Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mountain goats and marmots....

On the Hidden Lake trail behind the visitor center at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana mountain goats and marmots live.

The trail gets lots of human use, but the local marmots and goats don't seem to mind.

This billy stands amid the profusion of flowers that were blooming while I was there.

A nanny walks along the edge with Hidden lake in the distance behind her.
Although it was the middle of August this female mountain goat still hadn't shed all of her winter coat, as you can see in the middle picture. Many of the trees nearby had mountain goat fur hanging from their branches.

As the male goat walked by the female they barely acknowledged each other. Though he did chose to walk within inches of her.
As I was photographing mountain goats there were several hoary marmots eating grasses or flowers and then heading back to the rocks.
It was almost 90 degrees as this marmot stopped to get a drink from a mountain spring.
Just after starting back down the trail the female goat I had been photographing walked to the edge and stood looking down upon Hidden Lake. Another good day in the Rocky Mountains.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Only Yellowstone....

It was 90 some degrees the day before, but only 29 degrees as I stood along the bank of the Yellowstone River waiting for the sun to rise in the Hayden Valley. 

The sun didn't disappoint. 

There were enough clouds to make the sky interesting and not too much fog rising from the river. It was another good morning in Yellowstone.

Smoke from forest fires outside the park made the light a little different, a little hazy.

Later in the day as the temperature again topped 90 degrees I thought wistfully of my chilly morning along the river. Only in Yellowstone.

Moraine Lake ....

It had been a few years since I last photographed Moraine Lake and I was hoping for some good light and a few clouds at sunrise. I didn't get it.

In fact I couldn't even see the mountains across the lake when I got there.

Either low hanging clouds or a heavy fog made visibility less than 100 yards.

I thought about leaving to try and find some light at Lake Louise or up the Icefields Parkway,  but for a brief moment the sun hit the summit of a nearby peak and provided the little bit of encouragement needed for me to stay.

It took more than an hour for the sun to finally burn through and reveal the Wenkchemna Peaks just across the lake.

I'm glad I stayed.


On the hunt......

A wild gray wolf walking along a ridge in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada on a 90 degree August day.

This male wolf was working his way along a ridge with rocky outcroppings at the end of it.

Bighorn sheep often frequent this area and depend on the rocky outcropping to  provide protection from predators such as this wolf.

The wolf located a group of five young bighorn sheep rams resting down near a river and took off to pursue them.

Four of the rams ran away and eventually up the slope to safety, but one ram just jumped over the edge and waited the wolf out. At one point the wolf was sitting just above him about fifty feet away.

After a short break the wolf trotted down to the Athabasca River and layed in the water to cool off.

Then stood up, shook off, and walked away.