Along the Firehole River in Yellowstone recently, a group of photographers watched the Wapiti pack of wolves stalk a large, weak, and injured bull bison. Based on the bull’s size, this big boy was near the end of its life, and winter was taking its toll. For a full day, the wolves tried to approach the bison, but when he turned to defend himself, the wolves retreated.
It was one of those dark and cloudy winter days in Yellowstone National Park where the clouds are so heavy and low, you feel like you can reach up and touch the cloudy sky.
I had just an hour before sunset, although in the overcast conditions it was hard to tell the difference between day and night.
It’s funny, but I believe the average person knows more about the honey badger (Mellivora capensis), a critter of Africa and Southwest Asia than they do about the American badger in our region. Social media has a lot to do with the honey badger phenomena.
All of this was swirling through my head recently while photographing an adult male American badger (Taxidea taxus).
Imagine that your body is 10 times the size of your limbs.
Each of your four legs are short, thick, round, and tipped with long, narrow claws. Your spine is fused to the hard, domed-shaped shell structure that you call home. You can withdraw your legs and neck into the shell but that is all, even though some people believe you can crawl out of your shell.
Winter bird feeding is one of the most common/popular hobbies in America. Nearly 60 million Americans feed birds in their yards in winter or summer. So about 40% of all Americans make backyard bird feeding part of their lives.
The population of any given animal species in nature increases or decreases over time in a geographic area. This is how nature works.
These are the ebbs and flows of nature. I was reminded of this on a recent night while I stood outside my house in the dark and cold, watching flying squirrels in my yard. They’re a good example of these classic population swings.
A local TV news station recently asked me during an interview how squirrels find their buried nuts. This is an example of a super-cool thing in nature that most people don’t understand. So, let’s look at what I consider amazing squirrels and their ability to bury and find nuts later.
Recently while on a trip to photograph polar bears in the sub-Arctic, I spotted an animal that embodies adaptation to its fullest, the Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus).
I was moving across the tundra with the Arctic vegetation in its autumn blazing glory. Bright reds and vibrant yellows painted the landscape and turned everything into a vibrant visual scene. Large, smooth rocks, often covered in lichens, punctuated the landscape. It was perfect habitat for an Arctic hare.
In the past when I traveled to the Arctic to film polar bears, I always visited during the winter, or at least when there was snow on the ground. After all, capturing images of polar bears in snow is the quintessential shot.
But on my recent trip, I went during autumn so I could snap images of polar bears in the autumn splendor. But there was a second reason I visited in fall: because the beluga whales would be accessible.