Before I broke a bone in my foot, we did manage to get in two small hikes in Grand Teton National Park. And we were rewarded with plenty of wildlife sightings! Before we even got into the park, Karen and Al spotted this Osprey in a tree.
For our first hike, we went to Hermitage Point Trailhead in Coulter Bay, and opted for the short 3.5 mile hike around Heron Pond and Swan Lake. It was a relatively easy hike, with beautiful views of the Tetons (actually, there is no bad view of the Tetons!).
We had some nice views of Mt Moran, which contains what is called the “skillet glacier”, but the locals refer to it as Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar glacier, based on the shape. The more I stared at it, I started to see a profile of a face (might be the high altitude!).
Karen, Al and Dan quickly spotted a Bald Eagle in a tree, and it must have taken me 5 minutes before I could see it. Karen was able to get a nice photograph of the Eagle.
We also saw a few sandhill cranes, ducks and geese on this hike. Later that night we went on another short trip down by Shwabachers Landing, and found a very active beaver in the water, along with evidence of his recent tree trunk trimming.
The next day we went on another hike with our co-worker Jane, and literally ran into a fox crossing our path. Fortunately, he/she ignored us, but it did startle us.
We also spotted a coyote off in the distance.
But the highlight of our day was spotting our first “wild” grizzly bear. I will pass along a tip for spotting a grizzly….when you see this:
Make sure you pull over, because something exciting is lurking nearby!
The park rangers did an excellent job at keeping traffic moving, and keeping the tourists from getting too close.
After I broke my foot, I was relegated to looking for wildlife from the car, and not on a hike. Fortunately, I was finally able to cross ‘bull moose’ off my bucket list of animals to see in the wild. This young man’s antlers are just starting to grow, and still have the velvet on them. Again, Karen had her nice camera with her, and got some excellent photos (Dan’s worried this will cost us money, as I have been looking at new cameras online!).
But the photo I was most surprised with (and one I took!) was of the bee that popped into the picture I was taking of a flower. I really didn’t notice the bee until I was looking at my photos later on.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Quote for the Day: “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France