Sep 302010

Another family portrait.

I am not sure when the Pronghorn (antelope) are in RUT.   But what was going on in my presence looked just  like the ELK rut.

The second fastest land animal.  Another beautiful critter to enjoy in the wild!

Antelope mom and kid

Antelope chase border

antelope buck run border

 Posted by at 9:23 PM
Sep 292010

I have chased this bird for years.

The Cormorant!

I live near a very large bird refuge.  The Cormorant frequents the refuge.  But hates to be photographed.  Not sure if they have keen sight and hearing. Even my blind has not allowed a descent shot of the Cormorant. Until last week. Hundreds of miles from home. In Yellowstone.

Great Black Cormorant border

Pretty simple color. Simple bird. Funny poses….

Great Black Cormorant bow

Like most all birds it is beautiful in flight….

cormorant start fly

It was a test for me and my new lens.  Man was I happy with the outcome.  Low light.  High ISO.  look at the detail!   I am very happy!

Great Black Cormorant borderfly

 Posted by at 5:50 PM
Sep 282010

I thought I had seen it all.

All cameras are aimed at the Bull Elk.  They are performing.  By myself just off the Madison River and near the Fire Hole River I witnessed a first for me.  The Cow Elk having a “cat fight”.  Really………

Cow Elk Fight border

These two ladies stood on their hind legs and proceeded to slap each other.  Incredible. I was so shocked I almost missed the shot.  The cows have always proven to be a great mother to the calves.

Cow elk love calf border

Last spring I witnessed wolves tracking and “collecting” an elk calf.  In the process the cow fought until there was no obvious way to save the calf.  She injured one of the wolves.  The battle went on for about an hour.  Even when the calf was mostly ingested she was still attacking the wolves.  There is amazing interaction between the calves and cows.

Yellowstone Bobcat Profile

This day my camera caught on several occasions the calves and cows looking up.  Smelling?  No planes above.  Not sure.

calf praying

cow prayer

Maybe just wishing they could escape from this BIG pain in the ………….neck?

bull sniff cow b&W border

 Posted by at 11:26 PM
Sep 272010

Elk do the craziest things!

Elk love is in the air – Kinda.

September is when we pack in the park to hear and see the Elk during the rut.  What a show.  Do the cow elk care?  Not much.  Holy cow (or elk in this case)?  The bull’s are crazy in love.  Their whole life revolves around the “act” with the cow for weeks.

Bullandcow border

Little food.  A lot of running.  Fighting other bulls.  During the rut the bull loses a ton of weight. Past years I have focused on the extreme actions.  This year I was moved by the appearance of being tired.  Exhausted.  Yet getting up and going at it.  A later post will show a video taken with my D3s that shows how extreme their actions are.  I need to figure out how to get the video from CF card to the blog.

The majesty of these animals always blows me away.  This year it was very difficult to find the bull and his girls.  Found a wonderful area up from the Madison near and on the Fire Hole river.  I witnessed something I have never seen before… to come.

It was late in the day.  Perfect light.

elk headshot at sun

Photography is all about the light.  Elk are a little more of a challenge to shoot in this type of direct light.  There is great risk of great contrast.  Especially when posting to the web.   In person it was incredible.  It was if the bull was posing for me.

Bull Elk in Stream

This experience is almost spiritual.  We have a lot in common with the actions of the Bull.   Being a witness for several hours (a snippet) of a bulls day shows me their passion for their life progression.  Sure it’s instinct.  But do we not have the very same instinct, even with our “greater” intelligence.  The basic instinct to progress our lineage is common with the Elk and Man.

The bull feels the passion.  Desires the passion.  And exemplifies the very term “passion”.  To the point of literal exhaustion………….

ull elk head back morningfilter

 Posted by at 9:37 PM
Sep 262010

I am Home.

It’s good to be home.

Yellowstone always creates memories.  Fortunately pixels recorded all of it.  Yesterday was spent walking up the Madison River then trekking the Fire Hole River.  Several hours.  Some sitting on fallen trees listening to all the sounds of Yellowstone.  Witnessed something that I have never seen seen before.  Probably few have in person.  Alone with the beauty.  A camera, water, and a snack.  My last day taking in as much as possible.

Tree Fall clors border

I go for the wildlife.  And dream of the beauty, quiet and peace.    There just can’t be another place on earth like it.  A national treasure.

mammoth scenic border

Could be called “Coyote Week”.  At least three to four times a day the Coyote and I crossed.  Finally got “that” shot.   It took 7-8 years and one half of a day to get. And always surrounded by colors.


Up before the sun and back to the trailer in the dark.  Not long days.  In fact too short of days.

yellow tree

Part of Yellowstone’s history and future is fires.  A lightning strike started a fire that closed the easiest route from Canyon to Tower and Lamar Valley.   More scenery to be changed.

burned trees

My age and trips to the park have allowed me to witness the effects of fire after 20 years…….but the monument to the fire is still there…….

Holmes mnt border

Back to work tomorrow.  It may take a day or two to get focused.  The mind is clear.   The memory is vivid.   I will always remember the red tail hawk, the coyote, the moose, the elk, the geese, merganser, swan, camp robber, mice, and antelope and ducks, and bears and grizzlies, and…………..

 Posted by at 10:30 PM
Sep 232010

A little different this year!

No Electricity at Fishing Bridge RV.  A fire closed Dunraven Pass where it’s most likely to see bear.  Warmer than normal so wildlife is scarce.  A big new lens to get used to.  Lost my debit card to a hungry ATM.


Only two days left to get more of…………

Bull elk down head tiltbrdr

A lot of incredible and very funny experiences.  It’s gone to fast.  Tonight I moved to West Yellowstone…WI-FI, Electricity, water, flush toilets, showers and lights.  But little time will be spent here.  My time will be out with the wild “critters”.  Where I love to be!

 Posted by at 10:08 PM
Sep 082010

Do eagles eat snakes?  Not sure.

Tonight while driving to Prosser, Washington for dinner with the “biker” the drive was interrupted.  Across the sky just in front of me flew a big bird with a huge snaked dangling below.  As usual when seeing an immediate photo opportunity the rental car brakes were tested.  The eagle landed about 200 yards away.  Did not have the big gun with me to bring the photo close.  Put on the 70-200 and the 2x converter.  Had no time to approach the ensuing  battle in stealth mode.  Shot from the roadside in the car.

Look close. The snake is about 4 feet long and wrapped around the eagle……

Eagle with snake wrap

The pic’s aren’t the best.  Had to crop a bunch.  Thank goodness for VR, digital and Nikon resolution!  So at least the story can be told in pic’s.

The snake bit the eagle……….and the fight began……….

Eagle Snake bite

Eagle Snake fight

The snake made an impression and was the most aggressive and determined.  If the snake was venomous I wonder if it did in fact leave a poisonous gift.

Hopefully another day and another battle!!!!

Eagle Snake get away

 Posted by at 10:46 PM