Owl Baby

Several times over the last few years, we’ve seen owl babies in a huge nest waaaaay up high in a tree by the Visitor’s Center at Mammoth in Yellowstone. When I’ve photographed them, the images were never sharp, because they were too far away.  We came later this year, after the owl babies had already fledged, so I didn’t think we’d be able to see any.  However, the babies were still in the area, and one evening, I managed to get photos of this guy on the roof of one of the residences near our daughter’s.  Despite being a juvenile, he still has the fierce, don’t mess with me look of his mother!



Penny, the puppy, isn’t the only baby around here.  As usual, the house here at Mammoth is surrounded by elk for a good part of the day, and there are quite a few babies in the herd. This one was getting ready to follow its mother across the road. 

By the way, yesterday’s and today’s photos were edited on the iPad with Snapseed and posted using the WordPress app.  

Butterfly Memories

Posting from the archives today- here are some butterfly images that never made it to the blog.

20150421-MMA_3826_melinda_anderson 20150421-MMA_3918_melinda_anderson 20150421-MMA_3955_melinda_andersonAnd I couldn’t resist this super closeup- this one was on Lonnie’s shirt!


Elusive Butterfly

20150421-MMA_3408_melinda_anderson-EditWhen we visited Butterfly Wonderfland, we were immediately captivated by the big beautiful blue butterflies that flew all around us, seeming to never land- except for on the sidewalk! We would come upon one here and there lying motionless on the walkway, seeming to soak up the warmth before speeding away.  The sidewalk didn’t appeal to me as a very natural background, but I did finally snap a few photos of them this way.  As I took the 800 plus photos of the thousands of butterflies among the flowers and leaves, I was so frustrated because of not being able to find any blue ones on the leaves and flowers.  I tried to capture them in flight, and all I was able to get were little blue blurs in my photos.

20150421-MMA_3380_melinda_andersonAmong the butterflies I photographed was this beauty above with its richly patterned wings.  I mostly saw them feeding on fruit set out in dishes on the ground. It took almost an hour before I realized that these were the blue butterflies I had been looking for; their wings are blue on top and brown below! Named Blue Morpho, their contrasting wing colors make them seem to appear and disappear as they fly, confusing predators (and photographers!).

20150421-MMA_4111_melinda_andersonLinking up with Friday Finds today.

Backyard Wildlife

A few weeks ago we had some drama in the front yard involving a brave bunny and a scared (and scary) snake. The short version is that, as I was looking out the window, the cute bunny in the front yard hopped, almost running, across the yard and leapt onto a LONG snake (which I had not noticed was there).  In a flash, the bunny and the snake were rolling around, the snake was attempting to climb a post on the front porch, and then the snake slithered to safety inside an small evergreen tree out of the bunny’s reach. The bunny stalked that snake for two days- and then no more action.

Flash forward to yesterday. . .

Carol (who is staying with us) and I were getting ready for the day, when my husband informed me that there was a “little snake” in the back yard. I went out and was horrified to see a very large (probably 4 feet long) snake slithering around under the apple trees. It looked like the snake in the Snake and Bunny Saga.  I grabbed Carol’s camera with its fancy 400mm zoom lens and clicked away- from a safe distance.  When she joined us, I reluctantly gave her camera back and eventually got close enough to take photos with my 18-200mm zoom.

Carol identified our heretofore unknown snake as a Sonoran gopher snake- and, sadly, we found that he has a hole under the apple tree where he apparently- ummmm- LIVES!

To sum up, we have a big snake LIVING in our back yard. I thought the bunny had scared him away for good. So, besides birds and butterflies, we have lizards, toads, bunnies, and a snake.  And at least one tarantula- but that’s a whole other story.  I considered this as we sat outside last night drinking wine and enjoying a delicious grilled meal- about 10 feet away from the snake’s “HOUSE.”

I’m trying to be a grown-up about this.

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Yellowstone Archives

Although I have been taking photos since I’ve been back from our trip, I keep finding Yellowstone photos that I haven’t posted here. (no wonder- I took hundreds!).  I can’t promise these will be the last. . .

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Bear Aware

Yesterday morning we noticed some activity on the road (park employees going up the hill, throwing rocks, not letting tourists out of their cars etc.) in front of my daughter’s house at Yellowstone; she mentioned casually that it was probably a bear. The bears are hungry and know that the elk mamas have their babies hidden in various spots around the area. I always try to act somewhat cool and un-touristy about these things, but eventually had to go outside with my camera. I edged around the side of the house and came upon two young black bears partway up a tree, with the park workers patiently waiting for them to come down. When they did, the guys chased them across the road, but they kept returning, especially the cinnamon colored one, who was not the least bit afraid of humans. Within a short while, there was a group of photographers with their long lenses gathered outside- how do they always know where to go?  My husband and I went to town, and were surprised to see that the cinnamon bear was still on the hill across the street when we returned; the female elk had ganged up on him and chased him off the lawn. We haven’t seen any more of the bears since then, but it was a reminder that we are in Yellowstone and in bear territory.


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View From the Front Porch

Bison and their babies!


Linking up with Friday Finds!