"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Grand Teton National Park (Part Twelve) Pilgrim Creek Coyote


I was using binoculars to scan the Pilgrim Creek Road area for grizzly bears when a coyote appeared close to the dirt road.  I approached it as closely as I dared hoping to obtain some photos...



The coyote was so intent on hunting for voles or ground squirrels that it hardly paid any attention to me...



When it did pounce on something it was behind a sage bush making it impossible to identify the catch...







When it finished devouring it's meal the coyote marked the spot...



It continued marking bushes as it continued the hunt...



Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.

Grand Teton National Park (Part Eleven) Swimming Grizzly Bear

The large number of cars, trucks and campers parked on the side of the road at Oxbow Bend alerted me that there must be something unusual in sight.  I pulled to the shoulder and quickly spotted a grizzly swimming the Snake River...







The large boar grizzly climbed the steep river bank with ease...







Rub marks on his flanks, his collar and ear tags all combined to identify the bear as one known locally as "Bruno".  A good shaking was in order to rid himself of the river water saturating his coat...





The bear disappeared into the forest that covered most of the island.  I continued down the road to the next turnout that might provide a vantage point if he continued in his direction of travel.  A short time later he emerged on the opposite side of the island, swam the river once more and continued his trek across a sage brush flat...



A little later I saw him once more, after he crossed the main road, and was on Lozier Hill...



Male grizzlies are not often found so near busy roads.  This boar, and another one, are probably seeking available females to mate with.  After which they will return to their preferred habitat in the back country.

Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Grand Teton National Park (Part Ten) Miscellaneous Critters


Many times, while driving through the park, I spot a bird or mammal that I stop to photograph but I often lack enough photos to make a blog update just for that species.  Hence, the miscellaneous critter post.  Above is a great blue heron that we found on the Moose-Wilson Road.

The next two photos are of mule deer we found near the Murie Center...




The kestrel in the next photo was found on Antelope Flats Road...


I have often seen groundhogs climb trees, so I guess it should not have been a surprise to see a yellow bellied marmot in one...


Zoomed in for a better look...


This osprey was near the wildlife overlook on Moose-Wilson Road...


I zoomed in tightly on the back of the head...


Of this ruffed grouse near the Colter Bay Visitor Center...


Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Grand Teton National Park (Part Nine) Unexpected Snow



Yesterday, May 17, we woke to a dusting of snow in the campground.  The snow continued for most of the day and changed the landscape into a wintry scene, at least for a few hours.
These elk seem to be heading back to the refuge, probably deciding that they migrated to Jackson Hole too early...



Heavily overcast skies and falling snow made for difficult photography conditions for most of the day...



The elk seemed to be unusually on edge.  I believe the limited visibility and strong winds played havoc with their senses and made them feel more vulnerable to predators...



When threatened by an unseen predator the elk group up with eyes and ears facing in all directions...





Pacific Creek has been running high and strong due to the snow melt in the mountains...



There is a fox den on Pacific Creek Road that has been discovered by photographers.  Left to their own devices many humans would approach the den too closely causing stress to the adult fox as they attempt to bring food to the den.  The wildlife brigade has created a solution by establishing an off-limits area near the den and an area for photographers and viewers that allows a good view of the den opening...



This is a scene from Pilgrim Creek Road where many are hoping to catch a glimpse of grizzly 399 and her two new cubs...



Even the majestic Tetons were obscured when the storm was at it's peak...





As always, thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Grand Teton National Park (Part Eight) Elk Migration


The elk migration has been happening since the day we arrived.  Each fall the elk migrate to the National Elk Refuge in Jackson and each spring they return to Jackson Hole.

Often they are seen feeding in large numbers in meadows or pastures...



At other times they fearlessly cross roads...



This young bull crossed in front of me on Pacific Creek Road...





We found a small herd on Moose-Wilson Road and watched as a group raced across the flats; perhaps to impress the cows watching in the background...







The rest of the group seemed to be more interested in feeding on the fresh grass...



Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Grand Teton National Park (Part Seven) Moose Monday

We have seen numerous moose on our trip.  Many have been several hundred yards away, while some have been feeding only forty yards from our motor home.
The moose in the following images were grazing on tender willow buds on a small island in the Snake River...







We found a slightly more cooperative young bull near the Moose Wilson Road...









The last moose in this blog update was found in the village of Moose, Wyoming...



Thanks for visiting, be well, and come back soon.

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