Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wildlife Photos From This Week's Travels

We drove to Casper last Monday by way of Muddy Gap. We saw many groups of antelope. These were near the highway.  When we pulled over and put the window down to attempt photos, they dashed away in a rush. They can put on incredible speed for short distances.

On Friday afternoon we saw these two moose in the dense shrubbery near a creek just outside of Boulder. WY. These were taken from the open window of the car, and the standing moose began to move off as I attempted to zoom in closer, so my other photo of them was a blur.

On the road that leads from Pinedale to Cora we slowed as we saw three deer ahead in the road.

The three were at the head of a group of perhaps 9 deer.  A magnificent buck was evidently herding his harem and offspring from one side of the road to the other.  You can see him at far left of the photo with his "rack" poked through the fence. In the distance are the "backside" of the Wind River Mountains--the opposite side of the peaks that are fore-shortened here by our closeness to the foothills. The road heads north and the late sun laid a cloth of pure gold from the west to the high snow covered peaks of the eastern horizon.

This pretty doe stood facing us with a fawn at her side.

A few miles before we turned onto Forty Rod Road [where Howard and Heidi live] we saw these two buck and a doe. The buck on the left was the bigger of the two and he seemed to be headed with malicious intent toward the smaller male.

The two buck met and faced each other a bit menacingly. I beleive they noticed that we had stopped to watch them and maybe were distracted from a confrontation.

On Saturday morning I saw this lone bird hopping about in front of the woodpile just outside H. and H.'s window which faces the drive. Heidi informed me that it is a Purple Finch.  A look through her bird book suggests that this is a variant coloring particular to the Northwest--a "grey-capped purple finch."

The Finch in silhouette on a chunk of firewood.

Driving home today, a fine, dry afternoon, J. took the Big Sandy cutoff.  There are several short cuts from the main road which follow trails carved out by wagons on the Oregon Trail. Much of the way is seasonal road and not maintained during the months of snow and spring mud. There were numerous groups of deer. At this time of year their coats are a dull grey-brown and they blend with the faded sagebrush and the strewing of dark boulders. Sometimes I don't spot the deer until I see the distinctive "muley" ears against the sky.  Note the deer in the top left of the photo, peering warily from behind a large hump of rock.

We saw several eagles on this trip---most either at a distance or at a point on the roadway where it wouldn't be wise to stop. We decided this was a golden eagle, then dithered, thinking it could be a vulture. Before I could adjust the camera's zoom or get out to try for a closer shot, the bird flapped off.  A short distance away four ravens sat in a row on a flat-topped rock, glistening black backs turned to the slanting sun.


  1. Why oh why wont animals stand still while you get a good shot lol .... having said that you do get some wonderful photos for us to share.

  2. Wonderful pictures of the wildlife! It's interesting about the rosy finch because i was just looking them up online last night, to identify a variant rosy finch that lives in the Aleutians!

  3. I am in awe of those who have the skill and patience to get the bird and wildlife photos which grace glossy magazines and books. I'm doing well if I can catch proof of what we see.
    At the moment I have resident "wildlife" interferring with a project--Jemima has decided to make a nest in my quilt blocks.