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August 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“The Heat of Summer and Prelude to Changes!

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Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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NEW September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

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August 31st, 2017:  End of the Month!

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

New Tassles

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

Lewis with Tassels

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

Shoshone Crossing Gros Ventre

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

Stripping Willows

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

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

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August 30th, 2017:  Wednesday

Schwabacher Landing

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

Cow Moose

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

Crossing Schwabacher Landing

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

Young Bull Moose

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

More on Washakie :

Washakie 2006

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

Not Washakie

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

Washakie 2009

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

Washakei 2011

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

Washakie

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

First Velvet Shed

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

First Velvet Shed

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

Lewis?

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

Lewis

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

TOUR OPENING!!!!

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

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

Teton Photo Excursions

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

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August 29th, 2017:  Tuesday

Young Calf and Cow

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

Morning Crossing

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

Young Moose

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

Washakie

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

End of the Month Notes and Tidbits

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

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

 

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August 28th, 2017:  Monday

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

Cow Moose in Sage

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

Cow Moose in Sage

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

Scratching

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

Crossing

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

 

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August 27th, 2017:  Sunday

Golden Morning

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

White Pelican

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

Cascades

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

Cascades

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

 

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August 26th, 2017:  Saturday

Moose Cow

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

Moose Cow

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

Moose Cow

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

Moose Cow

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

Pronghorns

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

Pronghorn Buck

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

 

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August 25th, 2017:  Friday

The Grand

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

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

Ripe Berries

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

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

 

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August 24th, 2017:  Thursday

Sunrise Clouds

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

Cow Moose

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

Morning Moose

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

Morning Moose

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

Windmill

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

Mule

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

Mules

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

Mule

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

Chambers Barn

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

Chambers Pano

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

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

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

 

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August 23rd, 2017:  Wednesday

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

Road Closure

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

Pronghorns in Gold

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

Ridgeline Pronghorn

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

Pronghorn Buck

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

Pronghorn Buck

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

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

Ravens

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

Sunflowers

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

Shoppers

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

Onions

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

Peppers

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

 

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August 22nd, 2017:  Post Eclipse Day

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

Pronghorn Buck

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

Black Bear

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

 

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August 21st, 2017:  Solar Eclipse Day

Powderhorn Park

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

Snow King Ball Field

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

Snow King

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

North Cache

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

Visitor's Center

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

Visitor's Center

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

Total Eclipse

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

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

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August 20th, 2017:  Sunday

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

Eclipse Info Station

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

Local Eclipse Notes

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

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

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

Teton Morning

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

Northern Harrier

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

Channel Crossing

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

Bison Bull

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

Aquaduct

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

Trumpeter Swans

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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

 

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August 19th, 2017:  Saturday

Pronghorn Doe

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

Pronghorn Youngsters

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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

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August 18th, 2017:  Friday

Bison In Gold

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

Pronghorn in Gold

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

Pronghorn and Bison

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

Pronghorn Buck

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

On the Move

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

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

Evening in the Tetons

Bison in Gold Grass

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

Bison in Gold Grass

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

Bison in Gold Grass

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

Bison Head

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

 

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

Teton Photo Excursions

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

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August 17th, 2017:  Thursday

Osprey Chick

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

Chipmonk

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

Chipmonk

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

Bison and Barns

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

Bison Bull

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

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

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August 16th, 2017:  Wednesday

The Grand and Bison Bull

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

Badger

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

Badger

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

Teton Horses

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

Trumpeter Swans

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

Trumpeter Swans

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

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

 

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August 15th, 2017:  Tuesday

John Moulton Barn

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

Bee and Flowers

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

Dusky Grouse

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

Black Bear

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

Black Bear

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

Black Bear

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

 

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August 14th, 2017:  Monday

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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

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

Hummingbird Setup

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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

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

Additional Local Eclipse Links

 

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August 13th, 2017:  Sunday in the Park

Clouds and Morning Glow

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

Schwabacher Landing Pano

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

Ripening Berries

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

Pronghorns

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

Washakie

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

Washakie and Youngster

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

Alter Bull Moose

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

Bull Crossing Dry Channel

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

Washakie in Willows

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

Bull Moose

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

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

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

 

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

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August 12th, 2017:  Saturday

Sunrise Over Flat Creek

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

Lots going on today!

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August 11th, 2017:  Friday

Upcoming Regional Events

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

 

Geese and Morning Clouds

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

Osprey in Flight

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

Osprey Landing

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

Osprey Chicks

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

Osprey in Tree

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

 

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August 10th, 2017:  Thursday

Pronghorns

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

First of the Sun

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

Bison

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

Mule Deer Fawn

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

Mule Deer Buck

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

Foggy Barn

Foggy Barn: The town and areas south of town remained in the fog for much of the morning. This was taken just south of town. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

South Park Barn

South Park Barn: Take on the South Park Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Taken in South Park. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

August should be fairly productive, so if you are interested in taking a One-On-One Photo Tour with me, click the links below!

Teton Photo Excursions

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

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August 9th, 2017:  Wednesday

Gros Ventre Sunrise

Gros Ventre Sunrise: Taken along Gros Ventre Road just after the sun cleared the eastern mountains. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Great Blue Heron

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

Moose Cow and Calf

Moose Cow and Calf: These two were grazing on aquatic vegetation in “Moose Pond” along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Moose Cow and Calf

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

Moose Cow and Calf

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

Moose Cow and Calf

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

 

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August 8th, 2017:  Tuesday

Sunrise

Sunrise: Fiery orange sun, filtered by low clouds and smoke. Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON. 

Early August Notes: Fire Danger is HIGH. I don’t know of any fires in the immediate area, but smoke from regional fires are affecting our skies. Morning lows are around 45°F and will only get to 71° this afternoon. It has been a pleasant summer so far. I don’t believe we’ve broken the 90° mark this year. Gasoline has remained at $2.49 per gallon for Unleaded at many stations in town. Check out: FREE in Jackson Hole ~ Areas & Activities: There are quite a few inexpensive opportunities in JH in the summer, including the free Gondola ride at Teton Village. This year, the rides start at 5:00pm. There are lots of wildflowers at upper elevations.

Goldola Ride

  • Gondola Ride at Teton Village: Throughout the summer, you can ride the Bridger Gondola to the Coulior Restaurant for free. Show up at 5:00 pm and bring your camera and jacket! Most Saturdays are booked with private parties and weddings, along with some Fridays, so it might be best to call earlier the day. There’s a large deck for relaxation and viewing. They serve appetizers and drinks, but people are not required to buy them. The ride down is free, too!

I can use your help! Please help me by spreading the word about Best of the Tetons! Let your friends and family know about it, and mention it on other forums or bulletin boards if anyone asks about JH or the Tetons. Also, sign up to follow Best of the Tetons if you would like to receive a notice of a new Feature Post! MJ

Berries

Berries: I took this photo yesterday along the Moose-Wilson Road. As more of the crop ripens, expect more bears, and expect more cones, parking restrictions and road closures. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.  

Early Foliage

Early Color: If you look around, you can find hints of fall. These were along Moose-Wilson Road.  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC On.

Mallard Duck

Mallard Duck: I could be wrong, but I think this is a Drake that has lost it’s summer breeding colors. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Trumpeter Swans

Trumpeter Swans: The family of six cygnets on Flat Creek is down to three, but it has been that way for several weeks. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Trumpeter Swan

Trumpeter Swans: One of the two adults taking care of their youngsters. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Spring Gulch Road: In case you haven’t been reading the site regularly, spring run-off washed out the bridge over the Gros Ventre River on Spring Gulch Road. The County is letting bikers across the bridge, but it will remain closed to vehicles all summer and winter. This cuts off one of the secondary roads through the JH valley.

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August 7th, 2017:  Monday

Fire Danger Level Upgraded to HIGH!

Black Bear

Black Bear: Spotted on the Moose-Wilson Road. Berries are beginning to ripen there. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Black Bear

Black Bear: This is a beautiful chocolate brown colored Black Bear. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Black Bear

Black Bear: Black Hawthorn berries, Choke Cherries, and Service Berries often grow in this area of the park, attracting both Black Bears and an occasional Grizzly. Bears have also  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Coyote

Coyote: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Coyote

Coyote: This morning, I saw elk, deer, moose, eagle, osprey, black bear, bison, fox, coyote, American Kestrel, ravens, meadowlark, bluebirds, magpies, and Northern Harrier. The smoke adds an amber color shift during the morning hours. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Swainson's In Flight

Swainson’s In Flight: Found along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC Off.  

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Also found along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Bison Bull and Cow

Bison Bull and Cow: Captured in the hay fields north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Weed Center

Weed Center: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.  

Weed Center

Weed Center: Taken along the Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.   

Lake Creek

Lake Creek: Taken at the Lowrance S. Rockefeller Preserve. Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-180mm Micro, Handheld.   

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August 6th, 2017:  Sunday

Bull Moose

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

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: You might think I was close to this bull, but I was actually on the other side of the fast flowing river. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.  

Bull Moose

Bull Moose: I hung around for a while, hoping he would step to the river for a drink. Instead, he moved back into the willows. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.  

Sunrise

Sunrise: I took this shot with the same setup I was using for the Moose. Recent sunrises have had a heavy influence of rose color from smoke from the area fires. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Pronghorn

Pronghorn: I took this photo from the walking path along Mormon Row. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Great Blue Heron

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

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse: Also captured along Moose-Wilson Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.  

Wildflowers

Wildflowers: Taken at Emily’s Pond along the Snake River. Nikon D5 and Nikon 28-300mm Lens, Handheld, VC ON.      

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August 5th, 2017:  Saturday

Stomping the Divots  (jhnewsandguide.com) I should mention this event happening this afternoon at 5:00pm. This is a Polo match fundraiser at Melody Ranch to benefit the Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding Association.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.      

Corey Skateboarding

Corey Skateboarding: Our two “kids” are in town this weekend. I followed them to the local skate park late in the day for a few shots. Nikon D5 and Nikon 14-24mm Lens, Handheld.      

Tyler in Snake River

Tyler in Snake River: Yesterday, they floated down a calm section of the Snake River. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.      

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August 4th, 2017:  Friday

Smoke: The JH New & Guide says the smoke and haze in JH is coming from “a number of large wildfires burning actively in west-central Montana and Idaho’s Bitterroot Range and even as far away as British Columbia.”

Osprey Female

Osprey Female: Captured along the Snake River. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.      

Osprey Male with Fish

Osprey Male with Fish: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens,Tripod, VC Off.

Osprey Male with Fish

Osprey Male with Fish: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC ON.

Osprey Male with Fish

Osprey Male with Fish: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Osprey Pair

Osprey PairNikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Three Osprey Chicks

Three Osprey Chicks: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC Off.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel: Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

A River Runs Through It

A River Runs Through It: Fishermen on the Snake River. Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Tripod, VC OFF.

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August 3rd, 2017:  Thursday

Rose Sunrise

Rose Sunrise: Another day with a layer of  peach and rose colored smoke obscuring details in the mountains. I took this photo overlooking Walton Ranch on the East side of the Snake River. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Bison Herd

Bison Herd: The Bison rut normally occurs in August in Grand Teton National Park. For much of the early summer, a large herd could be seen at Elk Flats, but it appears they are moving back to the southern zones of the Park. I saw 150-200 of them today near Antelope Flats Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Brewers Blackbird

Brewers Blackbird: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Yellow-billed Cukoos: I’ve had a few reliable reports of one or more Yellowe-billed Cukoos along some of the side channels of the Snake River. “Yellow-billed Cuckoos are fairly common in the East but have become rare in the West in the last half-century.”…All About Birds

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck: Taken along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC OFF.

Pronghorn Buck

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

Notes from Home: It appears Adobe updated Photoshop and Lightroom overnight. After rebooting, I am missing almost all of my Import, Develop, and Export presets in Lightroom plus all of my Actions in Photoshop. I have them saved on another drive, but will take a while to get everything back in order.

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August 2nd, 2017:  Wednesday

Sunrise On Flat Creek

Sunrise On Flat Creek: Taken at the Observation Platform on Flat Creek. Sleeping Indian is just to the right of the rising sun. Yesterday, a layer of smoke filled much of the valley, apparently from a fire somewhere in the region. It was a bit hazy this morning, which helped turn the first light of the sun into very rich orange. I shot this image as three bracketed images, then combined and processed in Lightroom. Nikon D810 and Nikon 24-70mm.

Pronghorn Doe and Fawns

Pronghorn Doe and Fawns: This years youngsters are growing rapidly. I took this photo in the Kelly area. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Pronghorn Doe and Fawn

Pronghorn Doe and Fawn: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Bison and Cowbirds

Bison and Cowbirds: Taken in the golden grasses north of Kelly. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Portrait

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

Red-tailed Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk: These birds are difficult for me to consistently identify. They can have many different color phases and variants. I took this photo along Mormon Row Road. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Mule Deer Doe

Mule Deer Doe: Taken at the R Park (Rendezvous Park) near Wilson. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

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August 1st, 2017:  Tuesday

Note: The first week or so of August should resemble the last two or three weeks of July. Check out: July 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

Sunrise Pano

Sunrise Pano: It’s a tough call when you have a sunrise like this one developing on one side and three Bull Elk on the other side. I took this three shot pano, then concentrated on the Elk! (Click the image to see it much larger) Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

Bull Elk in Velvet

Bull Elk in Velvet: Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Morning Elk and Jackson Peak

Morning Elk and Jackson Peak: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

Morning Bull Elk

Bull Elk: This one is a bit out of order, taken before the sun came up in the East. This bull is missing its ears!  Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Elk and Grand

Elk and The Grand: Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

Willow Flats Pano

Willow Flats Pano: Captured as four horizontal images, then stitched in Lightroom. (Click the image to view it much larger). Nikon D810 and Nikon 70-200mm Lens, Handheld, VR ON.

This morning, I got up early and made it to the Park well before sunrise. I spotted quite a few Elk along the Inner Park Loop Road, near Timbered Island, and a few on the RKO Road. The North/South portion of the RKO Road is closed at this time. I found Bison, Pronghorns, and a Coyote in and around Elk Flats. Two or three Moose were reported along the Gros Ventre this morning.

Bison Bull

Bison Bull: Captured near Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk: Captured near Elk Flats. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Handheld, VC ON.

Other Notes

As I reflect back on Augusts past, the two big headlines always include the Bison rut and the appearance of Bull elk and Bull moose with their rapidly growing, velvet covered antlers. This year, the “norm” will be shattered when thousands of visitors flock to Jackson Hole to experience Jackson Hole’s Great Solar Eclipse on August 21st. Expect it to be extra busy for the week preceding the event, too.

Teton County Fair 2017 If you visited the page the day I posted it, you might want to revisit it. Over the week, I added photos and comments.

Fishing: On August 1st, a few of Grand Teton National Park’s “smaller water” opens for the season. A section of Flat Creek opens, along with some of the creeks below Blacktail Butte Overlook, and Cottonwood Creek downstream from Jenny Lake. The Snake River has cleared and is reported to be fishing well.

 

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Comments (15)

  1. Kathy Harrison

    Were both the bull elk’s ears missing? What could have happened to them? Your gorgeous “Elk and the Grand” is iconic, a real winner.

  2. Kathy, Yes…both of them were missing. I didn’t seem to affect him too much, but then he was hanging with two bulls with both ears. I am sure he could follow their body movements. I would suggest the ears either froze, or were possibly chewed by parasites. Over the years, I’ve seem a few moose with missing ear tips. Who knows! MJ

  3. Don Shaffer

    Any predictions for the best week to view peak foliage color this Fall, based on your past observations and this year’s precipitation/weather, etc.?

  4. Don,
    It is usually a safe bet there will be color somewhere in the valley in Mid-September and the third week in September. It is never peak in all zones at the same time, due to the various tree species and elevations. The best I can offer is to go to any of the Daily Journal pages, then click on all four September Daily Journals. You should see a pattern. Hope this helps! MH

  5. Diana LeVasseur

    Hi Mike,

    Hi Mike,
    There is one big fire going on the B-T, Kemmerer Ranger District and it’s around 2500 acres. It’s up the Ham’s Fork on Pole Creek and if the wind is coming from the south, you may be getting a little smoke from it. We are smoked in almost every day anymore here in Evanston and sure hope we get some rain as it has been so dry and hot this summer. Love the bear photos, great shots as always!

  6. jeff c birmingham

    That really sucks about your computer Love my Apple!!!

  7. Jeff, I have a Mac laptop and have several Macs. The initial issue was from the automatic update last night. When I signed back on this morning, I signed in as the Administrator and not using my personal User Name. That was the problem!…but it took several hours to figure it out.

  8. John Burkett

    Mike, The Mallard Drake is still in some stage of his Eclipse plumage. After breeding Drakes of most species go through this. They lose the bright colors and get drab in appearance to go through their molt. This is to better hide them as they go through molt, which include flight feathers rendering them flightless. The timing is typically mid to late summer, extending into fall and even winter with some species.

  9. Hi John….Great info! We notice the Trumpeters molt at the same time their cygnets are incapable of flight. Perfect timing!

  10. jeff c birmingham

    Man i hate to here about the cones on Moose Wilson RD pull outs but i get why. We have been in JH every year in sept/ Dec/ Jan for the last 13 years and i have seen a lot of changes in the way things are done and the way people act over the 13 years. I can only imagine what you have seen Mike living there. I think for sure its do to the way people act. You have to treat everyone like no one has a brain anymore. Sure makes it hard on us that act right and follow the rules. We will be back on Sept 28 hope to see you out there mike.

  11. Kathleen Little

    Great info, thanks! We are prepping for our 1st trip the week after Labor Day. Can’t wait!

  12. Mike – Are the bears pretty much gone for the year? In looking through your past photos in Sept, October I expected to see more bears since the weather was cooler. Looks like May is still the best time to see them?

  13. George

    Love following your documentation of Washakie. Love the information and insight into moose-life!

  14. Brian, 610 and 399 are seen off and on right now, along with additional Black Bears. I’ve already put 18,000 miles on my new truck. Grizzlies are in the north part of the park. It costs me a lot of money each month driving around the park to post photos on the site, so I tend to like to stay south. Even when I go North, and if the bears are out, we are often kept back too far or are not allowed to stop when they are close to the road. The Moose-Wilson road is also a problem, depending on which Wildlife Brigade staffers are on duty. No one has seen Blondie in a long time.

  15. Betsy Box

    Beautiful pictures! I’m coming in late September!

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