Fall Colors and the Moose-Wilson Road Controversy

Fall leaves decorate aspen trees and hawthorne bushes along Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Fall leaves decorate aspen trees and hawthorn bushes along Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park.

Yesterday, the Moose-Wilson Road opened up after a number of days of being closed early, due to grizzly bears being seen there for the first time since Grand Teton National Park’s inception. Many cried foul, but the park service stood its ground and kept it closed as long as grizzlies were present. With so many black bears seen every year on the road, why the sudden change in policy? Was it really worth closing off an entire road?

The park cites that "…when there is a conflict between conserving resources and values and providing for the enjoyment of them, conservation is to be predominant." My first reaction was to side with those that felt the park had gone too far, but once I got past the fact that I wasn’t getting photos of my favorite animal, I accepted the extra protection.
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Categorized: Abstract
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Stop Blaming George Lucas and Let Your Creativity Flow

Fall foliage is reflected in the waters at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
Fall colors are reflected in a creek at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park

Last night I watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. As you’re probably aware, it’s built up quite the reputation for being one of the worst episodes, and stirred up quite a bit of controversy upon its release, something I, like many people my age, jumped on the bandwagon for. Is it really all that bad though? And are we only hurting our own creativity by bashing it?

This eventually all comes down to our own subjective opinions, but last night I watched it again for the first time in a while and I watched it unbiased. I accepted it as a new branch of George Lucas’ own vision of the story that captured an entire generation and to be honest, I actually enjoyed it!
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Categorized: Article
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Antelope Flats – There’s Always Good Light

A cottonwood tree covered in fall leaves stands above Antelope Flats of Jackson Hole in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming as a storm overcasts the valley. (Mike Cavaroc)
A solitary, fall cottonwood tree stands in Antelope Flats of Grand Teton National Park under stormy skies.

You hear it all the time. People making excuses not to go shooting because of a certain kind of light or weather condition. In the end, however, that’s all they are: excuses. At its simplest terminology, photography is the art of capturing light. The word itself is Greek and breaks down into "drawing with light." So when someone says "you can’t shoot in that kind of light," they’ve either never tried it because that’s what others have told them, or they’re just not very creative. If photography is the art of capturing light, then there is always good light because there is always light! It doesn’t matter if it’s overcast, middle of the day, middle of the night, etc. There’s always some kind of light, therefore there are always good shots to be found.
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Categorized: Panorama
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Storms Over Sleeping Indian Panorama

A thunderstorm cloud glows above Sheep Mountain, aka The Sleeping Indian, above cottonwood trees lining the Gros Ventre River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A thunderstorm passes over The Sleeping Indian above Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The other night I had made a quick drive out to Kelly, Wyoming in Grand Teton National Park and in looking at the clouds and light, I began expecting a nice sunset over the Tetons. I drove back out toward Highway 89 and got myself set up, patiently waiting for something to happen. I began looking around and noticed the light in the opposite direction above Sheep Mountain, commonly known as The Sleeping Indian (see it?), gradually glowing brighter. I began getting a couple of shots and in stepping back and looking at the scene again, realized it was one of those scenes that had to be a panorama. So I took five shots, stitched them together in Photoshop, cropped a bit off the top and settled upon this image.
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Categorized: Panorama
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Getting Away at Schwabacher Landing

The Teton Mountains are reflected in the waters at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
The Teton Mountains are reflected in a pond at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park.

In transitioning out of my full-time job, I’ve been doing a lot of work indoors. I’ve been working heavily on a new project and in sitting inside for much of yesterday, I noticed fall leaves being blown rather easily off of an aspen tree outside my window and it dawned on me that I’ve most likely missed fall here in its prime. There’s still plenty of color around the valley, but much of it has already either faded, or fallen off the trees.

Thus, this morning, I forced myself out of bed for sunrise (something that should be much easier than it is given that sunrise is around 7:30am these days), and headed up to Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park to capture some of the remaining cottonwood trees.
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Categorized: Landscape
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Black Bear Crossing a Pond

A black bear crosses a pond along Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
A black bear crosses a stream reflecting fall colors in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

With this beautiful Indian summer we’ve been having coming to an end, I’ve been getting out to other areas of Grand Teton National Park and enjoying as much of it as I can before more chilly weather begins making its way into the area. I had the intent to go back to the bears and document some of the misbehavior from some of the more disrespectful photographers, but in trying to enjoy the last days of the Indian summer, working on several side projects, getting another larger project off the ground and also just trying to stay in decent shape, my time’s been a little tight lately. I’d still like to catch some of it, but at this point I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get out there again, especially since cubs are high up on my list for the fall and unfortunately, despite the fact that there are as many as five bears near the ponds of the Moose-Wilson Road area, none of them have any cubs.
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Categorized: Wildlife
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