mountains, moose, and more mountains

Deep breath in… and out. The smell of pine and sagebrush. The feeling of rock and dirt beneath my boots. Sharp mountain peaks, bright midday sun, glimmering glacial lakes. And the sounds: call of the magpie, chirping of chipmunks, gurgling and whooshing of mountain streams, crackling of moose footsteps. This is the experience of a national park. I am grateful to those who had the foresight to preserve these places. I am thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to visit them.

Here’s some of what I saw on the latest trip – to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

of course, there are the mountains


Didn’t realize at the time that this was about where Ansel Adams snapped a famous photo, I think he was a bit further upstream.


A forest fire burns at the base of Mount Moran. Fires are most often started by lightning and are closely monitored while they are left to burn. They are beneficial to many plants, such as lodgepole pine.


Mount Moran has a distinctive geologic feature — a basalt (molten rock) intrusion.


Cascade Canyon Trail, an 11-mile hike (or 9 if you take the boat across Jenny Lake both ways, 13 if you skip the boat altogether) with breathtaking views.


Glacial till from the last ice age. We looked for marmots among the rocks, but they happen to be hibernating already.


Part of the park’s “sustainable” menu: elk/bison burgers at Jackson Lake Lodge. They were delicious, and so was the view.


This view inspired JD Rockefeller, Jr. to preserve this place as part of the national park.

families of fauna


Mama and baby moose (called cow and calf, respectively), on the appropriately named Moose-Wilson Road.


Papa moose (or bull), seen on the Cascade Canyon trail.


An elk bull and his harem.


One of 5 or 6 bald eagles we encountered on the trip. They like to hang out by waterways, like the Snake River.


A “least” chipmunk. Tiny and adorable.

pollinators aplenty, and maybe some pests


Butterflies abound.


Bees, too.


This may or may not be an Asian longhorn beetle. If it is, I’m sorry I didn’t report the little bugger (I didn’t know they frequented these parts). I was too busy trying to get this shot as he was perched on my shoulder.

lovely flora


Leafy spurge, I think. One of the wanted weeds.


Thistle or spotted knapweed?


This one’s not a weed, it’s a columbine.


Sagebrush bathed in sun.

adventure!


Hot air balloons launched right near where we are staying (Teton Village).


If we were staying one more day, I think I might have wanted to try paragliding. We watched this guy take off from Rendezvous Mountain.


Weeeeeee!!

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “mountains, moose, and more mountains”

  1. Alison Kerr Says:

    Great photos. I love the Tetons. It's hard to leave them though when it's time to go home!

  2. Liz Says:

    Thanks! It was hard to leave. I could easily have stayed another week, and maybe ventured up into Yellowstone for a bit. Such an amazing place.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s