"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


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Grand Teton National Park, Grizzly 399, Blondie and Others



This year has been remarkable for the number of grizzly bear sightings.  Yesterday we saw seven before 10:30 a.m.

One day recently we spotted a "polar bear" taking plunge in Jackson Lake.  The ice on the water did not  deter her...








Grizzly 399 and her cubs have been drawing attention and causing traffic snarls...




Speaking of snarls, look at this cub's expression...



When the bears are visible, some photographers go to great lengths to obtain a photograph...



In national parks one might be surrounded by tourists taking cell phone pictures, or sharing space with world-renowned wildlife photographers such as Tom Mengelsen...



The Snake River flows through GTNP, and that is where we found this spotted sandpiper early one morning...



Later in the day we came across a yellow warbler on Pacific Creek Road...



On one of our early morning outings we came across Grizzly 793 (Blondie) and family blocking the road.  At first we were concerned that either she or a cub had been struck by a car; fortunately, they were just having some play time...





When play time ended, Cheryl captured this image of Blondie nursing the cubs...



Later in the day 793 and family were visible again near Dump Road...







We have seen a number of moose on this visit, including this one that crossed the parking lot at the Willow Flats overlook...



The young bull was anxious to get to the flats...



He even ignored the signs warning of bear danger...



Grizzlies frequently prowl the willow flats seeking elk or moose calves...



399 and family can often be found in the willows when calving season is underway...



The next image is a boar, known to photographers and frequent visitors as Bruno.  He is the same bear shown in an earlier photo stalking the willow flats...



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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Grizzly 793 (aka Blondie) in Grand Teton National Park


On May 10, we heard via the scanner that a bear jam was forming near Pilgrim Creek Road.  We assumed that it would be 399 so we headed in that direction.
Instead of 399, it turned out to be 793 and her two cubs making their first appearance of the year...



The cubs played and wrestled while mom searched for food...





When one cub climbed a tree the other played with Blondie...





Before they left, she even gave them dance lessons...



This video was taken by someone standing near me...



The next morning we set out under a typical Rocky Mountain thunderstorm...



Two bison move towards the brighter skies...



Later on we encountered Blondie and cubs near the dump road...





I took this shot of the mountains from the same spot as the two above...



We didn't locate any bears the next day; but it was not a complete loss.  Near the south entrance to the park we found this young bull moose...



With darkness fast approaching we took the road to the Death Canyon Trailhead.  We were rewarded by finding this great grey owl...






 On a later day, Blondie and the cubs were tying up traffic near the Colter Bay convenience store...




On the way back to the campground we encountered a moose feeding on fresh willow branches...



She was too close to include her reflection in the photograph; so here is what her reflection looked like...


I zoomed in for a close up...


The last time we saw Blondie and family they were again causing traffic problems near Colter Bay...



With Blondie in seclusion, we were lucky to observe 399 and her cubs today.  Watch for them in my next update.

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

Friday, May 11, 2018

First Full Week In Grand Teton-Griz 399-Black Bears-More


Today marks our first week in the park.  Happily, we have encountered 399 several times.  The following images, and the one above, were taken when 399 and her cubs were foraging not far from Colter Bay...



As I struggled to get images, she led the cubs through the forest reducing the opportunities for good photos...





Her cubs appear to be "all legs" at this stage of their growth...



399 seems to have come through hibernation in good shape...



We enjoyed seeing them as they re-entered the forest and disappeared...



This bull moose was enjoying the morning sun near Pacific Creek Road...



I found this male and female mountain bluebirds from our campsite...





A day or so later 399 and the cubs were digging up a delicacy near Leek's Marina...









Finally, 399 led her brood to a more remote location...





A black bear with three cubs was an attention getter just south of the Jackson Lake Dam...



Two of her cubs were cinnamon and one was black...



The following evening 399 and cubs were feeding at Pilgrim Creek flats...



In the next image she takes a break from roaming and digging...



As the light faded she took the youngsters and went looking for new grass...





We have not seen 399 for two days.  Yesterday we were fortunate to be present when Griz 793 (aka Blondie) made her first appearance of the year, with her two cubs in tow.  That will be the subject of the next blog update.

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

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