A beautiful evening and morning photographing right along the outskirts of the town of Jackson. Last night we hiked up the local ski hill for a twilight after-work run. The next morning, we saw the Pinnacle Peak wolf pack on the slopes of Miller Butte, bighorn rams putting on a show, and two unusual species of grosbeaks enjoying the berries of an ornamental tree in someone's front yard.
Next week begins my big winter season with Natural Habitat Adventures, so get ready for weekly updates from Yellowstone!
Here is a short video of the wolf activity on the National Elk Refuge over the past few days
Phenology: the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.
To celebrate the success of this project, here are some video highlights from this month. Enjoy!
It has been a fun challenge to produce diverse and interesting photographs that represent the fast-paced seasonal change here in the Northern Rockies. Today I wanted to recap the amazing month that we've had here. Snow has melted off in the valleys and mid-elevations. fledglings, pups, calves, and fawns are being welcomed into the world by healthy, happy parents. The landscape has changed from a dull brown to a thousand neon greens. People are seeing their neighbors again. Everything smells like charcoal grills and sweet cottonwoods. Everything is coated in pollen, and our most colorful spring migrants have arrived. These are the weeks that everyone here lives for.
Change happens quickly yet can be hard to notice on a day-to-day basis, so lets see how things have progressed from May 9 to June 9. Thanks again everyone, and keep watching!
"By wresting a precious particle of the world from time and space and holding it absolutely still, a great photograph can explode the totality of our world, such that we never see it quite the same again." -Robert Draper, National Geographic, 150th anniversary photography issue.
It was with this quote in mind that we set off into Yellowstone. Our goal was to enter into these parks with the attitude of the famous expeditions before us. To witness this place for the first time. To feel alone on the planet amid the gurgling and thumping geysers that exhale steam like sleeping dragons. To hold our breaths as coyotes slink by with noses to an invisible trail. To share in the rigors of life in the cold alongside frosty bison and ravenous elk. And to capture this experience in photographs that would transcend their two dimensional borders. Photographs that capture the sound of bighorn sheep clambering on the cliffs, the sulfury smell of a hot spring, and the feeling of the air freezing in your lungs with every breath.
Entering the park with photography in mind allows us to seek out the subtleties in this environment. We search for wolves and moose, but we also sit still, and take in the experience. A great photograph is taken deliberately. Many of the most powerful photographs are taken after days, weeks, or years of soaking in an experience before the lens cap is ever taken off. A wise fortune cookie once said "A problem clearly stated is a problem half-solved." This is true of photography. What, precisely, draws me to this scene? Once the answer crystalizes, turn the camera on.
|Elk along the Gros Ventre River|
|Pines drowned and petrified by geothermal outwash|
|Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone|
|Frosty morning in the Lamar Valley|
|Mammoth hot springs at night|
|Ravens together on an extinct thermal cone|
|Coyote on the trail|
|Bison digging for grass|
|Bald eagle landing|
We were also lucky enough to witness some amazing wolf/elk interactions. A female black wolf has an elk pinned against a cliff in the below video clip.
|Lamar Canyon black female 926F pulling on a carcass|