Trip Reports: Fall 2010

Break time is over.

Break time is over.

Back into the woods to feed on berries.  ** This image is available as an exclusive limited edition fine art print **

Bears weren't the only ones making the most of this autumn bounty. Flocks of cedar waxwings were also feeding in the nearby bushes...

Bears weren't the only ones making the most of this autumn bounty. Flocks of cedar waxwings were also feeding in the nearby bushes. It was great fun watching and photographing them. 

The little birds were pretty hard to spot in the fall foliage. 

The little birds were pretty hard to spot in the fall foliage. 

Two waxwings perched together on a brach of a dead tree. 

Two waxwings perched together on a brach of a dead tree. 

Eying up more berries. 

Eying up more berries. 

A beautiful blue sky day. 

A beautiful blue sky day. 

A little masked waxwing hanging on to the branches of the hawthorn bush.

A little masked waxwing hanging on to the branches of the hawthorn bush.

Not a cloud in the sky.

Not a cloud in the sky.

Some chaotic berry passing going on.

Some chaotic berry passing going on.

Cedar waxwing on a limb.

Cedar waxwing on a limb.

 A fall bounty of hawthorn berries brings the low lying areas of Grand Teton National Park to life. Bears are the crowd...

 A fall bounty of hawthorn berries brings the low lying areas of Grand Teton National Park to life. Bears are the crowd favorite, as one can imagine. They clumsily climb among the small branches, which can barely support their weight. A bear though, can pack on many pounds in the fall when a food source like this is abundant. Upon closer inspection you can see many other animals feeding on these little morsels. Birds, like the Robin and the Waxwing, for example. Here, a Cedar Waxwing perches on a branch after being handed a berry from another member of the flock. Berries play a large roll in the life of a Cedar Waxwing. It is not uncommon to see a group of them lined up on a branch passing berries down the line so that they all can eat. Waxwing pairs will also pass items such as berries back and forth between each other as an act of courtship.

** This image is available as an exclusive limited edition fine art print **

Later in the evening we spotted another cinnamon black bear in the woods. I set up with my camera facing straight down this fallen...

Later in the evening we spotted another cinnamon black bear in the woods. I set up with my camera facing straight down this fallen tree hoping the bear would walk along it. Not long after, the bear did just that. Sometimes you get lucky!

For sunset, we decided to head over to Schwabachers Landing. I was hoping we would see those amazing rays of light that we'd...

For sunset, we decided to head over to Schwabachers Landing. I was hoping we would see those amazing rays of light that we'd witnessed previously. There was no crazy light that evening, but it was still a beautiful scene. 

Early the next morning we found this big bull moose watching over a couple of cows. I'd seen many moose already on this trip...

Early the next morning we found this big bull moose watching over a couple of cows. I'd seen many moose already on this trip, but this early in fall they're still often deep in willows and other thick bushes, making photography impossible. This was the first one I'd seen out in the open. 

A beautiful moose indeed. 

A beautiful moose indeed. 

These photos were all taken about 30 minutes before sunrise, when the light was still very blue. 

These photos were all taken about 30 minutes before sunrise, when the light was still very blue. 

Moose in sagebrush before sunrise. 

Moose in sagebrush before sunrise. 

Looking back, keeping an eye on the two cows he had with him.

Looking back, keeping an eye on the two cows he had with him.

First light.

First light.

Beautiful early morning sunlight warms up the scene. 

Beautiful early morning sunlight warms up the scene. 

I was only planning on spending a couple of days in the Tetons, but a quick look at the weather had me re-thinking my plans again...

I was only planning on spending a couple of days in the Tetons, but a quick look at the weather had me re-thinking my plans again. There were still zero clouds in the forecast for almost a week. The weather that was supposed to move through in a few days would coincide perfectly with the peak of fall color in the Tetons, so we decided to move northwards into Yellowstone for a few days before heading back. Right when we got into the park we came across two coyotes hunting in a dry meadow. The light was a little harsh, but it was really fun watching them hunt. 

Even the coyotes seemed overheated as they stalked through the grass. 

Even the coyotes seemed overheated as they stalked through the grass. 

Coyotes use their incredible hearing and smell to pinpoint the exact location of their prey. They then pounce on them, hopefully...

Coyotes use their incredible hearing and smell to pinpoint the exact location of their prey. They then pounce on them, hopefully hitting the target perfectly. It's fascinating to watch.

Coyote on the hunt.

Coyote on the hunt.