Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
A look back at 2012 – in pictures of course Happy Holidays and here’s to a grand 2013!
“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…)
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?
“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.”
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…)
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.
Mule Deer Buck Exhibiting Flehmen Behavior During Autumn Rut. Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR, Colorado
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
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.