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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
I HAVE BEEN ASKED MANY TIMES WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I USE FOR WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY SO HERE'S THE STORY. I USE CANON EQUIPMENT FOR LENSES AND BODIES. MY TRIPODS ARE MADE BY WIMBERLY AND FEISOL. I USE A COMBINATION OF LENSES FOR WILDLIFE SHOOTING. I AM CURRENTLY USING A CANON 500 F/4 IS VERSION 1 AND CANON 70-200 F/2.8 IS VERSION ll. THE 500 IS USED FOR DISTANCE IMAGES AND THE 70-200 IS USED IF I WANT TO PLACE MORE OF THE SURROUNDING AREA INTO THE PICTURE OR AS THE ANIMAL GETS CLOSER. FOR BODIES I AM USING A CANON EOS 1 MARK IV AND CANON 7D FOR A BACKUP. BOTH OF THESE BODIES ARE A COUPLE OF GENERATIONS BEHIND THE LATEST MODEL BUT WORK GREAT FOR ME.
ANOTHER QUESTION ASKED IS WHY CANON AND NOT NIKON. REALLY ITS JUST PERSONAL PREFERENCE. THE DECIDING FACTOR FOR ME WAS SERVICE. I HAVE BEEN WITH CANON FOR 26 YEARS AND THEY HAVE TREATED ME GREAT IN THE CUSTOMER SERVICE ARENA. I ALSO LIKED THEIR LOANER PROGRAM. IF I WAS THINKING OF PURCHASING A LENS THEY WOULD LEND ME ONE TO TRY OUT WITH NO COST OTHER THAN RETURN SHIPPING. OF COURSE TO USE THIS PROGRAM YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF THE CANON PROFESSIONAL SERVICES.
IF YOUR SERIOUSLY THINKING OF GETTING INTO WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY AND DON'T WANT TO SPEND $8000 OR MORE ON A LENS I WOULD SUGGEST PURCHASING A CANON 500 F/4 IS VERSION 1. YES THE VERSION ll IS LIGHTER (1.5LBS) AND SOMEWHAT QUICKER ON THE DRAW THAN THE VERSION I BUT TO ME ITS NOT WORTH ANOTHER $4,000 DOLLARS. OF COURSE IF BUDGET IS NOT A CONCERN GO FOR THE LATEST AND GREATEST AND PURCHASE A CANON 600 F/4 IS VERSION II.
THE VERSION I MUST BE PURCHASED SECOND HAND SINCE THEY ARE OUT OF PRODUCTION BUT STILL SERVICED BY CANON. ONE OF THE BEST PLACES I'VE SEEN FOR PURCHASING ONE IS A SITE CALLED FREDMIRANDA.COM. THE LENSES GO QUICKLY WHEN ADVERTISED. THEY ARE RUNNING AROUND 4,000. CHECK OUT THE PERSONS RATING BEFORE BUYING. I HAVE BOUGHT SEVERAL PIECES OF EQUIPMENT OFF THIS SITE AND HAVE NEVER BEEN DISSAPOINTED.
THERE ARE MANY OTHER LENSES AND COMBINATIONS THAT CAN BE USED FOR WILDLIFE SHOOTING IF YOUR ON A STRICT BUDGET. THE PERFORMANCE WILL NOT BE AS GOOD AS A PRIME LENS IN MY OPINION BUT WILL DO THE JOB CONSIDERING WERE YOU PLAN TO GO WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY.
HOPEFULLY THIS WILL ANSWER SOME OF YOUR QUESTIONS.
If your interested in photographing ancient Native American ruins the four corners area of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona is a great place to start. Mesa Verde in Colorado was the first place I visited about 30 years ago. Mesa Verde is a National Park and was established on June 29, 1906. It was discovered in the late 1800"s and much of it was plundered before archeologist could come in and review it. The area was inhabited by the Anazasi Indians or what is now called Ancestral Puebloans. It is felt that they inhabited the area for more than 700 years.(550A.D. to 1300 A.D.) Currently Mesa Verde has over 4,700 archaeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best-preserved dwellings of there kind. Two other sites I would recommend is Hovenweep and Betatakin.
Once you get the bug you might want to venture out and discover some of the less known ruins on your own. Who knows you might discover one that hasn't yet been identified. I have hiked through several of the canyon area's in Utah. The red sandstone dwellings blend into there surroundings and you can walk by them without seeing them if your not carefully scanning the cliffs. Along with many of these dwellings are ancient artwork called Petroglyphs its such a thrill to discover them. Usually you are alone and with nature as you venture back into these areas. Just sit and listen calling on your imagination as to what must have been going on back in ancient times.
If interested in going out on your own Google cliff dwellings or Anazasi ruins to get a start and go from there. If you decide to go out on your own please be respectful of the area and be prepared with a day pack and the necessities required for hiking. These ruins are very fragile so please step lightly and use good judgment. Please make sure that you don't remove anything from these ancient sites.
Have a great trip and be careful out there.