June 2, 2018 Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton Bison
Classic Western Scene

Last of the Wildlife Shots From Grand Teton

This park is proving to be a great spot for wildlife photos in the spring. I had been visualizing a shot such as the one above since I arrived here and heading back to the campground the other day, here they were, a small group of bison heading down to the Morman Farm area and needing to cross the road just as I was passing by.

Pronghorns
Pronghorns

And farther up the road, on the same day, this group of female pronghorns, grazing amongst the Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers. I had really hoped to finally get some shots of some pronghorn fawns but I guess I am just a little too early for that as these gals look like they are still a week or so away from having little ones.

Bear #399 and Cubs
Bear #399 and Cubs

I briefly ran into Bear #399 and her cubs again, though this time only for a brief moment as they crossed a meadow and quickly disappeared into the woods.

Retreating Elk with Calf
Retreating Elk with Calf

Finally I have seen a new born elk calf, though I couldn’t get a decent shot of it as mom hastily retreated when I appeared on the scene. At least I know that they are giving birth at this time, though I have seen very few elk cows out and about recently.

River Otters
River Otters

Jackson Lake Dam Outlet

I spent some time at the outlet below the dam on Jackson Lake yesterday and was surprised at the amount of activity there. I had stopped just to watch the shore fisherman and see what they were catching ( small Lake Trout and some Cut throat Trout ).

River Otter
River Otter

While watching the fisherman casting from shore I noticed a pair of River Otters diving in the rushing waters coming out of the dam. Unfortunately I missed getting the best shots as the pair would catch a fish, dash ashore and climb the bank, then rush across thirty feet of open ground to some bushes, where they would be mobbed by three young otters they were delivering the fish to. All quickly disappeared back into the brush to eat and then the adults would return to the river to fish again.

Common Mergansers
Common Mergansers

Also actively fishing the churning waters were a small group of Common Mergansers, here seen resting on shore before heading out into the rapids.

Common Merganser Pair
Common Merganser Pair
Common Merganser Pair
Common Merganser Pair
Common Mergansers
Common Mergansers

They concentrated their efforts at the edge of the rushing waters exiting the dam, most likely picking off fish that were stunned as they came through the dam.

White Pelican
White Pelican

A pair of White Pelicans were also working the same area.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans
Trail Obstruction
Trail Obstruction

One morning I noticed a few large Bison Bulls as I was driving the main road in the park and pulled off and parked and headed down a trail through the willows to see if I could get a closer shot of them. As I rounded a corner of the trail, I ran into a trail obstruction, in the form of the aforementioned Bison. The three bulls stared at me as I looked around for the safest way out of this situation. Two of the bison turned and jumped over the fence you see on the right, clearing the top rail with their front legs but loudly crashing the rail as their bellies came down on the fence. The third bison simply stood his ground, so I retreated back to my parked car.

Grand Teton Bison
Grand Teton Bison
Grand Teton Bison
Grand Teton Bison

You just can’t appreciate just how large these animals are until you are face to face with them. Very powerful animals.

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May 29, 2018 Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Blondie with Cubs
Blondie with Cubs

A Beary Good Day in the Tetons, Part II

Blondie
Blondie

This is Blondie, a Mama bear with two two year old cubs, found grazing in Pilgrim Flats at the same time as Bear #399 and her two cubs were, a very rare occurrence.

Blondie
Blondie

A ranger told me that just a day ago, Bear #399 took exception to Blondie being in her territory and there was a bit of a row and #399 drove her from the area, obviously only temporarily.

Blondie
Blondie

Those two would appear to be pretty evenly matched, sizewise, but #399 is much older and is the more dominant bear, again, according to the ranger.

Blondie
Blondie
Blondie
Blondie

Blondie was constantly picking her head up and surveying the area to detect any sign of trouble from #399, who was on the other side of the highway, a couple hundred yards away.

Blondie with Cub
Blondie with Cub
Blondie with Cub
Blondie with Cub
Blondie, the Entertainer
Blondie, the Entertainer

As you can easily see, these bears collect quite a crowd of admirers. I would hazard a guess that at this time, an hour after I first arrived here, there must have been 200 people here with cars lining both sides of the road for a quarter mile or so.

Blondie with Cub
Look Both ways

The rangers and the bear control volunteers put out traffic cones to keep an area clear for the bears to cross the highway, the idea being that no vehicles, or people are allowed in the area protected by the cones.

Grizzly Cubs
A new Plaything!

But to the cubs, the cones are there for another purpose. The cubs were easily distracted by the discovery of a new plaything.

Grizzly Cubs
Grizzly Cubs

What are all those people staring at?

Blondie Retrieving Cubs
Blondie Retrieving Cubs

Mom hurries back to gather up her cubs and whisk them to safety, off the road and away from all those people.

Blondie Retrieving Cubs
Blondie Retrieving Cubs

But they are hesitant to leave behind their new discovery.

I would assume that I have just about used up all my luck concerning bear shots for this trip to the Tetons. Today was an exceptionally unusual day, two bears, each with cubs, on a sunny morning, doesn’t get much better than that!

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