in Gold Grass: Captured along Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison in Gold Grass

Bison in Gold Grass: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison in Gold Grass

Bison Herd: This herd appeared to be migrating from the northern portions of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Bison Head

Bison Head: This Bison has a unique hairdo…or is it a furdo?  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

 

If you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below!

Teton Photo Excursions

If you are considering a trip in September, I’d definitely recommend booking it NOW. Some of those slots are filling fast. There are numerous openings in  August and a few in early September and October. For inquiries, send an email to info@tetonimages.com.

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August 17th, 2017:  Thursday

Osprey Chick

Osprey Chick: I checked the Osprey nest this morning. Two of the chicks have now fledged and are sitting on nearby branches and posts. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: An active little critter, feeding on berries of late summer. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: Let’s see…would I prefer to photograph a Grizzly feeding on berries, or a little critter like this? Hmmmm. It depends. If I can only slow down and shoot out the window for 3 seconds and move on (and take my chances on whether the bear is looking up during the three seconds), or if I can leisurely capture this little subject, I’ll take the critter. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bison and Barns

Bison and Barns: A herd of around 50 Bison are in the southern portion of the Park now. They crossed Antelope Flats Road just to the West of the Mormon Row Barns this afternoon. D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: The Bison were on the move when I saw them, appearing to be heading to Ditch Creek for water. As you can see, the grass in that area is quite tall. D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Eclipse Notes: I drove into the Gros Ventre Campground this morning to find around 25 people lined up outside the office at 7:30 am. Other campers were driving in as I was driving back out. All of these people are hoping to get a campsite for the weekend and Monday Solar Eclipse. Much of Mormon Row Road now has steaks and rope along it to keep people from parking there. Many private roads along the highway have No Parking signs. Some of the side roads in town have No Left Turn lanes now. Gasoline went up another 10¢ per gallon to $2.69 per gallon.

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August 16th, 2017:  Wednesday

The Grand and Bison Bull

The Grand and Bison Bull: Captured on Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Badger

Badger: Captured near Elk Reservoir. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Badger

Badger: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Teton Horses

Teton Horses: Four shot stitched Pano at Elk Flats. (Click the image to see it larger) Nikon D500 and Nikon 70-200mm

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured along Flat Creek. There are still three Cygnets in this local family. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

A Few Moose-Wilson Road Notes: The Wildlife Brigade has now placed orange cones in most of the pullouts along the curvy portion Moose-Wilson Road, making it almost impossible to take a photo of anything there. Apparently, these otherwise legal pullouts will be coned off the rest of the “berry season”. When a bear is spotted in a Black Hawthorne tree, brigade members stand close by and allow vehicles to stop for 3 seconds and move on. They are not allowing people to park down the roads in legal spots and the walk on the roadway. Today, there was a Moose in “Moose Pond”, but we could not get a shot. We had similar experiences along Pacific Creek Road with 399 and her cubs.

 

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August 15th, 2017:  Tuesday

John Moulton Barn

John Moulton Barn: Broken clouds allowed a band of early light across the golden grasses behind the barn. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm G2 Lens.

Bee and Flowers

Bee and Flowers: Taken at the top of Signal Mountain. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Dusky Grouse

Dusky Grouse: Taken at the top of Signal Mountain Lodge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: This beautiful adult bear was captured at the top of Signal Mountain. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: Same bear on the move. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Black Bear

Black Bear: Bears traditionally go to Signal Mountain at this time of the year for the Service Berries and Huckleberries. Other bears search for White Bark Pine cones in the higher elevations, while others search for Black Hawthorn berries along the river bottoms. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

 

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August 14th, 2017:  Monday

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: It was overcast with occasional drizzle this morning. I set up the strobes and spent some time trying to photograph one of the male hummingbirds. Success rate is very low! Many of the culls are a result of poor wing positioning, but that’s totally a matter of luck based on the speed of their wings.

My Hummingbird Settings: Nikon D810 with Tamron 150-600mm G2 in full Manual Mode. ISO 160, 1/320th Second, at F/9. The shot is lit by three remote strobes being controlled by a Nikon SU-800 and Radio Poppers (Radio Frequency). The strobes are also in Manual Mode at 1/32, 1/64, or sometimes 1/128 power and at around 35mm zoom. I control the shutter with a Vello RFN-4s, allowing me to move around the deck and do some homework if necessary. I focused on the tip of the small, single port feeder, then switch the lens into Manual Focus Mode. Some of the Hummers feed, then pull back, pause and head in for more sugar water (1:4 mix ratio). I have a small “squeaker” from a stuffed animal that I occasionally use to get them to pull back from the feeder for a few seconds. The feeder is under a “grill gazebo” with a fabric backdrop, allowing me to control the light.

Hummingbird Setup

Hummingbird Setup: I should probably reshoot this image, taken accidentally at 1/1000th second and pushing the ISO to 14400. I circled the three strobes, held up with “Justin Clamps”.  The strobe on the ground lights up the background and occasionally catches the males gorget. The grill gazebo was purchased at Smith’s grocery store after they dropped from around $135 to a price closer to $100. My old one crumpled under the weight of the winter snow.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Countdown to the Solar Eclipse: A week from today, the region will be overrun with tourists, photographers, and star gazers. Gasoline went up by 10¢ per gallon a few days ago…now $2.59 at most stations in town. It is always more expensive inside the Parks and on the outskirts of town. Most hotels are fully booked. There are lots of links on this page:  Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse

Additional Local Eclipse Links

 

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August 13th, 2017:  Sunday in the Park

Clouds and Morning Glow

Clouds and Morning Glow: Good news….some of the smoke cleared overnight! Trace amounts helped light up the Eastern clouds. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Handheld. 

Schwabacher Landing Pano

Schwabacher Landing: This is a two shot pano I took at Schwabacher Landing early this morning. (Click the image to see it much larger)  Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens, Tripod. 

Ripening Berries

Ripening Berries: I spent some time along Moose-Wilson Road, hoping a black bear would become visible. He didn’t. I believe these are Service Berries. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Captured in the hay fields between the East Boundary Road and Mormon Row Road. Mt. Moran in visible in the background. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Washakie

Washakie: Last Fall, Washakie broke off one of his antlers. I was worried the stub would cause problems with this year’s antler growth, but it apparently fell off. I’ve been photographing this bull since 2006. Check out this earlier Feature Post: Washakie. Washakie can be distinguished by the scar on the right side of his muzzle (becoming more faint each year), his distinctive antler growth and a cut in each of his ears. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Washakie and Youngster

Washakie and Youngster: I’ve overheard wildlife tour guides telling their clients that bull Moose are solitary animals, except during the rut when they hang with the cows. I find that to be an inaccurate statement in this Park—especially during August. I sometimes see five to six of them in a cluster. They seem to enjoy each other’s company. Another bull was bedded down on the other side of these two. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Alter Bull Moose

Alter Bull Moose: This will be a very respectable moose by the time his antlers finish growing this year. I was standing in the shadows about 40 yards off. They knew I was around, but stopped paying me any attention. Something upstream caught this one’s eye. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bull Crossing Dry Channel

Bull Crossing Dry Channel of the Gros Ventre: The antlers will continue to grow until the last couple of days of August to the first week of September. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Washakie in Willows

Washakie: Right now, there is an abundance of food along the Gros Ventre and Snake River. Washakie’s antler growth is well ahead of the other two bulls. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off. 

Bull Moose

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: I only had a few visitors this evening. Maybe more tomorrow! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

 

Social Hour:The Hoback Volunteer Fire Department is having their fundraiser BBQ today. There are two Free Concerts “In the Commons” at Teton Village this evening, plus the Art and Antique Show and Sale at Teton Village today.

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August 12th, 2017:  Saturday

Sunrise Over Flat Creek

Sunrise Over Flat Creek: Peach and pastel oranges were visible in the morning sunrise. Sleeping Indian (Sheep Mountain) is less dominant in this photo. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Handheld

Lots going on today!

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August 11th, 2017:  Friday

Upcoming Regional Events

There are always events happening in JH. Next week, we’ll start seeing activity at the Fairgrounds here in town, but there are also a few events with historic or cultural significance.

 

Geese and Morning Clouds

Geese and Morning Clouds: Low clouds and fog were part of the valley again this morning. Flocks of Canada Geese are a fairly common scene now. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey in Flight

Osprey in Flight: Taken along the Snake River south of Jackson. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey Landing

Osprey Landing: The female Osprey is now staying off the nest for most of the time. She flies by regularly and returns to the nest once in a while. I was there around an two and a half hours and never saw the male, nor did it look like they had been fed. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey Chicks

Osprey Chicks: The chicks are beginning to flap their wings. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Osprey in Tree

Osprey in Tree: I saw the female fly down to the river once, but came up empty handed. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

 

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August 10th, 2017:  Thursday

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Captured before first light along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

First of the Sun

First of the Sun: Sun rising over Shadow Mountain taken from Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off. 

Bison

Bison: Captured just after first light on the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Mule Deer Fawn

Mule Deer Fawn: Wedding photographers love this kind of morning or evening light. Throw in the remnants of the morning fog, and there’s a unique glow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Mule Deer Buck

Mule Deer Buck: I drove down the Moose-Wilson Road, then returned to the spot where I photographed the fawn. A couple of bucks had moved closer to the road, still backlit by the morning sun. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.