This is a collection of wildlife photos taken over the past year, primarily from my back yard (the first two fawn photos were taken in a nearby retention pond and the robin chick nest was in a bush in my front yard). Most of the deer photos were taken through a window so as not to scare them away. However, for a few of the later photos of a young buck, I was able to step outside because he wasn’t afraid of humans, which resulted in higher quality shots.
This is another set of photos from my ride along the California coast, courtesy of my cousin Tim, who picked me up in San Francisco to show me some of the beauty of southern California. This batch includes visits to a foggy beach, a lighthouse, and the city of Monterey. There’s also a rare photo of me (posing with my cousin in front of a restaurant that bears our family name—no relation, though).
A few years ago I went on a business trip to San Francisco, where I decided to take a few extra days to myself to do some exploring. On my first day in San Francisco I met up with my cousin who lives nearby. He took me on a driving tour of the Pacific coast. These photos are from 17-Mile Drive, a scenic route along the Monterey peninsula, featuring rocky coastlines, large crashing waves; and islands of sea lions and birds.
After so many consecutive Northwest trip posts, I’ve decided to start mixing in entries from my other recent trips to add some variety to my blog feed. This is the first batch of photos from my trip to the American Southwest this past summer, featuring shots of animals from Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon.
I shot a little bit of everything on this trip: mammals, birds, and reptiles. Many of the animals showed no fear of humans—one of the elk practically let me walk right up to her. I also saw bison on my way into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon but chose not to stop for photos since I already had so many bison photos from my Yellowstone trip. I believe that I heard rattlesnakes during one of my photo stops on Route 66 in the Mojave Desert, but I did not see them, and was not about to go looking.
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A philosopher pondering the larger questions in life.
One of the only signs of life I saw during my 4-mile round trip hike of the Cape Final trail.
The town square.
Do you mind? I’m trying to eat here.
In his three-point stance and ready for some football.
On my first day in Yellowstone National Park I detoured to Lamar Valley to take these photos before checking in to my hotel. Lamar Valley is supposed to be another prime wildlife viewing area, but in my case it proved to be less fruitful than Hayden Valley. Nevertheless, I did see a couple of bison herds here. On my way back out of the valley I stopped for a few shots of the Yellowstone River.
These photos are from my visits to where the buffalo roam: Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park. There were herds of bison everywhere I looked—it’s easy to see why Hayden Valley is sometimes referred to as the American Serengeti. On a good day you can also see many other animals passing through the valley, but I wasn’t lucky enough to spot a wolf or bear. When shooting bison (or any wildlife) it’s helpful to have a good zoom lens because you definitely don’t want to get too close to them. They look mild-mannered enough but will charge you if they feel threatened. I saw some people with smartphones getting way too close for comfort.
I went a little nuts with the photos (what can I say, I love animals)—I took so many that it was quite a task to cull them down to the smaller batch I’m sharing here. I forgot to switch over to shutter priority for the action shots, so they’re not nearly as crisp as I would have liked, but I still managed to get some decent ones. In addition to the bison photos I captured some avian wildlife (including a great blue heron) and snapped a few landscapes along the Yellowstone River.
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Buffalo don’t give a shit.
Dust like this sometimes kicks up when they’re fighting. I thought I captured a face-off on camera, but I must have missed it.
On the way to Mount Rushmore I detoured for several scenic drives, including Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop, which takes you through rolling green hills reminiscent of the English countryside. For most of the drive I did not encounter much wildlife except for a lone antelope and a distant herd of bison, but toward the end I came upon a vast field of prairie dogs, antelope, and other animals. It’s a nice, pleasant drive, worth the diversion if you have the time.
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Antelope having a siesta.
Herd of bison in the distance.
Wider shot of antelope (foreground) and rolling hills.
All of the dirt mounds in the field here are prairie dog holes.
You can see how the prairie dogs have worn paths in the grass between their holes.
Antelope in the distance, prairie dog holes in the foreground.
There is a giant field beneath Devils Tower that is entirely covered with prairie dogs. I was so mesmerized by the little critters with their cute screeching noises that I almost forgot I was there to visit the tower.
It’s almost that time of year again when multitudes of bird species will begin flying in and out of the forest behind my house, so I don’t even need to leave the comfort of my backyard patio to go bird watching. 🙂
Here’s a shot from the spring of 2013 taken with my old megazoom point-and-shoot.