Best of the Tetons

Snake River Overlook Winter Stars and Sunrise :

A Sequence of Photos on a Cold February Morning

SRO Stars

Today, on my 64th birthday, I jumped up at 3:30 am. I looked out my windows to see stars and clear skies. A Winter storm and cloudy skies are on the horizon. The executive decision had to be made. I headed North to Snake River Overlook. I began shooting at 4:50 am under clear skies and abundant stars. Temperatures ranged from 0°F to -2°F, made a bit colder feeling by the light breeze.

For the night shots, I used my Nikon D5 with ISO settings ranging from 2500 to 6000 using a Nikon 24-70 lens. Midway through the “blue light” period, I switched over to a Nikon D850 body.

Snake River Overlook

During the darkest period (astronomical midnight), I typically adjust the White Balance to around 4000K which helps add a little blue to the otherwise gray sky. If shooting in RAW, it’s really not an issue, but I like to see the blue on the back of the camera while shooting. As the blue light period begins, I adjust the White Balance gradually up to around 5250K and usually switch to much lower ISO values.

Snake River Overlook

This is a desaturated version of the previous image. It’s probably closer to the reality of the scene. Occasionally, I make this kind of adjustment after I look at the images with “fresh eyes”…usually a day or two after I process them. It seems night photographers use a lot of “artistic license” and push the nigh time reality, especially when rendering the Milky Way. Personally, I’m okay with the saturated adjustments as long as it still looks like a night scene.

Snake River Overlook

This shot was taken at Snake River Overlook, looking North. The band of peach colored light at the horizon is from Bozeman, MT, 135 miles away!

The last time I tried to take photos at this time of the morning, clouds rolled over the range and effectively ruined my night shots. Normally, night photographers go out on “new moon” nights. Weather reports, when viewed the night before, can only be considered a “guide”. Fog can build up from below and clouds can completely cover the entire range, but I never know that until I make the commitment and get up early. It’s always dark when leaving town. I never know how the range is going to look until I get to about the entrance of Schwabacher Landing. Today it was good. Some days, I turn around and head on home or possibly to the Gros Ventre to wait for wildlife opportunities.

Crescent Moon

At 5:06 AM this morning, a crescent moon began to rise over the eastern ridge line. In reality. the crescent portion only covered 10-15% or so of the moon, but it still emits a fair amount of light. It turns into a ball of white in an early morning shot if the sky is still mostly dark.

Snake River Overlook

Crescent MoonLight from a crescent moon can actually be a good thing! The thin sliver of reflected light helped softly illuminate the mountains, yet let the stars shine through. A full moon, on the other hand, can wash out the stars and cast unnatural shadows.

I was fairly well bundled up this morning. I wore my heaviest wool socks, long underwear, warmest boots, long sleeve undershirt, long sleeve shirt, and two heavy jackets. When it looked like I’ll be actually taking photos, I opened a couple of “chemical hand warmers”, and I should have opened a couple of toe warmers. I was at the SRO parking lot at around 4:30 to 4:40 AM. The last shot I took there was at 7:30 AM. Three hours standing essentially still in that kind of cold is more than I can usually stand. I went back to the warm truck two or three times. I don’t like the idea of wasting gas while idling the truck, but I figure that’s a reasonable investment vs getting frostbite on my toes and fingers.

Rising Moon

I often ask SIRI, “What time is sunrise today?” or “What time is moon rise or moon set today?” It helps to know the times. Astronomical midnight ends at roughly two hours before sunrise (or begins two hours past sunset). Sunrise was at 7:26 AM today, so I could anticipate the faint beginnings of the blue light period at 5:26 AM. It usually takes 10 or 15 minutes to notice the change, however.

This link is included in the Navigation bar on Best of the Tetons either on the right side or at the bottom of each post on the site. Notice on the Sun & Moon page, the “blue light” period is divided into Astronomical Twilight, Nautical Twilight, and Civil Twilight of around 30 minutes each.

Blue Light Pano

This image was taken at 6:22 AM, or roughly an hour before sunrise, but still within the blue light or twilight period. I did almost no post production or processing in this one.

Light Touch

Same image, but with a little bit of post production.

Blue Light with a Touch of Pink

This is about where I would take the image. At this time of the morning, the snow capped mountains begin to glow—even more so with the rising crescent moon. Stars are still evident, but fading. This is actually one of my favorite times of the morning.

Alpenglow at Snake River Overlook

At 7:14, the sky began to show some pink and magenta with purple. This is a three shot pano taken with a Nikon D850.

Alpenglow: Morning’s Fleeting Phenomenon

This page can give you a little more information about Alpenglow. It is usually better here in December, January and February. In the summer months, most of the color is far to the south at sunrise.

First Light Alpenglow

This shot was taken at 7:22 AM. Changes at this time of the morning are subtle in real time, but are quite noticeable in the final captures. Official sunrise would be four minutes later, but the eastern mountains delays that by a few minutes. In this photo, the very top of the Grand was starting to pick up some morning glow.

Morning Light

This shot was taken at 7:30 AM. I got a few more shots, then the light dulled.

I usually capture “pano sets” while at Snake River Overlook. When at 24mm on my 24-70mm lens, it takes only two shots to capture most of the range and a few trees on either side. At 50mm, using a full frame camera, it can take three horizontal format images. At 70mm, it often takes four and even five shots. When I get a spectacular sunrise, I turn my camera to vertical orientation and take seven to ten captures—usually tilting up slightly to get more of the “once in a lifetime” sky.

Crop Options

Once stitched in Lightroom, I know I can create Virtual Copies and crop the scene either wide or into smaller chunks. There’s a lot of data, especially when captured on a 45.7 megapixel Nikon D850. (Click any of the last four images to view them much larger!) Note: The Featured Image at the top of the page is a 2×3 crop of the pano image set taken at 7:14 AM.

Panoramic Images: Tips for Getting More of the Tetons in a Shot

Amber Period

This morning, a cloud crossed in front of the sun and dulled the light while I was at Snake River Overlook. I folded up the frosted tripod and headed south with visions of foxes, moose, and wolves roaming around the sage flats near Kelly. As I was driving, the cloud moved out of the way—lighting up the Teton Range with amber light. I pulled over and snapped this quick (somewhat uninteresting) shot. Most of the pullouts along the Highway lack much in the way of a foreground subject , which at least for my tastes, makes Snake River Overlook more appealing. (see link below)

Anatomy of a Teton Landscape


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February 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

“A Mild Winter Marches On” 

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

Daily Updates Archives: ~
2018: Feb: | Jan:
2017: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2016: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan: 
2015: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2014: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2013: Dec: | Nov: Oct: | Sept: | Aug:

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

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February 21, 2018 Wednesday

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: I went to the National Elk Refuge just before lunch and didn’t take a shot of a Bighorn. After dropping off some paperwork to the accountant, I did an afternoon run and had much better luck.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bighorn Ram

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

Bighorn Ram

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

Antler Arches

Antler Arches: On my way back through town, I stopped to take a few shots of the effects of Winter snow and cold temperatures. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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February 20, 2018 Tuesday

US Copyright Office Changes: The Copyright Office announced some fairly significant changes—which were scheduled to begin today. For the past couple of weeks, I have been diligently going through my images, culling them, and preparing the zip files necessary for the uploads. Instead of taking effect on the 20th, the date was effectively February 16th since they closed the system down for the weekend and holiday. I wish I had known!

NIK Collection: DXO recently purchased the NIK Collection from Google. Google was making the collection available for free but announced there would be no updates. DXO is offering the NIK Collection for FREE for a while in preparation of the new release in Mid-2018. So, it’s not too late to get the free version. DXO will let you know when the new version (not free) will be available.

Gray-crowned Rosy Finches

Gray-crowned Rosy Finches: After a fruitless adventure to the Snake River Canyon (for Mtn. Goats), I drove towards Wilson where I spotted a large flock of Gray-crowned Rosy Finches. Around 100 of them were feeding near the highway. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Gray-crowned Rosy Finches

Gray-crowned Rosy Finches: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Wagon

Wagon: Besides the Finches, I took quite a few shots of barns and wagons. I’ve photographed this wagon a few times, but the new snow gives it a completely different look. OnOne makes some nice “Movie Look” plug-ins for Lightroom, like this “300 Movie” preset. It imitates the stylized movie “look” about the Spartans and Persians.

Elk

Elk: I’ve been wanting to do the sleigh ride on the National Elk Refuge all winter, but until recently, there hasn’t been enough snow to make it worth it. This afternoon, I caught the last trip at roughly 4:15pm. It gave me a reasonable amount of good light before the sun dropped behind the butte, at which point, temperatures dropped drastically. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Resting Elk

Resting Elk: I’ve driven by in the early afternoons recently to see all of the Elk bedded down. That’s not exactly ideal for photography. Today, the ride made it to the bulls, all of which were still down. A vehicle pulled over along the highway and someone walked down to the fence. The Elk got spooky and most of them stood up. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Alert Elk

Alert Elk: Tourists walking to the fence can cause the herds to run long distances. While signs are not clear, the National Elk Refuge prohibits people from using or crossing the bike path to get to the fence. There’s one good pullout, but the fence is much to high for good photography.

Sparring Bulls

Sparring Bulls: I took my D5 with the Tamron 150-500mm G2 lens and a Nikon D850 with a Nikon 70-200mm lens today. There were only seven people on the trip, so I could move around a little in the sleigh once it was stopped. The D5 and 150-600mm worked best today. I had plenty of light, so I cranked the shutter speed up to 1/1000th second to help with hand holding and also some of the vibration from the other riders. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Sleeping Indian and Lone Cottonwood

Sleeping Indian and Lone Cottonwood: Taken from the moving sleigh. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Check out this post from 2014: Sleigh Ride on the National Elk Refuge: This year, the price for an adult ticket is $23, payable at the Visitor’s Center. It’s probably still the best tourist deal in the valley! Dress warmly!

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February 19, 2018 President’s Day

Keys

Typewriter Keys: I seldom go a day without taking a photo. Tonight, I grabbed a camera and tripod, just to make sure I took a few. This is of an old Underwood typewriter I bought a few months ago. The typewriter keys were lit with a handheld LumeCube during a long exposure. For better or worse, the lens picked up the dust still on the keys. I applied a Lightroom preset to give it a vintage look. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Shelves of Stuff

Shelves of Stuff: Over the past couple of years, I go to garage sales, antique stores, and junk stores to pick up interesting vintage props for future light painting projects. Tis a quick shot of a few of the shelves. The capture was given a “Hawaii 5-O” Lightroom Preset. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 18, 2018 Sunday

Elk Sculptures

Elk Sculptures: Overnight, we had about 6″ of snow in the valley. I’m sure the mountains received a lot more. Wind blew hard from the south all night, so the wet snow stuck to all north facing buildings, signs, and sculptures. This one is in front of the National Museum of Wildlife Art—across from the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Miller House with Fresh Snow

Miller House with Fresh Snow: Finally, this scene looks more like February! Around 40 Bighorns were down this afternoon. I took a few shots, but I didn’t really like the poses. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

South Park Barn

South Park Barn: Like the bronze statue, the sticky snow brought out details in many dark structures. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Horses

South Park Horses: I drove around a lot of the back roads today and took a lot of photos I liked. The barns and abandoned vehicles had a completely different look.  Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Sorry for the late post. I have been fighting Lightroom for the past few days.

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February 17, 2018 Saturday

Bighorns

Bighorns: I drove around the valley looking for Owls before heading to the National Elk Refuge. Around 50 Bighorns were off the butte and within shooting distance of the road. It was too windy for me to handhold the Bighorns today.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bighorns

Bighorns: The fur on some of the sheep is bleaching slightly now. We had some snow over the past few days, changing the look of the valley floor. The ski slopes reported over 12″ of fresh snow. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bighorns

Bighorns: I waited for the lamb to either move or raise its head, but he wasn’t following my “script”. By the time it moved, the two rams had their heads down. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Day Old Calf

Day Old Calf: Taken last May near Teton Village. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Four Day Calf

Four Day Calf: By day four, the mother was letting the baby romper around. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 16, 2018 Friday

McPhun is now Skylum: Aurora HDR and Luminar now have a unified company name – Skylum. With the announcement, you can download a couple of FREE ebooks, some Free LUTs, and numerous Free Presets. The programs are darned good, too! If you register, they also send you a free e-Book called “25 Romantic Getaways”.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Captured along Flat Creek this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Square Lights

Square Lights: On my way home, I stopped for a few shots on the Town Square. Christmas is over, but the lights stay up for several months. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Tripod.

Badgers

Badgers: I have been in front of my computer most of the day, culling images in Lightroom. I processed this image last night, taken in early July at Elk Flats. The mother is on the left and the clean cut youngster is on the right. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Newborn Moose

Newborn Moose: Taken May 19, 2017 near Teton Village. Over the following week or so, I took around 5000 shots of the baby Moose before they disappeared. Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

Newborn Moose

Newborn Moose: Nikon D5 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld.

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February 15, 2018Thursday

Gros Ventre

Gros Ventre: It was a quiet day along the Gros Ventre Road and Kelly area this morning. This was taken while the snow was still falling. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: After the snow let up, a large number of Bighorns came off Miller Butte to feed on grasses near the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Bighorn Lamb

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

399 and Cubs

399 and Cubs: Taken last June near Pilgrim Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Griz in Snow

Griz in Snow: Taken last October on Togwotee Pass. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 14, 2018Valentine’s Day

Mtn. Goats on Rocks

Mtn. Goats on Rocks: Clouds were covering the peaks in the Tetons so I headed down the Snake River Canyon. These two were well out of my normal range, but I liked seeing them atop the rocky ledges. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mt. Goat

Mt. Goat: Four of the furry mammals came down to the road. They were more spooky than normal and scampered back up the mountain. I had only 10 minutes of close shooting. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mtn. Goat

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

Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon:

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Captured in August in the hay fields near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Summer Cross Fox

Summer Cross Fox: Captured in June west of Jackson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: This image was captured on January 10. 1/640 sec. at F/8.  Check this post from last January: Snowfall and Wildlife

Lightroom Classic CC and Photoshop CC: In case you missed your notifications, Adobe just released updates for both with speed enhancements and additional features.

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February 13, 2018Tuesday

If you are a night/star photographer, tonight should be a good one. Check the weather reports! Sunrise could also be good.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Seen on one of the power lines north of Kelly. There were a few bison and mule deer still up at late morning. I didn’t see any bison. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Gros Ventre Barn

Gros Ventre Barn: I made a trip up the Gros Ventre Road and stopped for a few shots. There are chances to see Deer, Elk, Wolves, Bighorns and even Mountain Lions. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Paint Horse

Paint Horse: This nice looking horse was near the road in front of the previous barn. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Paint Horse

Paint Horse: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Gros Ventre Vista View

Gros Ventre Vista View: There was a nice low cloud in front of the Tetons today, but none above them. It would have been a good day to photograph in front of the Mormon Row barns. Despite minimal snow on the road, it is still closed for the Winter. This is a two shot pano, stitched and processed in Lightroom. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Jackson Hole Shrine Club Cutter Races

46th Annual Jackson Hole Shrine Club Cutter Races: February 18 – 19th, 2017 – 12:30 pm- $20 admission fee. More information. Currently, the site still suggests the event will happen, but there isn’t a lot of snow there. Keep an eye on their site for more information and details.

Sparring Bull Moose

Sparring Bull Moose: I am spending a lot of my time trying to thin down my photos in preparation of beating a change in pricing at the US Copyright Office. On the positive side, I am finding photos I missed originally. This was taken January 29, 2018 north of Kelly. My client and I were the only two there when these two bulls sparred, allowing us to capture a couple of thousand images each.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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February 12, 2018Monday

Alpenglow at Snake River Overlook

New Feature Post: Snake River Overlook Winter Stars and Sunrise : I spent part of the afternoon building this new page and posted it last night. I tried to include a little extra information about winter photography and night photography with the series of photos.

Great News! Read this: GTNP Historic Properties Management Plan Several buildings in GTNP had been scheduled for removal and others like the Shane Cabins (Luther Taylor Cabins were labeled as “ruins”. This new Management Plan will now preserve some of them.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch: I photographed this small bird in my back yard. They are very quick and jittery, making them tough subjects. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Black-billed Magpie

Black-billed Magpie: These opportunistic feeders hang around all year. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 11, 2018Sunday

SRO Stars

Snake River Overlook Stars: Today’s my 64th birthday. Last evening, Darla and I had a pizza at the Mangy Moose, then went to a Daniel Tosh comedy show at the music hall at Teton Village. Great night! This morning, I got up at 3:30 and headed out for a night shoot and sunrise at Snake River Overlook. The last time I tried it, clouds rolled in over the range and I didn’t get much. Today was much better! Nikon D5 and Nikon 240-70mm Lens, Tripod.

I captured too many photos to put on a Daily Journal Post, so the plan will be to make a new Feature Post. Sign up to follow this blog to get a first notification by email!

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: On the way home, I did a quick run out to Kelly to look for Bison, Moose, Wolves, and Foxes. These two were running along the Gros Ventre—seemingly running from something at the time. They stopped before crossing the river. I counted 19 Moose this morning. A group of eight were well off the road, but close enough for me to see a couple of golden paddles on one of the bulls. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

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February 10, 2018Saturday

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: I spent the morning with Mountain Goats in the Snake River Canyon. I found about 50 at ranges I could photograph this time. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Mountain Goat

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

Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Mountain Goat

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

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: I am going through around 1700 images I took today. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 9, 2018Friday

Personal Note: Darla and I woke up at 4:00 am this morning to watch the live feed of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. My youngest son, Corey, entered the stadium with the Team Ireland group, about 45 minutes into the program. The cameraman zoomed in on the flag bearer and then to Corey. Very cool! Corey is a coach at Park City with a kid that qualified in the Half Pipe event. The prime time showing of the opening ceremony will be tonight on NBC, so if you watch the athletes and coaches parade into the stadium, keep an eye out for Team Ireland.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: I did a Kelly “branch”. In the summer, I can do a loop, but right now we have to out the GV Road and then backtrack to the highway. I got to see a Red Fox but it didn’t appear to want to get close to the road. I left there looking for the 100 Bison I saw earlier, but they had moved out of sight. This Bald Eagle was in town at the Flat Creek Wetlands just north of the Visitor’s Center.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Actually, there were two Bald Eagles, one of which was eating some sort of waterfowl. I hung around until he flew from the fence. Shooting Data: NIKON D5, Tamron 150.0-600.0 mm G2 f/5.0-6.3 at 600 mm, 1/1250 at f/6.3, Manual Mode, 1/3 EV, ISO 2000, ©Copyright 2018

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Shooting Data: NIKON D5, Tamron 150.0-600.0 mm G2 f/5.0-6.3 at 600 mm, 1/1250 at f/6.3, Manual Mode, 1/3 EV, ISO 2000, ©Copyright 2018

Swans and Ducks

Swans and Ducks: Also taken at the Flat Creek Wetlands. Shooting Data: NIKON D5, 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 380 mm, 1/1250 at f/6.3, Manual Mode, 1/3 EV, ISO 400, ©Copyright 2018

Hay Wagon

Hay Wagon: This could easily fit on my recent Rural Wyoming post. I took it this morning south of town as the rancher dropped off hay to his horses in the field. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Osprey Nest

Osprey Nest: Osprey are south of Wyoming in their winter territories right now. A seen in recent days, Bald Eagles hang around all winter and will soon be adding sticks to their nests. I took this photo at the end of July south of town. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

October Bull Moose

October Bull Moose: Still going through some Fall photos. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 7, 2018Thursday

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: I am fairly sure this is the same fox I saw yesterday afternoon when touring around north of Kelly. It was way too far out for a photo, but I went back this morning and managed to get a few chances. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: With this colorization, most people call this a “Cross Fox”, but it is still a “Red Fox”—distinguished by the white tips on its tail. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

Cross Fox: I processed this one with some of the grass and clutter, then removed it in another saved image. Both worked fine, but I like the simplicity of this one. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cross Fox

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

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Seen on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: The carcass is 60 yards from the Refuge road at the base of Miller Butte. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: Wind was howling and light was low. Shooting Data: NIKON D500, 150.0-600.0 mm f/5.0-6.3 at 600 mm, 1/1000 at f/6.3, Manual Mode, -1/3 EV, AutoISO 3600.  Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod.

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February 7, 2018Wednesday

Moose In Pond

December Moose in Pond: I’m still going through photos. This one was taken along the Moose-Wilson Road in early December. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod.

Washakie

Washakie: This photo of Washakie was taken on September 21st of 2017. It’s the last day I photographed him. He’s at least 15 years old and has a rough last couple of years. I heard someone say they saw him a day or two later, but after that, he totally disappeared. He didn’t show up in the sage flats with the rest of the bulls this year. I’d like to believe he will return next year, but I have a sorrowful feeling now he is not with us anymore. Another bull, Custer, never appeared this year. I suppose that’s “Nature” at work. On the positive side, a young bull we called Firecracker and another spectacular bull we called Fremont should begin to fill in the voids. – I slowed the shutter speed to 1/40th second in this photo to allow the rain to streak through the scene.

Meeting

Meeting: When two moose approach each other, their ears fold down over their shoulders as if to say, “Okay, you have my attention.”

Meeting

Meeting: Once dominance is established, two bulls will usually accept each other and will feed alongside their new “bud”. I took these two shots last September along the Moose-Wilson Road.

Moose Feeding

Moose Feeding: Sept. 18, 2017

Afternoon in the Park

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: It’s easy to see why they are called White-tailed Deer! I saw a few just north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

White-tailed Deer

White-tailed Deer: The youngsters crawled under the barbed wire fence, while the adults jumped the top wire with no issues. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: Without their antlers, it is difficult to identify the bulls. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Sightings: Aside from the couple of thousand Elk on the Refuge, I saw a Rough-legged Hawk, three Coyotes, half a dozen White-tailed Deer, 19 Moose, two Bald Eagles, and a Fox. Bison were nowhere to be seen today.

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February 6, 2018Tuesday

Sparring Bison

Sparring Bison: Gentle sparring by three cows along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Resting Bull

Resting Bull: I am hoping for about 6″ of fresh now, then find the Bison near the road. Snowing…would be good too! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: There are a couple of Bald Eagles that hang around on the power poles north of Kelly. I’d prefer to find one on a natural branch, but it’s worth pulling over for one like this once in a while. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Baby Marmots

Baby Marmots: Mid-Summer color during a gray period of Winter! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Other Wildlife Notes: I heard there were around 30 Mountain Goats visible in the Canyon Today. Two of the mid sized bull Moose still have antlers as of today. Some of them seem to be moving back towards the river bottoms. I saw six Moose near the entrance of the GV Campground yesterday morning. Bison will likely stay in the Kelly area until after the hunt on the National Elk Refuge.

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February 5, 2018Monday

Bison

Bison: Captured near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Ravens

Ravens: Captured along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured near the Visitor’s Center. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Mallard Duck in Flight

Mallard Duck in Flight: Captured at the Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured at Boyle’s Hill. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

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February 4, 2018 – Superbowl Sunday

Leaning Farm House

Leaning Farm House: One more shot from yesterday’s loop south and then over the passes.

Wildlife Notes: I was “one for six” in January looking for Mountain Goats in the Snake River Canyon. I have been “two for two” so far in February. That makes me “three for eight” since the first of January….a “375 batting average”. Maybe these numbers will help you decide whether to take your chances finding Mtn. Goats. A few people are seeing Wolves around Kelly and the south end of Blacktail Butte. Bison moved to Antelope Flats Road for a short period yesterday. They have been well off the roads lately. I am hearing of random Fox sightings, but nothing consistent. Same for River Otters. Swans and other waterfowl have plenty of open water, a result of the recent warm temperatures. The Elk Refuge Sleigh rides are back to wagons with rubber tires. Palisades Reservoir is almost 100% open water.

If you decide to go to Alpine for the Mountain Goats, I’d suggest reading this page: Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon: If you go, be sure to either use one of the pull-outs or pull well off the road. That area is NOT A PARK! Truckers, Red-Necks, and the Highway Patrol have little patience for photographers or vehicles in the 55mph state highway.

Other Early February Notes: Unleaded gasoline is holding steady at $2.55 per gallon at many of the local stations. I paid $2.43 per gallon yesterday at the Swan Valley convenience store.

US Copyright Office: Currently, photographers can upload an unlimited number of photos in a single submission for $55. On February 20th, a change will limit submissions to 750 for $55.

Black Bear Sow and Cub

Black Bear Sow and Cub: This pair was taken in September near the Jackson Lake Dam. Going through photos today.

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February 3, 2018 – Saturday (Superbowl Weekend)

Weekend Notes:

1: Moose Hockey tonight at Snow King: Jackson Hole vs Stowe. Starts at 7:00. Puck drops at 7:30
2: Winter Grand Teton Music Festival: Last night.
3: Winter Jubilee is next weekend in Alpine.
4: Pedigree® Stage Stop Race: You might find the race and watch it in other parts of the region.

I added this link above: Winter in the Tetons: Tips for travel and photography. By this time in February, many of our area roads and access points are closed. Additionally, some areas are closed to human entry. Check out that page!

Mountain Goat

Mountain Goat: I headed down the canyon this morning and found a few Mountain Goats fairly close to the road. They were already heading up the mountain when I got there. Another group could have come down later in the day, but I decided to go “around the block”Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod.

Entrance

Entrance: A friend of mine, Dave Miller, is a hard core cyclist. He makes a loop his group calls “around the block”. Starting in Jackson, they pedal down the Canyon to Palisades Reservoir, then to Swan Valley. From there, they climb Pine Creek Pass and later Teton Pass to Wilson and on home. Occasionally, they do it twice in one day! I drove it today. Much easier! This grungy door and pair of windows is in Swan Valley. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.n

Leaning House

Leaning House: Jackson Hole residents pass by many of the old structures as they go back and forth to Idaho Falls. It’s the closest large city to Jackson, so many go there for shopping and out-of-the-valley relaxation. This old house or farm structure likely has only another year or two. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Swan Valley Schoolhouse

Swan Valley Schoolhouse: Not sure how many years this one has either! The chimney fell off a few years ago. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Window and Vines

Window and Vines: Part of the old schoolhouse. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Farming Equipment

Farming Equipment: It would be easy to pass this shot by except for the beautiful sky. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Red Square Barn

Red Square Barn: This barn is at the base of Pine Creek Pass on the Swan Valley side. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Wheels

Wheels: I shot this one in Teton Valley…on the other side of the Teton Range from Jackson. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Working Farm

Working Farm: This barn is just outside of Victor, ID. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

The Spud Drive-In

The Spud Drive-In: This old drive-in is just south of Driggs, ID. Locals often take the kids to the drive-in…if only for the memories. There aren’t many drive-ins remaining in the country. In the old days, we pulled up to a post that had a speaker connected to it. Nowadays, viewers tune their radio to a specific channel to receive the movie’s sound. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Green Truck

Green Truck: This old truck is at the edge of Victor, ID. I’d like to light paint it someday. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

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February 2, 2018 – Friday

Mountain Goat On Ledge

Mountain Goat On Ledge: For some reason, some of my images from yesterday didn’t get uploaded. This morning, I found the others and uploaded them to my computer. I processed this one as a square to upload to Instagram. Check out the link below to set a lot more information, including maps of the area. February and March are often good for finding the white beasts!

Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon:

Spring Creek Barn

Spring Gulch Barn: It was dark, gloomy, and windy most of the day. I did a loop around the area when I saw some breaks in the clouds. I like the old barns when the light hits them just right. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm Lens, Handheld.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: There’s not a lot of snow this year on the National Elk Refuge, but there are still numerous Bighorn Sheep. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Incoming Swan

Incoming Swan: This Trumpeter flew in as I was taking photos of other Swans hanging around Flat Creek Wetlands. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

StretchingSwan

Stretching Swan: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Mallard Ducks

Mallard Ducks: The reflection prompted this shot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

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February 1, 2018 – Thursday

Super Moon

Super Moon: Moon setting over the Teton Range. I checked the weather report last night, suggesting it would be cloudy. When I saw the moon, I headed out. Unfortunately, all of us in Jackson Hole missed yesterday’s Super Blue/Red Lunar Eclipse because of thick clouds. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Note: Much of the first week or so of February will resemble photos and comments on January 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Mt. Moran Colors

Mt. Moran Colors: The Grand was covered at the time the pink clouds were dominant. I aimed farther North to Mt. Moran. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Tetons and Setting Full Moon

Tetons and Setting Full Moon: The mood dropped behind the cloud soon after this set of shots. Click this shot to see it much larger. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook: Still a great place to capture the Teton Range during the Winter. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm Lens.

Ridge Tops

Ridge Tops: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: These three still have antlers and were sparring on the open areas of the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

February Bull Moose

February Bull Moose: Wow! Large bulls with antlers all the way into February! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Handheld.

Bull Moose

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

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat: February is often a good month for Mountain Goats in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod.

Mtn. Goat Group

Mtn. Goat Group: This is part of roughly 40 Mtn. Goats seen in the Canyon. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod.

Mtn. Goats

Mtn. Goat: Found in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm Lens, Tripod.

Christmas Lights are still on the Elk Antlers and Town Square Trees. Worth a shot or two if you are in town!

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4-H Fishing Club – Jackson Hole Style!

Winter fishing in Jackson Hole often means taking up ice fishing. On a beautiful Sunday in late January, the Teton County 4-H Fishing Club gathered at the Snake River Sporting Club for a grand day of fishing.

Will Harper and Joe Burke

Will Harper and Joe Burke

The Snake River Sporting Club is located a few miles south of Hoback Junction in the beautiful Snake River Canyon. Local fishermen, Jay Buchner, Dave Brackett, and Joe Burke worked with Will Hobbs, Director of Outdoor Pursuits to make the event happen. Jay, Dave, and Joe volunteer their time several times a year—none of whom have have a kid in the program! (Worth noting…all three are world class fly fishermen) Parents often accompany their kids, and at this event, most grabbed a short rod and managed to catch a few fish alongside the kids.

4H Fishing Club Michael and Will

Michael Rhodes and Will Hobbs (Snake River Sporting Club-Director of Outdoor Pursuits)

4H Fishing Club Sam and Michael

Sam Horstmann and Michael Rhodes

For this event, Jay Buchner manned the gas grill, perfectly roasting the weenies for the hot dogs. Dave Brackett and Joe Burke assisted the kids when they needed help.

4H Fishing Club

4-H Fishing Club Ice Fishing Day at the Snake River Sporting Club

4H Fishing Club Phil Meisner

Phil Meisner

Kate Budge

Kate Budge

4H Fishing Club Catch and Release

All of the cutties were released back into the hole. Each time, the little anglers reminded the fish, “Don’t tell the others”.

Kate Budge

Kate Budge

Most people probably think of the county fairs when they think of 4-H, but the Teton County 4-H Club offers a wide range of additional activities like the Fishing Club. Many a marksmen have honed their shooting skills via 4-H—just as another example. Click the link to visit their Facebook page.

Sam Horstmann

Sam Horstmann

Michael Rhodes

Michael Rhodes

The photo above probably says it all better than anything I could write here. Grins like this abounded.

Alex Gingery

Alex Gingery

Mother Nature cooperated this year. The day before, it was snowing hard sideways (strong winds). Last year, the group went to Slide Lake where fishing was slow and weather was sketchy. The Snake River Sporting Club’s beaver pond is loaded with Cutthroat Trout under 10″ of ice, making it the perfect fishing day for the kids.

Will Harper

Will Harper

The Event

As I was readying to hike back to my truck, Jay was breaking down the gas grill. All of the hotdogs and chips were devoured.  McDonalds supplied the hot chocolate, much of which had been drank. Dave was still threading Night Crawlers onto hooks and kids were still catching fish.

At this event, a good time was had by all—including the photographer!

Fly Fishermen and Photographers:

Cut from the same cloth, fly fishermen and photographers often travel the same roads and share many traits, drives, and characteristics. Click the link to read the entire post!


If you have questions or want to donate money to the Teton County 4-H Fishing Club, or volunteer for future events, contact Jay Buchner.

Government Shutdown 2018 :

Grand Teton National Park, National Elk Refuge, & Jackson Hole Information.

Government Shutdown – Double Déjà vuThe last Government Shutdown occurred on October 1st, 2013 and lasted 16 days. Timing was terrible! It happened to be during peak foliage season so the park was very busy. Most federal agencies seemed unprepared for any sort of shutdown. It took them a couple of days to “close the park”, put up barricades, and inform the public of the details of the closures. The National Park Service and National Elk Refuge were more prepared for the current 2018 shutdown—each with contingency plans.

Fortunately, these Shutdowns occur during a much slower time of the year and less people are affected.


On 1-22-2018, President Trump signed a 17 day CR to end the current Government Shutdown.

On 2-9-2018, Congress failed to come up with a new budget and we are in for another Government Shutdown.


Young Bull MooseGrand Teton National Park’s Shutdown Plan Includes:

  • Park roads will remain open if they are essential to respond to emergencies-this includes most roads that are normally maintained and open at this time of year. Access to all residences will be maintained.
  • Emergency response will generally not be available.
  • Entrance stations will not be staffed.
  • Ranger-led snowshoe hikes will not be available.
  • Grooming of the Teton Park Road will continue through a partnership agreement with Grand Teton National Park Foundation. Grooming is scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays depending on snow and weather conditions.
  • Teton Interagency Dispatch Center will be available during normal winter hours-6 am to 10 pm daily. Emergency 911 calls outside those hours will be directed to Teton County Dispatch as usual.
  • Park website and social media sites will not be maintained.
  • Concessioners and Commercial Use Authorization holders may continue to provide visitor services after coordination with the park to ensure compliance with government shutdown protocols.
  • Access to Yellowstone National Park’s south entrance will continue, including staging and winter services available at Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch in John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway.

If you would like to read the entire document, click this link: National Park Service Contingency Plan:

Bighorns on the RunNational Elk Refuge Announces Plan for Operations:

The Refuge Road will remain open as a travel corridor and access road to private lands. A Winter Wildlife Viewing Guide for travelers on the Refuge Road or North Highway 89/191 overlooks provides key information to minimize harm to wildlife and will be available at the Home Ranch Welcome Center at 210 N. Cache Street.” The National Elk Refuge Sleigh Rides will be open.

Jackson Hole Area:

For the most part, winter travel & tourism in Jackson Hole is unchanged, including the ski areas, sleigh rides, banks and businesses. National Park and Forest Service offices will be  closed to the public, but the Visitors Center on North Cache will be open. State Parks are open.

Mountain Goat by the RocksOutside the Park: Alternative Places to Visit, Hike, Fish, and Photograph. I created this page for displaced photographers and visitors in October of 2013. Some of the places listed on the page are closed in the Winter, but the page still has good info.

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Note: I’ll try to keep this page updated for anyone interested in coming here during the Government Shutdown.

For now, I’d suggest BYOTP (bring your own toilet papter) if heading into the Park!

Rural Wyoming

There’s a lot more to Wyoming than GTNP and Yellowstone!

Wyoming Map

That’s what this page is about! I could fan out into any zone of the state and find plenty of subjects. For this trip, I started at lunch time on Friday, January the 5th and returned home at sunset on Sunday, January 7. The photos on this page are a result of being “in the field” only two and a half days, covering 750 miles and shooting around 4,500 images. I headed south and stayed south this time. I wish I could have afforded the time and travel expenses to poke about another day or two!

Boar's Tusk

You don’t have to go too far to get out of the tourist resort look and feel many associate with Jackson Hole and the Parks. Just do a drive up Spring Gulch Road to see what I mean. I photograph the local ranches and homesteads regularly. It’s nice to “get out of town” once in a while and in this case, explore “Rural Wyoming”.

I never planned in covering a huge portion of the State. My wish list for wildlife subject matter included wild horses, pronghorns, eagles, hawks, and maybe some deer. I hoped to be able to get to the Boar’s Tusk at sunrise, and then hope for some colorful clouds. I wanted to photograph a few of the active farms and a few of the abandoned ones. A sunset or two would be great! Of course, some of my favorite subjects are grungy, rusting vehicles and textures. I know there are nomadic sheep herders working the BLM lands, and I hoped to find some of them. At any time, I’d stop for subjects with great light. In general, I’d headed towards Rocks Springs and Green River because I know there are two BLM Horse Management Areas there (HMAs). No hurry. No set-in-stone plan. No schedule. No pressure! Of course, if I had wanted to photograph Devel’s Tower, I headed out in the wrong direction!

The photo above was taken on Sunday morning. I checked the weather report Saturday night and it looked promising. The Boar’s Tusk is a unique geological formation in the middle of nowhere. It is identified on most maps about 35 miles northeast of Rock Springs. When I look at the photo, I remember the beautiful morning light and I remember the smell of sagebrush, the clouds ripping by overhead, and the sound of the wind. I had to wait about 30 minutes for the light to hit the formation. It was chilly, but not bitter cold that morning.

White Mountain Petroglyphs

Wyoming is steeped in history! You can find dinosaur bones, Native American petroglyphs, fur trade forts and rendezvous locations, rocks rutted from thousands of Oregon Trail settlers, ghost towns, and territorial prisons. At the other end of the spectrum, Wyoming also has an ample of supply of state of the art wind turbines and is home to the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC). The White Mountain Petroglyphs are located NE of Rock Springs. You can also find Petroglyphs in the Dubois area and near Thermopolis.

Paint Mare and Black Stallion

Wyoming has 16 Horse Management Areas (HMA) administered by the BLM. Additionally, the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Range straddles the northern Wyoming border. The Little Colorado and White Mountain HMAs are located just north of Rock Springs and Green River, WY. I found around 50 horses on my one morning on the mountain. Pilot Butte can be seen in the distance, also used by settlers and emigrants as a landmark.

Wild Horse Action

The Wild Horse Loop begins about 12 miles north of Rock Springs and follows the eastern edge of White Mountain to Green River. If you stay on the main roads, you’ll probably be okay, but if you drive on some of the secondary two track roads, you need really good tires. I picked up a shard again this trip, forcing me to change the tire on location. Unfortunately, the tire was ruined. This trip cost me $1400 for new 10 ply tires on my truck! The tires would eventually need changing, so I tried not to let the hassle and expense blemish my trip. I took a lot of photos of the horses while on the plateau, thus I can tell myself it was worth it!

When you find horses during the winter, they’ll likely be in survival mode, and not necessarily in breeding mode (That’s in May and June). Still, stallions fend off challenging youngsters as seen in the photo above. The smaller black stallion was limping badly when I first saw him. The photo shows a swollen ankle, but when the other stallion approached him, you’d never see the limp.

I intended on covering a lot of ground on my weekend trip so I couldn’t spend too long in on place. On another trip, I might spend all three days working the Wild Horses in the Rock Springs area. I should mention that signs on parts of the Wild Horse Loop state the roadway is not maintained from November through March, so Winter access can be dicey.

Log Cabin

Much of Wyoming’s landscape is dotted with buttes similar to the ones above. On my trip south, I pulled over dozens of times to capture shots with bands of light highlighting zones of my photos. This photo was taken near LaBarge, WY.

Jim Bridger

Wyoming is full of surprises! You can find Jim Bridger’s engraving on “Names Hill” near LaBarge, WY. Many of the early fur trappers went on to guide emigrants, railroads, and the army in the building of the nation. This is the same Jim Bridger you might recognize in “The Revnant” movie. Also watch for “The Bridger Trail” in other areas of the State. A lot of early settlers passed through Wyoming to get to somewhere else using trails like the Oregon Trail and Mormon Trail. Many travelers stopped to carve their name in Independence Rock. Rural Wyoming was the backdrop for much of what people think of as “The Wild West”. For example, Butch Cassidy’s Hole in the Wall is in central Wyoming.

Green River Night Skies

There are numerous distinctive rock formations near Green River, WY. A new Hampton Inn at the entrance (or exit) of the Wild Horse loop shines powerful lights onto two of the formations above the hotel. I stayed out late on my first evening to try to capture a few stars in front of the rocks. There are areas of Wyoming that you won’t see a single light at night for miles and miles of driving, making the State a premier destination for night photography. It was too cloudy for night shots on Saturday…but…

Rock Springs Main Street

…The historic old downtown Rock Springs worked just fine. I took photos there Friday night, but I liked these better because of the wet streets and blue sky.

Rock Springs Fire House

This historic old building served as the Fire Station at one end and Rock Springs City Hall at the other end. Look for historic old buildings like this one in Rawlins, Laramie, and Cheyenne, WY. Currently, Interstate 80 traces a path along what was originally part of the Lincoln Highway connecting New York City and San Francisco. It was the nation’s first true Transcontinental Highway. In earlier years, the same route was used for the Ben Holladay Overland Trail Stages. The same route along I-80 is an important leg of the railroad system through the state. Look for large train yards in Cheyenne, Laramie, and Green River.

Daniel Station

Wyoming is sprinkled with remnants of the earlier days of the automobile. This little station is located in Daniel, WY.

Frontier Hotel

Signs were necessary to attract traveling tourists. There are many sign relics all across the state, as seen in this capture in Big Piney, WY.

Back Roads

This is part of the three mile road to the White Mountain Petroglyphs. There are large chunks of Wyoming with no cell service. Back road travel has a bit of risk, especially knowing there will be almost no other travelers around. In many years, roads like this would be totally impassable in January.

South Pass Road

Discretion is the better part of valor. After my time at the Boar’s Tusk and Petroglyphs on Sunday, I drove to South Pass in hopes of getting to South Pass City and Atlantic City. I’ve been there in the summer, but didn’t do my homework for this trip. The sign just off the highway says the road is not maintained from December to March. It was clear and windblown for about four miles. I came upon this scene—where I stopped. I could have “easily” gone through this bank of snow with my high clearance truck and brand new tires, but if things go bad, it would be really bad. Unfortunately, South Pass City and the Carissa Mine would have to wait. I was disappointed, but warm as I headed back to Farson.

Moondance Diner

Movie and TV buffs might recognize this this old diner. The Moondance Diner has appeared in numerous shows, but that’s while it was still in New York City. There was quite a bit of press about a Wyoming resident and entrepreneur moving the diner by truck from NYC to Labarge, WY. I tried to go there soon after the move, but the place was still under construction.  The next time I tried, it had closed. Check out the Moondance Diner‘s site .

The Moondance Diner in popular culture (from Wikipedia)

  • In the television sitcom Friends, the character Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) worked at the Moondance Diner, which was depicted as a 1950s theme restaurant. However, the show was filmed in Los Angeles, and only the exterior shots depicted the real diner.
  • In the 2005 rock- mockumentary film The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie, six-year-old Alex faints on the counter of Moondance Diner after drinking and spilling cans of soda all over himself.
  • The cable television series Sex and the City featured scenes shot at the Moondance Diner.
  • In the 2002 film Spider-Man the Moondance Diner appears as the diner at which Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is employed.
  • In a-ha’s music video for its 1988 single “You Are the One“, the band enters the diner.
  • The diner appears in the Miami Vice episode “The Prodigal Son”.
  • The diner appears in Reading Rainbow season 3 episode 9, “Animal Cafe”.

Superior, WY

Superior, WY is described as a “living ghost town”. It’s located about 23 miles east of Rock Springs and seven miles off Interstate 80. The Union Hall at the end of the street in this photo serves as a museum documenting the historic old coal mining town. There were some amazing pano images on display, showing two streets of a robust town in its heyday. I checked the Library of Congress, but found only a few images. Check out the town’s site: Superior, WY

Coal Mine

Superior has quite a few structures to remind visitors of days long ago.

Patriotic Bunting

This patriotic bunting on the Workingmen’s Commercial Co. seems to tell a lot of stories…possibly a Centennial celebration? The event was apparently long ago!

Broken Windows

I could take photos like this all day long! Superior is loaded with possibilities like this one.

Tractor

Abandoned vehicles are some of my favorite subjects, and Wyoming has a lot of them. I liked the high contrast aspect of this capture at Eden, WY.

GMC Emblem

Many towns in Wyoming have some sort of Historical Museum. Farmers often park an old vehicle near the fence along the highway. I like to take my “obligatory” photos with my standard lenses, then go back one more time with a telephoto lens for some tight shots and details. This vehicle was on the south edge of Eden, WY.

Broken Glass

I don’t know about you, but I find these kinds of shots captivating and extremely fun to capture. This shot was also taken at Eden, WY.

West of Eden

Rural Wyoming is loaded with “roads to nowhere”. I stopped to photograph quite a few of them, including this tunnel of trees down a dirt road west of Eden.

Wildlife Overpass

Wyoming’s migrating wildlife now has safe crossings along some of the busier highways. I pulled over and took this shot at one of the wildlife overpasses near Daniel, WY. High fences along the roads funnel migrating Elk and Pronghorns to underpasses and overpasses.

Snow Fence

In a few areas of the sate, you can find wind farms that capitalize on one of Wyoming’s resources…wind. In other zones, you’ll see snow fences that are meant to slow down the wind—allowing eddies of snow to build up behind them. Better there than on the roads! Interestingly, some of the older fence staves are now being removed and replaced. The old wood is reclaimed and sold as decorative “barn wood” to the builders and designers. This shot was taken on top of South Pass.

Oil Wells

In Northwest Wyoming, much of the economy is driven and supported by tourist’s dollars. I many of the rural areas, coal, oil, and natural gas are then engines that drive the economy. The state’s wellness often depends on the price of gas. Our NW corner likes to see low gas prices to encourage tourists, but if that’s the case, the state coffers suffer. This photo was taken in the gas fields near Pinedale, WY.

Fence Hopping Mule Deer

Mule Deer, Sage Grouse, and Pronghorn populations are suffering declining populations over the past decade. Mule Deer and Pronghorns are still seen on a regular basis.

Pronghorns

You can find Pronghorns in almost all areas of the state, sometimes in huge herds. Their migration paths are being affected by development and fences in several areas of the state.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawks are common in the rural areas of Wyoming in the winter. Golden Eagles are also common in the sage covered zones, feasting on ample supplies of Cottontails.

Golden Eagle Nest

This Golden Eagle nest is one of three I saw above the White Mountain Petroglyphs. It has to be 25 feet tall!

Superior

Sometimes you just have to chuckle! This totem pole style post of old license plates was in Superior, WY.

I mentioned earlier that Wyoming is the least populated state out of the 50 states in the Union. It covers 97,105 square miles, yet there are very few roads criss-crossing it. Of the roads that do weave through the state, many of them are closed during the winter months. There are times when you look over the map and realize you can’t get there from here!

Wyoming Population Map

This Census map probably tells a better story than what I could ever try to tell. Large chunks of the state have less than one person person per square mile. Much of the population is clustered in some of the “bigger” cities of Cheyenne, Laramie, Casper and Rock Springs. It’s easy to understand why we don’t have many connecting roads!

Wyoming's Big Sky

In Jackson, much of our sky is cut off by the towering mountains. Drive a short distance into rural Wyoming and things can change drastically. Depending on how you place the horizon line in a photo, Wyoming can have huge and powerful skies. This photo gives you an idea of the desolation and isolation you can find in many areas of Wyoming.

Scenes like this one can plant a seed for future photos. I can imagine going to the Boar’s Tusk again for a night shot with the Milky Way as part of the backdrop. I saw a presentation one time in which Dave Black light painted one of the Four Corners rock formations, with a helper shining powerful flashlights on it from a mile or two off. There are probably numerous similar opportunities for this month’s Lunar Eclipse.

 

I don’t think of rural Wyoming as only flat prairies of sagebrush—but more about being away from the hectic life associated with a larger town. This shot in Bondourant, WY is an example.

Wyoming Map 2

I wish I had time and space on this page to add even more photos from my two and a half day trip.  I covered only a small portion of Wyoming—as seen in the highlighted red roads.

If you are traveling by vehicle to and from the Jackson Hole area, I’d suggest allowing a little extra time on either end of your trip. Pull over when you see something of interest instead of rushing directly to the Parks. Some stunning features are a bit off the beaten path, while others require that you only slow down, stop and enjoy the sites and attractions!

 

January 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

“In Winter’s Grip” 

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

Daily Updates Archives: ~
2018: Feb: | Jan:
2017: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
2016: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan: 
2015: Dec: | Nov: | Oct: | Sept: | Aug: | July: | June: | May: | Apr: | Mar: | Feb: | Jan:
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2013: Dec: | Nov: Oct: | Sept: | Aug:

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Check Out These TWO Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole

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January 31, 2018 – Wednesday

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: I set my alarm for 5:00 am so I could have a chance to photograph the Lunar Eclipse. When I looked outside, the moon was just a glow through the clouds. Oh well! I went back to bed. One of my old 3TB hard drives apparently died over the past couple of days. I added a new 8TB and have been copying files from the backup drive to it. While the files were being transferred, I did a quick loop close to home and spotted this Great Horned Owl tucked in a dense tree. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

End of the Month! Watch for a new February Daily Journal tomorrow.

Christmas Lights are still on the Elk Antlers and Town Square Trees. Worth a shot or two if you are in town!

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

Best of the Tetons Photo Tours

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January 30, 2018 – Tuesday

2018 Olympics begin February 8th

Corey and Ireland's Prime Minister

Please allow me a few minutes to highlight one of my two “boys”. Fathers get to do this once in a while…right?

This photo is of my youngest son, Corey, shaking hands and talking with Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar. Corey is the Half Pipe ski coach for Park City United Ski Team in Park City, UT. He coaches a youngster that recently qualified for the Winter Olympics in South Korea. They will be proudly representing Ireland in their new green gear!

Ireland's Winter Olympians, Coaches and OfficialsTeam Ireland Winter Olympians gathered for a photo op—sporting their new team gear. They left Ireland and headed for Pyeongchang with plenty of pins and swag to give away and trade in the Olympic Village.

I’m sure it will be a trip of a lifetime for Corey. We all wish him safety and success at the Olympics.

Corey Jackson On Instagram Click the link to see quite a few action photos and videos.

Tyler, the older of the two kids, is a graphic designer at a screen print shop in Denver, CO. He graduated at the University of Wyoming with a degree in Graphic Arts. Both were home recently during the holiday season.


Morning

Morning: Here’s one more photo of the moose from yesterday. I was ready if the bull stopped, turned and looked at me, but he didn’t. Light was spectacular in the close zones and on the distant mountains! From that location, we could hear Wolves howling in the distant snow fields. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

4H Fishing Club Catch and Release

In case you missed it, check out the new Feature Post: 4-H Fishing Club – JH Style!

Mallard Duck on Snow

Mallard Duck on Snow: Just before lunch, I did a quick loop around town and ended up at the Flat Creek Wetlands on the north edge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mallard

Mallard: Shooting in low light conditions, I managed to get a few birds in flight. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Barrow's Golden Eye

Barrow’s Golden Eye: This one is as much about the water as the bird. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Barrow's Golden Eye

Barrow’s Golden Eye: This part of Flat Creek should be frozen almost solid in late January but recent warm temperatures have reopened most flowing rivers and streams. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sleeping Indian

Sleeping Indian: The “Super Moon” should have come up near the Sleeping Indian this afternoon at around 5:00. I was there but the moon was a no-show. Notice the lack of snow on the valley floor and hillsides. There are a lot of cow and calf elk on the south end of the National Refuge. Most of the bulls are farther north. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

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January 29, 2018 – Monday

Morning Range

Morning Range: The lights in this photo are from the JH Airport, long before sunrise. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

First Light

First Light: Taken along the Gros Ventre Road. This light dulled only a few seconds after I took this one. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: Captured North of Kelly as the first of the morning light struck the valley floor. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sparring Moose

Sparring Moose: Better light…maybe 10 minutes later. I am curious whether any of the bulls will still have antlers on February 1st. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: Shots from today illustrate why I prefer zoom lenses. After leaving the truck, I don’t know if I will be taking head shots, full body profile shots, sparring shots or wildlife with a fair amount of the landscape. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Wolves

Wolves: There were three in this group and another a short distance from them. One of the group is limping. I would have loved to have been much closer! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: One of several hawks taking up residence along Spring Gulch Road this winter. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Take-Off

Take-Off: Split second after the take-off. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

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January 28, 2018 – Sunday

Super Blue Blood Moon: Early morning of Jan. 31st. We’ll have the second full moon this month, giving it the title of Blue Moon. Additionally, there will be a lunar eclipse, creating the Blood Moon part.

4H Ice Fishing

4H Ice Fishing: The 4H Fishing Club slayed the cutthroat trout at the Snake River Sporting Club event today. Weather was perfect! Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. Handheld.

Wildlife Report: I did a run down the Snake River to Alpine before going to the Ice Fishing event. I saw a total of five Mountain Goats, but they were high on the ridges. I didn’t even consider pulling out the gear. Hopefully, they will be coming down in numbers and on a regular basis in February. Alpine will be hosting their Winter Jubilee in a couple of weeks.

4H Michael Rhodes

4H Michael Rhodes: Grins from ear to ear were common for the kids, volunteers, and parents. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. Handheld.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Captured along one of the county roads.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 27, 2018 – Saturday

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl: This is the first GGO I’ve seen this year—hopefully not my last! It was in a cottonwood grove on private property.

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January 26, 2018 – Friday

Pedigree® Stage Stop Race: Friday evening, January 26th on the Square in Jackson Hole.

Super Blue Blood Moon: Early morning of Jan. 31st. We’ll have the second full moon this month, giving it the title of Blue Moon. Additionally, there will be a lunar eclipse, creating the Blood Moon part.

Resting Moose

Resting Moose: Right now, sunrise is at 7:45 am and sunset is at 5:26 pm. The sun clears the eastern mountains at 8:00 or so (varies depending on where you are). Moose are usually active from around 7:30 am to roughly 9:30 am. At that point, they drop into the sagebrush and can be hard to spot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle: There’s a carcass roughly 150-200 yards off the Gros Ventre Road, attracting quite a few Bald Eagles, Ravens, Crows, and Magpies. This eagle was in a tree fairly close to the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Refuge Elk

Refuge Elk: Apparently, the trailing calf entered one of the Elk Jumps along the highway, but the cow stayed on the highway side of the fence. The female ran down the fence line looking for her entrance spot. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Barn in Snow

Barn in Snow: Taken during a brief afternoon snowfall. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Southpark

South Park: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 25, 2018 – Thursday

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: At least three of the bulls I saw this afternoon still have antlers. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.

Winter Cattle

Winter Cattle: We had a bit of new snow today, with more in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon. In most years, snow would be covering the sagebrush where the bulls in the previous photo were standing. Captured on Spring Gulch Road during the short lived storm. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 24, 2018 – Wednesday

Winter in the Tetons Pano

Winter in the Tetons: Stitched pano. Click on the image to see it much larger. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Elk Herd

Elk Herd: Captured along the East Boundary Road. This group should soon join the growing herds now on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: Wolves have been in the area, so both Moose and Elk are extremely alert and wary. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Kelly Wagons

Kelly Wagons: I like to stop for these old wagons when the light is interesting. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Raven

Raven: These scavengers are extremely opportunistic. In town, they look for trash cans with exposed plastic bags of garbage. They tear through the plastic and feast on the scattered prizes. They are also great indicators of a carcass near the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 23, 2018 – Tuesday

Frosty Bison

Frosty Bison: Captured on the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I spotted at least five different bulls with antlers this morning. Amazing! It’s January 23rd! This bull was in the sage flats north of Kelly. The spots in the far left distance are Bison…lagging on heading onto the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: This young bull was exiting Ditch Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels: We had three or four inches of new snow again today and the mountains got much more. Taken at the edge of Kelly. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: This River Otter, along the Moose-Wilson Road, returned to the ice shelf with a captured frog. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Flat Creek and Barn

Flat Creek and Barn: Taken near the end of the day in South Park. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Captured late in the day in South Park. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 22, 2018 – Monday

Starry Night

Starry Night at Snake River Overlook: Skies were clear when I headed north at 4:00am, but clouds were beginning to roll over the peaks when I made it to SRO. Nikon D5 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Starry Night

Starry Night: Also taken at SRO. It was -10°F, with a slight breeze. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: By the time I made it to the East Boundary Road, snow was falling. I watched 9 Moose nervously moving across the sage before first light. They seemed to be worried about some sort of predator. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Of roughly 18-20 moose I saw this morning, two or three still had antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Morning Bull Moose

Morning Bull Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 21, 2018 – Sunday

Immature Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle: Instead of going into the Park, I headed south this morning. I had hoped to find Mountain Goats on the cliffs in the Snake River Canyon, but none of them were visible today. On the way down, I stopped to take a few photos of this immature Bald Eagle. When driving back through the same zone on the way home, I saw a couple of Golden Eagles. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Alpine Elk Herd

Alpine Elk Herd: This bull was mixed in with a herd of cows in the Refuge just south of Alpine. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Truck in Snow

Truck in Snow: Spotted south of Alpine. It could have easily fit into this recent post: Rural Wyoming Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Vintage Wagon

Vintage Wagon: Taken at Hoback Junction. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Winter Barns

Winter Barns: Captured south of Jackson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 20, 2018 – Saturday

Morning in the Park

Bison Cow

Bison Cow: Bison are moving south. Hunters are waiting for them to roam outside the Park boundaries and into the National Elk Refuge. After a few shots, many of them will be back in the sage flats. This Bison was photographed near the Kelly Warm Springs. People have been seeing Wolves in the same area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Morning Outside the Park

Coyote

Coyote: This is a fairly tight crop of a Coyote hunting along Spring Gulch Road. You might also see Coyotes on the National Elk Refuge, around Kelly, and on Elk Ranch Flats.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: Captured along Spring Gulch Road. This is one of half a dozen hawks I saw this morning. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: This is a two shot pano stitched in Lightroom. Check out this recent Feature Post: Rural Wyoming Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Captured from the blind in my back yard. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Downey Woodpecker

Downey Woodpecker: Also captured from my back yard bird blind. If interested, check out these older posts!

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January 19, 2018 – Friday

Juxtaposed Centuries : Captured yesterday along the East Boundary Road.

Snow Day

Snowy Barn

Snowy Barn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Snowy Barn

Snowy Barn: Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Snowy Barn

Snowy Barn: Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

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January 18, 2018 – Thursday

 

Grand Pano

Grand Pano: Click the image to see it much larger! Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Tipi

Tipi: Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

River Bottom Moose

River Bottom Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

River Bottom Moose

River Bottom Moose: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bison Bulls

Bison Bulls: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bison on the Run

Bison on the Run: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Evening Barn

Evening Barn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 17, 2018 – Wednesday

Frosted Gros Ventre

Frosted Gros Ventre: Another frosty morning in JH. I took this shot from the Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sun Lit Range

Sun Lit Range: Taken along Gros Ventre Road. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I saw four bulls with antlers this morning in the sage north of Kelly.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Lost Antlers

Lost Antlers: It looks like this bull lost his antlers earlier this morning. I could easily be wrong, but based on his clean ears and dewlap, he’s probably the same large bull I photographed yesterday. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Lost Antlers

Lost Antlers: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sun Lit Structure

Sun Lit Structure: Captured along East Boundary Road. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Captured in the afternoon light at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: One of several Swan squabbles I witnessed this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Swans and Mallards

Swans and Mallards: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Swans and Mallards

Swans and Mallards: The pond is overseen by the Wyoming Wetlands Society. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 16, 2018 – Tuesday

Great Gray Owl in Cottonwoods

Last year’s January GGO: Last year, we had a LOT of snow in December. It was either a record year or close to it. Then in January, things warmed up and melted some of the snow. After that event, the weather turned very cold, creating a frozen crust or barrier. The Owls were having problems crashing through the top surface to get to the mice and voles underneath. Some of the owls moved to areas closer to roads where the snow pack may have been less and photographers had quite a few chances to capture them. A year later…not that much snow and I haven’t seen a single GGO. They are apparently scattered deeper in the forests.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: This morning, I spotted four or five bulls with antlers, including this nice bull. He has a twisted brow tine, seen quite a few times since fall. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: Much of the valley was in fog early, but this zone north of Kelly had beautiful, warm light for a short period of time. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: Ditch Creek’s cottonwoods can be seen in the distance, with part of Shadow Mountain behind them. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: Quite a few of bulls are now “antlerless” but the bulls still display down turned ears as they approach another bull. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Sunrise Moose

Sunrise Moose: The Moose were moving more or less parallel to the road this morning. I shot handheld from my window, or over a bean bag on the bed of my truck. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Frosted Farm

Frosted Farm: This was take south of Jackson. I saw -2°F for a while this morning and lots of 6°F. It’s 11:30 am now and most of the town of Jackson is still overcast. The weather report calls for “Mostly Clear” skies for the rest of the day.

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January 15, 2018 – Monday – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Martin Luthur King, Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Flags along Broadway in Jackson Hole. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Ravens

Ravens: These scavengers were lined up along the Highway next to the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Elk Refuge Sleighs

Elk Refuge Sleighs: Fog was a major player in Jackson Hole today. These two sleighs were taking tourists out to view the Elk herd up close and personal. There’s enough snow on the valley floor to allow the drivers to use sleighs and retire the wagons. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer: Seen resting near Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Foggy Kelly Structures

Foggy Kelly Structures: Recent Feature Post: Rural Wyoming This photo could have easily been on the recent post, but was taken only a few miles from town. Fog changes the mood and scene. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Wagons

Wagons: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 14, 2018 – Sunday

Bison Bulls

Bison Bulls: Early morning capture at Elk Flats in GTNP. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Bison Cow

Bison Cow: There’s quite a bit more snow north of the JH Airport than around town and the Gros Ventre area. A few of the Bison were south of Triangle X, but the big herds are still grazing at Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bison in Snow

Bison in Snow: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Running Bison

Running Bison: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Mtn. Goat Nanny and Kid

Mtn. Goat Nanny and Kid: Taken in the Snake River Canyon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Mtn. Goat

Mtn. Goat Nanny on Rocks: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Check out this earlier post: Mountain Goats of the Snake River Canyon: It includes more info and a few maps.

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January 13, 2018 – Saturday

Moose in Winter Sage

Moose in Winter Sage: Normally, by mid-January, heavy snow force Moose to leave the sage flats. This year, they are still grazing on bitter brush in the sage flats north of Kelly. Also, quite a few of the bulls still have antlers. Of maybe 15 moose I could see today, at least four still have antlers. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Kelly Fence Line

Kelly Fence Line: The last snow storm closed Teton Pass and added a nice new layer to much of the valley.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Moose Hockey: There’s another hockey game tonight as Snow King. The puck drops as 7:30.

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January 12, 2018 – Friday

Coyote

Coyote: Spotted on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swan: Seen along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Common Merganser

Female Common Merganser: Along Flat Creek. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers: Another Winter Flat Creek resident. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 11, 2018 – Thursday

Box L Ranch

Box L Ranch: The mountains looked clear when I headed out this morning. By the time I headed up Spring Gulch Road, clouds rolled over the Grand. I occasionally crop in much tighter on the barn, but I liked the way the top of the peaks were lit. You might also notice the ski runs on the left side. They are part of the JH Mountain Resort at Teton Village. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Young Bull Moose

Young Bull Moose: By this time of the year, the young calves of late May and early June are plenty capable of moving quickly across the sage flats and river bottoms. This is one of 31 Moose I saw this morning north of Kelly and along the East Boundary Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: Seen along Flat Creek around lunch time. Roughly 70 Bighorns were along the roadways at the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bighorn Ram

Bighorn Ram: Light snow at Miller Butte this afternoon. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Bighorns

Bighorns: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

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January 10, 2018 – Wednesday

Game Crossing Overpass

Game Crossing Overpass: This is an additional photo from my weekend trip to southern Wyoming. The Highway Department built several of these overpasses and many other game “underpasses” in some of the most accident prone zones. Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens. 

Wildlife Overpass

I read an article about these crossings—but couldn’t find the source just now. In short, the biologists watched Pronghorns the first year. They gathered on one side, but were spooked by the crossing. When ready, they sprinted across the overpass. In later years, they are reported to graze slowly across the same overpasses. Quick learners! Nikon D500 and Tamron 18-400mm lens.

Windmill

New Feature Post: Rural Wyoming Many people are in such a hurry to get to their “destination” that they forget to enjoy the “journey”. While the page includes a lot of photos on my short trip, I would hope people see that photo opportunities all around us—and not limited to the high profile National Parks. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Craig and Thunder

Craig Knecht and Thunder: “My “Thunder” is one of those who came off the range south of Rock Springs 14 years ago, and as you know is a regular around the Jackson Town Square on Mounted Patrol Duty.”…Craig Knecht.

Wild Horses on White Mountain

Wild Horses on White Mountain: This horses may be some of Thunder’s distant cousins? The BLM corrals at Rock Springs are full of horses ready for adoption. I took this photo last weekend and the photo of Craig and Thunder were taken at the Memorial Day Parade last May. The Jackson Mounted Patrol is on hand during most of the parades, events, and Farmer’s Markets. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Afternoon on the Refuge

May Barn in Jackson Hole, WY

May Barn: Finally….snow! This barn is in East Jackson. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Resting Bighorn Ram

Resting Bighorn Ram: This afternoon, I counted 70 Bighorns. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bighorns on the Run

Bighorns on the Run: Something on the Crystal Butte sided of the road spooked this large herd, sending all of them at full speed to the Miller Butte side of the road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Bighorns on the Run

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

Little Bighorn Lamb

Little Lamb: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 9, 2018 – Tuesday

Wild Horse Action

New Feature Post: Rural Wyoming I spent last night and this morning adding photos and text to this page from my weekend trip to SW Wyoming. If you like it, please SHARE it on your favorite Social Media Sites.

I did a quick spin to the National Elk Refuge this morning, mostly during the brief snow storm. I only saw half a dozen Bighorns on the Crystal Butte side of the road. Here’s a memo from the biologist at the Refuge: “The number of bighorn sheep visible from the Refuge road near Miller Butte has declined in recent weeks from a high of 64 on 12 Dec 2017 to an average of 27 in early January 2018.” I also did a quick check at a couple of possible owl locations and came up empty. That was at about the same time the snow turned to drizzle, so I headed on home.

Nikon 180-400 With 1.4 TC

Nikon: AF-S NIKKOR 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR: If anyone has an extra $12,399.95 lying around, feel free to order one of these and have it sent to me! (Joking, of course) Click Here to read Nikon’s introductory page. At least on my monitor, the example images look soft?

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January 8, 2018 – Monday

Sparring Partners

Sparring Partners: Even though I have around 4500 new images from my weekend Wyoming tour, I did a quick morning trip into Grand Teton National Park. I spotted roughly 20 moose, including four bulls with antlers fairly close to the roads. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Elk on the Move

Elk on the Move: I counted 100 Elk in this herd trying to make it to the hay fields north of Kelly. They’ll soon be joining thousands of Elk already on the National Elk Refuge. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Elk Trio

Elk Trio: The valley floor is still well behind our normal snow pack for early January. In fact, the two 2-track roads are still open in the Kelly area. Antelope Flats Road is as dry as a bone, but is still barricaded. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

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January 7, 2018 – Sunday on the Road!

Boar's Tusk

Boar’s Tusk: This geological feature is located about 35 miles Northeast of Rock Springs. The first time I tried to find it, clouds and fog were so thick I drove by the formation and never saw it. This morning, I photographed the Boar’s Tusk from about a mile. People can drive right up to it if they know the right road and are willing to drive the rutted, snow covered roads. Cell service is spotty to non existent in many areas, and there are few people out driving around. It’s not a good area to be careless or overly bold in the Winter.  Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

White Mountain Petroglyphs

White Mountain Petroglyphs: I spent an hour or two at these petroglyphs, located five not too far from the Boar’s Tusk. As it turns out, December and January are good months to go there (if you can get there) because the sun is so far south in the morning sky. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Tripod.

Covered Road

Covered Road: If you are just now visiting the January journal, I might mention that I did a weekend road trip to southern Wyoming. The plan is to make a post about “Rural Wyoming”…or something like that. I took a lot of images that most people probably pass right by, plus some wildlife, wild horses, abandoned houses and towns and so forth. I photographed farm equipment, textures, gears, fences, and essentially anything that interested me. I posted a few last night and will post a sampling from today. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

Fence Hopping Mule Deer

Fence Hopping Mule Deer: Taken between Big Piney and Daniel, WY. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Rough-legged Hawk

Rough-legged Hawk: I should probably mention that I made it home just before dark. My computer is downloading around 3,000 images from Friday and Saturday. It was a GREAT trip!…even though I didn’t get to South Pass City as I had hoped. I didn’t do my homework! The road to the town is not maintained in the winter, so I was forced to turn back. This raptor was photographed on 40 Rod Road between Daniel and Bondourant. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Two Tractors

Two Tractors: These two relics were photographed near Eden, WY. Nikon D850 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

Broken Glass

Broken Glass: Captured near Eden, WY. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. Handheld.

The Rim

The Rim: Much of Wyoming consists of wide open spaces and big skies, rolling sagebrush prairie and occasional bluffs and buttes. As tourists begin their decent off “the Rim” and into Bondourant, the landscape changes considerably. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. 

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January 6, 2018 – Saturday on the Road!

Green River Night Skies

Green River Night Skies: As I mentioned yesterday, I am doing a SW Wyoming “trip”. It has been fun and productive! This shot was taken at the edge of Green River last night. The rock formations were lit by the hotel lights a few hundred yards off. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Paint Mare and Black Stallion

Paint Mare and Black Stallion: This morning I headed out early and did the Wild Horse Loop at Rock Springs. I found around 50 horses, but not without a cost. I got a flat while on White Mountain. An hour later, I was limping off the butte into Rock Springs on my spare. The shard ruined the tire, forcing me to replace all four tires. $1400 later and I was on my way and a new set of 10 ply tires! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Chasing Stallions

Chasing Stallions: I ended up with quite a few wild horse images, most of which were just horses looking at me. Still worth it! Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens.

Superior Main Street

Superior, WY—”a living ghost town”: That’s what the sign says anyway. I took a bunch of shots there…some of which will be in the future Feature Post. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lens. 

Rock Springs Main Street

Rock Springs Main Street: I took some shots last night, but went back late this evening after some rain and snow. Lots of nice shots from there, too. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. 

Depending on the weather and morning skies, I’ll either go to the Boar’s Tusk and South Pass City tomorrow, or head SW towards Ft. Bridger and Evanston. Either way should be productive. The odds are pretty good I will be home tomorrow night, but I could stay out one more day. Sorry about the late post, but I had to wait for the computer to download all of the photos!

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January 5, 2018 – Friday

Morning Moose

Morning Moose: Bulls usually start losing their antlers in late December and into early January. I’ve heard a few people suggest the larger bulls lose their antlers first, but I’ve never fully bought into that theory. Even though this isn’t a great shot (he bedded down immediately after this photo), it shows one of the larger bulls with antlers well after others have lost theirs. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Spring Gulch Ranches

Spring Gulch Ranches: I am getting ready to pack up to make a photo tour into southern Wyoming. Seems like a great window of time for me. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Horses

Horses: I’m hoping to take photos of “rural Wyoming”, including wildlife, barns, roads, abandoned buildings, rusting vehicles, and so forth. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Rebar

Rebar: Crews are working on the new bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road. I jumped out of my truck while waiting for the traffic light to change to green and took a few “texture” images like this one. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

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January 4, 2018 – Thursday

Wilson Barn

Wilson Barns: Instead of going into the Park, I skipped over to the small town of Wilson at the base of Teton Pass. They have a lot more snow than areas on the East side of the valley. I only saw one Moose. It didn’t have antlers, but since the bulls are losing their racks almost by the day, it’s difficult to tell now. The Wilson area has reasonably good potential for Foxes, several species of Owls, Eagles, Hawks, Kingfishers, Moose, Deer, Elk, Ermine, and other critters. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Wilson Barn

Wilson Barn: This barn is on Fall Creek Road, just south of Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

D850 Updates: I purchased a Nikon D850 and the Grip a while back. The L-Brackets at both Kirk and Really Right Stuff have been “out of stock” until recently. B&H now carries the Kirk version while the RRS version is still on “preorder” status.

Food-Habituated Red Fox in GTNP Killed: via park newsletter “…One of these collared foxes, a two- or three-year-old male, was known to frequent the Jackson Lake Dam and Signal Mountain areas. Reports involving this individual over the last year include lingering around ice fisherman and receiving fish scraps as well as getting into dog food left unsecured by visitors in a campground. In recent weeks, park staff received numerous reports of the bold fox approaching visitors in the dam parking lot, and in at least one instance jumping up on a vehicle to beg for food.”

Bighorns: I’ve made several trips to the National Elk Refuge over the past few days to find a “ghost town” where there should be 10-70 Bighorn Sheep. Others have reported similar results—with only a few sheep visible through spotting scopes on the top of the ridge. I have been speculating this odd behavior has something to do with wolves in the area.

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January 3, 2018 – Wednesday

Setting Full Moon

Setting Full Moon: This morning could have been great, but It Takes Two to Tango. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Spotted on the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

River Otter

River Otter: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Tandem Landing

Tandem Landing: Trumpeter Swans at the Boyle’s Hill Swan Pond. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Tripod.

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January 2, 2018 – Tuesday

Full Moon Over Snake River Overlook

Full Moon Over Snake River Overlook: Tricky timing today! If trying to get the setting full moon over the Grand, you’d have to be photographing while the sky was still dark, which over a long exposure, turns the moon into one giant glowing ball. Tomorrow will actually be better for that shot. Today, I headed on North to give the moon time to set and let the sky lighten. I have a few more shots with the pink alpenglow, but the moon had already set by that time. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Tripod (three shot stitched pano).

Sunrise

Sunrise: This shot was taken from the eastern side of the valley. The “creek” is actually part of the irrigation ditch that runs from the Kelly Warm Springs. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Tripod (three shot stitched pano).

Buck Rail Fences

Buck Rail Fences: I bumped into a friend and regular follower at Best of the Tetons a few days ago. He mentioned that he can tell when it is “slow” here in the Tetons when I post photos of fences and non-wildlife subjects. There is probably some truth to the comments, but not always the case. The shadows cast on the rippled snow in the photo above, taken yesterday, were enough to make me pull over for a few shots. In some cases, it is merely a matter of time and priorities. I saw Moose, but didn’t want to wait for them to get closer, and I saw Bighorns, but they hadn’t moved to the valley floor, yet. I could have stopped for Swans or Ducks and I passed up the possibilities of photographing Rough-legged Hawks on the Refuge fences. For me, it is all about day to day variety and also season to season variety.

First of the Year Notes: My camera bodies automatically modified the capture dates, but I had to manually change the “Copyright Info” from 2017 to 2018. I also had to create new “Export Presets” for the new 2018 signature line seen in the recent photos.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl: After finishing some business requirements, I did a quick run and found this sleepy Great Horned Owl.  Just before the last of the evening light, he finally opened his eyes long enough for me to get a few shots. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Tripod.

Minor Business Name Change: As of January 1st, my main business entity is Best of the Tetons, Inc. and the photo tours is Best of the Tetons Photo Tours.

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January 1, 2018 – Happy New Year!

Snake River Overlook

Snake River Overlook Pano: There are a few short minutes when the snow capped mountains glow against the dark, early morning sky. Occasionally, the sky turns screaming pink and purple, but for the first day of the year, most of the pink was farther north. Nikon D850 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Tripod. (Three shots, stitched in Lightroom…click to see it larger!)

Sun and Branches

Sun and Branches: Taken at the upper parking lot at Oxbow Bend. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. Handheld.

Mt. Moran

Mt. Moran: First light on the Aspens, long shadows on the snow and and low clouds below the sun bathed Mountains caught my eye. Actually, I waited for the light to hit the stand of aspens before shooting. Nikon D850 and Nikon 70-200mm lens. Handheld.

Cow and Calf Moose at the Jackson Lake Dam

Cow and Calf Moose at the Jackson Lake Dam: The north portion of the park has a nice layer of snow, but that’s not the case in the south part of the Park. The sleigh rides on the National Elk Refuge are still on rubber wheels. Elk have been showing up in large numbers over the past week or so. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

Moose with Shed Antlers

Bull Moose: Bulls are beginning to lose their antlers for the winter, but to begin the month, many still have them. This bull was spotted near Buffalo Valley. Most of the Moose are seen in the sage flats north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm lens. Handheld.

January Wildlife: Bighorns are still active on the National Elk Refuge. Bison are moving south from Elk Flats towards the Gros Ventre River. Foxes are usually more visible in January and February. Mountain Goats may be visible at times in the Snake River Canyon. Badgers and Ermine can be seen during the Winter. Wolves are following Elk into the southern portion of the Park. It looks like a good year for Rough-legged Hawks. Owls are being elusive again this Winter. Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles should be more visible as Winter takes its toll on some of the mammals.

Roads: Antelope Flats Road is closed, along with portions of the Moose-Wilson Road, and a large section of the Teton Park Road (Inner Loop Road). Many areas of the Snake River bottom are closed to human activity during the Winter.

Early January should resemble the last few weeks of December. Check out: December 2017 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Note: I often post slightly different photos on Instagram. You can follow me there, too!

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Mormon Row: Historic Documentation

Overview Drawing

“The Mormon Row Historic District represents the determination of a group of Mormon families to build a community on the harsh, arid, high plains of Wyoming. Mormon emigrants from Idaho established this community, originally called Grovont, in 1896. In 1950, the expansion of Grand Teton National Park encompassed Grovont, ultimately leading to its abandonment. The oldest surviving buildings date to 1908.”

I spent quite a bit of time milling around on the Library of Congress site, searching for photos, maps, and drawings of the Mormon Row district. As it turns out, there’s a lot of information! Typically, blog articles are lean on photos and heavy on text. This page will be just the opposite! I took the liberty to crop some of the images to help some with download time, but made the executive decision to fill this page with as much information as I could.  Click the overview drawing above to be able to see it much larger.

Note: Most of the information on this page comes from documentation found at the Library of Congress. Several of the site plans include this information: “The project was undertaken by the Intermountain Support Office — Denver, National Park Service, under the direction of historical architect Richard J. Cronenberger and Grand Teton National Park, cultural resource specialist Michael C. Johnson.” There were many more homesteads and structures along Mormon row, but this page concentrates on the remaining homesteads found in the district. 

“Mormon Row is an excellent example of a late-frontier agricultural settlement, and reflects the gradual extension of Mormon culture throughout the west. In 1847, Mormons fleeing persecution in the east immigrated to Utah’s Great Salt Lake Basin. A “second wave” of migration expanded Mormon influence to include all of Utah and much of northern Arizona and southern Idaho. By the 1890s, the children of this second wave began to further disperse Mormon culture, including into Wyoming. In 1896, a group of Mormons led by James I. May of Idaho established this community in the shadow of the Teton Mountain range. Officially named Grovont, the town was soon known as “Mormon Row.” One of the many “Mormon Rows” throughout the West, the name reflected both the religion and linear settlement patterns of its residents. Unlike gentile homesteaders—who typically built isolated farms. Mormons established clustered settlements that provided for cooperative use of land and water.”


Thomas A. Moulton Homestead

TA Moulton Barn 1977

TA Moulton Barn:

“Mormon Row Road was an area originally settled by Mormon families. At one time there were fifteen homesteads, a one-room school, a Mormon church and a post office. The 160-acre T.A. Moulton ranch, representative of the many prosperous spreads on Mormon Row Road, was homesteaded in 1908. The ranch was successfully operated for over fifty years, until it was acquired by the National Park Service in 1960.”

TA Moulton Barn Front and Back Elevations

TA Moulton Barn Front and Back Elevations:

TA Moulton Barn Back Elevation

TA Moulton Barn Back Elevation and Sides:

TA Moulton Barn

TA Moulton Barn: Looking Southeast.

TA Moulton Site Plan

TA Moulton Site Plan: Currently, only old barn remains at this homestead.

TA Moulton Farm House

TA Moulton Farm House:

TA Moulton Farm House

TA Moulton Farm House:

TA Moulton Farm House

TA Moulton Farm House:

TA Moulton Farm House

TA Moulton Farm House:

TA Moulton Farm House

TA Moulton Farm House: The connected Granary building can be seen in the background.

TA Moulton Homestead

TA Moulton Homestead: 

Cottonwoods and House

TA Moulton House, Granary, Cottonwoods, and : The row of cottonwoods are still standing.

Blacksmith Shed

TA Moulton Chicken House:

Blacksmith Shed

TA Moulton Chicken House: The remains of the Hog House is seen in the distance.

Chicken Coup

TA Moulton Chicken House:

Blacksmith Shed

TA Moulton Blacksmith Shed:

Blacksmith Shed

TA Moulton Blacksmith Shed:

Hog House

TA Moulton Hog House:

Connected Granary

TA Moulton Connected Granary:

Connected Granary

TA Moulton Connected Granary:

TA Moulton Barn Project Info:

TA Moulton Project Info


Andy Chambers Homestead

Andy Chambers Homestead

“Mormon Row Road was an area originally settled by Mormon families. At one time there were fifteen homesteads, a one-room school house, a Mormon church and a post office. The 160-acre Andy Chambers ranch is located near the middle of “Mormon Row” in an area east of Blacktail Butte. The existing log ranch house was constructed by Chambers in 1917 just before his marriage to Ida Kneedy, the “Mormon Row” schoolteacher. From 1923 to 1935, Ida was the local postmaster and Andy had the contract to deliver mail in the valley.”

Andy Chambers Homestead Site Plan

Andy Chambers Homestead Site Plan:

Andy Chambers House

Andy Chambers House:

Andy Chambers House

Andy Chambers House:

Andy Chambers Barn

Andy Chambers Barn:

Andy Chambers Barn

Andy Chambers Barn: