About MeI live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where I explore the deeper reaches of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem while also trying to raise awareness about light pollution and the importance of dark skies through photography and video.
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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.
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.
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.
After driving through Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park the other day I discovered that the word is out that the black bears have begun emerging to get fattened up for the winter! Around the ponds along the north end of Moose-Wilson Road, there are no fewer than five different black bears wandering the area with plenty more in other areas of the park. The berries that this particular black bear and all the others in this area are nibbling on are river hawthorne berries. They flourish all along the road and with the help of outstanding Grand Teton National Park rangers doing an excellent job of crowd management, the bears are able to enjoy their food as the humans can keep a safe distance and enjoy watching the bears in their natural habitat.
In what’s definitely good news for me, I had a really hard time trying to narrow five photos that I was really proud that I had taken during 2009. There were still quite a few I would have liked to have included, but I had already upped it from three to five so I had to draw the line somewhere. They’re in no particular order, but all resonated strongly with me from this past year for one reason or another.
In reflecting back on them and on the year that’s just come to an end, I realized that while not only has my photography changed (for the better), but I have as well (for better and worse). I thought back to when I first moved up here to Jackson Hole a little over a year ago and thought about how excited I was to wake up early every day and go exploring for anything I could find to take a picture of.
Going back a bit for another shot taken along the Sweet Creek Trail just outside of Mapleton, Oregon. It almost felt like the trip actually started here since there wasn’t a whole lot that I wanted to see in Idaho. Eastern Oregon was interesting and scenic, but everything I was really looking forward to started once I left Eugene, Oregon, and of course began this short and easy hike.