Grand Teton National Park (and a bit of Yellowstone), Sept 11, 2012

I visit Yellowstone National Park 10-12 times per year, sometimes just for a weekend, sometimes for longer visits.  However, I only rarely travel south to visit Grand Teton National Park.  I had resolved to spend a bit of time in the Tetons on this trip.  As mentioned in my previous post, I spent the afternoon of Sept. 10 in the Tetons.  I spent all (well, almost all) of September 11 in Grand Teton National Park.

I left the Lewis Lake Campground before sunrise, and thus was able to enjoy getting through the construction areas before work had started for the day.  My first stop was the Jackson Lake Overlook, where I planned to photograph the changing morning light on the mountains and the willow flats.  I put the camera body with wide angle lens on the tripod and headed away from the car.  Almost as an afterthought, I put on my double camera harness strap and buckled on my other camera body with a telephoto lens – just in case.  I was soon glad I did.  As I was placing the tripod for landscape photos, I saw movement in the willows – a cow moose.  I kept an eye on her, but she was concealed in the willows.  A few minutes later I realized that there was a second moose moving in the willows.  The second moose was eventually revealed to be a calf.

They weren’t the only wildlife in the area.  Now and then, the air rang with the bugles of elk.

Grand Teton - Jackson Lake - Willow Flats -- and a bull elk

A couple flights of geese took off for Mount Moran flights.

As the moose moved away from my post, I abandoned my camera on tripod to parallel the movement of the moose, waiting for the morning sunlight to hit them.

The moose watching culminated in them face-to-face, in a kissing pose, as they shared a willow.

A calf and cow moose share a willow for breakfast

When I finally returned to where I had left my camera on tripod, it was still there.  The Teton Range was still there, too.

I left the overlook at about 9:30 am, fully satisfied with the day.  The day had many beautiful sights left in store for me, though.

My next visit was an obligatory stop at the Moulton Barn on Mormon Row.

My luck continued.  On the Moose-Wilson Road, I spotted a black bear literally at the northern “No Parking Roadside Next 2 Miles” sign.  I was able to park on the legitimate side of the sign and enjoy watching the black bear munching on hawthorn berries.

A black bear on the Moose-Wilson road going to town on hawthorn berries

Headed back north, I stopped to visit Menor’s Ferry and the Chapel of the Transfiguration.

My last stop in Grand Teton National Park was at Jenny Lake.  What a view across Jenny Lake to the Cascade Canyon!

Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon

I had dinner at my campsite at Lewis Lake, then left camp to visit Lewis Falls in the evening twilight.  Visiting the sites of the National Parks in the company of family and friends is very special.  Being the only person present is special, too.  I enjoyed having the falls all to myself.

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