Tag Archive | wildlife

Spirit Animal

DSC_5682.jpgI am not a fan of the gawker crowd.  The people that gather in the masses to stare at the animals, because this is all new to them and they know that it is a rare opportunity.  I get why they do it, but as I said-they usually gather in the masses and make it hard to get to views of the animals.  However, with that said…if it wasn’t for the gawker crowd, I would miss out on some of the beauties.  When you are alone and driving, it is not always easy to see the bear that is further down the hill or the beautiful coyote that is running along  relentlessly.

I probably would have seen her eventually, but had it not been for the car that had stopped to watch her, I might not have seen her as in time to catch some of the moments I witnessed.   I probably also would have missed the fact that she sneaked up behind me when I thought I had lost her in the field.  So, I am always thankful for the gawkers, but more so when they disperse and it is just me and the beautiful beast.

With that said, this beautiful beast was running down one of the main roads in the Grand Tetons.  She was relentlessly moving, searching.  She would only stop briefly.  Some of the shots that will come later, well, those would be the longest she held still.  This series is the firs time I’ve been able to truly catch a coyote.  Normally, they are on the run, too far away, or I’m so baffled that they are there that it takes me a second to realize it and by then it is just too late.

This is also the first time that I found myself in an animal.  That sounds weird, but I just can’t think of words I’d rather use.  This whole trip, I just kept waiting for that ah-ha, relishing moment that I’ve had on my other trips.  The first time was the deer on Little Devil’s Tower Trail, then the mountain goat, the buffalo that followed me.  Moments that just left me feeling light and airy, refreshed, hopeful.  I just hadn’t experienced it yet and honestly…I never really did, but this girl…I found I related with what I saw.

It was the fact that she was running endlessly, tirelessly, searching.   Maybe she knows why, maybe she doesn’t.  I’m sure she did.  In her case she was searching for food, fuel…I would think it would be safe to assume.  Me…I’m still searching for the fuel I think.  That is a story for another time, a cup of tea, and a conversation of deep and philosophical revelations.

I am not ready to share my favorite photos of her.  Just this one for now.  I did very minimal editing to it.  I needed to be minimal with it.  That is all I will say for now.  I hope that you like it.

Until the next time, I have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Such a Ham

Silly little chipmunk. At least I hope that it is a chipmunk.  😉  I mean, I haven’t exactly been scoring very high on the “Name That Animal” game.  I kid.  Seriously, though, this little guy had me cracking up.

I was at Old Faithful in Yellowstone….Old Faithful, yeah…we’re not going to discuss Old Faithful right now, but I got a few things to say about Old Faithful. Anyway, as I was waiting for Old Faithful to decide whether or not to erupt, I was walking the path and admiring the wild little creatures.  This guy was hiding under the wooden walkway.

He was running back and forth every time he heard people.  At some point he must have decide that he was safe and he came out and stayed a while.  It was clear that he was no longer paying attention to the people.  I mean after all, there were clearly more important matters on hand.  Like whatever crumbs he found to nibble on.

He was just minding his own and then I had to show up.  I was using my Sony and so it was a little loud.  When he heard my shutter, he totally did that “slow turn” around. I think we’ve all seen that one video.  The one that comes to mind (Because I just looked it up), “Dramatic chipmunk”.  Yep, that was totally this guy.  He was all about that slow, dramatic turn around.  I was cracking up.

The pictures do not really do it justice, but if you watch the position of his eye – you can kind of see it.  The rest of it is up to your imagination.  If anything, he’s really just too freakin’ cute.  Today, I’m off seeing other cuteness (tigers) that I’m sure you will hear all about when I return, but for now you get the “Dramatic Chipmunk” ham.

Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Dun...

Dun…

Dun...

Dun…

DUNNNN!!!!!!!!

DUNNNN!!!!!!!!

Montana Rose Photography

Meeting of the Bucks

DSC_0364A pile of out-state-plates lined both sides of the busy road.  I knew there was something to see.  I do not tend to follow the masses, but when there is wildlife at stake….well, I tend to at least see how close to the edge the crowd is standing. 

There started out only being a few pairs of horns.  Standing on a hill and minding their own.  Just grazing away. 
DSC_0294I’m still not sure what I think of elk.  They’re an interesting set of creatures.  I’ve just never really given them much thought.  I believe I said in another post, I guess I just never really thought I’d ever see anything of the sort.  Taking spontaneous trips has its perks. 

As these three stood there, their demeanor changed and eventually the started heading down the field at a rapid pace.  About the same time a baby antelope walked onto the field.  He is not pictured and he may have been deer.  I was looking at pictures and it appears that baby antelopes look a bit like baby deer.  He was just as fast as either.  Antelope had graced most of my remaining drive through those Wyoming back roads.  Fast little devils they are.  Anyway….as the three  boys made their way down the hill.  A mass compilation of horns came out of the woods.  (The pictures are a bit misleading, but I assure you that the majority of them had horns. Some much bigger than others).

DSC_0336  DSC_0344I am not sure if it was some territorial dispute.  Boys being boys or what was going on, but two of the biggest horns from both sides locked horns a couple of times. Unfortunately, those pictures didn’t come out as well.  The only thing that is worse than my ability to manual focus under stress is my ability to see well enough to manual focus when it starts getting dark.  Consequences of sitting to close to the TV or getting old….whichever. 

I did get some shots worth sharing. I hope you think so too.  Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

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Montana Rose Photography

Little Black Bear

SONY DSCLittle black bear hiding in the trees and playing in the leaves.  So many times I drove up this mountain looking for thee.  Four or five time it seems. Until a mass of cars found you for me.

That is not an exaggeration. Just a poetic way of saying I spent forever trying to find this little guy.  I was just about to give up when I convinced myself to make one more trek up the mountain.  I didn’t actually mind the drive up…I was starting to, but it was the way down that was really getting to me.  I’m glad that I did or I would have missed him.

SONY DSC I was down near the bottom of this mountain pass harassing some female moose and their offspring.  This stranger stopped and asked me if I had seen the little black bear cub off in the ravine playing with the flowers.  I was like,  “No way! Shut up!”  He laughed and told me where to find the little guy. I thanked him and he was off on his way.  The zone and I made our way back up the mountain.  Drove to the top. No little black bear cub.  We made our way back down.  No little black bear cub.

We drove back up and  down this mountain at least four or five times before I had reached my limitation of driving this mountain road.  It was high altitude and winding roads and the others driving it….well, they were not as cautious as me. When we reached the bottom one last time, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave. I wanted to see this little black bear cub.  We made our way back up to the top one last time.  No little black bear cub.

As we headed back down, there was line of cars stopped and blocking my passage way.  I was learning relatively quickly that if there was a pile of out-of-state plates stopped along the side of the road then there was something worth seeing.

As I put the car in park and got out, a woman stuck her head out of her car window and confirmed that the little black bear cub was hiding in the leaves.  Another woman glared at me.  I’m not sure why. I think she thought that I was trying to take her photographic moments. This was the third time we had run into each other and she was less than happy each time.  I just let her have it.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her I had been stalking this bear cub for the last 45 minutes.  I just made my way to a good standing destination and tried to get some good shots.

SONY DSCHe was deep in the trees and I so badly wanted to maneuver myself to a better viewing point, but there was a line full of cars and I knew that there also had to be a mama bear lurking off in the distance.  With that said, I should mention that yes, I am the fool that tends to see how close she can get, but by no means am I stupid.  I know the dangers of wildlife…of bears, moose, wolves, coyotes, etc.  I know that you never mess with a bear and certainly never mess with a mama bear. I do, but I also dare to test the boundaries.  Throw caution to the wind while holding tight to the rope.  This means that as foolish as I am, my foolishness is limited. A fool tests the boundaries, an idiot tends to just cross with no regard.  So, for the concerned at heart…I rarely, rarely cross the line.

In this particular case, I also knew that if I attempted to get closer that there would be at least two other people who would think that they could too.  This would lead to a third person and a fourth person and a fifth and so on.  Then not only is my moment ruined, but that boundary line just got a lot closer to my feet.   I just stood where I could and attempted to get the best shots that I could. Thank goodness for a 70-300 lens and a Sony with three batteries.  The quality may not be as good as my Nikon, but I had to work with what I had.

SONY DSCNot sure where mama bear was, but I do thank her for letting me take some pics of her little one.  I’m guessing had she wanted to…that moment would have ended mighty quickly as there were several of us out of our cars at that point.  It made it totally worth the blocking traffic, the dirty looks, and the driving up and down that mountain for 45 minutes looking for that little black bear cub.

SONY DSCSONY DSCHave a beautiful today and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography

Little Brown Bear

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As he walked across the street, I remember saying out loud, “That is a really big raccoon.”  Even saying it now sounds foolish.  I think a part of me knew that it wasn’t a raccoon, but where I come from….there are just some things you don’t see.

When I got closer, I started smacking the passenger seat shouting, “it’s a bear…it’s a bear…it’s a bear”.  The zone was not impressed.  She looked out the window and her curiosity did heightened just a tad, but there was a barrier between her and him.  Let’s just say that she didn’t care near as much as I did.

DSC_0166 (5)I pulled over as far as I could so I could get a picture.  This decision….well, it was not one of smartest moves I’ve ever made.  Not because of the bear.  When it comes to wildlife like this, I’m a little bit more fearless than what I should be.  No,  it wasn’t smart because where I chose to stop.  I mean after all, I was in the mountains rounding a curve and there wasn’t any real place to pull over.  Had someone come flying around that curve…well, it could have ended badly.  Luckily, the powers that be were on my side.  Especially, since I was bound and determined to get that picture.  I’d been waiting a long, long time for an opportunity like this.

Years ago, a couple of friends and I went to the great Smoky Mountains.  As her and I were hiking, my other friend stayed back at the car (he couldn’t hike as far as we could and we were chasing waterfalls).  While there, he had struck up conversation with another hiker who told him about the bear he had seen earlier that morning.  I was jealous, I wanted a picture of a bear….no, I wanted to take a picture of a bear.

I wanted to see it in its natural habitat not locked up in a concrete enclosure (we had seen that on one of our expeditions to the North Carolina side.  It was heartbreaking).  I wanted to see a real life bear.  Close up.  Wild and free.  Now yes…bears are dangerous and you should be careful.  Wildlife is unpredictable.  I know all this and I’m not completely daring, but I am the fool that will see how close she can get.  Do not try this at home.

DSC_0160 (5)Anyway, back to the point and my little brown bear.  Ever since that day in Tennessee, being able to take my own picture of a bear has been on my bucket list.  So, when I saw this little guy walking across the road and realized that it was not a raccoon….I was like a kid in a candy store.  Absolutely ecstatic.

By the time I got situated and out of my car, he was already off and down the hill and on his way.  Thank the man for who invented amazing lenses and the bear’s curiosity.  Not only did I get pictures of a little brown bear….later in my trip, I’d meet another baby too.
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Have a beautiful day and tomorrow.

Montana Rose Photography