The rest in over……..
Nikon D4, 600mm f/4 lens at f/4, 3200 second at ISO 800.
Farmington Bay Bird Refuge 10/24/2012
I couldn’t leave today without one more short trip into Yellowstone.
For only being in there for a few hours I was blessed. I walked back to the upper madison and followed a bugling bull elk. It didn’t take time to find him and his “girls”. A magnificent animal. I shot some video today and hope to figure out how to post it. All in all this week was incredible. Though I am anxious to get home I will miss this place.
I have been to Yellowstone to0 many times to count.
Been to Artist Paint-Pots once and have never seen a Yellowstone Grouse.
There’s a first and second time for everything.
I remembered why I had only been once to the Paint-pots before as soon as I walked the 1/3 mile back. Seen it once. Second time not a thriller. Unlike all the beautiful features around Old Faithful, Artist Paint-pots is mostly hot air and bubbling mud. Very little color. The most colorful feature was this…..(kinda reminds me of Dad’s watered down powdered milk when I was growing up)
There was an interesting phenomenon around this area. A lot of fallen trees had fallen with the root ball still intact. I wondered if these are trees that burned and fell or died then blew over in high winds?
Another first for me were these very strange colored pine needles. They were on one tree and only at the end of one branch. It was a very small pine tree. Maybe 3-5 years old? It reminded me of the dramatic color changes that oak trees and cottonwood trees make in the fall season. But this was weird! The color is not enhanced. The exposure is compensated only -1/3 ev. If you look you can see that I burned in around the pine needles to add contrast only.
Here is the crazy part! I was hiking up to photograph paint-pots. No need for a normal, medium or long lens. In fact I took my D800 and my 16-35mm lens. Pretty dang wide zoom. One of my favorites. I can use my polarizing filter, ND filter and my neutral grad filter on it. Great for Yellowstone Artist Paint-Pots photography. My 12-24mm is more expensive and highly rated. But with the very large domed front glass on the 12-24 that does not accept filters I find myself using the 16-35mm more. Definitely not a wildlife lens. Until I met grace the Grouse. Typically very shy the grouse is difficult to photograph. Most likely the best chance to photograph a Grouse is from a great distance with a monster lens like my 600mm. And usually with a teleconverter pushing it out to 1200mm.
Today my pheromones and cologne was dead on! I saw Grace and immediately laid down. Yes other hikers thought I was crazy. And some even yelled out to see if I was OK. With a very slow thumbs up I was left alone with Grace. She was mostly interested in feeding. She was not sure what the motionless big blob was ahead so she foraged on. Eventually she got about 15-20 feet away. With cat like hunting skills I slowing raised my camera and fired a few shots. Not interested in love I guess because she flew off like a bat out of ……….
Hey! My first Grouse photograph in Yellowstone. Moose Peterson this ones for you! I cropped the heck out of it to look like a PANO!!!!! Some rules are meant to be broken.
It’s late and I am hoping to get up very early. So just posting a couple of my favorite photographs from today.
This trips passing way too fast!!!!!
I never pass an opportunity to capture a Blue Heron. Especially in Yellowstone.
Just skimming above the water!!!!!
Today I had some time with a Golden Eagle. Don’t see many. Especially this close. What a huge and beautiful bird.
Eventually he took off.
He flew right at ME!!!!! gave me the willy’s for a second or two!
Thought maybe he wanted to chat or something. Our company jet can’t almost get me off the ground. What did this guy think he was going to do?
Worked until noon today then made my way to heaven on earth. I love Yellowstone. It’s not just the wildlife photography. It’s the peace and quiet. The constant meeting of new friends that experience God’s wonders with me. And a slower heart rate, no teeth grinding, little or no phone calls, green apples, lunchables, low temps, and The Ten Tenors softly serenading. Checked in the Hotel. Then made my way into the Park at about 4:30pm. A couple of hours to enjoy. The Madison is a good place to start my adventure with the Elk during their Rut! With rain making it’s daily mark I found my first Bull and his group of cows. The usual bugling and herding taking place. Fun, Fun, Fun to watch and capture.
The bull rarely eats. And is constantly moving/herding his cows. When bringing a cow back to the group the bull throws his head back and charges the elk that is wondering too from his control.
I stayed until the rain was really coming down and the light was diminished. Heading back down the Madison A Bald Eagle caught my attention. When perched along the Madison the Eagles are usually fishing.
To my surprise the Eagle flew across the Madison and landed full talons out on a small animal. I could not tell what animal it was. If you look close at the eagles talons you can see the little critter.
The bees are busy on one of our flowering bushes.
The number of bees is dwindling. There used to be lots more. Today I watched as they little workers carried pollen to and from our bush. A couple of them was so loaded down it appeared they were having a hard time flying. What do I know. This…that I needed a photographic record of theses crazy litter bugs.
I put up a bird’s nest last year hoping for a new family. This year they are here. Mom and Dad have been real busy feeding the mouth(s). Until I put up the tripod and the 200-400 I didn’t know how many kids there are. Every few minutes in rotation Mom and Dad are back feeding. And the two mouths cried the whole time!
Every so often I run across the Long-Billed Curlew. A unique bird..
The Long-billed Curlew is the largest nesting or regularly-occurring sandpiper in North America. It is 20–26 in long, 24–35 in across the wing and weighs 1.1–2.1 lb. Its extremely long bill measures 4.4–8.6 in, and rivals the bill of the larger-bodied Far Eastern Curlew as the longest bill of any shorebird. Adults have a very long bill curved downwards, a long neck and a small head. The neck and underparts are a light cinnamon, while the crown is streaked with brown.
And like most shore birds a blast to watch.
I day dream of shots that I will probably never get. You know the ones you see in the Nature and top photography magazines!
Theere are photographs of Terns out there that are unbelievable. In reality my goal is always to get that type of shot. This particular photograph I really like. The background is nice. The background color and texture works for me. The Tern? Well it’s not perfect. I will however file it under favorites…….