I'm putting up a bunch of photos I've been taking in the backyard this spring.
We live near the Snake River with access to a pretty large private property that adjoins the river. I did a lot of cross-crounty skiing along the river this winter and I've been walking out almost daily to "maintain terrain familiarity (as the JH Ski Patrol would say).
These are just photos of some of the critters I've seen in the past few months...
This is an osprey on April 5. The ospreys migrate south from Jackson in the early fall and always reappear almost exactly on the first of April. It amazes me that they're so punctual because in some years spring is in full bloom in the valley well before they get here and other years (like this one) it's snowy and cold and rainy for weeks and it seems like they would starve to death. In any case, it's always fun to start watching for them on all the nests around the valley.
This is a young moose grazing on willow bushes along the river on March 23.
These are two elk running along the river bottom on March 28. Most of our "neighborhood" elk spend the winter in a State of Wyoming-run feedground on the other side of the river about six miles south of us. Once the snow in the valley starts to diminsh, they move out of the feedground and spread up and down the river valley. Once the snow in the mountains starts to melt (who knows WHEN that's going to happen this year), a good share of the elk move up into the mountains flanking the valley. For about a six-week period from March to May, though, we see lots of them in the yard at home. The elk behind in this picture has been fitted with a radio-tracking collar.
This is a mating pair of bald eagles perched in a cottonwood tree not far from their nest. Some of the eagles spend the winter here in Jackson Hole, but I'm fairly sure this pair had migrated somewhere because they just showed up around the second week of April.
This is a pelican swimming in the Snake River on April 15. I think that growth on his (her?) bill has something to do with mating as you don't see those later in the year. As an avid fisherman, I'm not horribly fond of pelicans because they consume mass quantities of trout. I would sort of prefer that they didn't show up every year, but they do.
This is a mother moose and her "baby". The young one is probably a yearling born in 2010. The youngsters stay with mom until just before she has the next calf, which is sometimes one year and sometimes two. While the calf is still with the mother, you almost never see them more than a few yards apart.
More to come when I get a little more editing done.
In case you're wondering, I'm posting these here on Epic because it's actually easier to put them here first and cut-and-paste to my company website than it is to put them on the website first.