My Favorite 25 of 2016 Part 5

October Snow: We had a gnarly early snowstorm this October, it was wonderful. Luckily I had been photographing an owl earlier in the week so I knew roughly where it was hanging out. Once the storm started, I knew exactly where I was going - to look for that owl in the snow, with fall colors still hanging on. Driving an hour in the dark to get there at sunrise, my mind raced with visions of how beautiful it 'could be' if everything went perfectly. Everything went perfectly. I found the owl, it was snowing ridiculously hard, and I was able to include the fall colors in the background. Yippee!

Wing Stretch: Simple. Beautiful.

Boys Club: Six Bull Moose on the sagebrush flats beneath the Tetons. The eastern clouds made the color weird that morning. I like weird.

Frozen Puddle: My friend Tim loves 'puddle season'. His excitement inspired me to photograph some puddles this fall. When I found a great puddle with interesting crystals and patterns, reflecting the blue sky and the fall colored hillside, I knew I had a winner.

Old Stump: I had been photographing owls in the particular forest regularly all fall and it was great. As I searched for owls and watched them hunt, I kept seeing this cool old stump in the forest, it was the prettiest stump around. Naturally, I hoped that someday an owl would land on it and I could make a photo.  On a snowy day in November as I watched an owl hunt, it flew up onto that old stump and paused for a few minutes before moving on. I think the owl was just waiting for some snow to complete the scene and make the photograph even better. Good boy.


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My Favorite 25 of 2016 Part 4

Growing up in the forest: A great gray owl chick that doesn't yet know how to fly. Since it can't fly yet, it climbs trees and old snags for safety, as well as to strengthen it's wings and to practice flying. 

Smokey: Some nearby forest fires this summer spewed lots of smoke into the valley, giving some interesting photographic possibilities. This photograph of the Tetons at sunset was taken as the smoke rolled into the valley from Idaho. I dig it.

Black Bear Family: I spent quite a bit of time in the backcountry with this black bear family this fall. I got to know them during several weeks while feasting on berries as they fattened up for winter. 

Oxbow Sunrise:  Going to the Oxbow in the fall is a bit of a clusterfuck. Some days (like this one) there can be literally hundreds of photographers lined up. Some of them are respectful and well-behaved, some aren't. Sometimes you can't find a place to park your car, or even your tripod. So.... I usually only go there once or twice during 'peak fall color' and try to guess at which days have potential to be spectacular. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. This year, I guessed correctly and we were all treated to an amazing sunrise.

Fall Foliage: I've been dreaming of such a photograph for years. A great gray owl perched on an Aspen tree, with fall colors in the background. It happened this fall.

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