"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


Monday, March 20, 2017

MINK ARE ON THE PROWL...



The mating season for mink is going on right now.  If one wants to see, or photograph, these interesting animals this is probably the best window of opportunity.  I like to park where I can observe a creek or pond and wait quietly...


It is crucial to determine the correct exposure before the mink is in view because they often move quickly in their search for food or a mate.  In the next photo, a male is pursuing a female seeking to mate with her...



One must remain attentive, constantly watching for the quiet arrival of these beautiful creatures...



This is a good time to turn off telephones and other electronic devices so as not to be distracted when the critical moment arrives.  Mink scent mark their territory by rubbing oil secreting glands in their head on hard surfaces...





Being fantastic swimmers, mink are often seen in the water...


Their dense, water-proof fur makes them impervious to cold temperatures, snow or ice...


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


Friday, March 17, 2017

SNOW AND WIND AND.....BIRDS

Wood ducks are beginning to arrive, adding a splash of color to the dreary winter landscape...




The high winds had this killdeer hunkered down in weeds...



The snow cover forces many birds to seek food near roads that have been plowed.  That's where I found these horned larks...




A male downy woodpecker allowed me several photos earlier this week...







A squirrel braves the wind to obtain food...


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

Friday, March 10, 2017

LOOKING BACK WITH ANTICIPATION...

It was 2008 when we first encountered Grizzly Bear 399.  She was near Oxbow Bend of the Snake River, and a coyote was nipping at her flanks...




She appeared to be digging for grubs and roots but a park ranger said that the coyote could have a den nearby and that it was likely trying to distract the bear from finding her young.  399 was not the first grizzly we encountered bu she was the most cooperative, allowing photographers ample time to take pictures.

By the time we arrived in 2008 the three cubs of 399 had been turned out to fend for themselves.  399 knew that she would soon come into heat and it would not be safe for her cubs to be hanging around if a grizzly male showed up.  The cubs kept us, and scores of others, entertained that summer...



As is often the case in nature, only one cub lived to adulthood.  She became known as Grizzly Bear 610; so called because of the tag number given her by the bear biologists...


610 has gone on to have a family of her own and is almost as popular in the park as 399...




Getting to watch and learn about these grizzly families has been a privilege that will bring cherished memories to us, and many others, for years to come...


Come May, when the first campground opens in the park, we will be among the eager visitors hoping for a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.  We will be as excited as first timers, breathlessly watching and waiting for hibernation to end.  This year we will meet with friends and family in the Tetons.  I can't wait to share this one-of-a-kind place with them.

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

Thursday, March 2, 2017

More Birds...What Else?

Many bluebirds in our area recently...



Even more common are the great blue herons...













A female downy woodpecker...





Wild turkey gobblers are beginning to look for females...




A young gray squirrel enjoys a meal on a warm winter afternoon.


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

Kestrel's Feeling The Love

This pair of kestrels have found an area to their liking. I hope they raise a family nearby...













The following photos were taken on a different day with better light...






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

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