Update: 8/16/09 (original post 7/28/09) – Please see the corresponding Errata Page for a correction on the location this moose was seen at
As we traveled through Yellowstone Park we were checking off the various wildlife we saw against the field guild I mentioned in the last post. There was one particular animal that was successfully eluding us almost the entire time. That particular animal was the following.
We had completely given up as we headed out of the park to the South on our way to the Grand Tetons. Literally 5 minutes from the park exit we come upon this fine specimen. Not carrying the same fear we had with the bears, we actually pulled over on the shoulder and exited the vehicle to get a closer look. I must say, I was re-thinking that idea when I took this shot.
From this angle it looked a lot more ferocious and although this one did not have the biggest rack, it was still one of the largest animals we had seen on the vacation. I am guessing for a brief moment this moose was thinking steak would taste better than those weeds. Luckily it turned its attention back to the grass which calmed my heart down some.
Oddly, this was the only moose in the area as opposed to the other wildlife (with exception of the bears) that was not mingling with others in a herd. The moose was very content to just eat his veggies and taken in the likely oddity of humans pointing cameras in its direction. The dark fur really stood out against the greenery providing a nice contrast to the photos. The following shot is probably my favorite since the branch looks like a hand tickling the fur under his snout causing his foot to raise up in a mock scratch. My dogs do this all the time which makes me laugh.
It was close, but we did get to check this animal off of our checklist. Next time we hope to catch one with a larger rack
It’s getting late in the month again and I have a few posts to go to make my quota for the month. Luckily there is plenty of content waiting in the wings many of which came from our recent trip out to Yellowstone. I already posted the oddities collection from that adventure and now it is time to start the wildlife segment. I thought I would lead with something we do not see much of out here in Illinois.
If you look real close you will see today’s subjects. Surprisingly, we had just entered the park from the East side when there were a few cars parked on the side of the road and some people looking out over the valley. Figuring there was something of interest, we parked and grabbed the cameras. Sure enough, waaaaaay out in the distance were these two black bears. Keep in mind, I have a full Nikon 70-200 glass fully out and manually focusing this to get through all the trees. Although not tack sharp for sure, I am pretty pleased I even got them at all. Here is a zoomed version and it looks like they spotted me.
Just 5 minutes into the park and we already had our first bear sighting. Since I was not sure there was going to be anymore chances to see the elusive bears, I was snapping a ton of shots in the hopes one or two would come out decent enough I could prove we saw them. It should be noted that there is actually snow on the ground. It was the middle of June and we were definitely feeling the chill. Apparently the bears were quite comfortable in their winter fur. These two shots are a little better, but again, there were hard to see with the naked eye and having to manually focus was making it difficult to draw them in clear.
After awhile they grew bored with watching us and headed back into the woodlands. I caught this one taking a final look back probably thinking how tasty I would be for lunch.
The good news is we actually had 3 other bear sightings while we were out there. Take the jump to see some much better shot. Well, actually three better shots and one crappy one with a frustrating story.
Continue reading Yellowstone Trip – All About the Bears (Part 1 of Many)