Oops! I meant ewe’s there!
I asked Moose what he thought about this photograph and he said, “Ballzie.”
The Whiskey Basin Wildlife Habitat Area just outside Dubois, WY is winter home to a herd of about 900 Bighorn Sheep. As we drove through the area on our first morning there, we happened across a band of about 30 Bighorns resting on the side of the road, their backs covered with a light dusting of snow. There were about 20 ewes and a dozen or so rams intent on mating with the ewes. After we watched for a while and shot from the open windows of our vehicle, we determined that they were acclimated enough to us so when we exited the vehicle, they paid little attention to us as long as we didn’t make any sudden movements that would spook them. We were able to photograph them for a couple of hours as they crossed the road and continued foraging in an open area near us. I handheld my Nikon D5 and 500mm PF lens for this shot. The snow is still visible on the sheep’s back.
Big Cone is a small geyser in Yellowstone Lakein the West Thumb Geyser Basin, about twenty feet from the shore. It’s eruptions, which we did not witness, are small, only about a foot high, Yellowstone Lake is frozen as far as the eye can see in this photograph and ice and snow surround Big Cone, as a few wisps of steam escape from the vent.
Using focus stacking to create highly detailed macro images can become addictive. This stacked image of a Gerbera Daisy shows each petal in detail creating a powerful image.
The view at West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, with a frozen Yellowstone Lake in the distance beyond the trees, is hauntingly beautiful.
Slowing the water that cascades over a fall using a slow shutter speed gives the water fluidity and grace that isn’t apparent to the naked eye. This technique reveals the varying patterns of the water as it swirls and flows over rocks giving it a graceful look. The water appears as streaks and curves and ribbons, not bubbling, churning froth and there is no sign of the thundering roar most large waterfalls have. This is a detail shot of Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone National Park taken with my Nikon D850 and Nikkor 500mm PF lens.
Spasm Geyser in Yellowstone National Park is described as a small geyser and according to the National Park Service, whether Spasm is or is not erupting is related to nearby and larger Fountain Geyser. This small geyser is quiet after Fountain Geyser erupts, then resumes splashing to 3 feet. It was putting on quite a spectacular show while we were there because Fountain Geyser was not erupting. The splashes looked much higher than the advertised 3 feet and of course the plumes of steam create a sense of drama and billow far up into the sky.
Yellowstone National Park returned to full staffing again on Sunday, our last day there, after a five week government shutdown. Although the park itself remained open during the shutdown, there was a dearth of wildlife anywhere in the accessible areas of the park. We joked that the critters were furloughed along with the government employees. There were theories about why the critters were absent. One of the most plausible explanations was that despite what we felt were bone-chilling temperatures (highs in the teens and lows of -1° with windchill of -15°), the temperatures just weren’t cold enough to drive the animals into the valley to forage. During our five days in the park, we saw a few Coyotes, three or four small herds of Bison, and a lone female Elk but most of the critters we saw were not close enough for us to photograph them. We were on the lookout for a reported lone Bull Moose but never found him. We had only a few opportunities to photograph Bison that were in range of our cameras, and Sunday turned out to be our best day. It was almost as if some of the critters returned to the park, too. This Bison bull’s face is covered with ice crystals from his search for grasses under the snow while the mists from the nearby thermal vents melt the snow behind him.
Taken with Nikon D5; 500mm PF lens; 1.4X Teleconverter.
This is a small detail of Gibbon Falls in Yellowstone National Park using the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 PF lens and Nikon D850 camera.