Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Road Trip Day 7

I thought I would get an early start on my second day of touring Yellowstone N.P. on June 17th. Before I even got in the west entrance gate, I encountered my first wild life traffic jam of the day. A large heard of Bison were right on the edge of the road so everyone was stopping to take photos. I was pretty far back in the traffic jam so I had to just sit and wait it out. I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye and saw this approaching Coyote.
Having my camera sitting next to me with my 70-200mm and a 1.4 extender attached allowed me to easily capture him as he trotted by unfazed by all the traffic and people around. You can see he is in the middle of shedding his heavy winter coat.The richer colors in his summer coat are showing well as he losed that dull winter fur.

As we headed to the southern part of the park you start to encounter the many geo thermal areas of the park. Again the weather was ever changing and frustrating me at times, but I just made the most of the limited chances I had to try and capture some good images.
The thermal pools and geyers are amazing to see and watch.
This massive male Bison was resting right by the side of the road. Kinda nice when you do not even have to leave the car to get some amazing closeups. Converted this one to a B&W  and thought it looked better than the color version.

A river of gold!

Old Faithful goes off around every 92 minutes.

After a long day of touring the park, I was heading back when I saw something running arcoss a large open area. At first I thought it was a bear, and then I realized it was an Elk being chased by wolves. So I hit the brakes and jumped out to photograph one of the most dramatic scenes that I have witnessed live and in person. I put on my 400mm f5.6 lens, but they were still pretty far away. I then attached my 1.4 extender to the 400mm lens. This lens does not have image stabilization, and adding the 1.4 extender knocked out the auto focus of the camera. I attached a mono pod and leaned against the car to try and steady myself here while trying to manually focus on the action. The three wolves continued to attack, but the elk would jump into this shallow stream to keep them from attacking his rear. I was able to get about 20 sharp frames total of this scene. This went on for about 20 minutes until the Elk finally decided to take the fight to the wolves. He started aggressivly charging them and had them running from him. They soon decided they did not have enough of them to take down this healthy bull, so they let him trot off.

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