Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area offers one of the greatest opportunities for the wildlife photographer. It is a unique experience to drive the narrow roads and view great numbers of bison and elk. Mule deer, coyotes and eagles are more chance sightings, but are not uncommon.
The photos above by L. Ross illustrate but a few of the species that are seen daily as one passes through the park. We have seen a grizzly on a bison kill, black bears, moose, bison, antelope, eagles, coyotes, geese, swans, sand hill cranes and many other special animals.
Fall is an excellent time to visit the area. Lodging is much less expensive and the crowds have left the park and the atmosphere is more casual and unharried.
Expect few delays from tourists viewing animals from the road.
Yellowstone Park is in the southwest part of Montana and several good day trips are available. Jackson Hole is a great trip and a side benefit is passing through Tetons National Park and viewing the mountains with the Snake River or Jackson Lake in the foreground. The wives always enjoy the shopping as well.
Cooke City is at the northeast corner of the park and is a nice drive and a good place to have lunch. In the winter, a webcam shows snowmobiles travelling on the streets.
Big Springs, Idaho is a preserve and the headwaters of the Snake River. Enormous Rainbow trout swim undisturbed in the waters and flocks of mallards swim in the crystal clear water. We have seen moose feeding in the springs on the succulent vegetation on several trips.
The fishing on the famous rivers is exciting, and big fish abound, but they are not easy to catch. They are pounded by many fisherman, even in the colder months and present a challenge to fly fishermen. Many of the waters are restricted to fly fishing only.
For a vacation of a lifetime, consider Montana. For a special, up close experience with the wildlife, a visit in the fall would be my recommendation.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Montana Experience

In case you have not visited Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area, put it on your priority list.

Excuse the lack of recent posts. We are in the southwest part of Montana near the border with Idaho and Wyoming. We have spent time in all three states and photographed some beautiful scenery and animals. It is a great opportunity for anyone who loves the outdoors.

The fly fishing has been marginal so far, but the scenery makes up for it.

This is about ten trips here for us, but it never gets old. There is always something new to see and do.

I will do an update soon and post some of the great photos.

October is a great month to be here. The traffic is gone and travel through the park is much easier.

Night temps have been 16 to low thirties fahrenheit. We had snow one day and it accumulated on the mountaintops.

Check back soon for a more comprehensive update.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Realizing the Total Outdoor Experience

The images above captured by my camera are representative of the by-product of observations while deer hunting. We often get locked in to the single goal at hand, which may be deer hunting or any number of other pursuits.
These photos are opportunities that were observed while in pursuit of other game, but became the focus of attention due to their unique beauty. Just yesterday, Sept. 7, I sat in a tree stand, bowhunting a funnel between a pond and a river, and although I didn't take a deer, wood ducks entertained me as they frolicked on the pond.
A couple of Blue Jays sounded an alarm when they spotted me about 20 feet above the ground. If deer had been near, I'm sure it would have spooked them.
Northern Cardinals flitted through the underbrush and Titmice lit on the limbs near my stand. A Brown Thrasher's raspy calls sounded frequently, and once he lit on a bush beneath my stand.
Gray Squirrels were abundant, and one kept crossing a log over an outlet stream from the pond, diverting my attention from the trails the deer frequent.
We often overlook the natural beauty around us in our pursuit of a single goal. We cheat ourselves of a wonderful experience of nature's constantly changing panorama.
On your next trip afield, stay alert for these abundant opportunities and soak in the total outdoor experience. You'll be a richer person for it, and you will learn much about the symbiotic relationships of nature.