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.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The river is rising pretty fast now with the temps up to 80 degrees but helps to get down into mid 30's night time.  Is to be cooler next few days and that is a blessing.  Still waitning on sandbags that were to be delivered yesterday.  Hopefull today.  Snowed last night on the mountains above town and still snow showers falling there this morning.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Driving down the horribly rutted Burroughs Creek Road I nearly missed this gentleman tucked in amongst the willows.  This old Bull Moose with his antlers just now growing out seemed perfectly at ease in the warmth of the morning sunshine.
Our river continues to rise and is nearly to the grass.  It hit 81 yesterday by far the warmest so far this year and to be pretty warm again today but cooling off for the rest of the week.  35 degrees overnight though is a big help in controlling the melt.  Sand bags will be delivered to my house today and put out in a few days.  The fun is beginnig in Dubois.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The early morning sun has barely crept over the divide seperating Horse Creek and the Wiggins Fork.  A Mule Deer Doe walks along a snow melt pond casting her reflection upon the cold water.  It is what you missed this morning by not being with me north of Dubois, Wyoming 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday morning June 4.  beautiful brisk morning with a temp of 26 degrees.  Our anticipated snow melt is slowly begining and is to pick up steam this coming week.  A way above record snow pack promises scarey times for those of us who live along the Wind River.  Torrey Creek here is just begining to show its rage in frothing cascades as it tumbles out of the mountains.
What you missed by not being with me in the Upper Wind River Valley thursday morning.  New life is making its presence known such as this newly born Elk calf.  Saw several that morning.  Thursday the temperature was a balmy 72 degrees but by friday morning it was 27 and this morning[saturday June 4.  It is 26 degrees.  But no wind so feels pleasant.