We stayed 3 days in Grand Teton NP, but of course, each day is substantially different that the one before … or the next for that matter. Coming in from Jackson Hole, we immediately pass by the Elk Refuge, which was no longer covered in snow and the elk were largely leaving already. However, there was a juvenile bald eagle hanging out in the area.
We observed him for quite some time. The light was far from optimal for capturing its beauty, but we sure got some fun poses and behaviors from it. How fascinating those talons are!
When we first arrived to GTNP, the Antelope Flats was fully closed, but by day 3, it was partially open. I wanted to photograph the famous Moulton Barn in the snow cover, so we went as far as we could on the road, then hiked in the rest of the way. I was a bit surprised to see the the snow cover was missing in some areas … still it was so beautiful and particularly fun, especially since you could “hear” the silence … yes, we had it to ourselves.
Along the way, we came across numerous ice patches in the gravel road. I was fascinated by their beauty.
Their geometric shapes were so interesting and each one was unique.
Some of the frozen ice patches were frosted and opaque, while others were clear and full of bubbles.
At one point, I noticed something fly by … it was quite beautiful … and to my shock, it was a mountain bluebird … already in mid-March! Yes, it had been a mild winter and we later learned that this was the beginning of their sightings. I felt so privileged to be able to partake in their beauty.
Of course, that wasn’t the only bird that we sighted, as many species of duck and other water birds were present as well.
This Canadian Goose had its own version of ice fishing … which we found quite entertaining and quite comical. 🙂
We made a special trip to see the bighorn sheep again. This time it was the ewes and the lambs and juveniles that we encountered first. The herds were already up on the mountainside.
Mama was teaching the young ones an important lesson in their survival skills … how to navigate those rocky cliffs and ledges … to evade their predators.
I was thrilled to be able to witness them as they tested their skill, though I have to admit, I was probably more nervous than both of them put together!
Stunned … that’s how I felt as they descended in almost a complete vertical fashion, down the ledges and rocky landscape. I know that they’re hooves are specifically equipped for such travel, but it’s still heart-stopping to observe.
When they decide to “haul butt” too, they can sure get up and go!
I know that I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again … nature is so amazing!
Of course, there’s so much more beauty in the landscape of the Tetons to explore as well.
I didn’t want to leave, but we had to get back to Bozeman for an early morning flight the next day. I noticed that a storm seemed to be coming, as the mountain range soon became shrouded by the clouds. As we left the park and Jackson Hole, we started out towards the Teton Pass. Wouldn’t you know it … it began to snow … a fairly heavy snowfall too. I call it “divine intervention” … you know, making it OK to leave, for photography would become difficult for a bit. Except for, that amazing beauty of the area in mid-snowfall … yes, that’s its own beauty.
Until next year, when we will most surely return, goodbye Tetons!
Next up: More birding in Florida
© 2015 Debbie Tubridy / TNWA Photography