Back in February, after our visit at Yellowstone NP in its most beautiful season for visitors, we eventually made our way to Grand Teton NP. We stayed in Jackson Hole, WY, which in the winter is primarily filled with snow skiers and snowboarders, but for us, we were armed with camera gear and snowshoes. Travel within the Tetons is a bit more accessible than Yellowstone in the winter. When we first arrived, it was quite beautiful, with no place offering a nicer view of the mountain range than from Oxbow Bend.The roads were still being plowed from a recent snowfall, which was expected.What we didn’t expect was the strong winds blowing the snow all over the place, making driving interesting and photography quite a challenge.Before long, we spotted a lone coyote making its way across the deep snow drifts. It was fun to photograph it, and its shadow, as it ran. It paid us no attention.Warnings were out in force to “Slow Down! Wildlife on Road”. Loved that sign, which actually reminded me of a previous trip when we would see “share the road” signs, with images of vehicles, bicycles, snowmobiles, and animals. Yes, we’re no longer in the metropolis known as South Florida. 🙂Along side of the river, Tom spotted this huge moose, by lower 48 standards anyways.We did a quick turnaround and found that there were actually 3 moose present foraging near the rivers edge … a male across the river, along with a cow and her young.We watched them for quite some time and for the most part, they totally ignored us. They never seemed to interact with the male, however, they always stayed in the same general area. Oops, looks like we’ve been spotted. Mama’s not so sure, but junior doesn’t seem to mind. In no time, they settled in.What a fun encounter that was with the moose family and they really made it even nicer being along that river.
Before too long we came across some footprints in the snow … which we followed through our binoculars until we came across the culprit … this adorable sleeping red fox. I must admit that Tom is a pretty good spotter with those binoculars. 🙂Towards the later afternoon, we thought that we would try our luck again with the mountain goats that were hanging out not too far away. We also met up with some friends that were going to be in the Tetons pretty much the same time as us. Sure enough, the goats, this time without all of the “jewelry” were out and about. This time they were cooperating nicely too … climbing up on the rocky outcroppings and posing for some nice photographs.Look at this amazing close up! I was so excited when it reached the top of the mountain and positioned itself against the blue of the sky above. What a beautiful creature. Can’t believe that after I was skunked out of seeing them on Mt. Evans (the road was closed when we visited last summer), I finally got to see them!The King of the Mountain shot … after which many photographers left. This was the moment they were waiting for, for hours! Glad that our wait time was much shorter. As they say … timing is everything!No trip to the Tetons is every complete without a red fox sighting. This winter’s visit didn’t disappoint.There’s something so striking about finding a beautiful red fox in the midst of a snow covered landscape. So isolated … so open … so focused on the task at hand. That is, until they spot the camera. Usually the interruption is brief and they carry on with the hunt momentarily. Same is true of the coyotes, which are relatively easy to spot as they roam the vast wilderness of white.As if the wildlife opportunities aren’t enough, how about some stunning landscapes featuring those iconic mountains? When I think of mountain ranges, my mind definitely thinks of the Tetons. Such a magnificent place any time of year and the winter season is no exception. Yes, it’s safe to say that we could get used to life in this neck of the woods. Sunshine, blue sky, wilderness, wildlife opportunities, mountains, and just about everything else that you could ask for. Yep, I’ll take it. 🙂
Next Up: More from the Tetons …
© 2016 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography