Saturday, March 23, 2013

Elk Herd at Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the destination for up to 15,000 migrating elk every winter.  The huge herd is spread out in the mountains during the summer, but descends to the sheltered valley in the winter.
Civilization has taken over much of the historic elk feeding grounds, so people help feed these animals during the winter, until they can return to the mountains in summer.  The biggest herds are nearly all cow elk and immature bulls.  The mature bulls tend to stay in separate smaller herds.
The scenery is wonderful here at the National Elk Refuge near Grand Teton National Park.  These photos were taken on a day of off-and-on snow storms.  Brief streaks of light changed to snow squalls in a matter of seconds.
These young bulls practiced sparring with their spike antlers.  This playing will be much more serious in a year or two when the mature bulls battle for females.  Horse-drawn wagon rides are available to take you out to see the elk, but we were lucky to be able to watch this herd from a road through the refuge.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Snowmobile Hill Climb

I am a month late posting this but would like to share photos of the event.  On February 8 and 9, 2013 this snowmobile hill climb took place on a huge hill on the Price ranch in Geneva, Idaho.  The event was sponsored by RMSHA (Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Hillclimb Association) and was promoted by the Bear Lake County Rim Riders.
There were about 500 rides on the hill the day I was there.  The weather was light snow, so the skies were overcast and the light less than ideal.
The riders would get up as much speed as possible at the foot of the hill where they had a sharp turn to begin the climb.
These two photos were hand held pans.  The deep soft snow was difficult to move in so I stayed at the foot of the hill and decided not to use a tripod.
The fastest climb that I saw finished the course in 54 seconds.  That is remarkable on this very steep hill with several turns and jumps.  I purposely chose a slow shutter speed to blur the rider and give a feeling of speed.