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 11, 2016 Grand Tetons, Wyoming

The Tetons Just After Sunrise
The Tetons Just After Sunrise

Return to Gros Ventre Campground and the Tetons

From My Dinette Window
From My Dinette Window

I arrived at the Gros Ventre Campground last Wednesday and got myself set up in the “A” Loop, where the sites are mostly open, allowing me to get some use out of my solar panels as well as clear satellite access. When I awoke after my first night here, I noticed the folks across the road from me packing up and leaving their site, a site I thought looked all but perfect to me. So, I moved across the road and as you can see in the image above that this has got to be about as good as it gets. That is the peak of Grand Teton just showing in the center of that image. The flat meadow just past the picnic table is an area where I have seen many moose in the past. I just may end up staying here a little longer than I had initially planned.

Grand Teton and Mount Owen
Grand Teton and Mount Owen
Grand Teton
Grand Teton
Mount Owen
Mount Owen

A crystal clear blue sky day presented an opportunity to get some long distance shots of the peaks of some of the mountains.

Grand Teton from Another Angle
Grand Teton from Another Angle

Here, as in Rocky Mountain National Park, the beetle damage to the conifers at higher elevations is really making it’s mark. You can see the many dead trees up around the peaks in the images above. The damage is not quite so extensive at lower elevations.

Grand Teton Reflection
Grand Teton Reflection

Just an hour or so after sunrise, the reflections in the beaver ponds at Schwabachers Landing provide an opportunity for some nice images.

Tetons Just After Sunrise
Tetons Just After Sunrise
Tetons Just After Sunrise
Tetons Just After Sunrise

This is one of my all time favorite spots to photograph in the west, a place I am drawn back to everytime I visit the Tetons. Still waiting for a moose to show up in one of the ponds, so I will keep coming back until one finally does. Just a couple ducks today though.

The Tetons Just After Sunrise
The Tetons Just After Sunrise
Tetons Just After Sunrise
Tetons Just After Sunrise

I most likely will hang around here until the aspens have turned ( they are starting already in places ) so I can come back down here when the trees have turned gold and there is some snow on the peaks.

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