Wood Stork (The Villages, FL)
Happy New Year! Wildlife watching has been a pleasure the past eight years! I am celebrating an amazing eight years of writing and sharing my photography on this blog. Thank you to my loyal and new readers. The purpose of this blog has always been to share the magnificent wildlife around us via the pictures and descriptions I give here.
I so appreciate everyone who participates via the comments section and occasionally gives me photography pointers or help identifying a particular bird. You have been with me from Crossville, TN (and Fairfield Glade) to Ocala, Florida and now to The Villages, Florida.
A happy eight years of birding and enjoying the views of nature and occasionally other kinds of animals! So again, Happy New Year and happy wildlife watching, wherever you may be! As ever, please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. These are a few of my favorite pictures over the last eight years!
Green Heron (Fairfield Glade, TN on Lake St. George)
Grizzly Bear (Yellowstone National Park)
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)
Osprey (at the Dora Canal in FL)
Golden Marmot (Yellowstone National Park)
White Pelicans (Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL)
Canada Geese (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)
Roseate Spoonbill Birds (Sanibel Island, FL)
White-tailed Deer (at the little farm in Crossville, TN)
This Osprey nest was up on a rocky outcrop in the magnificent Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone near Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park. The Ospreys had a very secure nest didn’t they? This area is a huge deep broad natural river canyon across from the big waterfall on the Yellowstone River.
The pair of Osprey seemed to be doting parents of two chicks. I was quite a ways from this nest and used my long 500mm lens to take the pictures. Sorry you are really unable to make out the babies in this nest but yes, they were there. I took the picture while on a guided photo tour on June 15, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
These Elk were spotted in Yellowstone National Park while I was there last month. I saw the two bull or male Elk sitting down beside some trees in a clearing not far off of a road. I took these pictures while on a photo tour with an experienced guide. These Elk seemed to be sleepy which makes sense as it was about 6:15 AM when I took the photographs. During the mating season, bull Elk will use their antlers as battering rams and will butt heads with rivals during fights in order to win their mate (s). The bulls shed their antlers every fall and will re-grow the huge antler racks during the next Spring. Elk eat grasses mostly and also will occasionally munch on other low vegetation.
By the way, I saw very few Elk during this trip compared with my last trip back in August of 2011. The Elk herds last month may just have been in other districts of the huge park. There were several Grizzly Bears in the same area I was taking pictures, so that is yet another reason why I likely was not seeing many Elk. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Marmots, a Jack Rabbit, Prairie Dogs, and a Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel were all recently spotted in South Dakota and in Wyoming. I snapped these pictures of various (really cute) rodents while on my vacation in Custer State Park, South Dakota and in the magnificent Yellowstone National Park. I saw what looks like a Snow-shoe Hare (?) in its Summer fur at our campground in Hill City, South Dakota. There were plenty of perky Prairie Dogs along the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park. I enjoyed seeing those a lot!
A very swift and oh-so-cute, Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel (the chipmunk-looking rodent) was seen scurrying back and forth on the rocks and trail at one of the overlooks at the Yellowstone National Park’s canyon and Yellowstone Falls. The last little critters I photographed, were a pair of sweet Yellow-belly Marmots that were quite interested in what I was up to. All are furry, beautiful little animals and quite photogenic! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This male Grizzly Bear was spotted in Yellowstone National Park early in the morning on June 15, 2014. The bear was meandering around between a wooded area of standing dead burned Pines and a cleared meadow. We were photographing this bear from the roadway but were a good distance from the magnificent bruin. My husband and I were on an excellent early morning guided photo tour in the park that we booked through the park concessionaire.
I saw seven different Grizzlies in the five days I was at the park. I have been told that the bears were at lower elevations because it was early in the Summer. It was however, quite cold. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Grizzly Bear is a three-year old sow that was walking close to the road through a lot of dead trees. We spotted this bear while on a morning photo safari tour offered through the official park concessioner in Yellowstone National Park.
This younger sow (female) was known by the photography guide, Doug. Doug was a seasoned veteran of many years of photographing Yellowstone’s wildlife and had also been familiar with this bear’s own mother.
I was quite happy to have seen this bear close up but far enough away to be safe and not disturb the bear. I took these pictures on June 15, 2014. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This post is in memory of those who have lost their lives in the service of their country. Here are a few shots I have never posted that I took in Yellowstone National Park and Mt. Rushmore last September and also at my lake home here in Tennessee (Bald Eagle) in December 2010, and also in January, 2011.. These are iconic animals and views of the United States of America. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Have a good Memorial Day. P.S. I accidentally did not press the “Publish” button and thought I had posted this morning, but apparently not. So, sorry for the late post today!
Wild Burros or Donkeys, cute little barking Prairie Dogs, Wolves, Pronghorn Antelope, Tundra Swans, Beavers, and majestic Elk were some of the wild animals and birds that I saw and photographed on my recent trip to the Plains states. I took the pictures of the Pronghorn, and the Burrows or Donkeys in South Dakota’s gem of a state park, the Custer State Park. The Burros are descendants of those used by the old gold miners of the Nineteenth Century and do roam freely. I shot the picture of the little Prairie Dog at the Prairie Homestead Park just outside of The Badlands National Park, also in South Dakota.
The Tundra Swans were seen on the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park, as was the Beaver. I photographed the Elk in the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park and also got the picture of the Wolf there as well. The Wolves were mostly behind a low ridge and were just out of sight when I was there taking the picture. This one individual Wolf was ahead of the others and I was thrilled to get the picture. I saw many Elk in Yellowstone National Park and just missed taking a picture of a huge bull Elk with a fine rack of antlers (my camera was not out and we were in the car when the Elk crossed the road).
This wraps up my series of pictures taken during my recent trip this month. Tomorrow I will be showing pictures from my own lake at home. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy! P. S. Sorry about the alignment of the pictures. That sometimes happens when I put on the captions. One day I will learn how to do the process without the odd positioning of the pictures : )
Swans (I think they are Tundra Swans?)
American Pronghorn Antelope
During my stay in Yellowstone National Park, I was lucky enough to get to see a flock of the Sand Hill Cranes. I had never seen any of these tall birds before. I only caught a quick glimpse of three different groups of the birds in flight. The birds were wading in the marshy shallows of the Yellowstone River in the Hayden Valley, and were quite far away from the area where we could take the pictures. We had to hike across a meadow in 25 degree (F.) cold to get the pictures. It was also a foggy morning along the river. The Sand Hill Cranes eat grains, grasses, small insects, and small aquatic animals. I was surprised to find out through my additional Internet research, that the Cranes can live up to two decades! They are mostly residents of the Great Plains and Northern Mid-West as well as Canada during the Summer. Some flocks also spend the Winter in Northern Mexico and Southern Texas and New Mexico. I was very glad to have seen the wonderful big birds! I took these pictures at about 7:00 in the morning on Sept. 9, 2011. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Recently, I had an amazing opportunity to visit several National Parks and State Parks in the Great Plains. During the trip I took a number of pictures of Bison. There were large numbers of Buffalo in the Custer State Park in South Dakota and also in the Yellowstone National Park in the Hayden Valley area. I was so amazed that the buffalo seemed to just enjoy walking along the highway on the pavement among the cars! Of course, the big animals do have the right-of-way in the park areas. The buffalo often tie up traffic as they stand or walk along roads in the parks. The Rangers in Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley area actually encourage the Bison to move off the road by using recorded grunts that are played out of the windows of the Ranger’s cars!
I also was totally shocked to find that a small group of about forty or so of the buffalo were trotting through the Fishing Bridge Trailer Park campground in Yellowstone National Park early one evening at twilight. This appearance of buffalo in the campground is highly unusual. I heard the Bison before I poked my head out of my trailer and had a look. I was amazed to see the herd trotting along both the last small roadway in the campground (about 10 feet behind my trailer) and in the forest at the edge of the campground. During the trip I also got to see Bison fording or crossing the Yellowstone River. That was really interesting to see. The very young bulls also were testing each other and play-fighting by butting heads.
So I managed to get to see a lot of big buffalo in a safe and enjoyable way. I took these pictures between Sept. 3-10, 2011 in Custer State Park and in Yellowstone National Park. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!