Category

Yellowstone

Teton and Yellowstone Sound Check

Grand Teton, Video, Wyoming, Yellowstone

I recently joined my family for a reunion in Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. It was not a photography trip, but I did manage to grab a few photos and some video clips as we visited some of the iconic and touristy spots in both parks. This little video is a test of a Sennheiser mic I am using on the Canon 5D Mark II. Not sure I am 100% happy with the sound quality but its better than the built in mic. Once the video has begun to play, be sure to select 720p HD in the lower right corner, since by default Youtube plays this video only in 480p which is not the best quality.

Enjoy…

Madison River and Snow, Yellowstone National Park

National Parks, Panoramas, Photography, Wyoming, Yellowstone

In 1997 we made a visit to Yellowstone National Park in late fall to see the elk rut and were blessed with a few days of light snow. Not the bone chilling cold of Yellowstone in winter, but “winter lite” just perfect for we underdressed southern Californians. We spent most of our time watching elk along the Madison River, seen here with a dusting of snow and overcast skies:

Madison River, snow-covered banks and cold winter air, panorama, composite of 7 individual photographs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Madison River, snow-covered banks and cold winter air, panorama, composite of 7 individual photographs.
Image ID: 22448
Location: Madison River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

The above panorama was made with the good gear (digital slr, good glass). You can see another panoramic photo of the Madison river shot handheld with our nifty Panasonic Lumix micro-mini-handy-cam, which stitched surprisingly well with contains super detail.

See more panoramic photos and Yellowstone National Park photos

Midway Geyser Basin Panorama, Yellowstone

National Parks, Panoramas, Photography, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Midway Geyser Basin is one of my favorite parts of Yellowstone National Park. Early mornings and cold days are great here. The Firehole River steams as it flows through the basin, and numerous hot springs on either side of the river create shifting fogs and mists. In this panorama, formed from eight separate photographs, the Firehole River flows from left to right. Obscured by the steam in the far right of the image are Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser.

Firehole River, natural hot spring water steaming in cold winter air, panorama, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Firehole River, natural hot spring water steaming in cold winter air, panorama, Midway Geyser Basin.
Image ID: 22454
Location: Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

See more panoramic photos

Elk Photos

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

It’s the time of year when the bugling of rutting elk echoes around Yellowstone National Park. Here is our collection of elk photos (Cervus candensis), all from Yellowstone National Park, most taken in the fall during the elk rut but a few in summer as the elk antlers are still in velvet.

Elk, bull elk, adult male elk with large set of antlers.  By September, this bull elk's antlers have reached their full size and the velvet has fallen off. This bull elk has sparred with other bulls for access to herds of females in estrous and ready to mate, Cervus canadensis, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Elk, bull elk, adult male elk with large set of antlers. By September, this bull elk’s antlers have reached their full size and the velvet has fallen off. This bull elk has sparred with other bulls for access to herds of females in estrous and ready to mate.
Image ID: 19739
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

See also elk photographs, elk pictures.

Photo of Elk Flehmen Response

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

This bull elk (Cervus candensis) had a fine harem of females along the Madison River. He was bugling often and loudly, raising his head and lowering his antler rack behind him as he did so. Note how the bull’s upper lip is curled back. This is an example of the flehmen response (from German flehmen, meaning to “curl the upper lip”). The flehmen response is a particular type of curling of the upper lip in ungulates, felids, and many other mammals, which facilitates the transfer of pheromones and other scents into the vomeronasal organ, also called Jacobson’s Organ. In the flehmen response, animals draw back their lips , particularly the upper lip which curls towards the nostrils. The action, which is used when examining scents left by other animals, helps to expose the vomeronasal organ and draws scent molecules back toward it. This behavior allows animals to detect scents, for example from urine, of other members of their species or clues to the presence of prey. The flehmen response also allows the animals to determine, among other things, the presence or absence of estrus, the physiological state of the animal, and how long ago the animal passed by.

Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females.
Image ID: 19708
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Photos of Yellowstone Elk

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Ok, here is the last photo of the bull elk (Cervus candensis) that I photographed just outside Mammoth Hot Springs.

Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season).  This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season). This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate.
Image ID: 19745
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Photo of Bull Elk in Sage

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Here is another look at the fine bull elk (Cervus candensis) I spent an afternoon photographing near Mammoth Hot Springs.

Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season).  This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season). This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate.
Image ID: 19718
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Bugling Elk at Mammoth Hot Springs

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

The bull elk (Cervus candensis) I photographed one afternoon near Mammoth Hot Springs is seen here bugling, an audible cue and a form of posturing intended for both his harem of females and nearby males, meant to establish his dominance and access rights to the females and warn other males interested in breeding away. In fact, there was another bull with harem only a few hundred yards away. The two bulls bugled back and forth for hours, their sounds echoing over the otherwise quiet hills as evening set in.

Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females.
Image ID: 19698
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA

Mammoth Elk Photos

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

After spending a few days in the Madison River area looking at the elk (Cervus candensis) herds there, I drive over to Mammoth Hot Springs. The bulls are bigger and have nicer antler racks there, so I have heard, but they need to be outside of town to get good images. (Many of the elk in Mammoth are literally in town, among the buildings, cars and people. A curiosity but not what I am looking for when taking photos.) I get there in late afternoon after having spent an hour with a inquisitive coyote at Sheepeater Cliffs. I spot some guys with long camera lenses on a hill just east of the town, so I park and walk up to say hello and see what they are looking at. I am the Yellowstone National Park version of a barney: bright red jacket, bright blue rain cover on my telephoto lens, flip flops, jeans (almost chose shorts) and a Diet Coke. Might as well paint “California” across my back in giant letters. These guys are all dressed in camo jackets, khaki or camo pants, hunter-looking boots, with camo covers for the long lenses. They look like this is their back yard (probably is). They tell me they are keeping tabs on a nice 6×6 bull with a harem, all of which are resting in some nearby sage. I say thanks, sit down near them, read my book and wait on the wind blown hill for something to happen. After a half hour or so the bull rises, as does his harem. They spend a few hours moving around the area, toward the NPS housing for a while, back towards us, then across the road and up onto some hills rising above us. The bull elk bugles frequently, and loud. He has some small, fresh wounds around his neck, probably acquired in a confrontation with another bull for rights to claim the harem. I listen to the experienced photographers discuss the bull’s behavior, where they think it will go, etc. — they clearly have been watching him for some time. One photographer in particular seems to know, just by watching the bull’s posturing in relation to the harem and the location of other nearby bulls (some bachelors for the moment), where it will move next, and consistently puts himself in position for good photography angles. By paying attention to him I manage to snag some nice images, elk portraits I have never had an opportunity to shoot before. He kindly offers me a few tips. Once the sun has dipped enough to end the shooting I offer him my thanks and get back to my car to get some food at the hotel in town.

Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Male elk bugling during the fall rut. Large male elk are known as bulls. Male elk have large antlers which are shed each year. Male elk engage in competitive mating behaviors during the rut, including posturing, antler wrestling and bugling, a loud series of screams which is intended to establish dominance over other males and attract females.
Image ID: 19693
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA