Wow Christmas has come and gone again! Hard to believe how fast the time seems to pass these days. As many of you know winter came late to the Yellowstone basin this year and for a while we were actually starting to wonder if we would ever see the snow fall. Needless to say it did and it is now cold like it should be with plenty of white stuff on the ground.
This morning as the sun was starting to creep its way over the Wind River Range I decided I was going to get up and grab one of my favorite cups of coffee and head north of town to see what I could find. I had an hour or two to kill so why not. It was a bit over cast and cold to boot. But once my truck warmed up and I had my cup in hand I was all about finding something fun and cool to watch. And as usual I did not disappoint myself.
This morning in short I saw quit a few characters from the neighborhood. I counted more than 25 moose, hundreds of buffalo, deer, elk, eagles, coyotes and more. This was not my first rodeo with taking pics of buffalo but this morning was bit unusual. The female in the slide-show did not want to get out of my way. She just stood fast and stared me down..So after taking a few pics of her I tried to nudge my truck past her and she did not like this. She let me know with a few twitches of her tail and growled at me loud enough to let me know I was getting too close.
Then to the right of me after plowing down a barbed wire fence I saw her boyfriend at a full run coming right at me. At first I was not sure what he was doing but I figured it out quickly. So I swung my camera around, snapped this shot and hit the gas and moved just past him as he passed within feet of my rear bumper. All I could see was this big guy plowing straight into the side of my truck – head first.
For the next hour or so I just marveled at the sheer beauty of this morning and although I was alone I was not… I was surrounded by the majesty of the morning, the mountains, the rising sun and the wildlife that accompanied me on my morning journey. And of coarse, some really solid classic vinyl (XM Radio). I will have to do this again…
This is a re-post from earlier this year. This post appeared on our health insurance blog @ http://insurancesimplified.wordpress.com. Before we started Jackson Hole Tim we would post articles about Jackson there and because this post has been read many times and received well I wanted to run it again as I think Jackson Hole Tim is a more appropriate place for it to live. Enjoy!
From time to time you have a morning that is just exceptional and really enjoyable. Most of you know that I live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – one of the most spectacular places to live in North America. Several time per week my wife and I will stop by the coffee shop just after we drop one of our children off at school. We then venture north of town to see what new sights we can find. Today was a great day as it turned out. Wildlife was just about everywhere you looked.
Now springtime in the Rockies is a period of transition for all that inhabit this area. Normally by now most of the snow has melted down in the valley and the animals – such as elk, moose, deer, antelope and other animals are starting to make their way up into the hills. This year we have had record snow fall and in the surrounding mountains we have had over 670 inches of snow. The snow pack is still very significant just north of the town of Jackson and very deep higher up.
This morning our journey took us north of town just north of the Gros Ventre River and then we turned east towards the Wind River Range heading to Kelly, Wyoming. Along the way we passed several small herds of elk that had started to move north from their winter feeding grounds towards their summer range. As you turn east off of Hwy 89 you travel parallel to the Gros Ventre river (one of my favorite waterways). Along this route you can run into wild animals at almost any point along the way. And today was no exception. Before you get to this turn off you pass by the National Elk Refuge and the highly acclaimed Natural Museum of Wildlife Art.
Our first stop was to view three moose we spotted that were lying down in the snow and they seem to be enjoying the warm sunlight that was abundant on this beautiful morning. The snow pack north of town is still fairly deep for this time of year and these three looked as though they were tired from a long harsh winter.
We continued heading east towards one of my favorite areas in the valley – The Gros Ventre. The road travels up into the mountain range for many many miles and pretty much follows the path of the Gros Ventre river that originates deep in the mountains. Just where you turn to head back into the range is a small warm (hot) spring. Sometimes in the summer you will see tourist swimming in this spot as the water is warm all year round. This picture is taken looking back toward the town of Jackson.
If you ever visit Jackson Hole area this is one area you will want to drive to. The road that begins the drive up into the Gros Ventre is only about 10 mile north-east of the town. This water shed is sooo beautiful in the summer – put it on your bucket list of things to see. As we headed up the road we came across a very young moose calf – not more than a year old at best. He was laying down in the snow just soaking up the sun as the other moose we had seen. To see such a young calf so close was a real treat – but where was mama?
Well as expected a few hundred feet further up we found her. She was lying right next to the road tucked among a small grouping of aspen trees. She looked exhausted. Normally you never want to approach a moose – especially a mother with her calf close by as they will simply stomp you to death. But in this case I just felt she was at peace and that she knew we were no threat to her. I was able to get within 10 feet or less to take a couple of shots. It is hard to tell from these pictures just how large and majestic these animals are. There coats look a little ratty as they are shedding their winter fur.
Our final stop was a point on the Gros Ventre river that is truly a beautiful spot. I noticed from the road a BIG BULL moose having his way in the willows that line the bank of the river. He was about 300 yards away and so I hiked down to the river (as my wife said “I’m not going”) to get a closer view of this magnificent animal. After about 10 minutes I got within about 75 yards of him before he spotted me. So I took a few pictures and I thought it prudent to back off – so I did.
Then out of no where a giant Bald Eagle came flying down the center for the river (fishing) for breakfast. He came from behind me so I did not see him until he was right in front of me. And I mean right in front of me – maybe 50 feet at most?? I heard the flap of his giant wings but I had my camera turned off and I missed the shot. But WOW he was magnificent! I then climbed back up the hill to my wife and we headed home.
I know this has nothing to do with selling health insurance but I do think it has everything to do with quality of life. To see these snap shots of mother nature on a daily basis is truly a blessing that has been bestowed upon our family. I hope you enjoy this post!