"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


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Late July Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

The temperatures have been higher and so has the vegetation. Neither makes for easy wildlife sightings but we continue to look; visiting familiar areas that may still hold promise.

Spaulding Bay is one such place. It is at the end of a dusty unpaved road that winds through an area that was burned by a forest fire in the past.  It was there that we found this large mule deer buck...




He didn't give me time for many photos but this silhouette at the crest of the ridge is my favorite...



Returning to the park, in our newly repaired car, we passed an osprey nest.  Both birds were hunkered down in the heavy winds...



There is a small pond near Jackson Lake Lodge where a moose cow and her calf were causing a large traffic jam...





With her face in the water, the cow lost track of her calf which had moved to the edge of the pond...








On Monday we made a day trip to Yellowstone so that Cheryl and Kyle could hike Avalanche Peak. I used the time to locate the grizzly called Raspberry and her cub...





Even at 17 months old his mother's milk is an important addition to the cubs diet of beetle larvae, ants and vegetation...





Nothing like a nap on a log after a session of nursing...



We saw several bull elk on the Uhl Hill Road at sunset...



As always, thanks for visiting, be well and remember that a photograph not shared is a photograph wasted.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How To Find Wildlife In Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks

What Will Help You Find Wildlife In Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park?


Before You Go:
Read forums that discuss these parks.  Some of my favorites are:
Yellowstone Net…… http://forums.yellowstone.net/
Mike Jackson’s “Best of the Tetons”….. http://www.bestofthetetons.com/
There is a lot of good information on these sites, but you will have to put in the time and effort to find it.  When a location is mentioned that might be a good place to find a particular animal, make a note of it, and search for it on Google.  Don’t forget to look for information on Face book.  Lots of what you find will be general locations, but keep digging and bit by bit more information will become evident.



Learn all you can about the animals you want to locate; preferred habitat, food, and the times that they are most active.
 
While You Are Here:
As you travel around the parks you will come across groups, sometimes large groups, gathered on the side of the road.  Watch for photographers with long telephoto lenses or others with spotting scopes.  These folks aren’t just socializing, either they see something, or expect to see something of interest.  Politely asking what everyone is looking for will usually get a polite response.



Try to break the ice with other visitors.  You will find that most people are excited about seeing wildlife and are eager to share the details of what, where and when their sighting took place.




Buy a radio scanner.  A scanner will allow you to hear the park dispatchers when assistance is needed with traffic control due to an animal jam.  If you are near enough you can head in that direction instead of driving randomly hoping to locate an animal.  The most basic scanner will do the job.  You should be able to find one for under $120 new.  I bought mine at a pawn shop for $50 and it works great.  Be sure to get a mobile hand-held scanner, not one designed to be used in your house.   
The most useful frequencies for Yellowstone that I have found are 165.5875, 166.875, 165.590, and 166.325.  The wolf watchers use 464.500 or 411.775.  In Grand Teton the most used frequencies are 171.675, 167.150, 166.375, and 166.975. There are a lot of secondary frequencies if you want to listen to everything that is going on.  If you want a full list contact me at stevefinmd@gmail.com



There are numerous professional tour companies that can take you to wildlife hot spots for a fee.  I have no experience using them so I will not comment on them.
If you are planning a trip to either Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park I would be glad to answer any questions that I can at the e-mail shown above.



Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.




Friday, July 15, 2016

July Snow - Grand Teton National Park

On Monday, July 11, we decided to leave the park and seek adventure on the National Forest lands.  Cheryl had been wanting to see Brooks Lake so we headed for the Togwotee Pass and the beginning of our adventure.
After visiting Brooks Lake we decided to take the Brooks Lake Road that appeared to be a short cut to the top of  the pass.  Ignoring the warning signs about the road condition and especially the part about "high ground clearance recommended" we set off.
The road soon turned into a muddy quagmire that had us slipping and sliding from one side to the other.  Through it all Cheryl masterfully kept the Honda CR-V on the road and moving forward.  Her driving was so good that a Jeep on the road ahead of us pulled over to yield the lead.
To make a log story short, at some point on the muddy mountain road the CR-V bottomed out and broke an axle.  We will be using a rental car for at least a week while we wait for a new axle to arrive.

At the end of the muddy road I spotted this young robin fluffed up and hunkered down...



The next two images may help you to understand why the robin looks so cold.  At 9'650 feet above sea level we were having white out conditions...





Luckily, the Honda got us off the mountain and back to the campground safely.
On another day we found this young marmot on Pilgrim Creek Rd...







I was concerned that the marmot would be trapped if a predator should come along.  I should have known that it had an escape route...



A mule deer doe splashed across Pacific Creek...



While two young bucks tried to trick us into seeing only one...







Jackson Hole is excellent hawk habitat...



This young red-tail hawk had more ground squirrel than it could eat...









This cinnamon black bear had a lot of folks thing it was a grizzly...



The most excitement of the week was finding the nest of a golden eagle...



While one adult watched the chicks the other one soared overhead...



Thanks for visiting, be well and come back soon.

Grand Teton Continued - Dealing With Slow Internet

I am falling behind with blog posts and e-mail due to the limited web speed here.  I will do my best to catch up when access to the net gets better.

On an evening ride near Kelly we saw short-eared owls hunting in the sage brush flats...





A mule deer doe is bedded down to avoid the heat of mid-day near Spaulding Bay...



A sunset scene over the Tetons...



The evening insect hatch on the Snake River...



A greater sage grouse family on Mormon row...







In Cache Creek there are two trumpeter swans with cygnets...



In beautiful evening light this mule deer buck paused for a photo...




Another shot of the Teton twilight...


There are lots more photos to come.  Thanks for visiting, be well and remember that a photograph not shared is a photograph wasted.

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