Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A new storm-quick moving rolled through the high country yesterday leaving a little more new snow on the mountains and rain at lower elevations.  Aspens are dissapearing fast but what a color year with more reds in the leaves then I have ever seen.  willows hang on leaving color with the racing clouds skirting the Pinnacles with veils of light and dark.  Brooks Lake Creek adds an encor to the scene.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A lot of our Aspens have lost their leaves but those that remain are contrasted with the white of the snow.
The Wind River, just a stream here, flows through a changed world of white at sunrise
Winter has set in in the high country.  We have only received a skiff in town but the mountains surrounding us have a nice fresth white covering.  There is close to two feet in the mountains.  It does make for a beautiful landscape and should pretty well lay down the fires that have been burning for the past several months surrounding us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

There are many beautiful streams that course there way out of the Wind Rivers and the Absarokas.  this is just one of them.  Warm Springs Creek in fall dress.  So named because of the warm springs that feed into it in the canyon below this spot.  the heat of that water keeps the Wind River ice free for many miles including its passage through Dubois.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My kind of road.
Brent Creek Road at the heighth of the color season for Aspens.  They are all ready beginning to fall and with the predicted storm with snow forcast by tomorrow the gold season will soon be over. 
About a mile above this spot an Oil well is to be drilled that could possibly change this area forever.  Fracking is also a possibility.  I guess my feelings are that if we are having to look for oil in such places then we are way overdo in finding alternate energy sources.  It is heartbreaking.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The rising sun floods the Aspens along the Brent Creek road revealing a surreal effect against the smokey background of the Winchester meadows below.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The sun rises above Brent Creek.  Beginning of a new day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

South Fork of Fish Creek in a sea of willow covered meadows at 9,000 feet along the continental divide.  This is prime grizzly country.  And great fishing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Heading back towards town we stop for a few pixs looking back through the Aspens at the now visible Ramshorn Peak.  Quite a morning of color and new country for me.  I have to thank my guide for the morning, Laurie Ideker, as this ara is closed to the public and with her help I was abloe to get some great photos and reference for some great painting possibilities.
Thanks, Laurie.
The clouds are finally lifting and dissipating as we leave this old ranch offering a view of the Ramshorn to the north.  We watch a doe with three fawns come over the hill above the ranch and bound their way across the face of the hill dissapearing into the Aspens below.
A rather cool  NE breeze is blowing making for a chill to the air.  Far to the west I can hear an occassional elk bugle.  Low clouds are slowly dissapating and we wait for a view of the
Ramshorn Peak now hidden above this old ranch.  It is no wonder the builder of this place so long ago chose this site for a home.  Hard work had to be tempered by the beauty surrounding his place.
The gold of Aspens highlight a mountain ranch barn NW of Dubois, Wyoming.  Accompanied by an Australian Shepherd and Golden Retriever-could life get any better than this?
The golden season is upon us.  Aspens are nearly at their heighth in colors.  There seems to be a little more orange showing up this year.  Maybe from such a wet beginning then dry from July on?  At any rate the colors are spectacular.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Haze from now four fires filters through the rising sun and across the Gros Ventre River.  The air smells of wood smoke and it even burns the eyes.  And yet is even this seemingly destructive quality of nature there is beauty

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our weather is quite warm for this time of year hitting near record breaking numbers.  Wyoming has recorded records at a number of locations though the mid 70's here in the high country is not too bad.  Our two fires to the NW and NE are still going putting out a lot of smoke in the afternoons when they really flair up.   Hunters are streaming into our area with a lot of horses and camps being put up in the back country.  Trees are really beginning to change colors now.  Fall is upon us.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wild Geraniums are showing off their colors on forest floors

Friday, September 23, 2011

The rising sun casts a golden light onto the waters of Horse Creek still in the shadow of the mountains above.  A heavy frost covers willows and grasses.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Mule Deer have now all asumed their winter coats.  Even the Fawns have lost spots and look like a smaller version of their mothers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall is upon us.  Yesterday morning a little front came through that dropped the tempertures pretty well.  It was 27 degrees this morning.  No moisture but fog was rising as the sun also made its appearance.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 4, 2011
I have an appointment with the Meyers family, friends from Scottsdale, Arizona and Tory and Merideth Taylor for a get-to-gether lunch at the top of Bonneville Pass on the continental divide east of Brooks Lake near Dubois, Wyoming.  Devon Meyers was with us on most of our wilderness art packing adventures a few years back.
I arrive a little early and seek out the little boys room which happens to be the first outhouse at the Brooks Lake east campground.  I am a little shocked upon entering fo find a rug in front of the privey.  To the side is a table with a table cloth and on that are a number of magazines, an Orvis catalog and paperback books and a wildflower bouquet in a glass jar.  A hand sanitizer container sits there also.  An old dial-up telephone also sits atop the table.  Its cord going nowhere.  A few pictures adorn the wall.  I don't remember if it smelled in there or not but if it did you would not have notices with all this decor.  Someone has a lot of imagination and fortitude.  Later in the day I asked my friend who is the cmpground host at the adjoining campground.  He informs me that the host there did it as a lark.  He tells me that the U S Forest Service actually got a letter from a camper complaining that the phone did not work.??? Guess some folks expect everything.  I think it ought to be included with Ripley's Believe it or not.
August4, 2011
We all meet at the Bonneville trailhead and right away have to ford Bonneville Creek.  It is a lot higher than normal for this time of year attesting to the fact there is still a lot of snow in the high country.  This trail has only been open for negotiating in the past couple of weeks and I hear horses are still having to negotiate a big snow drift dropping off the pass into the upper DuNoir.  the event leaves us all with wet feet for the remainder of the day.
August 4, 2011
The deep reds of the Wyoming state flower.  The Indian Paintbrush.  The red being only the coloration of its leaves like a poinsetta.  The flower is only an inconspicuous green buried in all that red.  This is a parasitic plant deriving its nutrients off a host plant.  Coming in many variations of color from mountains to plains-it is spectacularly beautiful.
August 4, 2011
The slow climb upwards is through open forest and meadow eventually leaving the creek views of the breccia Cliffs and Sublett Peak are at our backs.  Clouds create fast moving shadows that dance across the landscape.  Blues, yellows, reds, and whites of wildflowers surround us with their sweet odors.
Augus 4, 2011
We pass a beautiful side valley that ends in a circular bowl at the top.  Jules Bowl still contains a lot of snow from this past winter.
August 4, 2011
Near the top we come to one of my favorite spots along the trail.  7 Falls.  A tiny stream that courses its way off the slopes of Austin Peak above dropping on below into Bonneville Creek.  It is a pleasant soothing fall of water creating a melody of sound.
August 4, 2011
We reach the pass and have a quick lunch as the mosquitos are terrible.  I am sure we all received our protein with every breath.  Bonneville Pass is a long stretched out meadow ringed by peaks on all sides befor dropping off into the upper DuNoir to the east.  It is usually very wet walking and this year doubly so.  We left the trail and headed for higher ground to get out of the watery quagmire.  Bighorn Sheep can often be spotted on the peaks above but not so this day.
After lunch Merideth and the two Meyers kids are busy searching out and picking various edible plants.  Merideth is teaching a class on this very subject in Dubois this weekend.  There are plenty available.  Along with some no-no's that she points out to the kids they quickly accumulate what they need.  Those kids are really into this-tasting and picking away.
August 4, 2011
It is an uneventful hike back to the trailhead.  I had really expected to find bear sign on the trip.  but nothing.  We did find here and there along the trail an old wolf track in the dried out mud.  Crossing the creek was no big deal as my boots were wet from the days activities. 
Coming back out from the trailhead I drop in on Richard, the campground host at the Brooks Lake west campground and friend of mine who has taken to doing plein-aire painting.  We visit a while and I move on  taking a few pictures such as this favorite scene of mine of the outlet of Brooks Lake.
August 4, 2011
The Breccia Cliffs to the west of Brooks lake with the trail heading out into the far back country makes for an end of day photo.  Many pack trips originate here and head into the Teton Wilderness Area.  The Thoroughfare, and Yellowstone are acessed by this trail and covers miles of the most extensive wilderness in the continental United States.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Using the excuse that I am Bear hunting-it is really the other things that I see and run across that makes for such an interesting life.  It is always a surprise to run across what I do find out there.  Every excursion I am not disapointed by those surprises.  I have always been a morning person and all my life I have had such exciting encounters in the wild.  I count it a true blessing by my God thay I have had the life I have.  And to record it on canvas and photograph and to make a living doing it is an added blessing.  I do hope you enjoy the latest posts from the past few weeks.
The other evening I jumped up this fellow who spent as much time observing me as I did him.  He finally had enough and hopped over that barbwire fence.  Further along a number of Pronghorn Antelope friends raced me befor veering off and dissapearing.  the fastest animal in North America with binocular vision they have really increased their numbers in this area. 
A good 45 minutes were spent jsut watching and listening to this herd of Cow Elk with their calves in tow as they grazed across a mountain hillside all the while talking to each other as they went.  A Bull elk was above itn the timber bugling constantly.  It is way to early for that and rather strange behavior for this time of year.  Maybe this years weather has everything confused
Incredible morning and evening vistas such as this looking into the five Pockets-headwaters of Horse Creek greet me everytime I go out.  Except for the now appearing mosquitos it is pure pleasure to be out alone with God and nature.
Early the other morning I ran across mother and calf moose waiting for the warm sun to make its appearance.
Found this young grizzly grazing a forest meadow west of Dubois.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I ran across this Mother grizzly and her lone cub the other evening.  Such a powerful animal.  Such a scarey animal.
Continuing my ventures in the high country with the excuse of looking for bears I ran across this black bear that I am afraid I woke up.  He was a little sleepy looking befor finally deciding to venture out through the aspens foraging wilflower salad. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011
Ran across this little fellow this morning keeping pretty close to Mom.
Finding Grizzlies has seemed to become a hobby for myself and fellow artist, Les Lefevre.  They have been fairly common to find.  I told Les maybe we need a new challenge.  Say Cougars?
But what a magnificent animal.

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 23, 2011
We were headed for home from a day in the Tetons with Les and Kathy Lefevre.  Les having to deliver some art work to the GRAND TETON GALLERY in Jackson, doing the gallery scene and a great hike during the afternoon to Hidden Falls in Cascade Canyon when this mother Sow and her two cubs suddenly appeared from the willows momentarily.  What a show they put on as the two cubs followed mom for a short distance befor she took them back into the willows.
June 23,  2011
Mother Grizzly headed down into a stream bed out of sight but for several minutes each of the cubs would periodically stick their head or completely reveal themselves.  Full of curiosity they just could not seem to get enough of checking us out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 19, 2011
I was priveleged to be able to witness an incredible show performed by Mother Nature the other morning.
Rising at first light I headed up the Union Pass road towards Warm Springs Creek in hopes of photographing several Moose I had spotted the other day when we had dinner at the Crooked Creek Lodge.  Soon after leaving the hiway on the way up the mountaiside I stopped along the road to watch seveal hundred head of elk that were scattered across the mountainside.  Cows and calves made for a peaceful pastoral scene.  I had the window down listening to the conversations between elk mothers, their calves and themselves.
At the upper end of the sage covered hills where they blended into the dark heavy timber a number of elk were suddenly very attentive to something in that timber.  Then a number of them began running down the mountain side.  I put the glasses on them to see if I could see what had disturbed them.  A large Sow Grizzly and two of her yearling cubs were charging headlong into the herd scattering them across and down the mountainside.  A fairly large number had gathered together in the melee and were running panic stricken down the steep slopes.
June 19, 2011
The elk cleared this barb wire fence with ease and surprisingly the Sow hit it in a leap knocking out the top wire.  One of the cubs hung up a little going through but with no harm done they were off following mom.  At the bottom of the hill was the river and the elk did a U-turn and headed back up hill.  The cubs seemed a little winded and dropped out of the chase but without missing a lick-mom was up the steep hillside at full speed.  I am impressed with how fast she continued the climb after the long run down the mountainside.
Not wanting to miss the show I put down my camera in exchange for my field glasses and missed shots I should not have.
It was about this time I noticed two other animals who had joined in on the chase.  It was 2 wolves.  Mother grizzly was within feet of grabbing a calf elk when one of the wolves grabbed her on the rear hip knocking her down.  She was up in an instant and charged the offending wolf who merely sidestepped the charge.  As soon as she tried to return to the chase one of the wolves would be at her heels.  This went on for some time while the two cubs had slowly climbed the hill to rejoin her.  The elk by now had climbed the hill and come up against a buck and pole fence where they were seemingly cornered.[notice the wolf on the left side of the photograph]
June 19, 2011
The three bears were continually trying to climb the hill towards the elk but time and again they were harraassed by the trailing wolves.  The sow would periodically charge the wolves to no avail as they nimbly avoided her.
June 19, 2011
The bears finally make a run up towards the cornered elk and I thought they would have no trouble getting one for breakfast.  They passed right by them vaulting through the Buck and pole fence andon up the mountain with the two wolves right behind hounding them as they went.
June 19, 2011
From the way this procession is moving I think if I head up the road to the first switchback I can beat them and maybe get a few more pictures.  I arrive just in time to see 4 elk barreling out of the timber looking behind at something down in the timbered draw.   I know what it is and I am not going down there to see.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The wildlife seem to be thriving in our part of the world with all the moisture and now that the grass is growing.  we have ever increasing Pronghorn numbers and right now they are pretty shaggy looking still loosing that winter coat.  This doe has to have a fawn somewhere nearby but unless you stepped on it you would never see it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The river is behaving its self this morning with a cool front coming through night befor last.  Only hit 63 yesterday and in low 30's this morning.  Helps a lot with the run off.  Snow showers raced across Whiskey Peak above town all day yestrday and the wind represented the name of our area well.-Wind River Valley. 
 Snow is forcast today in Dubois but this morning looks pretty good out especially with those sandbags around the house.  Our trees are leafing out and looks a little more summrish every day. 
Now why did Vicki put that snow shovel away?
Last evening about 8:30 pm our place was invaded by over 30 Duboisians.  Boy Scouts, friends and even some folks I did not even know.  It was organized chaos with trucks, trailers, dogs cats.  O K maybe not cats.  All pitching in to lay a sandbag line around the 2 vulnerable sides of my house.  In 45 minutes the job was finished. 
For the past week many volunteers met at the Town garage filling sandbags in preparation for this even.  My wife had blisters on both hands from filling sunday afternoon.
  A great big thank you for all those wonderful people who gave of their time and energies to give a lending hand.  Small towns are the way to live.