May 31, 2018 Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Great Grey Owl
Great Grey Owl

More From the Tetons

Absolutely lucky that someone else had spotted this Great Grey Owl not far from the park road since he was perfectly camouflaged against the bark of the pine where he was perched. If not for the photographer already shooting this bird, I never would have stopped.

Great Grey Owl
Great Grey Owl

He changed perches a few times …

Great Grey Owl
Great Grey Owl

… including this spot that yielded the perfect shot.

Great Grey Owl
Great Grey Owl

Soon others stopped to check out this large, beautiful bird, and as so often happens, out came the cellphone photographers, racing closer to the owl, eventually scaring him farther and farther away until he was out of their reach.

Disheveled Pronghorn
Disheveled Pronghorn

The Pronghorn is usually one of my favorite subjects, but not this early in the summer as they shed their winter garments for their summer wear.

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush

Out at the end of Flat Creek Road, on the far side of the National Elk Refuge …

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush

… I found a hillside covered with Indian Paintbrush.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Indian Paintbrush
Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Indian Paintbrush

Mixed in were several patches of Arrowleaf Balsamroot.

Wildflowers, Stormy Skies
Wildflowers, Stormy Skies

And as I was setting up and taking these flower shots, I thought I heard something behind me, about 50 feet away down a steep embankment along the Flat Creek.

Newborn Moose Calf
Newborn Moose Calf

Moving a little closer to the top of the bank, I saw this obviously fairly recently born moose calf, wobbling along behind his mother.

Newborn Moose Calf
Newborn Moose Calf

Mom had spotted me and was leading her newborn to a more sheltered area across the shallow creek.

Newborn Moose Calf
Newborn Moose Calf

She had to turn and offer encouragement to her calf to entice him to join her in crossing the creek.

Newborn Moose Calf
Newborn Moose Calf

Eventually safely across the creek and feeling a little safer having put some distance between us, they laid down to get some rest. I do not think I missed this calf’s birth by more than a few moments, probably the smallest moose calf I have ever seen. Wish I had some better, closer shots, but Mom wanted to remain in the willows and out of sight of predators and I certainly wasn’t going to push her and her young one out into the open.

The Tetons

The Magnificent Tetons

Grand Teton
Head in the Clouds

Since I was able to spend a full two weeks here this spring, I could patiently await blue skies or puffy cumulous clouds to set off the dramatic snow capped peaks of the Tetons.

Oxbow Reflections
Oxbow Reflections

As usual this year, I had my share of rainy and overcast weather, but I also had some just gorgeous blue sky days. So on gloomy days, I searched for wildlife, and when the sun came out, I looked for flowers and mountain shots.

Spring in the Tetons
Spring in the Tetons

The Jackson Hole area has become one of my all-time favorite spots to visit. I usually am here in the fall for the moose so this was my first time here in the spring, and the crowds were smaller, though still too many people for my tastes.

Spring in the Tetons
Spring in the Tetons

As usual, I stayed at the Gros Ventre Campground and it was definitely less crowded than in the fall, in fact, they still had two loops of the campground closed while I was there.

Plus there was more, and more accessible wildlife here, than I had encountered in Yellowstone just the week before, with fewer people pursuing them. On one of the rainy days, I braved the crowds and visited several of the many fine art galleries in downtown Jackson Hole. So, fine wildlife art, beautiful mountains, a quiet campground, as well as plentiful wildlife, what not to like about the Grand Tetons in the spring.

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September 27, 2013 Grand Teton National Park

Great grey owl
Great grey owl

Made the move today from the expensive Fireside Resort CG to the more reasonable Gros Ventre Campground 4 miles off route 89 heading towards the tiny village of Kelly.

No hookups, but with the worst of the weather past, $10.50/night versus $ 60 is kind of a no brainer.

This National Park campground is not bad, run down like most federal campgrounds I have stayed in, but for the price, what can one expect. The sites are a little close, but not too bad and there are many sites that will accomodate a rig like mine. Most of the sites are in a wooded area, but I managed to get one on the main road that gave me an opportunity to get my satellite to work. Verizon has 2 bars of 4G, so the internet is available, if not terribly fast. It says the campground, unlike all the other park campgrounds, doesn’t usually fill up.

Made a run up the park road to Colter and then did the Moose-Wilson Road.

BlackFeedingVertBlackbearApproachVert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Got this black bear there chomping down on berries, just destroying the roadside bushes. He didn’t look all that big while eating, but looked quite large when he started lumbering towards me, actually just wanting to get to some bushes on the other side of the road where I was standing.

Great grey owl
Great grey owl
Great grey owl
Great grey owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there is this totally unanticipated highlight of my day! I noticed this Great Grey Owl perched in an aspen only 200 ‘ from the edge of a gravel road. After rushing to get my tripod out and running ( actually. slowly, carefully inching my way down towards her ) to a position a little closer to her, I set up my tripod and fired off one shot … and off she flew. Disappointed, I followed her a little farther into the woods where she had perched on the top of a broken off dead tree, and where she very agreeably stayed, surveying her surroundings for 20 minutes or more while I snapped shot after shot from all directions around the base of the tree. This was quite a thrill for me, this being the first grey owl I have ever seen, and to be able to get this close for so long to such a very large beautiful bird, well, as I said, definitely the highlight of my day, week, maybe even the trip so far.

Great grey owl rotate left
Great grey owl rotate left
Great grey owl rotate back
Great grey owl rotate back

 

Great grey owl rotate right
Great grey owl rotate right

 

Great grey owl straight on
Great grey owl straight on

 

 

 

 

 

Got a kick out of watching her ability to rotate her head right, left, and backwards, seems weird to be able to look behind you without having to turn around.