Blown Glass at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, NV
January 1, 2009
There are many places to visit in the "sin city"...
The Bellagio Hotel & Casino was one that I most
enjoyed because of it's upscale appearances and
fantastic water show out on the Main Strip side of
Inside Bellagio, Dale Chihuly's Fiori di Como,
composed of over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers,
covers 2,000 ft² (610 m²) of the lobby ceiling.
Desert Landscape, near Pahrump, Nevada
January 2, 2009
This mountain stood out in a vastly open world.
Seemingly alone (there were nearby mountains) this
one giant in the late afternoon light attracted my
eye. After a day of photography in Death Valley, a
co-worker and I were on our way back to Las
Vegas, this mountain near Pahrump was a nice
contrast with the nearby plant life.
Stay tuned for website updates in the near future!!!
Happy New Year Everyone!
High Sides - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
January 13, 2009
"High Sides" ~ a female wolf that was the beta of
the Druid Peak Wolf Pack is now out on her own...
She teamed up with a male from the Agate Creek
pack and was recently seen being chased by #302's
Group, now known as the Blacktail Pack. This
image was taken last week near Crystal Creek on
Yellowstone's Northern Range.
Update: "High Sides" is now known as #694, as
she has been outfitted with a radio-tracking collar.
Terraces at Sunset - Yellowstone National Park,
January 17, 2009
In the Upper Geyser Basin of the Old Faithful
area, their are many opportunities for photography!
As most visitors focus on the larger scale picture
of a geyser eruption, remember to turn and look at
the macro scale views in to the wonderful world of
light and microbes.
Move your mouse over this image for another look
at this world!
River Otter - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
January 31, 2009
As last week's weather was not ideal for
photography (at least while I was shooting), I have
added this weeks image of otters from the same
week of January, just 2-years previous...
Move your mouse over this image for another look into the
Otters have a thick coat of fur for insulation. To
maintain a clean coat, the otter rolls on the snow in
winter to keep the fur streamlined, and increasing
the "waterproofing" qualities.
In Memory of Number 6 ~ Gardiner, Montana
February 16, 2009
Photo by: Becky Datz
Sunday, Feb 8th, well-known bull elk #6 was found
dead in Gardiner, Montana. Click here to find the
link to the park service press release.
Number 6 was seen in Mammoth Hot Springs, doing
what he did best during the elk mating season... He
died at the age of 15, weighing in at 725lbs. His
antlers were removed twice in 2004 and again in
2005 as a way to reduce the danger to park visitors.
He will be missed by many.
This image was taken by Becky Datz, in her
Gardiner backyard, just the afternoon before his
Life On the Edge - Hayden Valley, Yellowstone,
February 22, 2009
A "bluebird day" of sorts in Hayden Valley... As
the sun inched towards the western horizon, the
shadows below the snow cornices became more
evident; creating a scene of contrast and beauty.
A lone bull bison walks the edge following the rest
of the herd to windblown slopes in search of forage.
Mouse over this image for another look at a Natural
Design created in Yellowstone's Winter
Cougar Tracks, Yellowstone NP, WY
March 1, 2009
Happy 137th Birthday Yellowstone National Park!
The one creature in North America that is known
by more than five names! Catamount, cougar,
panther, painter, puma, mountain lion, wildcat, to
name but a few... A successful generalist predator,
it has maintained it's existence within the boundaries
of Yellowstone, even after being hunted to near
extinction in the late 1800's.
||A Hidden Falls, Yellowstone National Park
March 8, 2009
A Trivial - Picture of the Week!
If you think you know this hidden waterfall in
Yellowstone's back country,
you can win a free 8"x10" picture of your choice!
Hint: This waterfall is not visible to the roadside
traveler, only those who venture to this location by
an off-trail excursion can witness it's beauty.
If you think that you know the answer, be the first
person to send the correct answer in an e-mail to
(sorry, those of you who I told the whereabouts of
this falls in the past few weeks - you are excluded
from this week's trivia picture...
You will have another chance!)
Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Yellowstone National
March 17, 2009
Answer to last week's Trivia Picture: Lower
Undine Falls was the waterfall.
Winner to last week's Trivia Picture: No one...
Keep checking as other trivia pictures of the week
will be showing up!
This week's image is a shot in to the microbial world
of Mammoth Hot Springs Upper Terrace. Green
single-celled bacteria create mats with odd forms in
the run out channel of Narrow Gauge Spring .
These blooms are only 1-inch in height! Darker
colors are found during wither months, due to the
cooler air temperatures.
Devil's Slide Spring Storm, Montana
March 24, 2009
Spring in the Northern Rockies can change at any
The Mountain bluebirds and ospreys have returned
from their southern vacation, as the weather
On this day hike, high up on Mount Everts, we
watched as a sunny day turned sour dropping snow
in the high country and rain in Gardiner. As we
broke trail through thigh-deep snow, we followed
grizzly bear tracks left in the snow and mountain lion
tracks left in the mud... It was an adventure, but the
views were worth every step of the way!
||Persevere for the Green Up, Lamar Valley, YNP,
March 29, 2009
Spring in the Rockies can bring a quick change in
weather! This morning's drive to Lamar Valley went
from sun to snow. A bull bison can lose quite a bit
of weight this winter, but will hopefully persevere a
few more months until the valley turns to green again.
Mouse over this image for a "painted" picture of the
Lamar Buffalo Ranch
in the summer months... This is an image that I took
last June and manipulated with Adobe Photoshop
to turn it into a painting.
I will be out of town for a few weeks - so do not
look for a new image to appear until Earth Day
||Aware Bear, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
April 26, 2009
Spring in the Rockies - another sign of change... A
recent drive to the Grand Canyon of the
Yellowstone found me side by side with an adult
grizzly bear. Luckily, I was still in my truck when I
came across him! Fitted with a radio tracking collar
and red ear tags, I am sure this bear has a history
with the Bear Management Office here in the park.
The bear lumbered on his way, following the North
Rim of the Canyon towards the Brink of the Upper
Falls. This is a reminder to you to start hiking with
bear spray and be very bear aware out there!
Bison Management, Yellowstone N.P., Wyoming
May 6, 2009
One of the strategies to keep bison from being a
nuisance outside the boundaries of the park is to
pay NPS wranglers to haze the bison away from the
north park boundary. With Electric Peak in the
distance, under the new snow fall, a group of bison
are treated more like livestock than wildlife and
pushed back towards the snow line and away from
the greening hills.
Move your mouse over this image to see a bison
calf's first steps in to Yellowstone National Park.
Bison & Bear, Yellowstone N.P., Wyoming
May 17, 2009
Near Junction Butte, an adult grizzly bear seems
small by comparison to two bull bison as it
scavenged on an elk carcass. The two young bull
bison strolled by and decided to investigate. The
bison moved the bear aside, sniffed the area and
meandered on, allowing the bear to come back in for
a few more bites. It was a unique view into the
wildness that is Yellowstone!
American Badger, Yellowstone N.P., Wyoming
May 26, 2009
A common carnivore found in Yellowstone, yet one
of the more unique looking of them all. The Badger
is a member of the Family Mustelidae, along with
weasel, wolverine, otter and pine marten. A male
19 lbs, but if food is good, up to 25 lbs. This
badger I believe to be a male due to his large size.
They will eat marmots, ground squirrels, gophers,
voles and mice. This badger was digging looking for
Unita ground squirrels in the back country of the
Northern Range. This image was taken with a
telephoto lens. Always keep a respectable
distance from wild animals.
||American Bison Calf, Yellowstone N.P., Wyoming
June 1, 2009
Tis the season for babies (calves, colts, chicks,
kits, cubs, pups, etc.). This is one of many bison
calves that were running circles around the
matriarchal groups. As the morning light hit the
valley, the calves were all up and active. It was only
10 minutes later that they all sacked out and slept
off their active greeting to the sun... It reminded me
of a joke, "a woman walks into the visitor center and
frantically pleads with the ranger to go help the
bison out in the valley... When the ranger asked what
was the problem, the woman replied that there was a
pack of Irish setters running circles around the poor
bison... Ah Miss, the ranger responded, those were
not wild dogs that you saw, those were the bison
Mountain Bluebird, Yellowstone N.P., Wyoming
June 19, 2009
To all the father's out there - Happy Father's Day!
The Mountain Bluebird father at this time of the
season is not only in charge of defending the nest
site that was selected by the female, but to retrieve
the droppings of the young within that nest. Now
that goes above and beyond the call of duty! This
bluebird nest was selected in a broken aspen tree
nearby a House Wren and a Northern Flicker nest.
Not too far away was a Tree Swallow and an
American Kestrel nest! There was certainly a lot
of commotion in that stand of trees!
||Prey and Predator, Yellowstone N.P., Wyoming
June 27, 2009
As the sun rose to the east, this cow elk stood at
attention. Elk calves were no doubt in the near
vicinity and she was alert for any nearby predators.
I enjoyed the clouds behind her as the colors
changed in a mix of swirls, almost simulating her
mixed emotions about life and death... Not long
after this image was taken, I watched a sow grizzly
bear chase a herd of elk a few miles to the south.
The bear was unsuccessful in her attempts, but I
found out that the image you see was the site of a
morning predation on an elk calf by a large boar
Mouse over this image to see the sow grizzly that I
watched this same day.
||Inside the "Bear-muda Triangle", Yellowstone
July 7, 2009
Yet another black bear jam on the roads near
During the summer of 2001 my summer job was as a
'Bear Education Ranger' with the National Park
Service. It was my duty to staff "bear jams" along
the roads of Yellowstone. I would like to say that I
coined the term, "Bear-muda Triangle" because
that summer, I could not get free from the
2.5 miles of road that surround Roosevelt Lodge.
There was always a black bear jam to keep me
busy! A few days ago I saw that a sow black bear is
teaching another generation of cubs to walk the
roadside without much concern. It is always wise to
keep space between you and any wild bear! The
more close interaction that this young cub has with
humans, the more habituated it becomes to humans.
View from Sphinx Mountain, Madison Range,
July 18, 2009
A fortress of reddish-brown conglomerate, Sphinx
Mountain (10,876') is one of the most distinctive
peaks in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
This view is from the summit looking to the south at
the majestic Taylor-Hilgard Unit, which holds the
range's highest peaks. This unit contains a series
of faults that released an earthquake on August 17,
1959 that registered 7.1 on the Richter Scale.
Sphinx Mountain is a grand isolated remnant of soft
sedimentary tableland that has been gradually
eroded by glaciers and streams. I finally reached the
summit on July 11th after looking at this mountain
from different other peaks over the past nine years.
||Sunsets & Sand Dollars, Shi Shi Beach, Olympic
Nat'l Park, WA
August 1, 2009
The long awaited trip to Olympic National Park is
now finally complete! Lucy & I spent nights camping
on the beach, hiked through rain forests to see
glaciers, met mountain goats on the trail, ate freshly
smoked salmon and drove many miles to and from
Yellowstone to make it all happen... Shi Shi ("Shy
Shy") Beach was the perfect start to our week
vacation - not a cloud in the sky for a beautiful
sunset and no bugs! We hiked about 50 miles total
and enjoyed every minute of our time together.
Mouse over this image to see one of our more cool
Grasshopper Glacier, Absaroka-Beartooth
August 10, 2009
Seven years ago I took my then girlfriend to this
same view. Now we are happily married and returned
to the spot - Grasshopper Glacier high in the
Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Once part of a
massive ice cap that gouged the headwaters of
West Rosebud Creek, it is now sadly melting.
This view looks north towards Montana's highest
peak - Granite Peak (12,799')
Mouse over this image to see the amazing
wildflowers we enjoyed along the hike!
||Lamar Valley Sunset, Yellowstone N.P., WY
August 24, 2009
Last week I taught a class based out of the historic
Lamar Buffalo Ranch. The days were full of fun
and on this particular evening, I walked out into the
middle of the Lamar Valley to photograph the
sunset. The clouds promised for some nice color,
so I waited patiently. Listening to the sound of
bison bellows (mating call) I saw clouds of dust in
the distance from bull bison wallowing throughout
the valley floor.
Mouse over this image to see my interpretation of
what a bull bison sees when he is wallowing in the
heart of Lamar Valley (a.k.a. - "bison rut cam")!
||Waterman's World, Tilghman Island, Maryland
September 16, 2009
The last two weeks of my life were spent on
Maryland's Eastern Shore.
My father passed away and this image, though not
noteworthy, would have been a sight that he would
have enjoyed. Tilghman Island was first chartered
by Captain John Smith in 1608. The name derives
from the 1775 owner, Matthew Tilghman. The area
suffered great resource loss by the British during
the war of 1812, but now is one of the last true
strongholds of the Chesapeake Bay Watermen
("wooter-men"). Watermen are a long-standing
working tradition that pull forth the life of the bay in
the form of seafood. The last working fleet of
skipjacks in North America is harbored here! The
skipjack (not the boat in the photo) is a type of
large sailboat that was developed on the
Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging.
Fire over the Firehole, Lower Geyser Basin,
September 23, 2009
The sky changed color by the minute! While hiking
into the Sentinal Meadows area of the Lower
Geyser Basin with a friend, the cresent moon rose
while the sun set beyond the Firehole River. A nice
way to end the day as the fall weather approaches.
Sour Creek & the Washburn Mtns., Yellowstone
October 5, 2009
Autumn in Yellowstone is the perfect season. It is a
time of change. As the snow begins to blanket the
high country, the lower elevation meadows take on a
wonderful golden color. The winter is near and the
animals are preparing. Move your mouse over this
image to see ravens and the snow.
Bison Calf & Record Low Temperature,
Yellowstone N.P., WY
October 12, 2009
As cold temperatures drop below the freezing zone,
some bison are still actively mating (5 weeks past
the peak). This young calf is an example of last
years late copulation. Still with it's orange-brown
coat, this young one must survive not only this
3-degree morning in Hayden Valley, but months
ahead of cold winter weather.
Move your mouse over this image to see snow in the
Absaroka Mtns. and the autumn meadows near
Apple Eating Grizzly Bear, Horr, Montana
October 22, 2009
Winter is nearing. Bears are actively feeding. In
the now, non-existent town of Horr, MT (just north
of Gardiner), multiple bears, both black and grizzly
are feeding on apple trees in people's front yards.
It is an interesting subject - how to deal with such an
issue... Leave the apples for the bears, cut the
trees down, spend a lot of money to fence the old
This was a VERY large female who will sleep very
good this winter with a full belly. Scat (bear
droppings) in the yard indicated that the bear(s)
were eating apples, hunter-killed elk/deer gut piles,
Apple Eating Grizzly Bear, near Gardiner,
November 5, 2009
This is the same bear from the other "pic of the
week". On this day it was up in the apple tree! Way
up in the tree - so remember that grizzly bears do
climb, if they feel the need to!
I will be away for the next month, so sorry, do not
expect to see a new image until at least December
Mouse over this image to see the historic town
square of Poznan, Poland.
Lucy and I will be in Maryland, Berlin, Poznan,
Prague and back to Montana next month. Check
back for more images & stories in December!
||The Old and The New, European Experience
November 16-19, 2009
Prague Castle (16th century) & St. Vitus's
Cathedral (started work 1344 - finished in 1929)
dominate the skyline of Prague in the Czech
Mouse over the image to see inside the
relatively-new Cupola on top the Reichstag in
Berlin, Germany. The German Parliamentary
Building was erected in 1884 and now hosts a
unique look down into the proceedings from on
high. Elevated above the parliament seats is an
opening at the top of the Cupola, for a touch of
irony, "to allow for the dissemination of debates
throughout the country".
Merry Christmas - KaDaWe Style!
December 23, 2009
This image was a moment caught having fun with the
Christmas ornaments at the Kaufhaus des
Westerns in Berlin last month. Otherwise known
as the KaDeWe, it is here that you can find
anything that you are looking for. "Europe's largest
temple of consumption" houses eight floors with
more than 3 million products! Choose from over
1,800 cheeses, 1,400 breads and pastries and 2,000
cold meats... The window shopping in the seafood
department or browsing the inner courtyards is
worth a visit in themselves.
Happy Holidays Everyone! May your New Year be
full of joy and wonder!
Yellowstone Peaks - The Thunderer & Druid Peak
December 29, 2009
During the week of Christmas, I found myself
teaching a Field Seminar for the Yellowstone
Association Institute, based out of the Lamar
Buffalo Ranch in the heart of Lamar Valley. The
snow pack is not what it should be right now, but the
scenery is none the less, spectacular!
The images that you see here are of the late
afternoon moon rise over The Thunderer (10,554')
and the pink sky at sunset above Druid Peak
Enjoy your holidays! Keep checking in for new
images in the months to follow! Happy New Year