MacNeil Lyons Images
Picture Of The Week Page - 2012
Here you will find a collection of pictures that have been posted on the home page of this website throughout the year
of 2012. Follow one of the links to previous 'Pictures of the Year' pages using the navigation bar above!  

Not all of these pictures are necessarily 'marketable' images. They are more of a way for you as the guest to see new and
possibly exciting looks into what the photographer is seeing and or doing week by week.

If there are any images that you would like to know more about or possibly purchase, please do not hesitate to contact
MacNeil at

Bison Contrasts, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone N.P.,
January 13, 2012
My first installment of the 2012 Pic o' the Week!
With less snowpack on the Northern Range, there is
more forage for bison this year, than in times past...  
This images shows a group of cows and their calves
making their way towards the Lamar River across the
wind blown grasslands.
I changed the levels slightly on this digital image and
pulled up the contrast a bit to create the stark
difference in black and white colors.  
Golden Eagle - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

A Golden Moment, Lamar Valley, Yellowstone N.P.,
January 22, 2012
Anticipating the flight of this large golden eagle is
what helped me capture this frame.  I watched as this
eagle swooped up from the Lamar River with a
Goldeneye drake in its talons.  It landed in the sage
covered hillside near the road and for 20 minutes I
watched it feed!  As it finished the meal, I hoped for
it to fly towards me... I was able to capture this
unique moment when it lifted off the snow and
became airborne with a full stomach & crop (the
storage area of the bird's esophagus).
Agate Female Wolf - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Agate Female Wolf, Little America, Yellowstone
N.P., WY
January 31, 2012
As the 2012 wolf mating season begins, Northern
Range wolf packs are moving on the landscape a bit
more throughout the daylight hours.  This is a female
wolf from the Agate pack.  Her father, 641M, was
recently killed by another pack from the south of her
territory. She is now running with, a near white wolf,
471F, her un-collared sister who has a black coat
and as of January 31, 2012 - a new male wolf who was
scent marking on top of the alpha female 471... It is
speculative as to where he came from, possibly a
dispersing male from the Mollies pack - the pack who
recently killed her father 641M...
Agate/Blacktail Wolf Group - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

"Agate/Blacktail Group" - Little America,
Yellowstone NP, WY
February 18, 2012
It is not too often that I am able to post 2 wolf
pictures back-to-back as a Picture of the Week!  
Today promised a great deal of potential... A recent
new pairing is possible on the Northern Range of
Yellowstone - #471F (white'ish wolf) from the
Agate Pack was running with "Big Blaze" from the
Blacktail Pack, the two-tone black wolf to her left.  
She is 8-9 years old, she recently lost some of her
pack in a fight with a much larger group.  "Big Blaze",
so named due to the white blaze on his chest was with
#471, a yearling female from the Agates, and 2 other
males from the Blacktail Pack.  They were in hot
pursuit of a female in estrus -
Mouse over this image
to see her
!  At the time of this posting, it was not
known as to who the lone gray wolf was or where she
came from.
Six Coyotes - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Pack o' Coyote, Yellowstone NP, WY
March 3, 2012
Not your typical sighting, a pack of coyotes... But
yes, it does happen... Here on a 9 degree F morning
on the banks of the Gardiner River, north of
Mammoth Hot Springs multiple coyotes fed on a
recently killed cow elk. The middle-aged elk was
brought down by the Canyon Pack of wolves just an
hour before.  They were moved off the carcass by
nearby cars and people... The coyotes benefited as
they are more tolerant of humans than wolves are...
Coyotes have adapted to having the wolf back in the
park - not only are there meals to scavenge, but stick
close to people and you are less likely to be killed
by a wolf!  Safety in numbers too! More eyes to
keep a watch out - for good reason - the wolves were
just a short ridge over from the carcass.  
Mouse over
the image to see a close up of one coyote with early
morning light in the eye
Pronghorn & Bison - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Spring Migration, Yellowstone NP, WY
March 20, 2012
With the next season upon us, signs of Spring are
here!  My first Mountain Bluebird was seen on
March 12th and the grasses around Mammoth Hot
Springs are beginning to show shades of green!  
This image of North American proghorn was taken
back in December - but alas, with the greening they
will be making their push back to the higher country
of Lamar Valley soon enough...  Bison are now a
regular sighting near the Roosevelt Arch ~
thankfully, their winter migration was not as early as
last, so no serious issues with the bison management
issue so far...  
Mouse over this image to see three
cow bison awaiting the rising sun on a cold pre-dawn
morning on the Blacktail Plateau.
The bison image
was taken last week...
Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, Bald Eagle/Great Blue Heron - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland
April 1, 2012
Spring in the air here in Montana reminded me of an
image that I took a few years ago, while visiting family
on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  By the tallied votes,
the tree was determined to be a Tulip Poplar.  The
color of buds somewhat matched the beak of the
eagle... To me it was a very spring-like picture.  
Blackwater NWR was set aside for protection in
1933 & contains 1/3 of Maryland's tidal wetlands -
an important ecological niche for many!  It also
provides a sactuary for miratory birds along the
Atlantic Flyway.  
Mouse over this image to see a
Great Blue Heron, also at Blackwater NWR as it
patiently waits for its morning meal
Yellowstone River Trail - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River, YNP,
April 18, 2012
A little overdue with my updated picture... Sorry for
that folks!
Last weekend, I hiked the 12 mile stretch from the
Blacktail Plateau to Gardiner, Mont., following the
Yellowstone River.  The trail has been closed
towards Gardiner due to private property issues, but
there are ways around that, staying on public lands
(or non-profit)...  Pasque flowers were blooming and
plenty of buttercups!  We followed cougar and grizzly
tracks and did find our fair share of ticks too!
I very much enjoy rounding this bend to take in the
view of Electric Peak!
Sandhill Crane - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Sandhill Crane, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
May 1, 2012
Spring is really trying to show itself here!!! With
snow every other day, rain and thunder, mixed with
sunny warm days.... That's Spring in the Northern
Rocky Mountains...  Last night we had a good amount
of rain. Woke early at 4:30 am with distant bursts of
lightning to start a tour by 5:30 a.m.  It was a
wonderful day, with a beautiful sunrise.  Sandhill
cranes were near the roadside at Blacktail Ponds
eating all the worms they could grab... With the
cranes return, so have many other migratory birds
come back to welcome the start of another busy
season ahead!  
Swan Lake Flats Reflection - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Swan Lake Flats Reflection, Yellowstone Nat'l
Park, WY
May 8, 2012
With the interior park roads opening, a view into the
higher country has now been made available! One of
my "secret spots" for spring & early summer
photography is Swan Lake Flats... There are a
variety of compositions to choose from, you just
need to look!  I appreciated this small melt water
pond allowing the reflection of the multi-colored
glacial boulder with the horizontal red colors of
willow and the dramatic rise of Electric Peak in the
Blue Grouse - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Blue Grouse, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
May 18, 2012
On a tour just the other day, this male Blue Grouse
(Dusky) displayed for us while we happily watched.  
We couldn't stay for long as I was not on a
photography tour, but I did appreciated this image.  
Males can recognize other individuals by their
distinctive "hoots"...  Males will inflate sacs on their
neck to help amplifiy their hooting.  Yellowstone is
also home to the Ruffed Grouse.  
Weasel - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Long-tailed Weasel, Yellowstone Nat'l Park, WY
June 5, 2012
I haven't been capturing much lately, but a weasel ran
the road in front of me the other day and I was
reminded of this creature from 2009..  Weasels, also
known by the name,
ermine when their coat is white
during winter, are usually skittish creatures.  This lil'
gal allowed me to snap off quite a few digital frames
before scampering off.  The long-tailed has a 5" long
tail  and wraps its body around its prey as it
successfully kills by a bite to the base of the skull.
Mouse over this image for another look at the same
Bear Scrapes/Kaia Sage Lyons - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Signs of Life - MacNeil Lyons Images
June 22, 2012
My life has changed dramatically recently with the
addition of a new baby girl!
Kaia Sage Lyons, born June 7, 2012 in Bozeman,
Montana.  Just 7 lbs 1 oz. and 20" in length, she is
perfect in so many ways...  I have not been shooting
many images lately, but the day before she was born I
did get up early and go to one of my favorite sites
for nesting birds and found this bit of natural
abstract art... A black bear has used these aspens
for a climbing pole.  
Mouse over this image for a picture of Kaia, just a
few hours old

Black Bear Raids Flicker Nest, Blacktail Plateau,
July 5, 2012
I always feel like there is something else new to see
each & every day in Yellowstone and last week was
one such occasion! Over the last 12 years, I have
been blessed with amazing moments in nature on the
Blacktail Plateau Drive, a secondary park dirt road.  
As I rounded a corner, this cinnamon black bear sow
with her one cub-of-the-year was in the process of
raiding a Northern Flicker nest.  She was successful
in eating at least 1 bird that we saw... As both black
bear and grizzly are opportunistic feeders, this was
just another wild food source found in Yellowstone.
Silver Gate Fox - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Red Fox, Silver Gate, Montana
July 22, 2012
The last opportunity that I had photographing a fox
kit was in April of 2009 in Blackwater National
Wildlife Refuge, Cambridge, Maryland.  This young
fox was interested in what its parents were up to...
Curiously looking over a wildflower filled hill,
wondering if it should join them...  If you
mouse over
this image
, you can see the female (or male) adult fox
headed back to check on the other small kits left
underneath an old barn.
Mollie Gray Wolf - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Gray Wolf, Yellowstone NP, WY
August 10, 2012
As I am a relatively recent new father of a 8 week old
girl, my free time has been limited (as you can
imagine)... So this Picture of the Week comes to you
a few weeks after the last... Sorry for that.
Yesterday, this gray wolf, assumed to be a female
from the Mollie's Pack skirted between the line of
humans and another group of wolves, some of which
were her relations, but not all of them! That is the
reason for her timidness.
This was in Little America, west of Slough Creek.
Blacktail Plateau Bull Moose - Copyright MacNeil Lyons Images

Bull Moose, Yellowstone NP, WY
September 3, 2012
Wow, it has been awhile again since the last update!  
Some good photo opportunities have happened, but
alas, the uploading & post processing time is still
limited...  Anyway, it has been a few years since I
have found a large bull moose on the Blacktail
Plateau Drive - well....this was the day!  On a photo
tour, we rounded a bend in the early morning light to
find this bull courting a cow moose!  What an
enjoyable find!
Mouse over this image to see the next frame that I
shot of this handsome guy!
Electric Peak in Autumn - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

Electric Peak, Yellowstone NP, WY
October 2, 2012
Autumn has reached the higher elevations of the
Yellowstone Plateau, bringing with it cooler
temperatures & color in the deciduous trees and
ground dwelling plant communities.  As I set up to
watch the moon set near Electric Peak & the
southern terminus of the Gallatin Mountain Range
from the Blacktail Plateau - I was reminded in the
crisp morning air that winter is not far away...
Mouse over this image for the other side of Electric
Peak, taken just a few hours later from Swan Lake
Romp o' River Otter - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

A Romp of River Otter, Yellowstone NP, WY
October 9, 2012
I have seen this family of river otters a few times
lately. Mostly at Fishing Bridge, this mom and 3 pups
stayed local to their den or "holt"... Recently they
swam along the Yellowstone Lake shoreline and set
up camp in Pelican Creek.  Mom is on the right and
her three pups are to the left side of this picture.
After a snooze, they successfully went on a hunt,
catching 14+ fish collectively in just about 10
minutes!  Quite the successful family unit, I'd say!
River otters can weigh up to 30 lbs and need to eat
about 15% of their body weight each day...
Sunrise Elk w Electric - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

A Sunrise Elk, Yellowstone NP, WY
October 27, 2012
These images were taken on October 18th...  As
snow has set into the high country for winter I wanted
to post two more images from my favorite time of the
year ~ autumn...  I love the call of the bull elk during
the rut... Not all can appreciate the noise, but what it
says to me is, wildness!  A reverberating call through
thick timber, or the echo off a nearby cliff wall... The
bull elk bugle is a pure sound of wildness for me.  
So, until next September - I hope the bulls fair well
this winter... I look forward to hearing their call again
next year.
Mouse over this image for the same bull, but
different angle
... With my favorite mountain in the
Bighorn Ram (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

Season of the Ram, Yellowstone NP, WY
November 9, 2012
These images were taken this time last year, yet it is
that time again ~ the Bighorn Ram Rut!  The snow
has fallen in the high country, as well as the lower
elevations around Gardiner... The cooler
temperatures will get the rams in full swing! Soon we
should be hearing the "cracking of skulls" on the high
cliffs above the Gardiner River.
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep range from British
Columbia to Arizona. The ram can weight between
130-320 lbs and their horns can weigh up to 30 lbs!
Mouse over this image to see the stare down
immediately before the hit
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

Images of Blackwater , Cambridge, Maryland
November 19, 2012
I will be visiting family on the Eastern Shore of
Maryland for a bit around Thanksgiving, so thought a
few images of
Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge
would be appropriate to post this week.  Just a
short drive from my mother's house, this is a
spectacular place for bird and landscape
photography!  I will be taking a photo shoot there on
this visit for sure!  As these images were taken in
spring (as you can see from the buds on the tree), I
hope to come back with some nice November
images... Stay tuned! Happy Thanksgiving
everyone.... Be thankful.
Mouse over this image for sunrise with phragmites, a
perennial grass found in wetlands
Orchids at United States Botanical Gardens Washington DC - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

Orchids, United States Botanical Garden
Washington D.C.
December 6, 2012
During my visit to Maryland's Blackwater National
Wildlife Refuge, many animals were seen, but nothing
proved to be an amazing composition. While visiting
Washington DC, I am in awe of the orchids found in
the Botanical Gardens.  Even during winter you can
investigate the living collections in the moisture-rich
environment of the gardens.  These images were
taken with the natural light, without tripod.  I failed to
get the names of both flowers...   
Mouse over this image for another spectacular
orchid image!
These two images are
not for sale, but please do
inquire with me if you are interested in orchid images,
as I have many!
Northern Pygmy Owl - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images
Northern Pygmy Owl, Silver Gate, Montana
December 14, 2012
Typically owls are nocturnal, so to see one during
the daylight can be a blessing for a photographer!  
Adjacent the northeast gate to Yellowstone, sits a
small community called Silver Gate.  It was here that I
watched this very small Pygmy owl eat its morning
meal of a female Pine Grosbeak.  The Grosbeak is
on the average 2.25" taller, 2.5" wider wingspan and
weighs a
1/2 oz more than the owl...yet the little Pygmy can
take its larger prey!
Pygmy owls are mostly solitary during winter when
they hunt small birds in the daytime. They nest &
roost in natural tree cavities or old woodpecker
Mouse over this image to see the false eye-spots at
the nape of the neck
More images of this owl & its prey will soon be
posted under the
Bird section.
Northern Pygmy Owl - (c) MacNeil Lyons Images

Northern Pygmy Owl, Silver Gate, Montana
December 29, 2012
Another image from the same pygmy owl that I saw
earlier this month... I wanted to share this image with
you as well.. I captured the little owl mid-flight with
the decapitated female Pine grosbeak. I know, it is a
bit gruesome, and I really don't want to end the year
with this as my last
Picture of the Week/Month... I
have been working a lot this holiday season and I
hope that the 1st week of the new year to add a
bunch of pictures to my gallery pages! So, thank you
for tuning in and keeping in touch! Look forward for
more postings in 2013.
More images of this owl & its prey will soon be
posted under the
Bird section.

Click here to get back to the Home Page for
MacNeil Lyons Images