This mornings coffee run took me 40 miles north of Jackson into Teton National Park to one of the most photographed places in the United States, Oxbow Bend. Oxbow is just north of Moran Junction about 4 or 5 miles and on this morning it was -15 degrees as I arrived just before dawn. In the summer there is always a multitude of photographers waiting for the sun to bathe the mountains with its warmth. Today I was all alone, with the exception of my father-in-law who made the journey with me.
We arrived as it was still dark and set up for the shots I wanted, some of which I am sharing with you here. As the sun makes its way over the eastern range it begins to bathe the Teton Range with a warm glow. This all happens in about 12-15 minutes so you need to be ready with your camera. Now I am no professional but you would have to try pretty hard to screw this up. Here are a few pics of the Oxbow Bend with Mount Moran in the back ground all taken within minutes of each other. You can see the difference in the shots as to how the sun bathes the mountains and the river. Oh yeh – this is the Snake River for those who do not know this area. Amazing is all I can say. Put this on your bucket list for sure.
On the way back I took a detour and found some of my favorite subjects. I counted over 18 moose this morning all within a few hundred yards of these shots. I almost got stepped on when this big guy came within a few feet of my Jeep. A few feet is no exaggeration! I never tire of seeing these beautiful creatures of nature. They are so unique and awesome to be this close to. If you venture out – be careful because they can hurt you. Enjoy!
As I peaked out my bedroom window last night I could see stars. Mother Earth had just sent Jackson a small storm during the day and she left the valley with a new coating of snow. Although it was just a few inches it was a welcomed event as we have been lacking in the snow department lately. But when I saw the stars I knew it was going to be a beautiful morning so I made my plans to head to Antelope Flats for a few pics – along with my hot cup of coffee.
As I was hoping it was absolutely clear blue skies this morning and even though the temperature in my Jeep was showing -15 degrees It was one of those clear blue sky mornings. I snapped a few pictures throughout my short trip but as usual there were plenty of opportunities to take some fun shots. Antelope flats is simply a great place to visit as it is close to town and on most mornings you will find something worth taking a picture of.
This was another moose morning and I arrived early and picked a spot to stop and wait for one of the many moose in the area to cross the road in front of me. These shots are not what I was hoping for as a visitor came roaring through in their truck just before the were to cross in front of me and a couple of other waiting photographer. The moose got spooked and the shots we were all hoping for did not materialize. It happens but all in all still a great morning. Enjoy!
We grabbed our coffee this morning at Pearl Street Bagels and headed for another morning adventure. First let me give props to the girls at Pearl Street Bagels as they are so nice to deal with. They are always friendly, and these girls can crank out the coffee and bagels. On the east side of the Snake River they are our favorite!
As we left the coffee shop we just found ourselves heading out towards Miller’s Butte to see if the mountain sheep had returned. And, yes they have, along with the tourists. It is a very cool thing to be able to travel such a short distance from our home and see so much wildlife. Miller’s Butte for those of you who are not familiar with our town sits on the east side of the National Elk Refuge and you access the road just north-east of the hospital on Broadway.
This morning the fog was hovering over the valley but not too bad – just cold. The trees again had a fresh coating of powdery ice crystals on their branches making it a real Christmas like feel. If you like to take pictures these kinds of mornings make a great background to shoot away. So many opportunities for beautiful shots of the trees loaded with powder and the rivers with a steamy fog hovering over the water. The ice and the river flows squeeze through frozen banks making for some really incredible scenery.
On this morning though it was all about the mountain sheep. The east side of the butte is all rocks and cliffs and the sheep meander around as if they are on flat land. But on some days you will find them right on the road side and this morning was no exception. About a dozen or so sheep traveled from their safety high in the rock to the road side in order to access the grass hiding under the snow. A couple even are so bold as to come right up to your car and they lick the side of the cars for any salts that are deposited from the roads. Pretty cool for sure. They are cautious but not too friendly making sure they keep their distance when someone tries to approach.
On the other side of the road we found dozens of elk just lying around at the base of the pine trees that start about a few hundred yards off the east side of the road. Although I love the elk we decided to focus on the sheep and just sit and watch them interact with the public. The tourists are returning for the holidays and this morning some of them got to see something really special. It never gets old up here as long as you take the time to leave you home and see some of God’s wonders. Enjoy!
On Sundays I like to call it going to church! All alone this morning I grabbed a very hot cup at Pearl Street Bagels and headed out-of-town. Cold – yes it was, -6 on my Jeep thermometer. When I left this morning I could see a full moon over the Teton Range from my bedroom and I thought I would get a shot of the moon over the Grand – but as it typical with clear cold mornings there was an inversion in the valley.
Fog was the standard of the morning and by the time it started to clear the moon had already set behind the Teton range. So I started looking for other things that caught my eye. This is what I came up with this morning. I was basically all alone and had many opportunities for some cool shots but I was enjoying my hot coffee and warm Jeep too much I guess. But I did manage to have fun – Enjoy!
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Today it was absolutely beautiful and cold too – about -2 degrees. This morning we counted in excess of 25 moose all around the valley. We saw cows and with their calves, big brutes with full racks on their heads and some younger males trying to keep up with their elders. This was one of the best mornings for spotting moose in weeks.
The sun was just rising on the ski resort so we took a shot of the slopes from across the valley floor. This morning there was an inversion in the valley and you can see it in a few of these shots. Again I wish I had a better camera with a much better lens selection. I need to get real close to these animals to get even these shots. A new camera is on my wish list for sure.
Peyton and I are constantly amazed at all we see each morning we take a drive. We see things that we do not take pictures simply because they are out of the range of our lenses. But today was saw Bald Eagles, beautiful vistas, many animals at a distance and more. If you come and visit you must take in some of this for your selves. Truly blessed!
As I woke up this morning and looked out the window all I could see was stars! Then I realized that today was the first day of winter. As I laid in bed contemplating where I wanted to go this morning I realized that with clear skies I would have a nice shot of the Teton Range as the sun came up. If you have never witnessed the early morning dawn in the Teton Range you are in for a treat. These pics do not do justice to the beautiful scene that unfolds right in front of you.
I headed out early before light and got my much-needed companion, my coffee. And once again headed north out-of-town, only this morning I was alone. The elk hunt is still going on for a few more days so I chose a safe spot to watch the magic unfold. Incredible! I never get tired of seeing this. As the dawn arrives you can start to make out the features of the Teton Range. Then as the sun makes its way over the horizon it bathes the range with its warm glow. Truly a beautiful morning!
I have also added a few shots from yesterday morning. This past week has been a real treat for professional photographers (which I am not – obviously) but there has been almost 20 moose to choose from, males fighting, and 6 grizzly bears to view. Two sows with their cubs. Yesterday I finally got close enough to one to take the shot above – I wish I had a bigger lens but this is what I got. She was digging around in the sage brush all the while keeping an eye on those who were watching her.
I have never seen grizzly bears this close to town before but this fall and now winter they are seen on almost a daily basis. Griz in the wild is awesome to see. In yesterday’s paper there was an interview with Tom Mengelsen who is one of Jackson’s premier wildlife photographers, where he sat and watched the two mother sows fight over a fallen buffalo while the cubs sat an waited for a victor. These two sows were mother and daughter and mother apparently won. National Geographic kind of stuff. Come visit Jackson this winter and see some of what we share.
Not sure what got into me today but I just decided to take some pictures of all the signs we have here in Wyoming. This gallery of pics is a small example of the signs we see everyday in our state. Call me crazy but I had a lot of fun this morning. I saw many animals but today it was the signs that grabbed me. Enjoy…
As we move ever closer to the start of the winter of 2011 we are blessed with a variety of beautiful days here in the Rockies. On this morning we were blessed with clear blue Wyoming skies and almost no one on the roads north of town.
Our plan was as it is most mornings, grab a cup of coffee and just drive. On this morning we decided to visit a different coffee shop that sits on the West Bank of the Snake River in the business center at the Pines . Elevated Grounds is a very cool eclectic place to visit. The coffee is good and HOT! If you are visiting or living in Jackson try a cup from Elevated Grounds.
As we left our daughter at school and turned onto the Village Road (heads to ski resort) we passed a mother and her two calves helping themselves to some tall grass right on the road. We turned around as went back to take this quick shot of the young family. As the temperatures drop the moose move to any place they can find food to fatten up.
This time of year the Moose Wilson Road closes just north of the resort so the only way to the north part of the town is that you have to travel back through Jackson and back north alone the East Bank of the Snake. It was absolutely gorgeous this morning and as we turned onto the road that takes you to Kelly, Wyoming I took these next two pictures. This area is a favorite spot for us to view antelope, bison, deer, moose, coyotes and birds of prey.
I usually don’t find any compelling reason to take pictures of the Tetons from here but on this day the Grand seemed to be barking at me. So I stopped and took a couple a pics. I think the contrast between the browning grass and the fresh powdering of snow on the Grand against the blue sky is what grabbed me. These smaller pics do not even grab the brilliant colors that existed this morning nor do they show how really blue the sky was but they should give you a feeling of the beautiful solitude that exists just north of Jackson Hole. Morning coffee in Jackson Hole can be a really fun adventure you can take when you visit. Almost any day and any time of year you will find something you will want to snap a picture of. Enjoy…
As you may already know Peyton and I have been blogging for the past year or so and currently we maintain 3 blogs in our family. “Insurance Simplified” (insurancesimplified.wordpress.com), “3 Feathers Flutes” (www.3feathersflutes.com), and “Jackson Hole Tim” (www.jacksonholetim.com). This has been a journey for sure that has developed and grown each and every month.
Jackson Hole Tim has been a very enjoyable blog for us to create. Our goal has always been to share all the wonderful things that we enjoy here in the Jackson area as well as all things that have to do with Wyoming. As many as 3 million people can come through the parks area each year. People come to visit Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone Park. Then in the winter people come for the incredible skiing and snowmobiling. Many people don’t know that Togwotee Pass is one of the top 5 places in the world for snow mobiles. But how can just two people share everything there is to know about an area as unique as this.
We have always wanted to be able to grow Jackson Hole Tim to include other people who share the same passions for this area and be able to let them participate in all the things that go on up here even if they have only visited a time or two. We have been searching for a social network platform that would allow us to open this up to anyone who has an interest in Wyoming and more specific the Jackson Hole area and we think we have found it.
This week we pushed live our new social network site called “Jackson Hole Tim” and now you can join as a member for FREE and participate in sharing your experiences with others on the site. Create blogs posts, upload pictures, participate in forums, upload video, music, advertise – what ever. I think you will find many of your friends will eventually be members and so it really is a community that you can get involved with.
So please take a moment and visit http://jacksonholetim.ning.com and if you like what you see join our membership and share your stories about Jackson Hole, Teton National Park, Yellowstone Park and any Wyoming story that stirs fond memories. We will still be maintaining this blog page as well so if you just enjoy our posts nothing will change here.
This morning a friend of mine, Robin Elledge and I went into Teton National Park to see if we could get some pictures of the Fall colors. Because of several fires in the area there was a strong haze in the valley making picture with the mountains in them not possible. So we decided to venture into the trees and take some pictures of just the trees. These are a few of the ones I took this morning.
These were taken at Oxbo Bend in the park. This is one of the most photographed places in Teton National Park because of a beautiful bend in the Snake River happens here with an incredible view of Mount Moran in the distance. Today was about trees. Spectacular morning. Enjoy.