Saturday, August 13, 2016

Anniversary at Yellowstone National Park

Here we are in Yellowstone Park after our trip across the Beartooth highway. We spent Friday night in West Yellowstone and stopped in at the Grizzly and Wolf Adventure Center.  There were a lot of things to see including some amazing raptors, grizzly's and wolfs.  The second day we went to Old Faithful Lodge for breakfast, took a 5 mile walk in the geyser basin, drove several times across the Continental Divide, drove along Yellowstone Lake, and then returned to Billings via the Beartooth Highway.  As are trips to Yellowstone, it was always full of exciting things to see as well as watching amazing people who don't seem to realize that the animals are wild.   I'm always surprised there aren't more animal attacks, especially with elk and bison, as tourists nearly walk up to them to get selfies.  



At the Grizzly and Wolf Adventure Center they have quite a selection of raptors.  There are three bald eagles, this being one.  All of the animals at the center are animals that have been injured and can't make it on their own in the wild.  8/5/2016 at 5:11 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/14; 1/400 sec; ISO-1600; 126 mm focal length)


One of the spectacular birds you'll ever see in the wild or in a zoo or raptor center is the Golden Eagle.  Not quite as big as the Bald Eagle, they are still huge birds with exceptional coloring. 8/5/2016 at 5:10 pm. (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/14; 1/500 sec; ISO-1600; 120 mm focal length)


This is a Peregrine Falcon.  One that I've read a lot about in the C.J. Box books I've read.  An incredible hunter and one that falconers often are fond of.  8/5/2016 at 5:14 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/14; 1/200 sec; ISO-1600; 135 mm focal length)


This little ground squirrel is friendly and obviously is often fed by the tourists. 8/5/2016 at 5:07 pm. (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/14; 1/1250 sec; ISO-1600; 135 mm focal length)  


Wolves are hard to get close too and therefore seeing them in the Grizzly and Wolf Adventure Center is a treat.  They aren't very active however and as you can see the fences are pretty thick. 8/5/2016 at 5:25 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/14; 1/400 sec; ISO-1600; 135 mm focal length)


As we entered the park and moved past the Madison River we saw a great field full of elk.  We had to stop and I got my long lens out and spent a long time focusing on various cows and bulls in the herd. 8/6/2016 at 7:16 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/60 sec; ISO-1600; 289 mm focal length)


Here we see a spike bull and a cow grazing in the lush grass of this meadow.  8/6/2016 at 7:11 am. (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/80 sec; ISO-1600; 340 mm focal length)


 Grazing bull and cow elk in the meadow along the Madison River on the west side of Yellowstone National Park.  8/6/2016 at 7:07 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/60 sec; ISO-1600; 340 mm focal length)


In the same meadow there were several Canadian Geese wandering through the wildflowers. 8/6/2016 at 7:08 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/80 sec; ISO-1600; 340 mm focal length)


As we turned south towards Old Faithful we followed the Madison River for many miles and were able to see incredible rocks and rapids along the way.  8/6/2016 at 5:34 am. (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/4.5; 1/640 sec; ISO-400; 37 mm focal length)


Another shot of rocks and rapids in the Madison River.  8/6/2016 at 5:34 am. (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/4.5; 1/160 sec; ISO-400; 37 mm focal length)
 

As we began walking from the Parking Lot at Old Faithful Village we saw the Firehole River that opens into the Geyser Basin.  8/6/2016 at 6:14 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/3.5; 1/1250 sec; ISO-400; 19 mm focal length)


Throughout the Geyser Basins there are many geysers some erupting and others between eruptions. This one is beginning to spit hot water. Yellowstone hast two types of geysers, cone type and fountain Type - this is a cone type guyser.  8/6/2016 at 6:31 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/4.5; 1/4000 sec; ISO-400; 31 mm focal length)


This is a hot spring next to a cone geyser (Castle Geyser).  Again their are two types of geysers, fountains and cones, this is a fountain type geyser.  8/6/2016 at 7:08 am. (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/3.5; 1/4000 sec; ISO-400; 18 mm focal length)


The Upper Geyser Basin around Old Faithful is criss-crossed with boardwalks.  The only safe way to transit a geyser basin. 8/6/2016 at 7:07 am.


A little squirrel with a nut in it's mouth eating on the side of the boardwalk.  8/6/2016 at 6:49 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/5.6; 1/800 sec; ISO-400; 135 mm focal length)


The squirrel took to the tree next to the boardwalk. 8/6/2016 at 6:50 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/5.6; 1/1000 sec; ISO-400; 135 mm focal length)


Another of the many geysers in the Upper Geyser Basin erupting as we walked through the many thermal features. 8/6/2016 at 7:33 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/5.6; 1/3200 sec; ISO-400; 135 mm focal length)


Old Faithful erupting with a view from the Upper Geyser Basin.  Old Faithful Lodge is on the right. 8/6/2016 at 6:33 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/3.5; 1/4000 sec; ISO-400; 19mm focal length)


A noisy Raven keeps our attention during our walk. 8/6/2016 at 7:21 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/5.6; 1/3200 sec; ISO-400; 135 mm focal length) 


A bison laying in middle of the Upper Geyser Basin.  8/6/2016 at 7:57 am.  
(Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/5.6; 1/2000 sec; ISO-400; 92 mm focal length)


The viewing area for Old Faithful the most famous geyser in the world with a few hundred tourists waiting for the show.  8/6/2016 at 8:08 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/3.5; 1/4000sec; ISO-400; 18 mm focal length)


Throughout the park herds of bison can be viewed in fields and valleys close to the road.  These two are in the Lemar Valley on the way from Cooke City. 8/5/2016 at 12:35 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS Lens) (f/14; 1/2500 sec; ISO-1600; 135 mm focal length)


These two Bison are also hanging out in the Lemar Valley on our way out of the park.  8/6/2016 at 2:33 pm. (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/400 sec; ISO-1600; 500 mm focal length)


Three bison relaxing in the Lemar Valley - one even taking a dirt bath.  8/6/2016 at 2:34 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/1600 sec; ISO-1600; 500 mm focal length)


Two Swans swimming in the Yellowstone River near Canyon Village.  8/6/2016 at 1;26 pm. (Canon EOS 7D with Sigma 150-500 F5-6.3 Lens) (f/14; 1/640 sec; ISO-1600; 150 mm focal length)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Beartooth Byway in August 2016

In August 2016, my wife and I spent our Anniversary in Yellowstone Park.  On the way we traveled over the Beartooth Byway from Red Lodge to Cooke City and back.  It is a spectacular highway with very rugged country and breathtaking views for miles and miles.  As a matter of fact we passed through a campground/general store complex called top of the world.  The Beartooth highway climbs up over 10,000 feet in the Beartooth mountains.  



Just as you cross the top of the mountains coming from Red Lodge - and you dip down a few hundred feet you get this view towards Cooke City and Yellowstone Park.  8/5/2016 at 10:15 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/14; 1/8000 sec; ISO-1600; 26 mm focal length)


Heading down from the top and looking back towards Red Lodge this is the view from near the top.  8/5/2016 at 10:07 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/14; 1/4000 sec; ISO-1600; 18 mm focal length)


Continuing on down the mountain on the south side one sees this view.  8/5/2016 at 10:15 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/14; 1/8000 sec; ISO-1600; 26 mm focal length)


Further along one sees a series of lakes such as this one.  8/5/2016 at 10:16 am. (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/14; 1/8000 sec; ISO-1600; 26 mm focal length)



As the highway cuts between two rocky hills, on the left side of the car we could ee this cute little marmot.  8/5/2016 at 10:20 am.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/14; 1/2500 sec; ISO-1600; 135 mm focal length)


Returning from Cooke City, there is an interesting waterfall on the north side of the highway.  8/6/2016 at 2:18 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/3.5; 1/4000 sec; ISO-400; 18 mm focal length)


Lower version of the same waterfall.  8/6/2016 at 2:18 pm.  (Canon EOS 7D with EF-S 18-135 IS lens) (f/3.5; 1/3200 sec; ISO-400; 18 mm focal length)



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Shiloh Conservation Area in Billings, MT

Shiloh Conservation area is a man made park in the West end of Billings, Montana.  It has become a gathering place and habitat for a great many different kinds of birds and small animals.  It also has several paved trails for hiking, walking and bicycling.  With several lakes and various types of other water bodies connecting each other through the property as well as plantings of many types of natural foliage and trees it is becoming a very excellent destination for people who are interested in observing nature in a population area like Billings.  



Here several American Avocets feed in one of the many water bodies.  May 27, 2016 at 10:46 am. (Canon EOS 7D w/  EF-S 18-135 mm IS lens) (f/14; 1/8000 sec; ISO 1600; 300 mm focal length)


Here is an American Coot preening near one of the bodies of water.  July 19, 2016 at 5:31 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/5; 1/2500 sec.; ISO-400; 150 mm focal length)


American Coot w/ young in one of the many lakes. July 19, 2016 at 5:37 am. (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/5; 1/3200 sec.; ISO-400; 150 mm focal length)


Creek through field near parking lot on southeast side of the park.  July 19, 2016 at 5:01 am. (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF-S 18-55 mm  Lens)(f/5; 1/500 sec.; ISO-400; 39 mm focal length)


Dam from one water feature to another on the property.  May 22, 2016 at 7:07 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/5.6; 1/800 sec.; ISO-100; 95 mm focal length)


Flowers, straw and fence post near southeast entrance to the conservation area. July 18, 2016 at 4:37 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/4.5; 1/1250 sec.; ISO-400; 120 mm focal length)


Great Blue Heron fishing in one of the water features on the property. May 27, 2016 at 10:48 am. (Canon EOS 7D w/ Sigma 150-500 mm f5-6.3 lens) (f/14; 1/6400 sec.; ISO-1600; 300 mm focal length)


Great Blue Heron after successfully fishing in one of the waterways.  May 22, 2016 at 7:21 am. (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/11; 1/125 sec.; ISO-100; 300 mm focal length)  


Great Blue Heron watching the waterway.  May 22, 2016 at 7:00 am. (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/10; 1/500 sec.; ISO-250; 300 mm focal length)


Kildeer resting on rock near water feature in conservation area.  May 22, 2016 at 6:53 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/10; 1/500 sec.; ISO-250; 300 mm focal length)


Fishing shelter on the lake near the southeast entrance to the conservation area.  July 19, 2016 at 5:08 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF -S 18-55 mm Lens)(f/5; 1/2500 sec.; ISO-400; 41 mm focal length)


Mallard drake swimming in lake near the southeastern entrance to the conservation area.  May 22, 2016 at 7:22 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/11; 1/200 sec.; ISO-100; 300 mm focal length)


Man made waterfall on the lake near the southeastern entrance to the conservation area.  July 19, 2016 at 5:05 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF-S 18-55 mm Lens)(f/4.5; 1/1600 sec.; ISO-400; 31 mm focal length)


Toward the Southwest with a view of the Beartooth Mountains.  May 22, 2016 at 7:08 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/5.6; 1/800 sec.; ISO-100; 140 mm focal length)


Mallard Hen next to one of the water features in the conservation area. July 18, 2016 at 4:42 am.  (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/5.6; 1/500 sec.; ISO-400; 300 mm focal length)


One of the many red winged blackbirds that inhabit the conservation area.  May 27, 2016 at 10:30 am. (Canon EOS 7D w/ Sigma 150-500 mm f5-6.3 lens) (f/14; 1/8000 sec.; ISO-1600; 300 mm focal length)


Interesting combination of downed tree and growing one near the southeastern entrance to the conservation area.  July 18, 2016 at 4:35 am.   (Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III Lens)(f/4; 1/2500 sec.; ISO-400; 75 mm focal length)