Welcome to my blog.  The purpose of this blog is to allow a two way conversation with my website viewers.  I will be updating the blog to cover my field trips and also post other topics of interest.  Please don't hesitate to ask any questions that you might have either through the blog or contact me by E-mail at Treline@aol.com.

 

Thanks for viewing,

Don

PREPARING FOR FALL TRIP 2017

September 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Well its that time of year again to pack up and head North.  We will be heading to Jackson, Wyoming for the final weekend of the 33rd Annual art show.  On the way we will be on the look out for opportunities to photograph whatever crosses our path.  After the show we will be staying in the area to photograph the fall color, wildlife and visit with old friends. Looks like the weather will be changing to include rain, snow, sun, and freezing night temperatures.  This could have a positive affect for some great photography and reduce the fires that are burning in the West and also reduce the smoke in the area.

The event we enjoy the most is the "Annual Jackson Hole QuickDraw Art Sale & Auction'' which will be held on the 16th of September.  The show takes place in Washington Park in the center of town. Each artist starts with a blank canvas and has 90 minutes to create a painting. This one of a kind artwork will then be auctioned off as soon as the event ends. Also surrounding the park is the last Farmers Market of the season which includes great baked goods etc..  Then on the 17th the Art Brunch Gallery Walk is held.  The galleries open their doors and provide finger foods and beverages and the opportunity to meet the various artist.  All in all its a great weekend that we have enjoyed for the past 20 years. If your interested in this event you can find information by contacting the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce at jacksonholechamber.com or call 307 733 3316 for information.  We  book at least 10 months in advance for lodging.   

I have included a few images from previous trips of the surrounding area in this post.  Hopefully on our return we will have new images to post.  Fall is a beautiful time of the year no matter where you are.  Wishing you safe travel and a good season.

Regards,

Don

 


RIVER OTTERS ACROBATS IN THE WILD

August 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

If your going to attempt to photograph river otters you better eat a hearty breakfast.  Otters are full of energy and are constantly on the move.  I have followed them along rivers and around Beaver ponds and lakes on many occasions.  Sometimes I have ended up miles from the car when finished.  I must say they live in the fast lane for sure.

I usually set my camera in AV mode and a high ISO speed in order not to blur the images due to their quick movement.  When they do come on shore they are usually tumbling around, playing and jumping back into the water.  If you catch them in the Spring when they have their pups you have a better chance of photographing them at a slower pace.  They will set the pups up on a log or shore and bring fish to them.  They are the greatest fisherman and for the most part can catch a fish at will.  I have watched them fish out an area and return in a week or so and repeat the same behavior.  A female will spend up to eight hours a day fishing to provide for her pups.

Otter bodies are elongated,sinuous, and lithe, built for vigorous swimming.  In most species the limbs are short and paws are webbed.  The tail is fully haired, thick at the base and tapering to a point, and in some species horizontally flattened.  I find it amazing that their numerous stiff whiskers (vibrissae) around the nose and snout, and in tufts on the elbow are very sensitive and are used in locating prey.  The ears are small and round and, like the nostrils, are closed under water.  Most otters have claws which come in handy especially when searching under stones for crabs.  They are protective animals. I have observed them chasing coyotes and becoming quite aggressive.  On one occasion I watched them enter a Beaver Pond and take over the beavers lodge.   Places that I have seen otters on numerous occasions are around the Oxbow in Grand Teton National Park also the Madison river and Trout lake in Yellowstone National Park. 

P.S.

God has granted me the privilege of being able to spend many years observing his creation.  He also blessed me with a wonderful wife who shares my love of nature and the Creator.  There are times when we will sit and just meditate on the wonders before us.  I would like to share a verse from the book of Isaiah that has been a comfort to us.

I CREATED YOU AND HAVE CARED FOR YOU SINCE BEFORE YOU WERE BORN.  I WILL BE YOUR GOD THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFETIME UNTIL YOUR HAIR IS WHITE WITH AGE.  I MADE YOU, AND I WILL CARE FOR YOU.  I WILL CARRY YOU ALONG, AND SAVE YOU.  ISAIAH 46:3

Regards,

Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TWO GREAT WEBCAMS

July 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

If your interested in bears there is a great live webcam showing Grizzly bears in Alaska fishing for salmon.  Google "Brooks Falls live Cam". If your into nature you will enjoy this.  Brooks Falls is located in Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska.  Sockeye Salmon are returning from the ocean to their breeding grounds to spawn.  In order to get to their spawning grounds they have to go over Brooks Falls.  The bears come into the area each year to feed on the Salmon and fatten up for hibernation.

Also a Cam has been set up to watch the total solar eclipse which will be on August 21, 2017.  The cam will show the eclipse live over the Teton range in Wyoming which is one of the premier viewing areas.  Go to (seejh.com) click on Grand Teton window and then click on Eclipse Webcam.  There are several other live Cams that show Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area. If you plan on viewing the eclipse please insure that you look up information on the equipment you should be using to protect your eyes.  Google solar eclipse and you will find out the best viewing areas and times.

Regards,

Don


TRIP TO ESTES PARK

July 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Good news for me at least the Big Thompson Canyon is open for the summer season. This cuts off 25 minutes each way to Estes Park. Some construction is still going on but traffic is moving through with little delay. I took a trip to Wild Spirits Gallery in Estes Park to stock photographs for the summer season and check to see if the Bighorn Sheep were in the canyon.  We did spot several Rams not far off the road but the pull off was full of vehicles backing in and out causing a dangerous situation.  Needless to say i continued on my way. 

From what I could see it looks like another record breaking visitation year for Estes and RMNP.  The streets were filled with people and parking was at a premium.  It seems like every where we go within the National Park system the same scenario exist.  At one time there was a shoulder period in the Spring and Fall but even that seems to be disappearing. With the growth on the front range of Colorado I can only anticipate that this will only get worse.  It's probably only a matter of time before some additional regulations such as limiting the number of cars going into the park or busing will take place. It was estimated that 50K visitors were in the Estes area on July 04 weekend.

I didn't go into the park this trip the lines at the entrance were quite long.  Hope to get up there again in a week or two as the Elk should have there summer coats and should be close to full velvet.  We are having a hot summer this year a lot of 90 degree days on the front range.  Fire season is here again hopefully people will be careful as they camp and have cookouts. If you go to the park you will find a large number of wildlife have moved to the higher elevation.  Keep a watch out for Bighorn Sheep and Elk as you travel along Trailridge road. Also depending on conditions there can be some beautiful groups of Alpine flowers.  I will keep you updated on conditions when I make my next trip in a week or two. 

Added are some images of what you might see on your trip up Trailridge road.  Have a great summer and be careful out there.

Don

 


SPRING TRIP TO JACKSON WYOMING

May 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

We just returned from a five day trip to Jackson, Wyoming.  We had planned to be there for the Elk Fest and Auction.  We missed the Elk Antler auction because of weather.  Ice and snow had shut down I 80 for two days. We finally got through on Saturday but missed the auction. 

The drive to Jackson was beautiful.  The sky was covered with white billowing clouds against a deep blue sky and the air was fresh from the recent storm with a scent of sage.  As we travelled North from Rock Springs we sighted a sea of white bobbing up and down in the sage brush.  We pulled over and much to our delight it was a large group of sheep somewhere around a 1,000 would be my estimate.  They were being herded to another pasture by three sheep herders on horse back.  Along with them were additional horses, six Border Collies, and three Pyrenees dogs. It was amazing to watch them command the Border Collies by whistling.  Each whistle designated a different move.  The Great Pyrenees were there to guard the herd from coyote's and other predators they did not assist in directing the movement of the sheep. 

Upon arriving home I did some research and found the sheep herders were from Peru.  They acquired three year Visas and worked the sheep 365 days a year.  They lived in the field in tents and were brought supplies by the Rancher every few months who hired them.  One article I read said they were paid between 7-8 thousand dollars a year.  They sent this home to their families who used it for their daily living and saved the rest to educate their children. It was a great Photo Opportunity as I was able to follow them for about 30 minutes before they went out of range.

Over the course of the next few days we toured a few galleries, had picnic lunches at some of our favorite viewing spots, attended the annual Chili cook off  and shot both scenic and wildlife photography. We were able to locate a few bears this trip which is always a treat.  I will be posting images under a separate category called "Teton Spring Trip 2017".  If interested go to the Main Menu and click on" All Photographs" then click on Teton Spring trip 2017.  As always thanks for viewing my website.

Don

 

 


BIGHORN SHEEP

April 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I was going through my slides selecting images for an artist friend in Wyoming.  I came upon a selection of images of Bighorn Sheep which I haven't viewed in years.  During editing it brought back a lot of memories. Twenty five to thirty years ago on any given day I could drive within 40 minutes and find a group of Bighorns to photograph. 

Along Fall River road going into Rocky Mountain National Park a large group of around 135 sheep resided there.  I would climb up the mountain side and sit on a rock and would be surrounded by them. They never seemed to mind that I was there and would approach within a close proximity.  It was a great time observing there behavioral patterns and learning more about them, the view across the valley was spectacular.   They would browse over the slopes and nibble on mountain plants and scan the valley below. At times they would lay down and chew their cuds and fall asleep close by.

One day I'll always remember I was climbing up the mountain side in the Fall during the rut.  I was boosting myself up over a large rock outcropping when a ram chasing a ewe came to a skidding halt throwing fragments of rock just three feet or so from my chest  We were looking eye to eye before he turned and took off.  Wow! you talk about a rush I could feel my heart pounding through my chest.

A sad thing happened in the early 1990's.  It was in the winter and I went up to photograph the sheep in snowy conditions.  To my amazement several of the sheep were coughing.  I contacted a ranger friend and he said it was a sign of pneumonia setting in.  The following spring the herd had been reduced from pneumonia deaths  from 100+ to around 35-40.  This is a reason why Bighorns are caught and relocated from healthy herds and moved to other vacant sheep habitats in Colorado.  That way when a disease hits a herd it doesn't wipe out the entire Bighorn population.

INTERESTING FACTS:

Lifespan:  Males (Rams) 9-12 years   Females (Ewes) 10-14 years

Weight:   Males  127-316  Females  75-188 pounds

Length:   Males  5-6 feet  Females are smaller

Horn size:  Males  30" length  15" in circumference  Females: Short horns with little curvature.

                 Average male horn weight 30 lbs.

Mating season:  Nov/Dec  The males butt heads to establish dominance and mating rights.  They clash at about  

                        20 MPH and sound as if a rifle is discharged.  Its an amazing thing to witness.

 

Spring is certainly upon us.  It seems as if each season passes quicker.  Soon we will be preparing for our annual trip to Grand Teton National Park. Sightings have already been reported of Grizzly bears coming out of hibernation.  So far weather conditions seem to indicate it may be a good wildflower season this year.

Included are a few images of Bighorn Sheep.  Hope you enjoy them.

Regards,

Don

 

 

 

 

   

 


COPYRIGHT STAMP

March 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I KNOW ITS DISTRACTING BUT I HAD TO PLACE A COPYRIGHT STAMP ON ALL MY IMAGES DUE TO THEFT.  I HAD INDICATIONS THAT MY IMAGES WERE BEING PICKED OFF MY WEBSITE AND USED FOR COMMERCIAL AND PRIVATE USE.  I NEEDED TO RESPOND QUICKLY AND I WILL WORK AT MAKING THE COPYRIGHT STAMP LESS INTRUSIVE IN THE FUTURE.  MY APOLOGIES BUT THATS THE WORLD WE LIVE IN TODAY.

 


SUNRISES AND WATERFOWL

March 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

DURING THE WINTER MONTHS I SPEND TIME COPYING, RESTORING AND PLACING MY SLIDE COLLECTION ON HARD DRIVES.  SOME OF THESE SLIDES ARE 40 YEARS OLD AND EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE STORED IN ARCHIVAL FOLDERS AND CONTAINERS THEY STILL HAD MOLD SPOTS ETC. ON THEM.  I HAVE BEEN WORKING THIS PROJECT FOR EIGHT YEARS AND STILL HAVE THOUSANDS TO GO.

LATELY WE HAVE HAD SOME BEAUTIFUL SUNRISES HERE IN THE WEST.  ALSO I HAVE NOTICED FLOCKS OF WATERFOWL MIGRATING INTO THE AREA.  SO WHEN I CAME UPON THESE SLIDES THE OTHER DAY I SET THEM ASIDE TO POST THEM HERE ON THE BLOG. IT ALWAYS AMAZES ME WHEN THESE LARGE GROUPS OF BIRDS TAKE OFF AND LAND HOW THEY DON'T KNOCK EACH OTHER OUT OF THE AIR.

HOPE YOU ENJOY THESE,

DON