Preserving the Dark Skies of Jackson Hole

Reclaiming the Night - Preserving the Dark Skies of Jackson Hole
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I recently completed work on my first film, Reclaiming the Night: Preserving the Dark Skies of Jackson Hole. The short film, at just over 12 minutes, discusses the issue of light pollution, how it negatively affects Jackson Hole and beyond, the vast amount of wasted energy spent on it, and how Jackson Hole can benefit exponentially from embracing the night skies, something they have thus far failed to do as demonstrated in the film, despite it being a high priority in the Comprehensive Plan.

The reduction of light pollution is a movement gaining enormous momentum around the world and Jackson has the potential to receive tremendous economic gain by encouraging both residential and commercial areas to begin turning out the lights.
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Categorized: Video
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Photographing a Rainy Morning in Jackson Hole

Returning Horses
Horses returning to the Moosehead Ranch under a rainbow, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

This past summer, much of my inspiration shifted from the Jackson Hole valley floor to much higher elevations found up in the mountains. While the higher elevations had always been significant motivation for me, this past season saw that motivation become much more pronounced, weening my inspiration away from the roadsides. In addition, there’s also my upcoming TEDxJacksonHole talk and completing my short film on light pollution, both of which demanded a large chunk of my time, forcing me to drastically reduce my work with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. However, though my days are limited at the moment, I had a recent trip with exceptional opportunities found throughout the valley with a delightful pair of other photographers.

We were off well before sunrise in a downpour that showed no signs of letting up.
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Categorized: Abstract, JH Wildlife Safaris, Landscape, Panorama, Wildlife
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Fall Colors Near Shadow Mountain

A large autumn aspen grove below stormy weather, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
A large autumn aspen grove below stormy weather, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

With several projects going on right now, I was able to find time to take a little afternoon escape into some fall colors of Jackson Hole. I headed over to the Shadow Mountain area, along the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park, and began hiking around the game trails to guide me through the meadows and aspen groves.

Abstract autumn aspen tree trunks and leaves, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
Abstract autumn aspen tree trunks and leaves, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

I had hoped to hike up part of Shadow Mountain as well, where even more bright colors were waiting, no doubt with tremendous views below, but I found the few hours I had to play at the base plenty to satisfy my craving to get outdoors. Since it had been almost three weeks since I last hiked, it was a welcome break from sitting at the computer and running around town.
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Categorized: Hikes and Backpacks, Wyoming
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Delta Lake in the Teton Mountains

The Grand Teton towers above nearby peaks and the turquoise waters of Delta Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (Mike Cavaroc)
The Grand Teton towers above nearby peaks and the turquoise waters of Delta Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Distance (one way): 4 miles
Difficulty: Strenuous
Best time of year: Summer

Be forewarned: Delta Lake is a very challenging trail that requires route-finding skills and a very steep ascent up a large boulder field. This trail is not at all for casual hikers.

I had always been hesitant to make a blog post about Delta Lake because I didn’t want the secret to get out. It was my "happy place" where I knew I’d have the whole lake to myself any time I went. Judging from my last hike up there, however, it’s safe to say the secret’s out. After encountering a number of parties along the trail, as well as doing a Google search discovering many other trail descriptions for access, I decided there wasn’t much of a secret left to protect.
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Categorized: Hikes and Backpacks, Travel Logs, Wyoming
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Spring Wildlife Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

Grizzly Bear #399 watching sunrise with her cubs, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
Grizzly Bear #399 watches sunrise over Grand Teton National Park as her cubs graze.

This past Friday, we wrapped up our first annual Grizzly Bear and Spring Wildlife Photography Workshop. There were two workshops spanning five days each scouring both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks for grizzly bears, wolves, black bears, bison calves, and all the other wildlife that calls Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks home. Though I was out recovering from a nasty virus for the first workshop, I was able to lead the second one, both coming out a huge success! Due to my absence from the first workshop, this will be a summary of the second workshop, though I was told the first week was able to find a whopping 38 different bears!

Black bear cub running through a meadow, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Mike Cavaroc)
Black bear cub running through a meadow, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

For the second week, we started our drive from Jackson on Antelope Flats in Grand Teton National Park immersed in a healthy bison herd with the Teton Mountains providing a dramatic backdrop.
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Categorized: JH Wildlife Safaris, Photo Workshop, Travel Logs
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Night Photography Explored: Part 7 – Reclaiming the Night


A trailer for Reclaiming the Night, following Wyoming Stargazing’s mission to build an observatory and planetarium in Jackson, Wyoming

One of western culture’s greatest collective fear is the fear of the dark. This fear has been with humanity longer than any written records, and countless stories and myths were created to ignorantly perpetuate that fear. Well into today, that irrational perpetuation is continued through the news outlets, repeatedly reporting of violent crimes taking place from people lurking in the shadows, or psychotic individuals in extremely remote places waiting for someone to park in just the wrong spot. A fear of the big, bad wolf or of the ever-menacing grizzly bear insure that we keep away from nature at night as well, and yet, if we’re to have truly successful night shots, these are the places we need to be to do so.
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Categorized: Article, How To
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