Western Wild

Dave Showalter's Conservation Photography Weblog

Photography, Wyoming Mountains

Peace On Earth

December 25, 2012 | Permalink | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Dave and Marla in wintery Colorado, USA!

Photography

2012 Rearview

December 21, 2012 | Permalink | 24 Comments

A look back at 2012 – in pictures of course :) Happy Holidays and here’s to a grand 2013!

January

“Lift Off” An adult bald eagle takes flight from a snag near Lake Derby. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, CO. This eagle landed to my south while I was facing north, aniticpating eagles returning to the roost in the evening. We spent a few minutes together before he left for the roost. I guess he was checking me out. Haliaeetus leucocephalus (more…)

Photography, Wyoming

Ferruginous Flight

December 20, 2012 | Permalink | 2 Comments

Composite panorama of a ferruginous hawk in flight. Red Desert, Wyoming

I’ve been looking at this set of ferruginous hawk images for months, thinking there’s something interesting here beyond a single frame of a hawk in flight – which I’m still happy with because ferruginous hawks summer in Wyoming’s sagebrush deserts and they’re a Federally threatened species. I fooled around with a timelapse, but that didn’t work becasue the bird blipped up and down in the frame, which could induce nausea. Looking at the series of 22 images, there’s this flight sequence that looks really rhythmic and the backgrounds are almost the same blue. I’ll keep fooling with it to get the blues to the same tonality, but I’m pretty happy with this for now. What do you think?

From The Vault, Prairie

Ocean Of Grass

December 14, 2012 | Permalink | Post a Comment
comanche national grassland, timpas

Ocean Of Grass : Prints Available

 Gazing across open spring grassland in the Timpas, or northern unit of Comanche National Grassland, I recalled stories about an ocean of grass. Early settlers compared the waving grass to the sea and often became disoriented on the open Great Plains. The Timpas Unit of the grassland is south of LaJunta and easily accessed.

“As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country as the water is the sea… There was so much motion in it, the whole country seemed somehow to be running.”
Willa Cather

Wyoming

Absaroka

December 11, 2012 | Permalink | 4 Comments
bighorn sheep, absaroka front

Fighting Bighorn Rams : Prints Available

 Bighorn sheep rams battle for the right to mate during the autumn rut. About 80% of Wyoming's bighorn sheep population live in the Absaroka Range. The North Fork herd migrates from Yellowstone National Park.

I returned late last week from an 8-day trip to the Cody area. My ambitious plan to photograph the big Yellowstone elk migration got rearranged because of fickle, dry, warm weather and other factors; so I recalibrated and focused on bighorn sheep and landscapes in transition. I’m still amazed at the wild diversity of the Absaroka Front – grizzly bears are still out, bighorn are mating, the Bighorn Basin has the highest density of golden eagle anywhere, and I photographed in alpine, sub-alpine, riparian, canyon, and sagebrush steppe ecosystems. Did I mention wind? It’s one of the most difficult challenges for a photographer to deal with, but it comes with the territory in Greater Yellowstone. Enjoy the photo essay: (more…)

Energy, Wyoming

Save The Hoback

November 21, 2012 | Permalink | Post a Comment

Here’s your chance to do something amazing with a year end contribution or Black Friday purchase. Save a piece of Greater Yellowstone and preserve it for your kids and grandkids. The Trust For Public Land has done their part by agreeing to purchase existing gas leases and retire them in perpetuity. We have a window of opportunity to raise $4.75 million before the end of the year and every tax deductible donation helps. Just visit TPL and donate today. Imagine that $150 saves an acre from drilling!

I’m proud to be working with the top conservation organizations in the West, and Trust For Public Land, Wyoming Outdoor Council, and The Wilderness Society have been in this fight since the beginning. I made the image in this ad while flying a mission with LightHawk, specifically to photograph the Wyoming Range from an aerial perspective and I’m grateful for LightHawk’s support. I’ve written about Noble Basin many times here – a remarkable wildlife migration corridor and calving site for pronghorn, mule deer, elk, and most of the Yellowstone wildlife, including grizzly bears; an animal superhighway sandwiched between the Wyoming Range and Gros Ventre Range. It’s where wildlife migrate to and through in spring and fall, when snow covers nearby Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The purchase agreement is supported by a broad coalition of sportsmen, recreationists, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead and other politicians, and the entire conservation community working in Greater Yellowstone. Donate today and feel great about saving one of the last truly special places in the West.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR

Flehmen

November 20, 2012 | Permalink | Post a Comment

Mule Deer Buck Exhibiting Flehmen Behavior During Autumn Rut. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Colorado

Flehman: (fley-muhn)

noun Animal Behavior .
a behavioral response of many male mammals, especially deer, antelope, and other artiodactyls, consisting of lip curling and head raising after sniffing a female’s urine.
Definition courtesy of dictionary.com

Kinda Funny

DSLR Clueless

November 14, 2012 | Permalink | Post a Comment

Hilarious!

Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR

Mule Deer Rut

November 13, 2012 | Permalink | 2 Comments

A large mule deer buck rouses a specific female during the autumn rut. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Colorado.

The autumn mule deer rut (mating season) action has begun at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, with bucks competing for the attention of does. I was out one evening last week and located a herd of five bucks and ten or so does. It’s interesting to watch smaller bucks follow does, tasting the air for estrus, and thinking they’ll get a chance to mate until a much larger buck emerges from tall grass and takes over. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR is renowned for big bucks; and although their numbers are down from historical populations, there are some very large deer at RMA. The rut will continue into December, generally peaking before Thanksgiving. In early December, you can observe larger groups of deer, often a single, big buck with harem. Take the auto tour route and be prepared to photograph from your open car window. I often travel with a 400mm lens ready to shoot.

A large mule deer buck pauses to look at the photographer while following a doe during autumn rut. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Colorado.

Ranching

Moving Bison

November 9, 2012 | Permalink | 4 Comments
zapata ranch, the nature conservancy

Bison Stampede : Prints Available

In a scene reminiscent of the old west, American bison are moved to a holding pen during the annual autumn roundup at The Nature Conservancy's Zapata Ranch. The bison had just burst through a gate and resumed grazing a few minutes later. 

It is said that bison can be moved – when they want to. American Bison, once nearly extirpated from the Great Plains, stand up to six feet tall and weigh as much as a ton (males). They are among the most impressive creatures on this continent. In the late 1800′s, few bison had survived the slaughter during Western expansion. From 1873 to 1889, six men captured 88 bison that remained on the North American plains. Charles “Buffalo” Jones, Frederic Dupree, Walking Coyote, Charles Goodnight, Charles Alloway and James McKay each had their own reasons for saving the disappearing species; some had an altruistic vision of saving bison from extinction while others saw possible business opportunities. Later, William Hornaday convinced Teddy Roosevelt to establish the American Bison Society in 1905 “for the permanent preservation and increase of the American bison.” Today, more than 400,000 bison graze public and private lands, contributing to the health of plains habitat that supports life in the West. Although bison dominate the Zapata landscape, a host of other creatures benefit from these nomadic grazers. And don’t be fooled, they may be a domestic herd, but they’re not domesticated. They go where they want to go, when they’re darn good and ready. (more…)

« Previous Entries
» Next Entries

Page 8 of 24« First...678910...20...Last »