Wyoming blog 2017
5/27/2017: We always thought all Indian Paintbrush were red, then we found some yellow “sulfur” paintbrush. This year Candy spotted this one area with an amazing color variety:
6/3/2017: Road trip…
Then on to Grand Teton National Park…
6/16/2017: Today we took a drive to some new areas in the Bighorn Mountains.
6/18/2017: Took a quick run over to Grand Teton National Park. We had passed through Dubois a hundred times in the past on the way to GTNP, but this time decided to check out a dirt road with a small sign saying “scenic overlook”. Wow, how could we have passed this up the previous 3 years? This is the Dubois Badlands with the Absaroka Mountain Range in the back.
We had hoped to find a mamma Grizzly with 2 young cubs that had been seen for the previous 10 days in the same location. Of course, the day we went was the day they weren’t there. Consolation prize…still great wildflowers. Here with Mount Moran in the back are Lupine, Larkspur and Arrowleaf Balsamroot.
On Friday of the July 4th weekend we decided to follow a portion of the Oregon Trail through central Wyoming. This is Independence Rock, a huge piece of granite which was an easy landmark. Here one can still see the names and dates carved into the rock by pioneers.
Another Oregon Trail landmark easily spotted from miles away is Devil’s Gate:
Another place we had never seen before is Fremont Canyon.
Only locals know of this spectacular view of a horseshoe bend in the North Platte River. It took satellite imagery, a map of private vs. BLM lands and our high clearance jeep to get to this overlook.
On Sunday of the July 4th weekend we headed off toward Green Mountain, another place we had not yet explored. First we stopped at the overlook on Beaver Rim. Here are Larkspur wildflowers with “our” Wind River Mountains in the back.
Still amazing how wildflowers can grow out of rock…
We’re now on the top of Green Mountain looking out to the Granite Mountains.
07/22/2017: Our second annual trek to the Snowy Range: We try to time it for wildflower season there too. We tent camped at 10,500 feet making for some chilly nights even at this time of year. We saw quite a bit of wild Columbine last year, but this year was amazing. We have never seen entire hillsides covered with Columbine before. I hope you don’t get sick of all the Columbine photos, because I never do. We started on the Lakes Trail which we didn’t do last year. Here we are hiking along Lookout Lake.
Entire hillsides were covered with Columbine.
We didn’t have to go far for flowers or wildlife. The next 9 photos were all taken in our campground and the wildlife photos from just in front of our tent! Here are about 5 different wildflowers highlighted by the Sulfur Paintbrush in the middle and Mountain Bluebells around it.
Now hiking around Lake Marie
8/21/2017: Ever since I was a young child, I was interested in astronomy. I even built my first telescope. Most of all, I always dreamed of seeing a total solar eclipse. However, most of these required spending tens of thousands of dollars traveling to remote areas of the earth just for the chance of seeing one. Imagine how I felt when I discovered the 2021 total solar eclipse would be visible from my own backyard here in Wyoming! We ended up having 13 people stay at our house to enjoy the once in a lifetime spectacle with us. I knew the moment of totality would happen so fast, that I spent many months rehearsing the exact steps I would need to take when photographing it with 2 separate camera setups. When that moment happened, my jaw dropped and I was so stunned, that I forgot those carefully planned steps. In any case I am still thrilled with the photographs I got that day.
09/29/2017: This was our 4th year making fall color excursions. This year the color changes were much later than usual. Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) didn’t have much going on, so we drove a little farther to Snake River Canyon. As you will see here, those colors were the best we’d ever seen.
10/07/2017: The following week we tried again for GTNP, but again the colors weren’t as good as previous years. Still we managed to find a large bull elk with his harem.
We then decided to drive up to the Slide Lake area and found nice colors there…
This is Lower Slide Lake. On June 23, 1925 there was a massive landslide that damned the Gros Ventre River creating this lake.
As we drove back down, we looked back and could still see the original slide area from 1925 (the large gouge in the side of the mountain).
11/07/2017: Red-breasted Nuthatch in our backyard
11/17/2017: Sunrise form our backyard
11/24/2017: We spent Thanksgiving in GTNP. For the first 2 days the weather was lousy for photography, but we did find moose, elk and pronghorn. Here the clouds started to break up over the Tetons at Colter Bay.
11/25/2017: Saturday the weather was beautiful, and I had a couple of birds in mind to photograph. First the Trumpeter Swans…
Then, thanks to a great tip from birding friends, we got to see a “lifer”…Bohemian Waxwing.
12/10/2017: Sunset from our backyard
12/14/2017: Geminid meteor shower
12/23/2017: Decided to try my hand at snowflake photography
12/31/2017: New Years Eve was a great hoarfrost day.