From Yellowstone I headed back to the Tetons for several days, hoping to find some moose. Second night I was there it was very clear so I headed up to Ox Bow Bend to see if I could capture the Milky Way over the water. All the while I was there I heard Elk bugling.
The moose were around. First morning at Gros Ventre as I was putting on my shoes my youngest (and most watchful) dog started barking at something outside one of the side windows. I got up to look and was face to face with a moose cow that was under the awning looking at me. Yikes!! No chance to get a photo, either! I made certain she was gone before opening the door with the dogs. Sure enough she and a mother cow were a ways behind the trailer so I hurried the dogs in the opposite direction and hoped they wouldn’t notice the moose. They didn’t so all wen well. Once they were back in the trailer and fed I grabbed my camera and headed for the river since the moose were likely to head that way. Sure enough, but with the 2 cows and a bull somewhere around it was also a bit spooky in the willows. Fortunately there weren’t any close encounters and I did capture this young bull crossing the river.
At one point I turned and captured a mule deer who came down to the river.
That was it for the moose until a few days later I was headed out and came across some folks watching a cow, calf and bull at a creek. Managed to get a few images of them.
A couple of days later there were 3 cows and a bull in the campground so I spent several hours watching them. I find it so interesting to watch them interact. When I got there they were all laid down, but eventually they got up and then it got interesting. They all keep an eye on each other, if one cow got near the bull another cam trotting over, but that second one had run away when approached by him. With them all moving about we had to keep our eyes on all of them so we weren’t in their way and didn’t upset them. To be honest watching moose takes a lot of patience, they seem to spend a lot more time laying down than moving around. But for me it’s worth it.
The weather turned very cold, with my down jacket and wind pants being the norm when I went outside. It was also liable to spit snow at any time. After one such day I went over to the well known barn on Mormon Row, the snowy Tetons made a nice backdrop for it.
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It’s been quiet around home as I’m getting things done and looking forward to the next outing. Making plans, checking out possible places to visit and routes to take is almost as much fun as the actual trip for me.
Tuesday morning I met up with a fellow photographer I’d met at Bosque del Apache and he
Milky Way over String Lake and the Tetons
kindly showed me one of his favorite locations in the area along with lots of tips about other places to go for wildlife. He also suggested I try String Lake for some night images. That night was wonderfully clear and the images I got are special.
Wednesday was full of moose. After feeding and walking the dogs I spotted a young bull in the area behind the trailer so I grabbed the camera and tripod. One of the fellows already out there said the big bull was laid down nearby. As I carefully went across the area I spotted another young bull and two cows. Wow, all the ingredients for action there! The moose spend a lot of time laid down with little
Young bull moose tempting fate
action going on but eventually the big bull did a good job of chasing one of the young bulls away, the other one left on its own. Another cow joined the other 2 and all the animals laid down, again. After 4 hours I quit and went back to the trailer for some food and to get some stuff done. Later I went back out and found the big bull and 3 cows laid down with one of the young bulls still close by. Eventually he wandered right over near the others and the big bull chased him up into the campground. I wasn’t in a good spot for any of the chasing shots, but managed to get a few other images.
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Heading back to the trailer after some shopping in town I saw folks hanging around a campsite…..naturally I slowed down to see what the attraction was. There in the shade was a bull moose and close by was a cow, also taking her ease. Since I had my camera in the truck I pulled into an empty campsite and got my gear out. The people who had the campsite were not there so I walked to the back of their trailer and used it as a blind.
I had nothing planned and figured I could wait them out. Eventually she got up and after a bit he did, too. He was definitely interested in her and slowly tried to work it out with her. For us bystanders it appeared to be a very slow and rather indecisive process but so very interesting to see the interaction. We can only assume they decided an audience wasn’t what they wanted. They moved a short way across the field and then laid down again. All told I think I watched them over 4 hours before I gave up and went back to the trailer to feed the dogs. They’re probably still around somewhere close by so maybe I’ll see them again.
Sunset over the Tetons
A colorful sunset over the Tetons is always a delight. After spending a long time at the riverside hoping to see some moose I gave up, threw the camera gear in the truck and headed out since it looked like there might be a good sunset. Turns out the gamble paid off!
I was up very early the next morning and caught the sunrise lighting up the Tetons and then happened on some bison that were still frosty from the cold night. While driving around or
being stopped I’ve also seen two foxes and two coyotes.
The night of the full moon it was very clear so I headed out to see what a couple of places
Full moon light on the barn on Mormon Row with the Tetons and Big Dipper
looked like in the moonlight. First stop was the iconic barn on Mormon Row with the Tetons behind it.
After that I went to another spot on a hunch. On a good day the
Full moon light at Schwabacher’s Landing with Tetons and Big Dipper
Tetons are reflected in the river and I thought if things came together right the moonlit Tetons would be reflected in the river. Sure enough, they were!
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The Tetons are a favorite area of mine, the mountains so majestic and the animals fascinating. When I arrived at Gros Ventre campground the moon was waxing, giving lots of moonlight so the first night I arrived I went out for a few evening shots.
Big Dipper over the Tetons
Didn’t get much, but did see a fox that stopped within 15′ of me and heard an elk bugling in the night. A fellow camper told me where to find some beaver so I visited their pond and I’ve spent many hours watching moose.
The campground is along the Gros Ventre River, a great place for moose. Watching their interactions is fascinating to me. One of the spots seems to be a hangout for a cow, her calf and a young bull. So far he doesn’t seem to be impressing the cow very much.
The young bull needs a new line…..
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A spectacular thunderstorm raged around us one afternoon as we headed to the visitor center. Donna went inside and I stayed in the truck trying to capture some of the lightning. It was an experiment on my part and I only got a couple of images but it was great practice! You can see the huge crack in the windshield that started as a rock chip and spread to over 2′ wide. Now the truck has a new windshield.
The Tetons, need I say more?
We were fortunate to find this bull moose on the Gros Ventre very close to the campground. We watched him for an hour and eventually got some nice images.
We explored the old cabin and general store at Menor’s Ferry, saw some very old carriages, too.
Maude Nable’s log house
The National Museum of Wildlife Art is just outside Jackson and is well worth a visit. The Life size or larger bronzes outside are amazing. The bronzes small and large inside and the art (paintings and sculptures) inside are a pleasure to see.
Bronze outside the National Museum of Wildlife Art. This collection is well worth a visit!
Any visitor to Jackson is sure to remember the 4 large arches on the town square (one at each corner). We went into town Saturday morning and were lucky to find a crew rebuilding one of the arches with all fresh elk antlers. They were picked up in the spring (I think it is a Boy Scout project).
Arch of elk antlers in Jackson, WY. There is an arch of antlers at each corner of the square in town. Was interesting to see them rebuilding one with fresh antlers. As they age they turn white.
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