Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Different View

On a recent trip to the eastern Sierras, I took this shot in a grove of aspen. I had forgotten about the effect of zooming while the lens was open until late this summer when fellow photo guide, Wim, reminded me. Did a bunch of zoomed photos but this is my favorite.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teton Neighbors

This moose was a regular in the Gros Ventre campground in the Grand Tetons National Park where I stayed a week after completing my last tour in Yellowstone. A day after this photo was taken, he got into a fight with another bull over the local females. He ended up with a cut which looked to be in his eye, although the healing, which came quickly, showed the eye was okay. He also lost a piece of that antler.
Fights can get pretty rough. That rack of antlers weighs about 75 pounds.

The female, below, was more interested in browsing and scratching her neck on this old buck-and-rail-fence that she was in the male. The photo is small but you can click on it for a larger version.

Air quality was poor due to wildfires and prescribed burns. But this particular morning Teton peak showed from the campground with the siloutte of the bull moose. The little bright dot which looks at first glance to be his eye, is a willow leaf stuck to his hair.

The photos below actually belong with the previous blog....but ended up here. The first is a photo of Joe and I near the entry arch to Yellowstone. We were photographing pronghorn in the meadow. This photo and the next, of me taking the photo of the bison hair (see previous blog post) were taken by Chris Nelson. Joe and his wife, Mary, and Theron are old friends from the Diablo Valley Camera Days. Chris is Theron's son. This was an avid group of photographers, but not so serious about it that we didn't do a lot of laughing, kidding, and socializing.

Doug, my fellow photo guide, used to kid me about taking photos of bison hair....He should enjoy these photos and the lengths I went to to photograph the hair on the vegetation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall in Yellowstone

September is a special time in Yellowstone. The crowds are reduced and more mellow. The bison rut is diminishing while the elk rut gets underway. The air is rent with the sound of elk bugling as dominant males call together their harems.

Leaves and late season blossom are edged with frost. Small geo-thermal features, hardly noticeable in warmer air, are now obvious. The water of Yellowstone Lake, exceeds the morning air temperature, creating spectacular fogs along the Yellowstone River.

The end of the season was bittersweet. I have made the decision not to return next year. It was an incredible four years; I have made great friends, I have made Yellowstone my back yard, and I have regained my interest in photography which became almost nil after Lin died. I have made the transition to digital, I love going out with my camera again, and I am learning new skills. Thank you Doug (Doug Hilborn, fellow photo guide in Yellowstone) for that tour in 2008 that re-sparked my interest and for your support in my becoming your co-photo guide.........OKAY! for doing "YOUR" tours on your days off! I worked for a great department, had a wonderful boss, was impressed by the level and commitment to training the guides, had fun driving the classy 30's vintage bus, seeing grizzlies and ospreys, elk, marmots, eagles, white pelicans, wildflowers, geysers, waterfalls. I enjoyed watching the scenery and wildlife change as the seasons moved from spring to fall as I toured early in the morning, or went exploring on my days off,. Fellow employees and park regulars shared information on where things were happening. Thanks to Wim, the other photo guide, for reminding me to "play" with my camera, zooming while the shutter is open, or lying on the ground looking up.

And while I won't be back next year, I know I will be back for visits and possibly to work again some day, when I get the wanderlust out of my system. My boss, Rob, assures me that I would be welcomed back. The photo guide position, working between two locations, might not be available, but there is room for me in a driving\guiding position.

Here are a few more September images. A visit by some members of my old Diablo Valley Camera Club was special and many of these were made during that visit. Special people, special time.

Canada Goose feather on frosted log. Click to enlarge to see better

Bison hair caught on vegetation.

Small hot spring near Mud Volcano. The foggy effect is a combination of steam from the hot water in the hot spring and fog above the Yellowstone River in the distant background. Chris and I got up early on the last day the camera club group was visiting and photographed the beautiful sunrise lighting.

Moose Falls. I stopped here on my way between Gros Ventre campground in the Tetons (see next blog) and my official employment check out.

Across from Mary Bay on the north shore of Yellowstone Lake during my last week.