Thursday, August 17, 2006

Birds and Mammals From Teton-Yellowstone

Osprey in flight over Excelsior Geyser Crater, YNP

I was taking pictures with my 18-70mm lens, and an eagle and osprey had a little territory dispute over the Excelsior Geyser Crater. By the time I got my 70-300 lens mounted, they both had taken off. I left the longer lens mounted and about 20 minutes later the osprey returned for a few circles around the geyser basin.

Osprey at Cottonwood Creek, GTNP

Osprey are fish eaters, and far better at catching them than I. Typically they will rest with a good view of a body of water and wait until something interesting happens. In this case, it must have been a boring morning with two phographers circling the dead tree looking for good angles.

Pika hiding behind a Thimbleberry leaf, Cascade Canyon Trail, GTNP

We saw a leaf running around a talus slope on the trail. It was a pika working on laying in its supply of hay for the winter.

Yellow-bellied Marmot on Cascade Canyon Trail, GTNP

I lived in Colorado for many years, and thus was quite familiar with marmots long before I ever saw a woodchuck (although from an early age I knew how much wood a woodchuck could chuck).

Bald Eagle overlooking Jenny Lake, GTNP

As we ended our Cascade Canyon hike and the ferry had started its way back across Jenny Lake, the pilot said that there was an eagle at the top of a tree. I twisted around, zoomed out to 300mm, and grabbed two quck shots just as the pilot stepped in the gas. This one was the sharpest of the two images. I wish the pilot had given us a little more warning, but at least I had the proper lens on at the time.

Two bison having a tender moment along the Yellowstone river

About 50 or so bison were on either side of the road from Canyon village to Yellowstone Lake, and a park ranger was trying to shoo drivers along, as there was a bit of a back up. When the ranger got a little further along he saw that the main problem was there were bison sauntering back and forth along the road. So he started herding them with his vehicle. Yee-haaaa!

Bull Moose at Oxbow Bend, GTNP

As we left the park Saturday morning (8/12) for our long drive back we saw a large number of cars parked at the turnout at Oxbow Bend on the Snake River. I look to the right, saw the rack on this beast, and parked. I grabbed the camera and Liam and we circled around to where some other photographers were taking pictures. After Susan secured the car, she came down as well.

This moose, who is as high at his shoulder as I am tall, was browsing the cottonwoods and aspens for his breakfast, and occasionally providing a good pose. Between my son and I we took nearly 50 images. Ah, the joys of large memory cards... The collar intrudes a bit on the scene, but I suppose it is there for a good reason.

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