The Critters were out on a Saturday!

One of the best things about living in Bozeman is being bale to go down to Yellowstone whenever the desire arrives. For those that have been there, the desire to be there is almost all the time. This past Saturday I was down for the first time this Spring, which was very exciting. Over the last few years I have always left during the Spring and am unable to get to the park. Well this year I will probably be spending a lot of time there cuz the critters and the landscape are just spectacular.

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Since it is still May the whole road and many of the areas covered in snow aren’t open, some places are open. I was down in the North End of the park and didn’t know what to expect as far as who would be around. The Sheep weren’t out which isn’t surprising too warm already, but a number of other fellows were, including the people. This Elk created quite a stir which was funny because all he wanted to do was eat in the shade. That didn’t stop the line of cars to pile up on the corner. Having spent a lot of time down in the park, I know it’s always better to be further back then next to the crowds. With the 200-400 and 1.7, it was a breeze. Only trick was waiting for him to poke his head up. He didn’t….

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On down the road at one of the great ponds on the way to Lamar, were bird watchers. It’s not often I stop in the park for ducks, they just never seem to cooperate. Well this one pond had a number of American Coots, Eared Grebes, and even a couple of Rudy Ducks. The Grebes were kind of funny. They stayed in this group and bobbed back and forth as the wind carried them across the pond. I love how they kept their beaks in the whole time they fought the wind.

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It just wouldn’t be a normal day in the park without a Bison shot. They just sum up the American West in my mind. Having good like doesn’t hurt that portrayal either.

In the Camera Bag:
Nikon D3, 200-400 VR, 600f4, TC-17e, TC-20e, GP-1 with cable, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

Grebe’s then and now

Many years ago, after the Banff DLWS, the folks and myself drove around Canada slowly working our way back down to Mammoth. Along the way we met up with Wayne and Aubry Lynch, two of Dad’s old friends. It was a honor such pronounced photographers. Well, he took us too a spot he found earlier that Spring, a pond filled with nesting Eared Grebes. It was back in the days of the D1 generation so needles to say the shooting was quite different but still a lot of fun. We got there at the perfect time because the eggs were just starting to hatch.

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Yesterday morning Dad and I were out at one of our favorite haunts, Mono Lake. Every fall the Eared Grebes migrate through on their way to warmer waters. We thought we would try our luck with them. They were already in their winter plumage and very uncooperative. It was a long shot anyways, a couple days earlier a big storm came through and most likely blew them away. Always wanted to photograph again after the time in Canada, but this one didn’t quite stand up the same. Eh there’s always next Spring.

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Images captured with (top) D100, 300f2.8, (bottom) D3, AF-S Nikkor 600f4, Tc-14e, on Lexar UDMA Digital Film

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