Tag Archives: Yellowstone

Yellowstone Wildlife

Yellowstone is known as much for its wildlife as its geologic features.  Until this year, I’d never had a “long” camera lens with me in Yellowstone for wildlife.  This year, I had a Fujifilm XF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens, and also a Fujifilm 1.4x teleconverter.  With my Fujifilm X-T2, which has an APS-C sensor, I had the 35mm equivalent of up to an 840mm telephoto lens.  All of the images below were shot with this lens/TC combination.

On Thursday morning, I started the drive up to the Lamar Valley.  I stopped along the way to visit the Tower Falls area, where I saw a bunch of cars stopped by the side of the road (a “bear jam”).  I got out and saw that the fuss was about a black bear and her cub.  I stayed for about half an hour observing and photographing the bears.

Here’s the mom…

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And the cub, up in a tree, working its way down to see mom.

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Finally mom comes up part way to encourage the cub to get past a tricky section of branches…

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Once on the ground, mom played with the cub.  Here, it’s about to swat it lightly on its rump…

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Now, let’s see who can make the most ferocious face…

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And then it was time to move on, to see what there was to see around the next bend.  Back at Tower Junction, near the Roosevelt Lodge, a few pronghorn were grazing…

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And a little further north, some bighorn sheep, just hanging out on the hillside…

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As I continued deeper into the Lamar Valley, I hoped to see, but did not expect to see, one of the wolf packs.  I did see hundreds of people, over several miles, hoping to see wolves, but never saw any myself.

But there were plenty of bison, in several herds.

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I even saw a few bison calves…

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The bison were starting to shed their winter coats…

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And then it was time to move on again.  In my next post, a visit to an interesting geologic location just outside the park.

Yellowstone National Park

On Wednesday, I planned to get up early for sunrise photography, and to start driving up to Yellowstone.  But I woke to rain in Jackson, and slept in another hour.

I drove up through Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway and entered Yellowstone National Park at the south entrance.  I continued north, and rain turned into snow.  It was 34 degrees and the roads warm enough to not have trouble with ice.

Click on any image to enlarge.

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I tried to be a tourist and visit a roadside sight or two.  Here’s Lewis Falls, with me standing on snow, watching the snow fall.  Did I mention it was 34 degrees?

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Soon, I decided it was best to just keep driving on to Old Faithful.  By the time I got there, the snow had subsided, and there was just a little bit of rain.  I arrived a few minutes before the famous geyser erupted.  Not the photo I imagined with a brilliantly colorful sky in the background, but this is more of a snapshot anyway.  In the peak of summer (and in better weather), you would see thousands more people surrounding Old Faithful.

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Peak season begins Memorial Day weekend, and I was there just before that.  So it was beginning to get crowded, but nothing like the park sees later on.  Being a week or two before the busy season begins also means that not every road (or campground or lodge) is open—but it’s still a great time to visit.  The creeks, rivers, and waterfalls were really flowing.

Here’s the inside of the historic Old Faithful Inn, with people waiting to enter the dining room.  Some consider the inn the largest log building in the world.

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I walked around for awhile in the rain in the Upper Geyser Basin in the Old Faithful area.  It was nice to get out and walk around.  Here’s one of the pools in the area:  Morning Glory Pool.  Pro tip:  bring your polarizing filter to cut down on reflections in the water.  I left mine at home.

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My destination for the night was Canyon Lodge, so I kept on driving north (no more falling snow!), past the other other geyser basins.  Here’s an overlook showing the Norris Geyser Basin in the distance.

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