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September 2017 Daily Journal for JH and GTNP

“My Favorite Month!

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

Monthly Overviews for JH / GTNP .

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September 24th:  Sunday

Schwabacher Landing

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

Black Bear Cub

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

Brooks Falls

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

Blondie

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

Grizzly Cubs

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

Cross Fox

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

Cross Fox

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

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

Teton Photo Excursions

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September 23rd:  Saturday

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

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

ChapelTrans

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

Chapel Window

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

Pronghorn

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

Pronghorn

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

Barn with Aspens

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

Grizzly in Snow

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

Streamside Bull Moose

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

Togwotee Pass

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

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September 22nd:  Friday

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

Sow Feeding

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

Eagle

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

Pronghorn

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

The Grand

Clearing Clouds: Taken from Elk Ranch Road.

Aspens

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

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September 21st:  Thursday

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

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

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

Washakie with Snow Flakes

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

Great Gray Owl

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

Washakie with Snow Flakes

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

Washakie and Challenger

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

John Moulton Barn

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

TA Moulton Barn

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

TA Moulton Barn

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

Mountain Bluebird

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

Mountain Bluebird

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

Cub in Black Hawthorns

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

Black Bear

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

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September 20th:  Wednesday

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

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

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

Morning Moose

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

Morning Moose

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

Cow Crossing

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

Washakie Crossing

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

Washakie Scratching

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

Sleeping Indian

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

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September 19th:  Tuesday

Sizing Up

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

Submissive Approach

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

Red Squirrel

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

Washakie

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

Cow in Channel

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

Buck Mule Deer

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

Buck Mule Deer

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

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September 18th:  Monday

Cow Moose

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

Moose Trio

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

Moose Trio

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

Sparring Moose

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

Cub In Tree

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

Schwabacher Morning

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

Washakie

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

 

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September 17th:  Sunday

Washakie

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

Lip Curl

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

Cows

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

Thrashing

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

Moose Courtship

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

Washakie

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

Resting Bull

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

Red Squirrel

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

The Grand

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

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September 16th:  Saturday

Cow and Calf

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

Cow and Calf

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

Cow and Calf

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

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September 15th:  Friday

Weather Alert

 

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

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

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

Misty Morning Elk

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

Misty Morning Elk

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

Buck Mule Deer

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

Portal Bear

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

Portal

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

Portal

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

Black Bear

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

Latch

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

Alligator Texture

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

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September 14th:  Thursday

Thistle

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

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

Great Gray Owl

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

Great Gray Owl

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

Great Gray Owl

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

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

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September 13th:  Wednesday

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

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

Sunrise Clouds

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

Crossing Cow

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

Drinking Bull Moose

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

Bull at Water's Edge

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

Rainbow

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

Clouds

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

Cow and Calf

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

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September 12th:  Tuesday

Idaho Hot Air Balloon

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

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

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

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

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September 11th:  Monday

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

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

Clear Skies

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

Pronghorn Buck

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

Sandhills

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

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

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September 10th:  Sunday

Bull Moose

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

Bull Moose

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

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

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September 9th:  Saturday

Washakie in Amber

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

Morning Range

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

Washakie

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

Thrashing

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

Thrashing

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

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

Box L Ranch

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

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

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September 8th:  Friday

New! Foliage Reports September/October 2017

Morning Sun

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

Stripping Willows

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

Worked Up

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

Morning Drink

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

Gros Ventre Crossing

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

Crossing

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

Flower and Bee

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

Astoria Hot Springs

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

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September 7th:  Thursday

Morning Sun

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

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

Cow Moose in River

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

Washakie Crossing

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

Mid-Sized Moose

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

Featured Moose

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

Mid-Sized Moose

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

Swan Family

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

Afternoon Outing

Aspen Trunks

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

Caterpillar

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

Sunset

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

Death Canyon

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

Starburst

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

Evening Sun

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

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September 6th:  Wednesday

Spider Web

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

Bull Elk

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

Spider and Prize

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

Other Wildlife Tidbits:

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

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September 6th:  Wednesday

Sleeping Indian

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

Local Notes:

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

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September 4th:  Monday – Labor Day

Sunrise

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

Water Walkers

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

Black Hawthorne Berries

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

Cascades

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

Fawn

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

Three Cygnets

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

Bull Moose

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

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September 3rd:  Sunday – Labor Day Weekend

Mt. Moran Sunset

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

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

Foliage Reports September/October 2015 :

Foliage Reports September/October 2016 :

Choke Cherry Leaves

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

Fall Leaf

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

Great Blue Heron

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

Bull Moose at Water

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

Bull in Gold

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

Pronghorn in Gold

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

Dragonfly

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

Spider

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

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September 2nd:  Saturday – Labor Day Weekend

Pronghorn Doe

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

Pronghorn Doe

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

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

Bison Bull

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

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September 1st:  Welcome to Fall!

Fall's Sentinel

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

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

Foliage Scale 2015

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

Morning: September 1st

Sliver of Sun

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

Bull Moose

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

Early Morning Moose

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

Mallard Duck

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

Belted Kingfisher

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

Soro

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

Female Barrows Golden Eye

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

Schwabacher Landing

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

Youngster

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

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

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Comment (1)

  1. John Burkett

    Hey Mike great shots as usual. Don’t know how long you had with your Sora, but if you had gotten a look from directly in front or behind it you may have been surprised. From the side look in your shot it appears to most people to be a plump bird. All rails have a laterally compressed body making them much thinner than expected. This is to make walking through marsh vegetation easier. It is also the true origin of the expression “Thin as a Rail”, which most people don’t realize. Also the orangish bill on the Mallard points to it being a hen.

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