Tag Archives: bison

September 29, 2016 Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

Three Days on Antelope Island

Antelope Island Bison

Campground Hazard

At Gros Ventre Campground in the Tetons I had moose wandering through the campsite and here at Antelope Island there are bison passing through. Pays to check wildlife conditions before stepping out the door these days … and I am certainly not complaining about that!

Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island Viewpoint

Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island Viewpoint

This is a panoramic view of the northwest side of the island taken from above the Bridger Campground where I am camped.

The Bridger Campground where I am staying is one of the nicer primitive state park campgrounds I have ever run into. No hookups, but with water and a dump station just a little way from the campground. Mostly nice level pull through sites with nice separation and a great view out over the Great Salt Lake. A large concrete pad with picnic table, fire ring, and shade cabana come with every site. Good Verizon signal and no trees to interfere with satellite reception. Unfortunately, all but two sites are reservable, so weekend stays are all but out of the question, unless you plan a year in advance.

Bison on the Beach

Bison on the Beach

Yellow Flower in Rock

A Survivor!

Got a kick out of this lone flower proudly laying claim to the top of of this rock.

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

Sitting low in the Prius, these male bison can seem more than a little intimidating.

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

No arguing with these guys over right-of-way on the roads throughout the park.

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

Last time I was here all the bison were down on the south end of the island, this time around they all, as in several hundred, seem to be up on the north end, where the campgrounds are located. A fire burned large portions of the southern end of the island and perhaps that is why they are all up here this year. A small group of seven or eight bulls were hanging around, and in, the campground the first two nights I was here, providing many opportunities for closeup shots. But it is a little unnerving to step out your door and have a bison’s butt just fifteen feet away, leaning against your shade cabana’s roof support post.

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

I could actually hear this guy groaning as he scratched an itch, must have just hit the spot for him.

Antelope Island Bison

Antelope Island Bison

Magpie and Bison

Magpie and Bison

This guy was rubbing his side against the picnic table shelter’s supporting post, and the whole structure was shaking.

Magpie and Bison

Magpie and Bison

The magpies must be harvesting insects, perhaps ticks, from the bison. They must dig a little deep and cause some pain as I saw the bison trying to shake them off each time they would land.

Antelope Island Pronghorn

Antelope Island Pronghorn

Pronghorns and mule deer also roam the island.

Antelope Island Mulie Bucks

Antelope Island Mulie Bucks

This small group of mulie bucks were grazing a distant hillside at dusk one evening, but I just couldn’t get any closer to get any good shots. Pretty impressive rack on the one closest.

Avocets

Avocets

There are thousands of ducks and coots on the lake feeding on brine shrimp and algae, and hundreds of avocets and other small waders patrolling the water’s edge for brine flies. Because of the extreme salinity, there are no fish in the Great Salt Lake.

Feeding Ducks

Feeding Ducks

Threatening Skies Over Antelope Island

Threatening Skies Over Antelope Island

This is a view of the shallow waters on the east side of the island looking towards the hustle and bustle of the greater Salt Lake City corridor.

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

My last night here, a storm moved in from the south, and the sky blackened as the sun was setting in the west creating some wonderful light conditions over the water.

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

With the sun still shining on the western part of the island and with rain squalls and winds coming up the east side of the island, conditions were ripe for a rainbow and I got to watch as it formed.

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

The sky turned all kind of weird colors, from grey to green to almost red/yellow as the sun sank lower and the storm advanced. I wish I could have taken more shots of this dramatic weather event, but I was rushing home to close windows I had left open, not knowing it was supposed to storm like this.

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

Storm Brewing Over Antelope Island

All in all, a pretty spectacular last night of my stay on Antelope Island.

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September 22, 2016 Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck

Teton Bison and Pronghorns

Clouds Over the Tetons

Clouds Over the Tetons

Been fighting the weather here recently, very mixed bag of conditions, lots of clouds, heavy morning fog, and late afternoon rain. The early morning image above is a good example of the mountains creating their own weather conditions. This was taken several days ago and was one of the last mornings the Tetons were even visible.

The Oxbow and Mount Moran

The Oxbow and Mount Moran

Fall has officially arrived here as the trees are starting to put on their autumn show.

Mount Moran

Mount Moran

Teton Foliage

Teton Foliage

Teton Foliage

Teton Foliage

Cottonwoods

Cottonwoods

Mormon Row

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Mormon Row is a north/south dirt road connecting the Gros Ventre Campground to the Antelope Flats Road. I drive this road every morning that it is not raining because there is a large herd of bison grazing in the area, plus a couple small bands of Pronghorns, and, if the animals are on the correct ( west ) side of the road, in just the right portion of the fields, they can be photographed with the Tetons in the background with the mountains being bathed in the early morning light.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

The past week, I have had a few opportunities to almost get the perfect shot. But something is always just a little less than perfect. The sun is covered by low hanging clouds leaving nice light on the mountaintops but the bison and foreground in shade …

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

… or I manage to get some light on the foreground and the sky clouds up over the mountains …

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

… or the clouds throw some part of the image, trees in the mid ground above, in weird dark shadow.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

What seems to happen most often though is that the herd will be grazing on the wrong side of the road, west side in the afternoon so you are shooting into the sun, or the east side in the morning …

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

… resulting in this kind of impossible shot.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

But still, I have some really nice reference photos for when I finally get back to painting, where I can then paint in the perfect sky or well lit foreground.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

You might ask why I don’t just hop out of the car and hike out in the field to get the herd between myself and the mountains with the sun at my back? Well, these fields  ( flats, meadows? ) are hundreds of acres in size, on both sides of the road, and there is not a single tree anywhere in those hundreds of acres, so I don’t really feel it would be too wise to go tromping around out there amongst hundreds of bison with nowhere to hide if one of them happened to take offense with my being out there.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

These guys are seriously large, and even with the car as my protection, when you are right in the midst of them, they can be very intimidating.

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Pronghorns

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck

These beautiful animals are one of my favorites out here in the west. But, like the bison, they just refuse to cooperate for this photographer and are always located in the worst possible lighting conditions when I encounter them up close enough to get some nice shots.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck

In dead shade wth the rising sun behind them, like in the two shots above.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns

This group I actually encountered in a place where I could get them out in good light, with the sun at my back, as you can see with the sun on the mountains behind them. But just when they arrived at the perfect spot for a ridge top photo, a cloud blocked the sun behind me … just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to these guys.

Pronghorns

Pronghorns

And they are moving fast, so there is no waiting for the sun to pop back out and get that great shot.

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Buck

Pronghorn Bucks

Pronghorn Bucks

Pronghorn Bucks

Pronghorn Bucks

These guys put themselves in position to get some great light on them, so, of course they moved out onto a section of the flats that is being reclaimed  for native grasses to take over.

Pronghorn Bucks

Pronghorn Bucks

Someday I’ll get that perfect shot!

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September 30, 2015 Grand Tetons

Horses and Grand Teton

Horses and Grand Teton

A Gorgeous Morning in the Tetons

Teton Bison Dawn Move

Teton Bison Dawn Move

As I moved down Mormon Row just as the sun was coming up, I had to wait for a herd of forty or more bison to trudge, single file, across the road, coming down from the hills to spend their day grazing in the meadows.

As always, click on any image for a larger, sharper version.

Sleeping In

Sleeping In

When I arrived at the pastures where the Triple X keeps their horses, I found this one sleeping in, enjoying every minute of the sun’s early rays on a cool autumn morning.

Horses and Grand Teton

Horses and Grand Teton

Horses and Grand Teton

Horses and Grand Teton

I had been hoping for a morning like this since I arrived here, clear blue skies and the herd on this side of the pasture where I could use Grand Teton for a backdrop.

Horses and Grand Teton

Horses and Grand Teton

Horses and Tetons

Horses and Tetons

The image above is made up of four separate photos stitched together yielding a print size of well over four feet.

Teton Bison Family

Teton Bison Family

Just a little farther north of the horse pasture is a field of several hundred acres where these free roaming wild bison can usually be found. Today they were slowly moving north along a rough gravel road on the east side of the field, again allowing me to use Grand Teton as a backdrop. A little patience was needed as it took the herd over an hour to graze their way to a point where they came out of the shade and far enough along the road to be able to fit Grand Teton in behind them.

Bison and Grand Teton

Bison and Grand Teton

Bison and Grand Teton

Bison and Grand Teton

Grand Teton and Cottonwoods

Grand Teton and Cottonwoods

Much farther out along this same rough road I came across yet another way to shoot Grand Teton. Exploring these back roads gets a little hairy in my no clearance Prius and today was no exception, almost getting bogged down not too far from where I grabbed this shot. I have visited this area several times over the years and never seem to tire of searching the area for wildlife and/or mountain shots.

 

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October 1, 2013 Feds Shut Down Teton National Park

The Grand Tetons

The Grand Tetons

Wouldn’t you know, today is the first day since my arrival that I woke up to clearing skies, sunshine and a federal government shutdown. All the entrances to the park have been blockaded and the campgrounds told to boot everybody out. I figured I would head up Route 89/191 and would at least be able to watch for moose around the oxbow area and north past Colter Bay, and be able to get some nice landscape shots of the Tetons from that vantage point. On the internet it was noted that the highway through the park was kept open during the last shutdown in 1995, though all the access roads into the park from this route were blocked off.

The Grand Tetons

The Grand Tetons

 

However, I was forcefully told by a park ranger that there would be NO travel on these state roads during this shutdown.

 

 

 

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison courtship

 

 

 

 

 

 

After being turned around by the rangers at the Moran entrance to Grand Teton National Park, I encountered a large herd of bison and stopped to take some shots. These guys were part of a large herd of at least 200 animals and they seemed to be moving north towards Yellowstone with a purpose. This could well have been a scene from the old west.

Teton pronghorn in autumn

Teton pronghorn in autumn

Teton pronghorn in autumn

Teton pronghorn in autumn

Heading back towards the Gros Ventre campground I came upon a couple of pronghorn bucks traveling separately along the edge of the woods by the Gros Ventre River.

Pronghorn challenge

Pronghorn challenge

Pronghorn battle

Pronghorn battle

 

 

 

 

 

When they got within 30 feet of each other, they squared off and began a pretty serious skirmish that finally ended with one chasing the other out of the meadow they were in.

Jackson from Teton Pass

Jackson from Teton Pass

After grabbing lunch at the motorhome, and with the park now out of bounds, I decided to go back through Jackson, up over the Teton Pass on Route 22 to Victor, Idaho, take Route 31 south from there to Route 26 east along the Snake River and the Palisades Reservoir, then to complete the loop, 89 to 191/189 north back to Jackson. An interesting ride ( note to self and other RV’ers, be advised that Route 22 up and over the Teton Pass is not one I would want to attempt with my motorhome, a very long steep grade ) through rich Idaho farmland, scenic canyons, and the Snake River Valley.

Autumn colors Idaho

Autumn colors Idaho

Autumn colors Idaho

Autumn colors Idaho

 

 

I found some surprisingly colorful foliage enroute in the area of the palisades reservoir.

 

 

 

 

Abandoned Idaho farmhouse

Abandoned Idaho farmhouse

Along with this abandoned farmhouse. Made it home just before dark, and though it turned out to be a little longer day trip than I had anticipated, I do believe it was worth the trip.

Teton cabins

Teton cabins

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

 

 

 

 

 

LotOfFemales3Image

Pronghorn harem

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison

Teton Bison