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Black Bears in Berry Bushes.

Black bears roam the entire Yellowstone ecosystem, which includes Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole area.They are always a popular attraction for tourists and photographers—if you can find them!

Grizzly numbers have been on the rise for over the past decade, displacing some of the Grand Teton Park black bears in the Jackson Lake Dam area, Willow Flats, and Pilgrim Creek areas. I occasionally still see a large black bear in those areas, but most people I speak with say they are less common where Grizzlies have established their range.

Black Bear Color Phases

Black bears are not always black! They can range in color from blonde, honey, cinnamon, dark brown to solid black. It is not uncommon to hear someone say one of the light cinnamon bears is a grizzly, but in most cases, photographers or rangers will straighten them out with information about the various color phases.

Grizzly Sow and Cub

Black bears lack the hump on the back, have a flat muzzle, are generally smaller, and have shorter claws. Grizzlies can vary considerably in color, too, so don’t let the color of the fur be your defining feature!

Black Bear in Grass

Black bears and grizzlies hibernate during the coldest months, then reappear in early Spring. They’ll be on the hunt for food but that food source must be well off the road. I don’t see that many black bears during the summer months. Hikers report seeing them higher up the mountainsides. Grizzlies have been more common near the roads in late Spring and early Summer than black bears.

As with any animal, the key to finding bears is learning a bit about their preferred food sources. Both black bears and grizzlies are omnivores—they eat both plants and meat—but also flowers, roots, grubs, and moths. Unfortunately, they will eat human food if found or offered. Each year, a few of the black bears are euthanized after learning they can get a quick meal by stealing picnic baskets and food at places like String Lake and Jenny Lake. “A fed bear is a dead bear” is a popular slogan used by the Park Service.

Black bear’s primary defense is to climb a tree to safety, so they are more likely to be found in forested areas than in open sage flats. Their short, curved claws allow them to climb trees most other animals cannot climb.

Black Bear

As berry bushes begin to yield their fruit, black bears often appear along the Moose-Wilson Road and near the road to the top of Signal Mountain. Bears seem to remember the locations of Huckleberries, Black Hawthorn berries, Choke Cherries, and Service Berries they found in earlier years. Mother bears, or sows, teach their young about these important sources, necessary to fatten themselves up for the winter months in hibernation. A bounty of White Bark Pine nuts can keep both grizzlies and black bears in the high country in some years, while years with few cones can push them to the lower elevations.

Cub in Aspens

The predominant berry bushes along the Moose-Wilson Road are Black Hawthorns. Often, black bears climb larger trees like this Aspen to get to the crop of ripening berries.

Snow and Berries

Hawthorn leaves are green initially. By late fall, many Hawthorn leaves turn bright red before falling to the ground.

If you were to walk around the berry zones, you’ll likely notice that most berries below about shoulder height are stripped clean early in the season. I figure deer and elk graze on them to that height, while Robins and Cedar Waxwings pick off berries on the upper portions. Sows are well equipped to stand on branches to get their share of the berries, but they also stand on the ground and pull down branches. Occasionally, you’ll hear a branch snap.

Cub in Tree

Cubs are high wire acrobats. They can display amazing agility as they walk across thin branches pressed down by their weight.

Cub in Black Hawthorn Bush

Typically, the sow is close by as the kiddos climb to the tops of the trees and bushes in search of food.

Black Bear

Unless someone else has already spotted a bear, or you happen upon a “bear jam”, it would be easy to miss a bear tucked into the bushes.

Black Bear

One of the big challenges in photographing a black bear in the Black Hawthorn bushes is getting a relatively clean shot of their face. It seems there are always one or two twigs, leaves, or branches in the way.

Cinnamon Bear

Black bears occasionally move from the trees and bushes to other areas in search of a new bounty of berries. High grasses make some of those shots difficult, but occasionally one will stand up for a few seconds.

Black Bear in Tree

Black bears seem to either be eating or sleeping. Occasionally, they pick a visible tree to lounge in safety.

tree top Feeder

Occasionally, you might hear the term “hyperphagia” in regards to bears. This is a period in late fall when bears gorge themselves on a food source to build up fat reserves for hibernation. Luckily this period coincides with the ripening berry crop!

Cub in Black Hawthorns

Early season snowfall usually melts quickly along the valley floor. The bears continue feeding through the subtle changes in the season. This photo shows how well they can distribute their weight on some of the smallest of branches.

Black Bear

In 2017, there have been two cinnamon colored sows, each with two cinnamon colored cubs along the Moose-Wilson Road. There have also been several individual cinnamon or brown bears, but very few solid black bears this year. The black bear above was photographed near the top of Signal Mountain in mid-August.

Black Bears

This pair was photographed near Jackson Lake, essentially at the base of Signal Mountain. There are black bears in the Park! A sow can give birth to cinnamon or brown colored cubs, and even a black and a brown cub in the same litter.

Realities on the Moose-Wilson Road

Earlier, I mentioned one of the big challenges of photographing a back bear is finding opportunities without twigs or branches across their face. Actually, the biggest challenge is being able to take a photo of any bear along the Moose-Wilson Road. I could rant on this topic enough to fill a book and any local photographer could do the same. The two issues that rise to the top are the The 100 Yard Rule(s) and the tight quarters of the Moose-Wilson Road and Signal Mountain Road. Grizzly watchers face similar conditions in some of the northern zones of the park. The 100 Yard Rule(s) page was written in 2014 just after the park’s Compendium had been updated.

The compendium now states, “The following activities are prohibited:
a)   Willfully approaching, remaining, viewing, or engaging in any activity within 100 yards of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards of any other wildlife including nesting birds; or within any distance that disturbs, displaces or otherwise interferes with the free unimpeded movement of wildlife, or creates or contributes to a potentially hazardous condition or situation.

BearJam2005

The wording “Willfully approaching, remaining, viewing” can, and was interpreted to include being inside your vehicle. Park officials, including the volunteer Wildlife Management Team (often called the Bear Brigade), say they now use the rules “as a tool” to control the crowds as needed. They can tell everyone they are too close and send every person to their vehicles—or they can judge the situation and control the scene as they see fit.

A bear “experience” in GTNP can be different from day to day—even in the exact same spot. On some days, cones line the road for half a mile and people are yelled at for walking on the road. Other days, the cones are gone and the Rangers or Brigade allow people to view and photograph the bears at reasonable distances.  I’ve experienced days when tourists block the road, leave their cars unattended with the doors wide open, and approach the bears at frame filling iPhone distances. Other days tourists are well behaved and considerate—even without an official in the area.

I don’t recall an incident of a black bear mauling a tourist in Grand Teton National Park. When I’ve seen them along the Moose-Wilson Road, they appear to have one mission: feeding on the berries.

Blondie

When grizzlies are in the area, the Park Service closes the road altogether. Crazy tourists, close quarters, and an extremely fast and powerful bear could be a disaster in the making.

In short, if you get a great experience, count your blessings and shoot thousands of photos that day. Maybe a few of them will lack the twig or branch across their face!

Photographic Considerations

My three “P” words are “Practice, Patience, and Persistence”. It applies to about any kind of photography, but especially so for black bears and grizzlies. Every photographer can get lucky once in a while and stumble upon a wonderful opportunity. They can snap a terrific photo, even with few skills.

Cub in Tree

My first recommendation for photographing bears would be to buy a telephoto lens. Leave the iPhone or iPad for family shots and landscapes. Both Tamron and Sigma make 150-600mm lenses for under $1400. Nikon makes a 200-500mm lens in the same price range.

I like taking photos using a tripod, but they are not 100% necessary on a day with good light. Take it to a local youth soccer field and practice with it on shots you can afford to lose. Luckily, digital photos are cheap!

In most cases, black bears feeding in the top or middle of a tree don’t move too quickly. I typically set my camera to Single Point, Single Servo focusing mode, then attempt to focus on the bear’s eyes. You’ll find plenty of people that do it differently, but I like to control the shot. Selecting 9, 21, or Group may work, but I find the camera will often focus on a branch or leaf in front of their face. (Your camera will likely have different numbers than my Nikon bodies). I tend to shoot a lot of photos, hoping to get one out of the group with a little catch light in their eyes. They’ll often pull a branch back to get to the berries, allowing for a clean shot. I’d love to photograph black bears splashing through the water, or climbing across a downed log, but at this time of the year, they are generally only feeding.

Cinnamon Sow

If I am anticipating a burst of action, I usually switch the camera back to Continuous Focus with 9 points. I was still in Single Point, Single Servo mode when this sow appeared through the cattails. It worked perfectly, but she bolted across the road. I missed a couple of shots by being in the wrong mode for the situation.

Black Hawthorn Bushes

Of my three “P”s, practice is the easiest. I can practice while waiting around in a parking lot. Persistence is relatively easy, too. Just keep going back to a good zone. Patience is the most difficult if nothing appears to be happening. Black bears on the Moose-Wilson Road offer a bit of relief for an impatient photographer. Grand Teton National Park covers an area of roughly 310,000 acres. If black bears were present earlier in the day, the odds are fairly high they will return to the berries at other times of the day. After feeding for an hour or two, they sleep for another hour or two before feeding again. Of the 310,000 acres, you may have one feeding in the couple of acres directly in front of you! During hyperphagia, they’ll likely be back. Grizzlies roam the park in search of food, making finding them much less predictable.

Persistence is also important. If you don’t see them one day, go back! You first set of photos you get to capture might look great at the time, but can be eclipsed by better ones on later experiences. You’ll have good days, great days, and days leaving you frustrated or even mad. No one says it’s easy! You just have to grab a bat, go to the plate and take your cuts. MJ


Please, if you like this post, SHARE it using the Social Media Icons below. I offer private Photo Tours in Grand Teton National Park all year and tours in the National Elk Refuge in the Winter, so please contact me if interested.

Teton Photo Excursions

October 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“October is a Dynamic Mix of Fall and Winter”

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 .

October 20th: Friday

Sunrise

Sunrise: Clouds were beautiful this morning. I stopped near the Gros Ventre Junction and walked out into the sage flats there. This is a three shot pano, stitched in Lightroom.  Click the image to see it much larger! Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Click these popular pages:

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 numerous openings in October, November and December. Now’s a great time to book excursions for December. Bighorns are often butting heads and Moose are often visible in the snow covered sage flats. Most bulls will still have antlers at that time.

Teton Photo Excursions

 

October 19th: Thursday

Lightroom (Classic) Update:

I installed the new Classic Lightroom program yesterday. In short…don’t do it! Wait until they fix a bunch of speed issues. You can read more about it at Adobe Forums.

Cinnamon Bear

Cinnamon Bear: After spending the past couple of days photographing Moose, I thought I’d drive up the newly graded Moose-Wilson Road and look for Black Bears. The only one I found was well off the road and backlit, but the rim lighting on its fur and slightly transparent nature of the red leaves made the shot worth taking. Remember, the Moose-Wilson Road will close at the end of the month! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

There are a lot more Black Bear photos and comments on this New Feature Post!: Black Bears in Berry Bushes.

Beaver

Afternoon Beaver: Captured along the Snake River at sunset. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Afternoon Beaver

Afternoon Beaver: Captured along the Snake River after sundown. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

October 18th: Wednesday

New Feature Post!: Black Bears in Berry Bushes.

New Adobe Creative Cloud Updates TODAY! If you are an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, click the “Update Apps” command in your Creative Cloud control panel to see the current updates. Updates are always free on the Cloud. My Lightroom and Photoshop program updates are loading as I write this note. I see some interesting new features for both programs, one of which should include new Raw converters for Nikon’s new D850 camera.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: I went to bed with the post Black Bears in Berry Bushes still on my mind. At 4:30 am, I finally got up and finished it. I hit the SUBMIT button just in time to get to the Gros Ventre for sunrise. My D5 is back from Nikon Service and seems to be working perfectly. I sold my Nikon D810 to a Best of the Tetons reader yesterday and have my name on a Nikon D850 when they arrive at Perfect Light Camera. I see a few of them around the valley now. A few weeks ago, a lady made a lane change into my “new” truck. It spent 10 days in the body shop, but I have it back now. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Needless to say, I had a great morning photographing bull Moose. After about 10 years of being out in the field photographing them, I finally got to witness a full on bull Moose fight. I’m not quite ready to post those photos! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose Sparring

Moose Sparring: I have oodles of photos of two bulls “sparring” like these two. They are typically gentle with each other, unlike the real fights. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cowboy Walk

Moose Approaching Another Moose: When two bulls approach each other, they do what some people call the slow “Cowboy Walk”. The idea is to show off their size and antlers. Ears are usually down—a warning sign other Moose recognize. Most of the time, the larger bull simply intimidates the smaller bull, or maybe the less experienced fighter. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Slow Approach

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

Onlookers

Onlookers: Smaller bulls usually spar among themselves, but occasionally watch as larger bulls approach each other. 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.

Evening Moose

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

Young Cow

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

Alpenglow

Alpenglow: Along one of the side channels of the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

October 17th: Tuesday

Black Bear

Black Bear: I’m working on a new Feature Post called Black Bears in Berry Bushes. Now is a great time to sign up to follow Best of the Tetons! I’d love to see another hundred subscribers this month! I can also use your help to let your friends know about the site. One easy way is to scroll down to the Social Media icons at the bottom of the page and SHARE this page on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and so forth. 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.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: 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.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: 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.

October 16th: Monday

Elk in Fog

Elk in Fog: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

I have been hoping to hike out to the Old Patriarch Tree while the snow is still on the mountains and before the Park Service closes the Inner Park Loop Road on October 31st. Everything looked promising this morning, but I bumped into a fog bank as I made it to Lupine Meadows. I saw the Elk above and Pronghorns below in that area.

Pronghorn in Fog

Pronghorn in Fog: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Foggy Patriarch

Foggy Patriarch: I made it to the tree at about 8:00am, then had to wait until 10:30am for the fog to lift. By 11:00, I was hiking back to the car. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-4000mm Lens, Handheld.

Old Patriarch

Old Patriarch: I took a LOT of photos there this morning, including texture details at the tree, panos, and a variety of locations. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens, Tripod.

Standing Young Bear

Standing Young Bear: Captured along the Moose-Wilson Road.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Black Bear in Black Hawthorns

Black Bear in Black Hawthorns: Rangers were fairly tolerant today, we were still farther away than I would prefer. I switched to the DX body. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bull Moose in Evening Light

Bull Moose in Evening Light: UPS delivered my serviced Nikon D5 this afternoon. It has a new shutter and bayonet mount, along with receiving a good cleaning. I tested the AF Fine Tune on my telephoto lenses and then headed out to find a subject before I lost the light. This Bull Moose was along the Gros Ventre.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bull Moose

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

Bull Moose in Evening Light

Bull Moose with Evening Light: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

October 15th: Sunday

Mt. Moran and Bull Moose

Mt. Moran and Bull Moose: I had a great day today. I started it with a nice Bull Moose along the Gros Ventre river. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Lip Curl

Lip Curl: Bull are still interested in the Cows, but I’d guess most of the rut is over now. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cub in Black Hawthorns

Cub in Black Hawthorns: After the Moose, I found a family of Black Bears on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cub in Black Hawthorns

Cub in Black Hawthorns: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Sow Feeding

Sow Feeding: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cub in Black Hawthorn Bush

Cub in Black Hawthorn Bush: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

October 14th: Saturday

Togwotee Pass

Togwotee Pass: This Pano was taken on the drive up Togwotee Pass. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Fighting Bison

Fighting Bison: Four inches of overnight snow changed the region again. This was taken on Elk Ranch. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cub in Black Hawthorns

Cub in Black Hawthorns: Captured on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Cinnamon Sow

Cinnamon Sow: I spent the morning looking for Grizzlies up north, then ran into this opportunity. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Wagon Wheel

Wagon Wheel: Taken near the Hatchet Resort on my way up Togwotee Pass. The Hatchet Resort closes tomorrow, along with many facilities in GTNP. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Chambers Homestead

I added additional photos on this page: Foliage Reports: 2017. I snapped this photo yesterday afternoon along Mormon Row.

Friday, October 13th:

Sunrise Barn

Sunrise Barn: Skies were “interesting” for a short period of time, but quickly dulled. A cloud covered the top of the Grand, so I didn’t think much about shooting west. As of noon, skies cleared considerably.  Wind is also a factor today if you were trying to capture reflections in the pools.

I received a report that Grizzly Sow 399 was near Antelope Flats Road today.

In case I buried it in this page, you might want to visit the Foliage Reports: 2017. I recently had someone ask about my photos of this year’s Oxbow Bend foliage season, indicating they hadn’t see the Foliage Reports page. The page has a few wildlife photos mixed in with the leaf shots.

Loose Ends: The truck has been in the paint shop all week to repair a recent fender bender. Should be ready on Monday. I have been more or less incognito all week in the rental car. My Nikon D5 went to the repair shop on Monday. The site says the repair is finished I should have it Monday.

October 12th:  Thursday

Bull Moose Crossing Dry Creek

Bull Moose Crossing Dry Creek: I spent the morning watching three bulls and three cows graze and move through the Gros Ventre river bottom.  Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Moose Cow in Morning Light

Moose Cow in Morning Light: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Road Info: “On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the UNPAVED section of the Moose-Wilson Road will be closed 7:00am to 5:30pm for rolling and grading.” That’s good news…the road is still listed at a road on the park map, but lately it looks and traveled like a war zone.

Dual Crossing

Dual Crossing: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Closures: The Gros Ventre and Signal Mountain campgrounds will close tomorrow around 11:00 am. They were the last two campgrounds open to the public. The convenience store at Colter Bay will close on Sunday. Looks like a lot of the facilities in Yellowstone end services on the 15th, too: Yellowstone Closures.

Also, you might note that the Inner Park Loop Road (Teton Park Road) from Taggart Lake Trail Head Parking are to Signal Mountain closes at end of the last day of October. This will be the last few days to access String Lake, Jenny Lake, Spaulding Bay and the trail heads by vehicle until May 1st of next year. The area and trails around Jenny Lake will be close on October 16th for one day to allow helicopter lifts for trail work.

Moose Cow in Dry Creek

Moose Cow in Dry Creek: Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: After seeing Mule Deer for 30 years, White-tailed deer don’t look quite right to me! I stumbled upon three of them on my way back to the vehicle today. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

October 11th:  Wednesday

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: I spent part of the morning looking for the bull Moose I photographed yesterday afternoon. I didn’t find that one, but managed to find a couple of others along the Gros Ventre. Remember, if you want to go down the Gros Ventre Road, you need to be there before 9:00 am or after 2:30 pm. Crews are repairing a section of road damaged by this year’s high water during runoff. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Tripod.

Feeding Bull Moose

Feeding Bull Moose: Besides the willow leaves found along the river bottoms, Moose like to feed on Bitter Brush, found mixed in with Sagebrush. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Tripod.

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: Sometimes the little critters are equally interesting and often even more difficult to photograph. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

Cinnamon Black Bear

Cinnamon Black Bear: At times visitors and photographers are allowed to stop for a few seconds to take a photo from their window along the Moose-Wilson Road. When another vehicle pulls up behind your vehicle, you have to continue. It takes a fair amount of luck to be stopped at a time when their head in not deep in the branches. They won’t allow people to turn off their vehicle, so it seems to help to have the camera set to a high shutter speed to offset some of the vehicle’s vibration. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld.

More photos and comments on Foliage Reports: 2017

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Late evening along the Gros Ventre. Nikon D810 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Sunset

Sunset: At the John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld.

October 10th:  Tuesday

Alsenglow

Alsenglow: Early morning at Schwabacher Landing. This is a two shot stitched pano. Click the image to see it larger. Just for reference, it was 14°F at sunrise today. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

Moose Falls

Moose Falls on Crawfish Creek: Just inside the Yellowstone south gate. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

The Grand

The Grand: Taken near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D810 and Nikon 17-400mm Lens, Handheld (DX Crop).

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: This bull put on a good show for people driving along the highway. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

More photos and comments on Foliage Reports: 2017

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: When I saw him last, he had crossed the Gros Ventre Road and was still heading south into the GV River basin. Another bull was hanging out near the Snake River Bridge at Moose. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

Cinnamon Bear

Cinnamon Bear: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D500 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld

Tidbits: Yesterday, I packaged up my Nikon D5 and sent it by FedEx to the repair center in Los Angeles. I don’t know how many photos it has taken, but I am sure it is well over the 450,000 expected actuations. By noon today, they had inspected it and gave me a price of $587 to replace the shutter, clean the camera, and replace the bayonet mount. I will have new rubber grips, to help make it look “spiffy” again. Hopefully, I will have it back by the weekend (NPS service). Today, I sent in my Nikon 70-200mm lens. It was acting up under certain situations, and was still under the 6 month warranty from the last repair. You might notice more shots with the D810 and D500 this week!

October 9th:  Monday

Silver Swan

Silver Swan: The Trumpeter Swan stretching it’s wings has a leucistic coloration known as the Mearl or Silver Swan. It’s just one of the many Trumpeters at the Boyle’s Hill swan pond west of Jackson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Swan in Gold

Swan in Gold: There’s enough remnant foliage at Boyle’s Hill to add some color to the water. It’s a good place to hone your “birds in flight” skills, especially if the wind is blowing from the south. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Miller Butte

Evening Light on Miller Butte: Nikon D500 and Tamron70-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

October 8th:  Sunday

Early Edition: Heading out soon…I hear my wind chimes this morning, but they are much less active than yesterday morning. The weather report calls for S, SW winds early, then changing to N, NW winds by mid morning and snow through the middle of the day. For the open minded and intrepid group of photographers, today might offer up some special shots. Others may prefer a warm couch watching football games on days like today? Yesterday’s gusty winds may have taken the fizzle off some of this Fall’s foliage season in some areas. Other areas still have green trees.

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds over Mormon Row: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

Moon Over Mormon Row

Moon Over Mormon Row: Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

Murphy Barn

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

Isolated

Isolated Way of Life: A two shot Pano stitched in Lightroom, taken at Mormon Row. Click this image to see it much larger. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens

Snow Moose

Snow Moose: Taken along the highway near Blacktail Butte. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: Taken near Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Pronghorn Buck

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

Grizzly

Grizzly: Captured along the Rockefeller Parkway. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Grizzly

Grizzly: Captured along the Rockefeller Parkway. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Black Bear in Tree

Black Bear in Tree: One of yesterday’s captures along the Moose-Wilson Road. The data was still on a card I didn’t download.

Foliage Reports: 2017

October 7th:  Saturday

Dancing Clouds

Dancing Clouds: Skies were essentially clear at sunrise today, but the big weather issue was wind. It was howling all morning and into the afternoon. I am afraid this kind of wind will negate some of the better foliage opportunities for the next few days. I took this shot near the Chapel of the Transfiguration.

Black Bear

Black Bear: I keep going back to the Moose-Wilson Road hoping to get a portfolio quality set of shots of a Black Bear in the colorful shrubs. I heard of a Grizzly roaming around near the Teton Science School on the East side of the Park.

October 6th:  Friday

Two expressions come to mind right now. One is “So many places, so little time.” The other is an acronym: F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out). Leaves are at peak or nearing peak during a time we have snow on the mountains. The weather is nice with a few bands of light sneaking through the clouds. And, the animals seem to be active. This morning, the full moon is setting at about the right time. I gotta go! If you can…get out yourself! It should be great here in the Tetons over the next four or five days.

Gros Ventre Full Moon

Gros Ventre Full Moon: The Tetons were socked in with clouds, so I headed up the Gros Ventre. I took this from the Crystal Creek Campground. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Gros Ventre

Gros Ventre: Same general area, after the first hints of color hit the clouds. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: Captured along the upper Gros Ventre near Slide Lake. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Slide Lake

Slide Lake: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Slide Lake

Slide Lake Tree Trunks: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Black Bear

Black Bear: This was a tough shoot today. Branches were almost always in the Bear’s face. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

October 5th:  Thursday

Black Bear

Black Bear: I stayed in town this morning, then did a trip up the Moose-Wilson Road in the afternoon. Some of the bushes are turning red and orange. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Swans

Swans: I went to Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond to check out the color and a report of five Cygnets. As an added perk, there was a River Otter swimming around the pond. Nikon D810 and Nikon 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.

Dead Timber

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

Jackson Peak

Jackson Peak: Taken from the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

October 4th:  Wednesday

Upper Lot at Oxbow

Pano: Upper Lot at Oxbow: I spent most of the morning using my Nikon D500 and the new Tamron 18-400mm lens. This is a four shot pano, taken using a tripod at the upper lot. Those trees are almost prime. (Click this image to see it much larger) Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Oxbow Bend Pano

Oxbow Bend Pano: Taken from the water’s edge. This pano was shot in “portrait” orientation, using about 9 captures stitched in Lightroom. (Click this image to see it much larger) Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Abracadabra: Now You See Them—Now You Don’t! This is the time of the year you can expect photographer and tourists to be in your shots at places like the Mormon Row barns, Schwabacher Landing, and Oxbow Bend. Instead of stressing about it on location, you might consider using tools in Lightroom and Photoshop to take care of the “issue”.

Northern Peaks

Northern Peaks: Taken along Pacific Creek Road. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Incoming Storm

Togwotee Vista View: Taken from a pullout along Togwotee Pass. A cloud clung to the top of the Grand all morning. By about 11:00m a new storm moved across the range. (Click this image to see it much larger) Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

October 3rd:  Tuesday

Bull Moose on Ridge

Bull Moose on Ridge…fresh snow and cottonwoods with a nice morning moose. Taken along the Gros Ventre River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull Moose in Snow

Bull Moose in Snow: Moose seem to be “on the move”, searching for new cows. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Aspens

Aspens: Taken at a long distance along the Gros Ventre. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Yesterday’s snow was uncharacteristically heavy on the east side of the valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose Thrashing

Moose Thrashing: It’s not uncommon to see a bull thrash around on a willow or aspen tree. When this one did it, a pile of snow tumbled down on him. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose Thrashing

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

Willows with Snow

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

Aspens and Hawthorns

Aspens and Hawthorns: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. More foliage photos and comments on this page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Black Bear

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

Chipmonk

Chipmonk: The berries are feeding a variety of mammals and birds. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

October 2nd:  Monday

Mallard Ducks

Mallard Ducks: The drake’s heads are mostly back to full color now. A few weeks ago, all of them looked like females. This was taken at Schwabacher Landing. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Twigs

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

Cattails

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

Robin and Choke Cherry

Robin and Choke Cherry: The Choke Cherry Tree near my house is now attracting a variety of birds: Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Evening Grosbeaks, White-breasted Nuthatch, Chickadees, and a couple of Wrens. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Orange Leaf

Orange Leaf: I had lunch with a good friend and long time reader of Best of the Tetons today. While waiting for the meal, he handed me a brand new Tamron 18-400mm lens! Wow! I put it on my D500 and tried it out in my yard. Very nice! Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Wren

Ruby Crowned Kinglet (?): The image was also captured with the D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Spring Gulch

Spring Gulch: I did a quick spin in the snow to try out the new lens. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Sunset Clouds

Sunset Clouds: Taken as a three shot HDR, merged and processed in Lightroom. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Moose Crossing Sage Flats

Moose Crossing Sage Flats: Taken as a three shot Pano, stitched and processed in Lightroom. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

October 1st:  Sunday

Wolf Ranch Road

Wolf Ranch Road: As you might guess by the photo above, we had snow in Jackson Hole. Town may have only received a few flakes, but most areas north of Snake River Overlook received a big winter blast. Foliage season is roughly 7-14 days later this year than last year. Aspens on the east side of the valley are nearing peak, while some of the other zones are spotty. Cottonwoods along the Gros Ventre and Snake River are changing now. They are not peak, but have a definite Fall appearance. I’ll be adding more photos and foliage updates on this page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn in Snow

Pronghorn in Snow: Captured at Elf Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Elk Ranch Cabins

Elk Ranch Cabins: Snow changes simple scenes in a big way. Snow days seldom offer big vista views of the Teton Range. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Elk Ranch Cabins

Elk Ranch Cabins: Elk Ranch is located on the north end of Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Elk Ranch Chimney

Elk Ranch Chimney: I could have spent the entire day taking photos like this of the area barns and homesteads. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Snowy Wagon

Snowy Wagon: This old wagon is located near the highway on your way to Dubois. Look for it next to the Hatchet Resort before heading up Togwotee Pass. I’ve had this spot on my “to do” list for my next snow day. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Grizzly in a Mountain Meadow

Grizzly in a Mountain Meadow: This sow was about 50 yards off the road, photographed through a wall of falling snow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Handheld? Most of these images were captured while shooting over a bean bag resting over the back of my truck bed. Most were shot at 1/800th Second, F/9, Auto ISO 560 +/- and at 600mm.

Grizzly with Distant Tree Line

Grizzly with Distant Tree Line: I was using a 150-600mm lens for all images today, giving me the option to grab an occasional environmental shot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Grizzly on the Move

Grizzly on the Move: On a clear day, I cold have captured more details in the eyes and face, but then everyone has those shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Grizzly in Snow

Grizzly in Snow: Some people call this sow “Felicia”. She has a collar and a pair of teal ear tags. The collar is less visible when she is approaching or is looking my direction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Grizzly in Snow: I took a lot of Grizzly images this morning. I wasn’t dressed properly for standing that long in the wind and snow. No complaints!…I’ll warm up later. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

These photos are from today, October 1st. September Daily Journal for JH and GTNP is loaded with recent photos and info. The first part of October will resemble the last half of September, so check it out!

Road Closures:

  • The southern portion of Mormon Row is closed due to muddy conditions.
  • Two Ocean Lake road is closed due to road conditions and Grizzlies in the area.
  • The Gros Ventre Road will be closed between 9:00am and 2:30pm each day for the next couple of weeks. Details on this page: 17-67 Gros Ventre Road Construction.pdf

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 numerous openings in October, November and December. Now’s a great time to book excursions for December. Bighorns are often butting heads and Moose are often visible in the snow covered sage flats. Most bulls will still have antlers at that time.

Teton Photo Excursions

 

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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October 18, 2017

Old Patriarch

I drove by the homesteads at Mormon Row yesterday. The Aspens in front of the peach house are still greenish. The Cottonwoods are generally past prime near the barns. As I mentioned earlier, most of the “native” Aspens, Cottonwoods, and Willows are past prime around the valley, but there are many trees in and around Jackson that are bright yellow. The area is effectively turning a new chapter at this point in October. This is the time of the year that I start returning to landscape opportunities that do not are not dependent on changing foliage.

The clock is ticking towards the closure of a couple of the important roads in GTNP. At midnight on October 31sth, the Inner Park Loop road closes between the Taggart Lake Trail Head parking lot and the base of Signal Mountain. The closure cuts off vehicle access to Jenny Lake, String Lake, Signal Mountain, Leigh Lake, Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point and BarBC Ranch. Another important section of road closes at the same time between Death Canyon road and Granite Canyon trail head on the Moose-Wilson Road.

Today, I’ll officially end the 2017 Foliage Reports page, but if you found this page via a search, you’ll want to switch to the September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP for animal sightings, comments and news.

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October 14, 2017

Black Hawthorn Bushes

Black Hawthorn Bushes on the Moose-Wilson Road. 4″ of overnight snow accented the red leaves.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: This was taken yesterday afternoon at the TA Moulton Barn. The cottonwoods still have leaves on them, but are not as bright as in some years.

John Moulton Homestead

John Moulton Homestead: Taken as a late evening storm passed through. Aspens there are turning, but not bright this year.

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October 13, 2017

Aspens

Aspens: Some Aspens have been protected by the wind and still have leaves. These were near Triangle X Ranch. Most exposed Aspens have been stripped now.

Aspens

Aspens: I was on the phone with the car running when I snapped this image, but I wanted to show there are still some colorful trees. This group was along Spread Creek.

Cottonwoods and Aspens in the Town of Jackson are turning.  Some are fairly bright, but others a generally “dull” this year.

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October 12, 2017

 Moose Cow Feeding on Willows

Moose Cow Feeding on Willows: Like photographers, Moose, are still looking for leaves. This Moose was feeding along the Gros Ventre river bottom.

Moose Cow Feeding on Willows

Moose Cow Feeding on Willows:

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October 11, 2017

Gros Ventre Trees

Gros Ventre Willows and Cottonwoods.

Mormon Row

Mormon Row: As you can see, the trees at Mormon Row still have leaves, but I can’t say they will turn bright yellow this year.

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: I snapped these two Mormon Row photos to show the foliage status there. Instead of turning bright yellow this year, many are changing to brownish-orange.

Cinnamon Black Bear

Cinnamon Black Bear: Some of the leaves along the Moose-Wilson Road have been changing to red and orange, while other Black Hawthorn bushes turned reddish and then dull to brown.

Remember, there are lots more photos on this sister page: October Daily Updates for Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole

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October 10, 2017

Owbow Bend

Owbow Bend: There are yellow aspens around the Jackson Lake Junction area, but the wind has already stripped the aspens at the “bend”.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: Some zones of the Snake still have leaves, while others are already well past prime.

Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing: Valley wide foliage season may be over, but there are still pockets of good color. Mormon Row should be good over the next few days.

Late Evening Moose

Late Evening Moose: Captured along the Gros Ventre. There are still a few cottonwoods with color along the river.

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October 8, 2017

The relentless winds took its toll on the region’s foliage. The upper parking lot at Oxbow is essentially stripped clean and the traditional strip of aspens at the far west corner of Oxbow is half gone, with yellow leaves remaining only on the right side. The normally beautiful stand of aspens at Arizona Meadows (near Arizona Creek) has lost all of their leaves.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns near Elk Flats:

Storm Clouds

Mormon Row: Most of the aspens and cottonwoods along Mormon Row are intact, many of which are still green.

Foliage Season is not over! The iconic shots at Oxbow Bend were a bust this year—with cloudy days part of the time and heavy winds during the rest of the prime time. There are plenty of yellow zones left! We may have great foliage opportunities for another week or longer. Get out and be creative!

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October 7, 2017

Moose-Wilson Road Pano

Moose-Wilson Road Pano: Click this image to see it much larger. This photo was taken along the road while waiting for a bear to start feeding. The Black Hawthorn bushes are turning red and maroon while Aspens are turning yellow.

The Cottonwoods and Aspens around the Mormon Row Barns are still fairly green.

As I mentioned on the October Daily Journal, wind was a big player in today’s morning sunrise shots. Wind ruffles water spots like Schwabacher Landing, Oxbow Bend, and Jackson Lake, and the gusty wind is knocking leaves off the trees.

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October 6, 2017

Buck Rail Fence

Buck Rail Fence: Taken along Antelope Flats Road.

Aspen Trunks

Aspen Trunks: Taken along the upper Gros Ventre Road.

There are lots of yellow trees, yet there are still a lot of trees that have hardly changed. You can also find trees that have lost all of their leaves. Call it a “mixed bag” of opportunities at your disposal.

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October 5, 2017,

Aspen Stand

Aspen Stand: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. I drove up the road from Wilson. The gravel section is getting almost impassable.

Boyle's Hill

Cottonwoods along the Snake River at the Wilson Bridge are either past prime or stayed brown as seen in the distant cottonwoods above. This was taken at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond just West of Jackson.

Moose Pond

Moose Pond: This is a common scene right now. There are a few bright yellow aspens with others still showing some green.

South Park Barn

South Park Barn:

I received a report from Oxbow Bend this afternoon. The lower section is still a few days away from prime. I’m not sure if they will turn their typical orange this year.

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October 4, 2017,

Oxbow Pano

Oxbow Pano: Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Foliage Comments: Oxbow looks like it will reach prime in the lower section over the weekend…or so. The upper lot looks pretty good right now, but those trees typically turn orange at their prime. When sunlight hits pre-prime leaves, they can look much more yellow, but on overcast days, show their true state. Right now, the cottonwoods along the Snake River are still slightly green and probably several days, or possibly even a week from prime. Still, there are lots of bright yellow trees around the valley.

Golden Reflections

Golden Reflections: Taken near Leek’s Marina. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Oxbow Bend Pano

Oxbow Bend Pano: Taken from the water’s edge. This pano was shot in “portrait” orientation, using about 9 captures stitched in Lightroom. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

The stand of Aspens at the West end of Oxbow still needs a few more days. Aspens in the Jackson Lake Junction are very close to prime.

Hillside Barn

Hillside Barn: Around the valley, aspens are finally kicking in. This was taken in Buffalo Valley. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld, VC On.

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

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October 3, 2017, Tuesday

Ditch Creek

Ditch Creek: This photo shows the snow on the valley floor, rapidly changing cottonwoods, and low morning clouds.

Ditch Creek

Ditch Creek: Another view which includes a bit of Blacktail Butte and distant Teton Range beneath the moody, low hanging clouds. Over the next few days, expect to see less of the green leaves and more of the yellow and deeper orange leaves.

Shadow Mountain had a lot of color when viewed from the valley floor this morning. I didn’t travel North.

Aspen Stand

Aspen Stand: Taken from the Moose-Wilson Road, just north of Teton Village Resort.

Moose Wilson Foliage

Moose-Wilson Foliage: The aspens along this zone still need a couple of days.

Black Hawthorn Berries

Black Hawthorn Berries: Along the Moose-Wilson Road.

Black Bear

Black Bear in Black Hawthorns

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian and Gros Ventre: There’s still a lot of green along the river.

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October 2, 2017, Monday

Snow and Berries

Snow and Berries: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. The Black Hawthorn bushes are beginning to radiate color in oranges and red.

Warm Springs Road

Warm Springs Road: I usually photograph this stand of aspens and spruce near the Welcome to GTNP sign. This year, they are near prime condition about two weeks later than in the past few years.

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October 1, 2017, Sunday

Oxbow Bend Upper Lot

Oxbow Bend Upper Lot: Let foliage season 2017 begin! When the current snow storm clears and the mountains reappear, it looks like JH is in for a stellar foliage season. The mountains will have a fresh blanket of snow at about the same time the valley wide leaves are turning yellow. The lower lot at Oxbow Bend is probably still a couple of days before it begins to peak, while the upper lot will be ready right away. Those Aspens usually turn orange, but they still have a tinge of green in them today.

Grizzly

Grizzly: Low shrubs are more colorful in many areas of the region.

Aspens

Aspens: Don’t let the snow photos scare you! Early season snow on the valley floor usually melts quickly.

Aspens near Taggart Lake are near peak. Aspens along the East Boundary Road are nearing peak, along with Aspens near the Shane Cabin. Willows along the Gros Ventre are well behind normal. Cottonwoods along the Gros Ventre and Snake River are changing now. They need a few more days to peak. Watch for great color up Pacific Creek Road. Aspens in the Buffalo Valley are changing at a fast pace. The Snake River Canyon and the road along Palisades Reservoir are as beautiful as I’ve seen in years. Mountain Maple dominate the hillsides, with mixtures of near peak aspens thrown in.

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September 30, 2017, Saturday

Gros Ventre River

Gros Ventre River: Slow but steady changes along the river bottoms.

Morning Pano

Morning Pano: Taken near Kelly. These Cottonwoods are just beginning to turn.

Tomorrow will be the First of October…When driving around, it is now looking and feeling like Fall. There is still a log of green in the trees, but the Fall color shift is finally beginning to take hold.

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September 29, 2017,  Friday

Mtn. Maples and Aspens

Mtn. Maples and Aspens: I did a mid-morning trip down the Snake River Canyon and across the north side of the Palisades Reservoir. Mountain Maple are near peak in most areas.

Hog Island Aspens

Hog Island Aspens: One the way down, I stopped to take this photo at Hog Island…just south of the Snake River bridge.

Gros Ventre Steam

Gros Ventre Steam: I spent my morning looking for Moose along the Gros Ventre. I snapped this early photo to shot the status of the river bottom. That area still needs a few days.

Big Elk Creek

Big Elk Creek: This photo was taken along Palisades Reservoir. Big Elk Creek feeds into it.

Mountain Maples

Mosaic of Aspens and Mountain Maple: There are a lot of Mountain Maple in the Canyon as you near Alpine Junction. A power line runs down the middle of some of the most scenic zones. The better opportunities are along the reservoir.

Mtn. Maples

Mtn. Maples:

Mtn. Maple Pano

Mtn. Maple Pano: Click this image to see it much larger! For this image, I used a painter’s pole, a Nikon D810, a CamRanger and the PTHub. Over the past 10 years, the close trees are beginning to block the view of the little valley. I controlled the camera with my iPad. At least six different “Best of the Tetons” readers stopped by to say hi!

Interagency Fall Burning Projects to be Implemented in Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest

MOOSE, WY-Teton Interagency Fire personnel will be burning piles of slash created from fuels reduction and hazard tree projects within Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest.  Firefighters will burn these piles under low fire behavior conditions as colder temperatures and wet conditions exist.

Pile burning in Grand Teton National Park will take place in several locations, including:

  • Along the Signal Mountain Summit Road,
  • Along the north side of Pacific Creek Road, after the road junction to Pacific Creek Trailhead,
  • Near the White Grass Dude Ranch,
  • Near the Bar B C Dude Ranch,
  • East of Antelope Flats area, south of Shadow Mountain,
  • Near the South Landing campsite on Jackson Lake south of Signal Mountain, and
  • Southeast of Phelps Lake.

Additional fuels reduction work will take place this fall north of the Pacific Creek Subdivision access road.

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September 28, 2017,  Thursday

Bar B-C Dude Ranch

Bar B-C Dude Ranch: ..there are quite a few Aspens turning around this old Dude Ranch. Bar BC Dude Ranch

Bar B-C Dude Ranch

Bar BC Dude Ranch

Bar B-C Dude Ranch

Poet’s Privy: That title will make more sense if you read this Feature Post. Bar BC Dude Ranch

Oxbow Bend Aspens

Oxbow Bend Aspens: Still early! Peak foliage at Oxbow could be October 2, 3, or 4? Other trees in the area are changing.

If you are in Jackson Hole right now, you can find colorful Aspens. The Cottonwoods on the Snake River Bottom is still turning…maybe 3, 4, 5 on my scale at the top of the page.

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September 27, 2017,  Wednesday

Teton Range Pano

Clear skies, snow capped peaks, and hillsides beginning to change colors. Taken from Elk Flats near Elk Reservoir. Click this image to see it much larger.

I didn’t take any photos there, but Pacific Creek Road has a lot of yellow Aspens in the 6, 7, & 8 range.

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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!

Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend taken this morning. Needless to say, it is still early there!

Upper Lot at Oxbow Bend

Upper Lot at Oxbow Bend is a little ahead of the stand of Aspens on the West end of the Bend.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran and aging stand of Aspens taken near Elk Flats.

Shadow Mountain is changing now, but not peak.

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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: Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May:Apr:Mar: | Feb: Jan: |
2016: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan: 
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Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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September 30th:  Saturday

Morning Clouds Over the Teton Range

Morning Clouds Over the Teton Range: When I left town, there were almost not clouds over the Tetons, so I headed out the Gros Ventre to look for Moose. I found three Cows, but no bulls, and I didn’t like the location of the cows. As it turned out, clouds rolled in, delivering a stunning morning for the landscape photographers. I took this shot from the East Boundary Road, a mile or so north of Kelly. Click this image to see it much larger.  Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld. Four shot pano.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: This nice buck was taken at first light along Mormon Row Road. After a rainy period, the Park closes the most of the southern end of Mormon Row. It’s closed right now. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: Same buck…looking for girlfriends. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.

Loose Ends from Friday

CamRanger Setup

CamRanger Setup: I took this shot with my iPhone yesterday, just before breaking down the gear. The photo below was taken with my Nikon D810 and a Nikon 24-70mm lens atop a Motorized Tripod Head (MP-360) & CamRanger PT Hub. The whole thing was controlled from my iPad using the CamRanger app.

Mtn. Maple Pano

The motorized head allowed me to do the pano set of shots while mounted on a “painter’s pole”. The software allowed me to set a focus point and then shot and view each shot as I panned. Trucks came by off and on, so I had to wait for things to settle down. I’ve been going to this spot each fall for quite a few years, but just like Schwabacher’s famous reflection pool, trees have been growing taller and taller. Click the image to see it much larger

D850 Maples

Nikon D850: While in the Canyon, I bumped into Chris Balmer and his staff from Perfect Light Camera (Idaho Falls, ID). Chris has one of the first production copies of Nikon’s newest D850 camera. I formatted one of my XQD cards in his camera and then did a few test shots with his Nikon 200-500mm lens. I took my images with the camera set to RAW + Fine JPG, using most of Chris’ settings. Lightroom couldn’t read the RAW files, so I had to work with the JPG images. The original images are 8256 x 5504 pixels in size. I resampled this one down to 1400 pixels.. Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500mm lens, JPG capture, handheld.

D850 Maples

Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500mm lens, JPG capture, handheld.

D850

Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500mm lens, JPG capture, handheld.

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 numerous openings in October, November and December. Now’s a great time to book excursions for December. Bighorns are often butting heads and Moose are often visible in the snow covered sage flats. Most bulls will still have antlers at that time.

Teton Photo Excursions

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September 29th:  Friday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I thought this was Washakie when I first saw this bull. That was an easy mistake, knowing it was still almost dark at the time. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: The bull chased a cow across the Gros Ventre, then disappeared into the forest. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: Willows are ahead of cottonwoods in the Gros Ventre river basin. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Ravens or Crows

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

Mountain Maples

Mountain Maples: After my morning with the Moose, I headed down the Snake River Canyon and then towards the Palisades Reservoir.

Mountain Maples

Mountain Maples: I added quite a few photos on this page: Foliage Reports September/October 2017 including some information on the upcoming Prescribed Burns in our area. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR On.

Mtn. Maples and Aspens

Foliage Reports September/October 2017 Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR On.

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September 28th:  Thursday

Bull Elk

Bull Elk: Taken near String Lake. Most Elk, if you can find them, head quickly to the safety of the forests at first light.

Elk Ranch and Mt. Moran

Elk Ranch and Mt. Moran: Taken on the Elk Ranch Road as three or four images stitched into one pano. Leaves are beginning to change there.

Bar-B-C Rusty Vehicle

Bar-B-C Rusty Vehicle: Taken just after lunch at the historic old Bar BC Dude Ranch.

Bar-B-C Knot

Bar-B-C Knot: Detail of the peeling paint on one of the door frames. Bar BC Dude Ranch

Window Panes

Window Panes: Bar-B-C glass panels. Bar BC Dude Ranch

Foliage Reports September/October 2017: I added several additional images on the Foliage Reports page.

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September 27th:  Wednesday

Morning Elk

Morning Elk: Captured near Windy Point. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Morning Elk

Morning Elk: Captured near the String Lake Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Immature Balk Eagle

Immature Balk Eagle: This is the third time I’ve had a chance to photograph this raptor near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Moose

Bull Moose: Captured near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: Captured in the north portion of the Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Great Gray Owl

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

Hovering GGO

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

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: Always fun to capture an Owl in flight! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns: A few Pronghorns looked nervous, then sprinted across Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf: Tight crop of the source of the panic. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Gray Wolf

Gray Wolf: I didn’t get a great shot of the Wolf, but it was fun to see one this fall. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Cub in Aspens

Cub in Aspens: This youngster was using an Aspen tree to access Black Hawthorn berries along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

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 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.

Teton Range Sunrise

Teton Range Sunrise Pano: (Click this image to see it much larger.) Taken along Mormon Row as an early morning sliver of light hit the tops of the peaks. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Elk Ranch Pano

Elk Ranch Pano: Taken on the east side of the old Elk Ranch dude ranch. (Click this image to see it much larger.) Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Pronghorn

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

Oxbow Bend Pano

Oxbow Bend Pano: (Click this image to see it much larger.) I used a circular polarizer on this shot to darken the sky and brighten the yellows. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Oxbow Bend Tourists

Oxbow Bend Tourists: Fall tourists have arrived! Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Western Tanager

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

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle: This is the second time I’ve seen this Eagle at the Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Warbler

Warbler: I think this is a Yellow-rumped Warbler, but if not, someone else might help me identify it. There were half a dozen of them feeding on insects on the berry bushes along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

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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.

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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.