Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yellowstone Trip--Day 7 (May 23rd)

Not much to write about on our way out of the park. We stopped at the store next to the Inn that had a really cool store front made from knotted tree trunks. I stitched it together into a panorama but check out the bigger sizes in my web gallery for the full effect.

We left a different way then we came into the park, so we stopped and took pictures of the infamous arch on the north side of the park.

It took us about two days to get home and we decided not to stay in a hotel on the way back. We slept at a rest stop in Wisconsin and were back in Rochester by Sunday night.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yellowstone Trip--Day 6 (May 22nd)

Our final full day in the park was reserved for all the thermal hot spots near Old Faithful. We got up much later than the previous days to soak in some of the surrounding area of our campsite. We took a walk near Madison river and watched some mountain bluebirds and an osprey trying to catch breakfast. We brokedown the tent and packed everything back in the car because this night we would be staying in the Old Faithful Inn.
Once we packed up we headed towards Grand Prismatic, it is one of the bigger thermal spotlights of Yellowstone. Unfortunately the area was closed due to some denning bears in the area. We only were able to see a few thermals from the outside area.

We drove a little further and watched some more thermals were I spotted a mountain bluebird close enough to get a shot.

Some yellow flowers added color to this boiling water in Biscuit Basin.

After about an hour of waiting, Old Faithful erupted.

Mel liked the eruption unlike the lady next to her.

We then ventured into the Old Faithful Inn and checked in. The lobby in this place is unbelievable, the pictures do it no justice.

The Inn had a second floor deck to sit on, enjoy the sun, and watch Old Faithful.

After checking in and taking some much need showers we decided to spend the last few hours of light looking for a moose in the park. It seemed to be the one animal that had escaped us the whole trip. We traveled south towards the Grand Tetons again. We stopped at some falls along the way like Moose Falls seen here .

Same falls but Mel and I jumped in to the shot.

The bridge just before the falls made a nice shot.

We did finally see a moose deep into the Grand Teton National Park just before the sun set. It was great talking to many different people to track one down.

We made our way back to the Inn and slept very well because we knew the next 2 days would be long with a lot of driving. One more day to blog and finally I will have the complete trip finished.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yellowstone Trip--Day 5 (May 21st)

Another very early and cold morning start to the day. We woke up around 4:30 and started our ride into Grand Teton National Park. Once again Mel fell asleep while I drove for about an hour before our first decent views of these mountains.

I took many photos in different areas and here are some of my favorites. Go to my website gallery to see the panoramics because the blog displays them too small.

After driving south through the Tetons we stopped in Jackson briefly before returning to Yellowstone. We decided to take a different route through the park because another road was opening up that had the main break. Heading that way we stopped near Fishing Bridge and saw this solo White Pelican fishing in the Yellowstone River.

A little farther down we saw this Cinnamon Black Bear walking about 300 yards away from the road. He followed the road and I tried to get a shot of him crossing this stream before he disappeared into the woods.

We traveled north towards Canyon and stopped to watch anothe White Pelican in Yellowstone River. It could have been the one we saw earlier actually. Farther down the river a bison was crossing and the birds did not stay on his back in the deeper water.

This is lower falls of Yellowstone River.

Upper Falls

Large group of people near Tower had stopped to watch this black bear sleep in the shade.

Tower Falls

Monroe County American Legion Baseball

I am still working on photos of Yellowstone but had another opportunity to shoot some baseball. I was asked by one of the coaches from Irondequoit Post to shoot a game. The game was at McQuaid High school and was between Irondequoit Post #134 and Crozier Engel Winter Post #1494.

The game was a pitching duel and remained scoreless into the late innings.

The teams started being a little more aggressive on the base paths in the later innings. This runner was thrown out by the Irondequoit catcher.

A great running throw by CEW's third baseman who just gets the baserunner at first.

Both teams used many techniques to get a runner on, like this bunt, to break the scoreless streak.

CEW Post v. Irondequoit Post Gallery

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yellowstone Trip--Day 4 (May 20th)

We woke up early to a cool 30 degrees in the tent. It was very difficult to get out of the sleeping bag and get dressed in a 2 person tent in the cold. We warmed up the car and headed back towards Lamar Valley. Once again, just past Norris we saw the same grizzly bear near Grizzly lake. This time there wasn't nearly the crowd and the bear was closer to the road. We were able to park and both of us got out and watched the bear for about 10 minutes before he left our sights again.
Back on the road, Mel fell back asleep as i stopped at the Yellowstone Picnic area again where the bighorn ram from yesterday was posing for the crowd. I snapped a few shots and continued on.
We didn't see too much in the valley and took a walk on Pebble Creek trail. Not much wildlife on the trail, but there was a Yellow-bellied Marmot.
We headed back towards Mammoth for lunch and only stopped twice. Once was only for a couple of mountain goats.
The next stop we came upon a large crowd watching a pack of wolves feeding on a bison. The wolves were about 600 yards away and it was difficult to see exactly how many there were. It looked like six of them and they were near Blacktail Plateau. It probably was the Blacktail group of wolves. I also found out after looking at the pics at home that they were feeding on the bison's calf too.
We ate lunch in Mammoth and looked at some of the thermals just outside of the town.
The rest of the day we spent venturing just west of our campsite where we saw a sandhill crane and watched some ground squirrels.
We did stop at Gibbons falls for some waterfall pics at the end of the day.
Bed early again, we need to get up early for some sunrise pictures as we travel through Grand Tetons National Park tomorrow.

Check out the many photos I am processing as I continue through the days of this trip...click here

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yellowstone Trip--Day 3 (May 19th)

The third day had a slightly later start than the previous day but it was still an early 7:00 AM. We woke up, packed the car, emptied the water out of the cooler and repacked it with ice. We decided to take Route 14 into the park instead of I-90 through Montana and coming into Yellowstone from the north. It seemed we only had about 100 miles left before entering Yellowstone. What we didn't know was how steep and windy this 100 miles would be causing it to take a little longer than anticipated. On this route into Yellowstone there are two parks you go through. The first is Bighorn National Forest. It was very early and snow was still on the ground. We started seeing some wildlife through this park including a harrier, a wolf or coyote from a distance, and our first up close bison.

We then traveled through the town of Cody and into Shoshone National Forest. This park wasn't as slow as Bighorn and it wasn't long before we were at the booth for Yellowstone. We found out the road from Tower to Canyon was closed until Friday due to the season and from Fishing Bridge to Canyon was closed until Thursday due to a water main break. After a slow drive into the park from the snowy east side we came upon Yellowstone lake. It is late May and still 95% covered by ice. The mountains made a perfect background for our first pic and stop inside the park.

After a few photos and a visit to a very stinky outhouse we set off for our campground on the west side of the park in Madison. We really didn't see anything exciting on our way to the site. It was a slow drive in the park and we made to the site and started to set up camp. We quickly ate and set up the tent and were on our way out to explore the park. We started heading north and just passed Norris when we saw our first baby Bisons aka red dogs.

After a quick stop we ventured just another few miles to Nymph lake where we saw eagles fighting over a rotting carcass in the water. It was very interesting to see eagles battle over a meal in air. In the picture, you can see one is a mature bald eagle while the other is immature.

Only a few miles from the eagles we came upon Grizzly Lake and traffic was slowed to a crawl for some reason. There was a bout 25 cars stopped all looking just past a stream running right next to the road. People were standing outside their car and everyone was taking pictures of a grizzly bear. I got so excited and didn't know what to do because the ranger was keeping traffic moving and there was no where to park. I was driving, so Mel told me next time we stop, get out, and I will drive through and back around. So, I jumped out with the 300mm and the camcorder and Mel continued on through traffic. I got about twenty seconds of footage and snapped 25 photos of the bear before he disappeared into some trees away from the crowd. Mel turned around and picked me back up and we both couldn't believe we were just about 40 yards from a grizzly bear.

We continued past Mammoth Hot Springs and towards Lamar valley only slowing down for bison in the road. More babies along the road, seems like Yellowstone had a huge year for baby bisons. After Mammoth Springs we came upon the Yellowstone picnic area where a bunch of cars were stopped. We looked into the rocks and saw too bighorn rams laying down. The bigger of the two was in the sun but laying sideways to the crowd. It isn't the greatest picture but the other was buryed in the shade underneath a tree with no chance of a photo.

We stopped and watched the osprey nest near Tower in the Yellowstone River gorge. Amazing how big an osprey nest and not seeing it built on a man made structure like in Montezuma. We drove through Lamar Valley not seeing much besides elk and bison. We decided to hike a trail so we stopped at the Trout lake trail. Certain times of the year this place has waterfowl, osprey, and even otters. We did not see otters but did see a pair of osprey fishing and two male Barrow's Goldeneye chasing each other.

Tired from the walk, which doesn't take much for us to tire, we started driving back to our campsite because the light was fading. On our way back to the site we saw a beautiful bull elk. I was too lazy to put on the shorter lens, so we got a very close up shot of him grazing.

It was now too dark to see into the fields and we pushed along towards our site. Just before Norris a lone wolf ran in front of the car and we watched him move along the road as we drove forward. He stayed with us for a few hundred feet before disappearing into the wilderness. Mel and I were so excited to see something I wasn't sure was gonna happen for us. Not only that but it came within 25 yards of our car. No pictures were taken of the wolf because of the darkness. We crashed early in our tent to wake up before sunrise and couldn't wait for a full day in the park.

Check out the many photos I am processing as I continue through the days of this trip...click here

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sectional Baseball: McQuaid v. Webster Thomas

I am going to briefly interrupt my Yellowstone trip with a little sectional baseball I shot Wednesday night. McQuaid Jesuit Knights (5 seed) was playing the Webster Thomas Titans (1 seed) at Gates-Chili's baseball field. The winner would be moving on to the finals of Section Fives's Class AA.

McQuaid rattled three early runs off the Titans starting pitcher and he was quickly replaced in the second inning. His replacement did a great job not allowing another run for the rest of the game. The Knights started off strong but could not keep the Titans down as they poured it on in the later innings giving them a 7 to 3 win.

McQuaid v. Thomas Gallery