Secluded Valley Overlook, Northern Range, YNP
January 01, 2010
Not the most dramatic image for the 1st Picture of the
Week in this New Year... The purpose for this image is
to show the lack of snow pack as of January 1st in
Lamar Valley (a.k.a., Secluded Valley). Right now, the
snow is thin and grainy like sugar. Snowshoes are not
necessary to walk around as you will sink right down to
the ground level.
A winter storm is "in the works" as of today, but as I sit
here in Gardiner at an elevation of 5,200', there is no
snow. Hopefully our winter will show itself soon
enough! Happy New Year Everyone!
Cold Beaver, Yellowstone National Park, WY
January 11, 2010
Most of this winter season a lone beaver has been seen
near the confluence of the Soda Butte Creek & Lamar
River. In this cold early morning, the beaver was not too
active... Occasionally floating downstream, looking like
a log coated in fur, it would submerge below the ice for a
few moments only to show it's nose and eye.
The most recent survey, conducted in 2007 suggests
that there is an minimum estimate of 750 beaver in the
park in 127 colonies.
Winterscape's, Yellowstone National Park, WY
January 18, 2010
Winter changes the landscapes of Yellowstone. The
above two images represent moments where one can let
the imagination play for a while. You can see grasses
covered in hoar frost, or you can see ancient marine life
forms crawling towards the water.
Mouse over this image to see a winterscape of the
Lower Geyser Basin.
It could be alien pods lying dormant under the snow
pack, or just what it is, snow built up around rock
It's fun to let your imagination run wild now & again...
Orange Mound Spring, Mammoth Hot Springs, YNP
January 28, 2010
One of my favorite features on the Upper Terrace
section of Mammoth Hot Springs. This feature has
been wonderfully active in recent past.
Mouse over the image for a different look at this hot
It is 4 in 1 ~ terrace, cascade, cone as well as a fissure
Winter has set in which makes this even more
Midway Geyser Basin & Bald Eagle, Yellowstone
February 9, 2010
The elements on this day brought together a wonderful
view of winter in Yellowstone. Excelsior Geyser
Crater in Midway Geyser Basin, once a 300' high plume
of hot water is currently a pool of extremely hot blue
water, surrounded by a snow-filled landscape. Fire & Ice!
Mouse over this image for a view of a bald eagle along
the Gibbon River.
Alone in Winter, Yellowstone National Park
February 20, 2010
The harsh contrasts of winter in Yellowstone show
themselves at random moments... In Hayden Valley, a
lone lodgepole pine tree awaits it's next rub by a
passing bison. Marks along the tree's trunk tell us that
a bison did leave it's mark in previous months, but now in
February, the tree stands alone surrounded by
Weight Change, Yellowstone National Park
March 1, 2010
Bull elk start too drop their massive rack of bone about
this time of year.
The heavy antlers that extend from the skull of this
large ungulate shed each year, only to grow again for the
next season. This bull had nearby buddies who had just
recently shed their extra weight and as he tossed his
head back in a look of defiance, I wondered if he too
just wanted to lose some weight!
Glowing Hot Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, YNP
March 10, 2010
For my last night in the park's Upper Geyser Basin
during this winter season, I stood quietly among the
thermal pools by moon light. After 10 p.m. I was hoping
to capture a night eruption of Old Faithful Geyser. As
I waited, I turned towards the Firehole River and
exposed a 22 second shot of a spring that I illuminated
with a small headlamp. It appears to have the glow from
below, but in actuality the straight rising steam helped to
hold the light above the pool as the surface went into a
St. Patrick's Day Grizzly Bear, YNP
March 17, 2010
My first bear sighting in 2010! While driving over the
Yellowstone River bridge near Tower Junction, we
spotted a grizzly bear to the south. Upon closer
inspection he was meandering uphill towards the
Yellowstone River Picnic Area. Thankfully no one was
taking a lunch break at the time! We watched the bear
for over an hour. As most male bears emerge first from
their winter slumber, this big boar was lazily lumbering
from one spot of shade to another, yawning every few
Mouse over this image to see the bear sticking his
tongue out while taking a big yawn!
Oregon Sights, Spring Break Trip
March 31, 2010
After 2,700 miles of driving, my wife Lucy and I saw
much of one state and little of the other two (CA and
ID). From Gardiner, we drove through Idaho to get to
Oregon. We x-country skied the rim of Crater Lake,
stood next to a 10' wall of snow pack, mountain biked
some single track thru oaks dripping with mosses, visited
an ancient Redwood grove in Northern California,
camped in the rain of the Oregon coast, telemark skied
Mt. Bachelor, and drank a few good micro brew beers
along the way. In all, the nine day "spring break" trip we
did to Oregon was worth every moment!
Mouse over this image for a view of the Oregon Coast.
Lower Lava Creek Falls, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
April 11, 2010
A back country waterfall, not visible from any roadside,
but just a short distance away. The lower falls on Lava
Creek is visible from the trail, but from a far... To get
this angle, one needs to bushwhack over talus slopes, up
and over down logs and in this time of year, either muddy
and/or still frozen ground. A beautiful waterfall if I do
say so! I am not sure what to estimate for it's size...
Maybe 25-30 feet?
Grizzly Sow & 2-yr old, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
April 11, 2010
Bears in Yellowstone are out-and-about!!! On this
particular day I watched six grizzly bears. Two were
large bears interested in an elk taken by wolves. The
second two grizzlies were wrestling on a snow field in
Lamar Valley, my guess is they were siblings out
enjoying the afternoon... The third two were those seen
here. A mom and her 2-year old. These two were near
the High Bridge by Mammoth Hot Springs.
There was also a confirmed sighting today of a sow
grizzly bear with FOUR cubs-of-the-year seen on
Swan Lake Flats, just south of Mammoth Hot
Springs!!! That is rare as well as early for momma bears!
Transitions, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
April 30, 2010
Spring is the season of transitions. Here a bull elk has
recently shed his antlers, beginning the new growth
almost immediately. As with the elk, the spring weather
too is full of transitions... The lower elevations are
turning green while the higher hills melt the winter
blanket of white into the soil and rivers. Precipitation in
the form of snow can still fall from the clouds, even into
June! Soon this bull elk will have a nice summer coat, a
full set of new antlers and the valleys will be lush and
green - but the snow looks like it might hold on just a
||Canyon Wolf Pack, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
May 6, 2010
The Canyon Wolf Pack has been the most habituated
wolf pack in Yellowstone. They seem to not be too
alarmed while in close proximity to humans... They are
not approaching in an aggressive way, but will walk near
roadsides, cross the road near people, etc... Luckily
they have not been handed human foods, hopefully with
the influx if summer visitation, it stays that way. So far,
the pack is doing normal wolf things, but it happens to
be near people. Should this behavior be considered
habituation or a new way of adapting in a world filled
Mouse over this image for another view of the same
wolf. 1st image is on an elk carcass near the Boiling
River. The 2nd image is on Swan Lake Flats.
Twin Lakes Wolf & Elk Saga, Yellowstone Nat'l Park,
May 18, 2010
A saga of patience and persistence unfolded in a small
pond between North and South Twin Lakes. Two
wolves (possibly from the Quadrant Wolf Pack), a black
and collared gray were seen chasing this cow elk into
the water. As the gray patiently waited, the elk
struggled to figure out her options. The black wolf
stayed back, hidden in the timber, howling...
As the afternoon weather changed to hail, sleet and
rain, lightning and thunder, the wolves moved out of sight
and the elk stood at the waters edge.
Mouse over this image to see another view of the gray
||Bear Family of Five, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
May 30, 2010
As this is not my typical sizing for an image, I think it
captures the elements.
An unlikely sight for Yellowstone, here you see a sow
grizzly bear who has four cubs-of-the-year (coy)! She
is doing quite well spending time near Swan Lake Flats
and Bunsen Peak south of Mammoth Hot Springs.
She has been successful in capturing elk calves for
food and the 4 are typical cubs...sleeping, wrestling,
nursing, etc. It is not likely that they all will survive, but
none the less, this is a wonderful time in their lives (as
well as for the 2-legged kind who enjoy watching bears in
||California Condor & Sea Otter, Coastal California
June 21, 2010
I just returned from a trip to California, where I drove
the coast from Laguna Beach to Marin County north of
San Francisco. Near Big Sur on the sheer cliffs of
Highway 1, we were blessed with a once-in-a-lifetime
sighting! With less than 200 California Condors in the
wild, we were circled by 4 for about 15 minutes! So
close you could smell them! Just about 10' over our
heads we watched as #99 and three others caught the
coastal currents! #99 hatched in April of 1999 in the
San Diego Wild Animal Park.
As he was raised in captivity, he is now fully wild and a
proud father of 1.
Mouse over this image for a look at a wild sea otter near
Grizzly with 3 cubs & Coyote, Alum Creek, Hayden
July 2, 2010
This week's picture was a wild moment, but a far off
shot. Shooting at a distance, without a tripod at a
moving target can be difficult. This sow grizzly had 3
cubs-of-the-year she was protecting, while eating on an
elk carcass in Hayden Valley. She left for a few
moments and a coyote came in for a treat of elk meat.
The sow didn't want to relinquish the meal to the
scavenger, so she charged back in to defend her food
source. I enjoyed how the largest of the 3 cubs struck
the same pose as mom, head down, staring, defending
the food & it's siblings. A lesson learned early in life!
||An Evening With Grizzlies, Dunraven Pass, YNP
July 12, 2010
An evening excursion to the northern side of Dunraven
Pass, just might include a wonderful grizzly bear sighting!
On this particular evening, a sow grizzly with her 2
cubs-of-the-year (coy) were bedded in a 1988 burned
area. She stood, made her way across the road towards
the wildflower meadows that you see in this image. The
later evening light was spectacular on the meadow & the
bears. She is becoming quite tolerant of people, and I
hope that this does not prove to be a downfall for her
or her cubs future. So, cross your fingers for this bear
family & for your Dunraven sightings!
Bit of Griz, Hellroaring Guard Station, Gallatin Nat'l
July 24, 2010
More than half way through our 30-mile hike, we crossed
a back-country bridge at the confluence of Horse Crk
& Hellroaring Crk. On the rail was a tuft of grizzly bear
fur, snagged as a passing bear used the bridge crossing.
On this hike we set the first human tracks on the upper
reaches of Grizzly Creek drainage, following behind
bear, wolf, elk, moose and others... Starting in Paradise
Valley from the Mill Crk Road, we took Passage Falls
Trail to Wallace Pass, over to Grizzly Crk, down
Hellroaring Crk, back to Yellowstone Nat'l Park. An
Old Faithful Inn & Pre-dawn Wildflowers, Yellowstone,
August 4, 2010
My schedule has kept me very busy! Last week I was
based out of the Upper Geyser Basin for a night. I
woke before the dawn, greeting the first visible eruption
of Old Faithful Geyser. Afterwards, with the basin
almost to myself, I walked Geyser Hill... This scene
captured my attention, with the sun still behind the hills,
the historic Old Faithful Inn lined up nicely with the run
off from New Blue Spring above the Firehole River and
the wildflowers in the foreground...
Close-up Bear Encounter, Yellowstone, WY
August 16, 2010
Yellowstone this summer, as had more encounters with
humans that have turned unfortunate. The 'take home
message' should be that it is up to humans to abide the
rules of being in Bear Country. It is usually the human
who is at fault for encounters with bears that turn into a
mauling/killing. Last week I spent 2-days with the March
Family. This picture was taken by Eddie March from
the back seat over his father's shoulder on the
Chittenden Road near Dunraven Pass. This is the same
bear family seen on my Picture of the Week, July 12th.
As mentioned, the sow has been quite tolerant of
people. I trust that people are smart and stay in their
vehicles when she approaches the road and do nothing
to aggravate her the rest of the season. With increases
in park visitation, each & every individual, needs to take
personal responsibility and be smart with their actions in
||Frosted Thermals, Yellowstone, WY
September 6, 2010
September brings change - not only the end of the
bison rut and the beginning of the elk mating season, but
winter weather too! Yesterday the snow fell in the high
country for the 2nd time this season. As I drove into
Hayden Valley, the temperatures dropped to 25
degrees and the clouds started to break, letting in the
morning light. Here are two un-named thermal features
in the south end of the valley along the Yellowstone
Special Note ~ sorry for the delay in new images
recently... Lucy (my wife) & I just closed on a piece of
Montana Land! We are now proud new home owners in
Autumn Color, Yellowstone, WY
September 14, 2010
From last week's picture of frost covered landscapes,
this week I transition to the wonderful season of autumn
colors. This drying fireweed is currently one of the red
splashes seen on Yellowstone Northern Range. Winter
will be on its way soon enough! Now is the time to hike
the terrain with cool temperatures through the crisp
Midway Morning, Yellowstone, WY
September 29, 2010
Work is keeping me more than busy lately... But an
early morning look at Midway Geyser Basin, with the
autumn colors, and brief glimpses of the sun from over
my shoulder made for a very special scene.
Oh, how I do like the fall season.... Enough said....
Retreating Bison, Yellowstone, WY
October 13, 2010
Last week a bull bison crossed the road near Nez Perce
Creek through the early morning fog. As I watched this
massive animal move in near silence and disappear into
the distance, I pondered where it was that he was going?
As the mating season is now over for bison, I figured he
might retreat east, on the Mary Mountain Trail to some
higher meadows for a while, maybe until the snow started
to fall. That's just a guess...
Barronette Peak, Yellowstone, WY
October 24, 2010
Work, home projects & a new 9 month old dog have been
keeping me busy, getting out with a camera is not
happening as much as I'd like... But, life moves on and
autumn is hopefully turning towards winter. With a late
summer start, snow should start blanketing the high
country and bears should start turning towards their
den. This image was taken in the NE corner of
Yellowstone this time last year... I hope to have an
updated image that is current next week, rather than a
year old... Enjoy!
Common Raven, Yellowstone National Park, WY
November 8, 2010
With Yellowstone's interior roads closed for the
interim until the winter season begins, many areas are
now inaccessible by vehicle. A raven, on the other hand
- has direct access to all areas! One of the largest birds
in the Corvidae family, a raven can weigh up to 3.6 lbs.
Lifespans in the wild can range up to 15 years, but have
been recorded to 40 years. Ravens have been the
subject of mythology, folklore, art and literature from
indigenous cultures throughout the world. In
Yellowstone, after a wolf kills an elk, it is the raven (as a
species) that benefits the most from the kill site. All the
ravens present, take more meat than any other scavenger
at the carcass.
||First People's Buffalo Jump State Park (3,593'), Ulm,
November 17, 2010
This is an uncommonly sized image (4"x10"). It can be
Along the cliffs of the formerly named, Ulm Pishkun
State Park, one can find one of the largest prehistoric
bison kill sites in the United States. With over 600
years of known use, numerous Native American tribes
charged bison over the mile-long cliff edge.
From the top, one can easily be transported back in
time by glancing over the expansive view of the Rocky
Mountain Front, the Missouri River valley and the High
Plains of Montana.
White-tailed Jackrabbit, Mammoth, Yellowstone NP,
December 3, 2010
White-tailed Jackrabbits, also known as the Prairie
Hare, change color during the cold winter months. This
physical adaptation assists them from being prey to
coyote, fox and mountain lion. With leaps of 12 to 20',
the jackrabbit can maintain speeds of 35 mph! This
image was taken in March of 2010. I have not been active
with my camera lately, so I thought this a fitting winter
image for the week.
Bobcat, Blacktail Plateau, Yellowstone NP, WY
December 11, 2010
Last Sunday (12/5), I was able to get into the park with
my camera! This was the wild moment that I was blessed
with! Near the roadside along the Blacktail Plateau, this
young bobcat was walking through the snow. The
current population of bobcat in Yellowstone is not
known, but there seem to be more frequent sightings
during winter months. As the snow crusts, awaiting the
next storm, bobcats will benefit as their lightweight body
will stay on top, assisting in their hunting excursions.
Mouse over this image for another view of the bobcat
Cross Fox, Northern Range, Yellowstone NP, WY
December 22, 2010
This past week, I have been fortunate enough to watch
this red fox, in a black phase/morph, sometimes called a
Cross Fox - hunt the Northern Range of Yellowstone.
As this is not that common of a sighting, I hope that he
does not become habituated to humans with the
increase in winter visitation that begins this week. What
a wonderful sight to see!
This might just be the "Winter of the Fox"... I have had
multiple fox sightings throughout this month, up to 4
different fox in one day!
Mouse over the image for a view of the fox hunting
style- aerial attack!