Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wildlife Services Needs to be Abolished

WildLife Services uses airplanes like this one to shoot wolves from the air in western states. This agency kills thousands of animals each year to subsidize the livestock industry in the west. This plane was buzzing wolves in Yellowstone when I took this photo.
This Huffington Post  article  explains the reasons this agency should be abolished:

Friday, December 9, 2011

Lamar Canyon Pack Pups Playing - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Sometime a photographer sees a lot more than he can adequately photograph. These pups were too far away and I was shooting into the sun, but I enjoyed watching them play for over an hour about a month ago.
I took lots of photos that are good enough for this blog, but will not be sharp enough to enlarge to any size.

Right now in Idaho, where I live, pups like these are being shot, trapped, and snared by the neck in the Idaho Fish and Game Department's War On Wolves. The department, at the request of Idaho Governor Butch Otter, is going to kill over 600 wolves this winter out of a total number of about 850. I have always been a moderate on wolves, but this is not good management.   It is a callous disregard for anything close to fair chase and good game management practice. Treating wolves this way is criminal.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pocket Gopher - Red Cliffs, Utah

I hope this is a pocket gopher. I don't have a mammal ID book with me.
 I was sitting at my picnic table in the Red Cliffs Campground here in Utah when this little rodent started coming part way out of its' burrow and  clipping grass and stuffing it in its' pockets. You can see the bulge (pocket) where the grass is stored below and behind its' ear. After it had its' pockets full, it would disappear into its' burrow for a minute to empty its' pockets, and suddenly appear and start the whole process over again. This is the first time I have seen these animals active during the day. They are usually nocturnal.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Trapped Wolf in Alaska
Here is a link to a photo of a trapped wolf in Alaska. Anyone who would treat any animal like this needs to be jailed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dinosaur Egg? - Southern Utah

I found this strange item embedded in a coarse sandstone boulder along with two others. This one and one other had been broken open sometime in the past millions of years. The sandstone boulder it is in seemed to be an erratic. That is it didn't match the red sandstone it was sitting on. It appeared to be part of a deposit left by a flood as there were other strange rocks around the area that didn't seem to match the red sandstone either.
The round structure at the end looks a lot like a yolk.
Anyone out there that knows what this is?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Desert Bighorn Rams Fighting - Zion National Park, Utah

These two rams have just impacted during a fight. The shock of the impact has knocked hair up into the air off of the back of the ram on the right. The impact has thrown the back legs of both rams up off of the ground and driven the ram on the left toward the ground.. The skulls of bighorn rams are thick and filled with air spaces to protect their brains from damage
These rams were knocking heads frequently all one afternoon, but were often just out of sight over the ridge they are on. The sound of the collisions could be heard for  close to a mile in the quiet desert air.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dinosaur Tracks near Saint George, Utah

I went to a Dinosaur Museum in St. George that had lots of tracks on display. I thought to myself "I could find some of those." I am camped about 15 miles north of St. George and so I went looking. I found a slab of ancient greenish rock and there were quite a few tracks on it. This trail had six tracks about 3 1/2 feet apart. There are 4 of the tracks in this photo. I will report my find to the BLM office in St. George on Monday and see if it is important or not.
This area was once  the shore of an ancient fresh water lake where the dinosaurs hunted each other and caught fish to eat as well. These tracks were obviously put down in thick sticky mud and were not perfectly clear, but it was fun to find them by just going out and looking. Just 3 toes on each foot were visible and they don't look big enough to be a T-Rex. You can use my rock hammer to compare for size.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Great Blue Heron With Catfish - Donnelly, Idaho

Here is a photo I took this summer a short distance from where I live. This Great Blue Heron is trying to figure out how to avoid the spines on this Bullhead Catfish it has speared in order to swallow it. If you enlarge this photo by clicking on it, you can see the heron's sharp bill has completely penetrated the catfish and is sticking out the other side.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Desert Bighorns - Zion National Park, Utah

I have a tendency to concentrate on taking photos of the big rams, but the rocks and natural beauty of Zion along with these bighorn ewes and young ram made for a pretty picture. There are so many different rock types and formations in Zion that it is hard to take a bad photo.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ram - Zion National Park, Utah

I took this photo two days ago and just had time to process it. This is the largest ram I have seen in Zion since I came here two weeks ago.
If this ram lives for another four or five years and his horns keep growing, he will be VERY impressive.

Desert Ram Jumping Up Cliff - Zion National Park, Utah

This big ram is starting his jump to the next level as he climbs a cliff in Zion National Park. Bighorns are like  combination Gymnast/Rock Climbers. You can see the corded muscles in both front and back legs as he makes his move.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fighting Bighorns - Zion National Park, Utah

The ram on the left is about to deliver what he hopes is a crushing blow to the ram on the right. The rams are like Karate fighters and will turn their horns to strike with the sharp edge of their horns just as they make contact. These rams were very evenly matched and fought off and on all afternoon. The ram on the right caught the blow with his horns and suffered no damage.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Big Boys - Desert Bighorn Rams - Zion National Park

I finally found some! These are the largest desert bighorn rams I have found so far. The light was harsh and too bright, but it was great to see these two rams. I got several shots of them fighting later and will post them over the next few days. I will be looking for them again tomorrow morning.

"Hi Dad" - Desert Bighorn Lamb and Ram - Zion National Park, Utah

This lamb has come up to stand by a mature ram who may or not be its' father.  Rams join the family groups of ewes and lambs in early winter during the rut. The rams usually stay with other rams in herds by themselves for most of the year, although that is not a hard and fast rule.
This ram has broken off the tip of his right horn during a battle with another ram.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pretty Boy - Desert Bighorn - Zion National Park, Utah

The desert bighorn ram in this group looks so pretty that he resembles a stuffed toy. He doesn't show much wear and tear from fighting other rams. I took this photo last week and have been looking for this ram to get a closeup photo of him ever since. I will look again today.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ewe Scratching Her Ear - Zion National Park, Utah

The same flexible toes that allow this Desert Bighorn Ewe to grip the rock cliffs she traverses everyday, work well to hold her ear and scratch both sides at the same time.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ram - Zion National Park, Utah

This ram is displaying his horns to some ewes he is following. Bighorns have a number of visual displays they use to communicate to each other. The outside of his horn is keratin, just like our fingernails. It is naturally a dull white in color. The horn gets its' golden brown color from the ram butting and rubbing his head against trees and getting sap, tree bark and dirt on the horns. The horn has a bone core on the inside.
I like bighorn sheep. They are easy to see and approach. They generally live in spectacular mountainous country, which is an added bonus when photographing them..
They are very susceptible to diseases carried by domestic sheep and often suffer large die offs when they come in contact with their domestic cousins. I would like to see domestic sheep banned from grazing on all public lands.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ewe - Zion National Park, Utah

This Desert Bighorn Ewe shows off her agiilty as she jumps from one rock to another. Bighorns are vey good at traveling in rough rocky country. They make moves like this one seem routine.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ram At Sunset - Zion National Park, Utah

I took this photo just a few hours ago as the sun was setting over Zion National Park. The sunlight was no longer shining in the canyon where this ram was posing, but there was enough warm light reflecting  around to give this shot a nice pastel effect.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mule Deer Caught In Fence - Carmel Junction, Utah

This is one of the saddest scenes I have confronted as a photographer. This mule deer fawn has caught its' foot in a barbed wire fence it attempted to jump. The animal was still alive when I found it today, while driving east of Zion National Park, a few miles west of Carmel Junction, Utah..
The wire had cut completely to the bone all around the foot. I attempted to cut the wire with some small pliers I had, but I couldn't cut the heavy wire.
 I drove to Carmel Junction and asked a cashier in the store to call the authorities and she called dispatch and they contacted a deputy sheriff to meet me at the scene. When the  deputy arrived an hour later, we agreed that the best thing to do was to put the deer out of its' misery and shoot it. The deputy shot the deer and I left.
Deer often misjudge how high to lift their hind legs when jumping wire fences and the foot gets caught under the top wire and above the next wire. There is no escape from this. A slow painful death always results from being caught this way. There was a dead fawn caught in the fence the same way, less than a hundred yards from this live one.
This fence was in place to keep privately owned cattle, which were grazing on Government BLM land, from getting onto the highway. My solution would be to ban private cattle and other livestock from ALL PUBLIC LANDS and remove these horrible wildlife killing fences.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ram - Zion National Park, Utah

I went out looking for a larger ram than I photographed yesterday and I found one. I had to shoot into the sun and a little downhill, but I did find a bigger ram. This ram has broken off some of his right horn. He would be more impressive if it hadn't been broken. He has a scar on his nose from previous battles with other rams.
Now tomorrow, I hope to find an even larger ram.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Desert Bighorn Ram - Zion National Park, Utah

I found four groups of Desert Bighorns today. This was a young ram in the second group that I photographed . I have been told that much larger rams have been sighted in the past week, so I will be looking for them.
Many Desert Bighorn rams show the flared horns that this young ram has. Rocky mountain bighorns have a tighter curl and heavier horns.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Abused Radio-Collared Bison - Yellowstone National Park

This radio-collared Yellowstone Bison is having a hard time feeding itself. Her hindquarters have become so emaciated and wasted that she had a difficult time getting up or lying down. I suspect that she became infected where the capture dart fired by Yellowstone researchers, when they radio-collared her, injured her in the thigh. The  tight radio-collar was restricting her attempts to swallow her food.
Every animal darted suffers some injury and some get infected and die.  This cow bison will soon join those who die.
I took this photo a few weeks ago in Yellowstone. When I visit, I see rangers constantly harassing photographers and other visitors when they get too close to park animals. What they need to do is arrest the people (park employed researchers) that treat Yellowstone's animals this way. I have never seen a photographer or visitor treat an animal like this bison has been treated. It is the research idiots that do this in park after park across the United States.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack - Yellowstone National Park

Three member of Yellowstone's Lamar Canyon Pack are seen on the bank of Soda Butte Creek, as they pause from a bout of play time. The wolves entertained watchers for over an hour while they chased each other up and down the creek bank and through the grass and sage.
Wolves and bears seem to be avoiding roadside areas this year which makes photographing them very difficult. I think the Yellowstone staff has been shooting cracker shells at them whenever they approach roadways.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Canyon Pack Wolf Chasing Ravens - Yellowstone National Park

I took this photo a few days ago. Some wolves seem to be very tolerant of ravens, while other wolves always chase them away from a kill.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lamar Canyon Pack Wolves - Yellowstone National Park

The Lamar Canyon Pack pups are playing on the bank of Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park.
The pack killed an elk last night and had consumed all of it when I arrived this morning. The pups and yearlings played on the bank for over an hour. I was at least 300 yards away and had a difficult time getting good photos at that distance. I enjoyed watching the play.
Wolves and dogs play in exactly the same manner. I grew up with farm dogs and I recognized all of the behavior and displays from observing our dogs as a child. All of the hoopla about "Wolf Research " is pretty phony. Anyone who has raised dogs knows most of what there is to know about wolves..
The wolf pup on the right is approaching an adult wolf and is displaying the exact submissive, ears back, tail down pose  that a domestic dog pup would use when approaching an adult dog. I am sure that the Yellowstone Wolf Study Team has about ten latin terms to describe this commonly seen behavior.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Canyon Pack Alpha Female Howling - Yellowstone National Park

The Alpha Female of Yellowstone's Canyon Wolf Pack howls with seven of her packmates, who are howling nearby in the trees. The pack has just finished eating an elk they killed during the night. I took this photo yesterday morning.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yellowstone Wolf With Elk Remains

A member of Yellowstone's Canyon Wolf Pack pulls on the remains of an elk that the pack killed during the night. There are eight wolves in the Canyon Pack and I was able to observe all of them today. The kill was at least 200 yards from my position, so I didn't get any closeups of the wolves. I will return in the morning just in case they are closer than they were today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

World's Most Dangerous Raven - Yellowstone National Park

I was photographing this Raven when it decided to put on this display for me. I have never seen a Raven pose this way before. It did this display five times and I caught every pose. Maybe it knew it was sitting on this sign and just decided to look tough.
The display was not directed at me. I was some distance away in my truck and used a 500mm lens.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flying Fox - Yellowstone National Park

I took this photo yesterday near Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone. This Red Fox was hunting mice and I caught him as he leaped at the sound of a mouse in the grass.

Canon 60D, 500 mm Canon Lens.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jasper Elk


We've added some new elk photos this week on They include this shot of a big bull in Jasper.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Turkey Vultures - Donnelly, Idaho

It was raining this morning when I looked out at a large old Ponderosa that stands between my house and Cascade Lake. There were 12 Turkey Vultures sitting out the rainstorm and I was able to get this photo of 8 of them without getting wet.
I don't know if it was hard to fly with no thermals or what, but they left a few hours later when it warmed up some.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Larry's Wolf Photos to be used on The Bradford Exchange Collector Plates!

This photo of the Yellowstone's Hayden Wolf Pack playing along with 6 other of my Yellowstone wolf Photos will be featured in a set of The Bradford Exchange plate collection. This is the first time that wildlife photos will be used on their plates. I will provide a link from this blog to Bradford Exchanges' website when the plates are available for sale.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Idaho Fish and Game to Shoot 50 Wolves

The Idaho Fish and Game Department will hire the Department of Agriculture's "WildLife Services" to shoot 50 wolves from helicopters. This operation may start as soon as next week depending on the weather.

Wildlife Services will use a spotter plane to locate the wolves and then call in the helicopter. Agents will shoot the wolves from the helicopter with 10 gauge shotguns with number 4 shot. Radio collared wolves, like the one in this photo, will be used to locate packs for extermination and then will be the last wolves killed.

Wolves have pups in their dens this time of year and all pups will starve to death after their parents are killed. This is not scientific management, it is cold blooded murder.

The idea is to save elk from the wolves so that hunters can kill them next fall. The elk end up dead either way. The wolves don't bother to buy tags and licenses from the Fish and Game so they are targeted for extermination. It is all about money.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Northern Flying Squirrel - Idaho

I was checking out old birdhouses around the area to see if I should fix them up. I checked on an old birdhouse that I put up many years ago that the squirrels had gnawed at and enlarged the entrance.

When I knocked on the side of the birdhouse, I was pleasantly surprised to have this flying squirrel come out and pose on the tree trunk. It seemed very reluctant to go more than a few feet from the birdhouse. You can see the flap of skin that it uses to glide from tree to tree.

I went and got a camera and took its' picture and then quickly retreated so as not to make the squirrel leave the area. It appeared to be a very pregnant female.

This is the second flying squirrel that I have found here in recent years. The first one was in another birdhouse and jumped out on my arm when I knocked.

I am going to try to figure out how to see and photograph them at night.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Common Loon - Idaho

I captured this image yesterday morning on a small reservoir in Eastern Idaho. I am sure that this bird is migrating and will move to a higher lake to reproduce when it warms enough for the ice to melt. It was fun to hear the loons calling in the morning before it was light enough to take this photo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Black Necked Stilt - Lake Meade, Nevada

I took this photo this evening. There were five Stilts in the flock, but I was only able to get two of them together.

Canon 60D with 500 mm lens with 1.4 converter.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mourning Dove - Hoover Dam, Nevada

The wind was ruffling the feathers on this Dove when I took this photo. It has been very windy here the past two days and the birds were hugging the ground. Canon 60D with 500 mm lens

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Great Horned Owl - Hagerman, Idaho

I took this photo a few weeks ago while in the Hagerman area. This owl would hoot all night, but I could not find a nest or any other owls nearby.

Canon 60D with 5oo mm lens.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gambel's Quail - Male and Female - Nevada

This pair of quail posed on a rock for me. This pair only has one top not feather on their heads, but I saw some that had two on their heads. I saw more with just one than I have with two, but I have no idea if the number means anything.

There are lots of quail out courting right now and they will soon be sitting on eggs and hatching their young. I have been told that Road Runners will catch and eat many of the young quail before they learn to fly.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Buffle Head Duck - Nevada

This Buffle Head is swimming in a small pond with some red rocks reflecting on the water. Sometimes I think I would like to own a small pond and put up colored panels of various colors to get a variety of reflections of of the water. The reflected color can really make or break a photo.
These small ducks are quite shy and I felt fortunate to find one this close.

Canon 60D with a 500 canon lens and 1.4 multiplier.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gambel's Quail - Nevada

Male Gambel's Quail are starting to call to attract females here in the desert. These little quail are hard to approach and move so quickly that many of my photos of them do not turn out well.
This male is sitting on a high rock so that the females can see him.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Great Gray Owl - Idaho

This Great Gray Owl fledgling is watching a red tailed hawk fly by while waiting for it's mother to bring a meadow vole to eat. Hawks will attack owls if they catch them out in the open.

I was fortunate enough to find this owl with it's mother and two siblings a year ago near my home in Idaho. I was standing on a county road when I took this photo.

The male owl was missing when I found this owl family and I fear that their close proximity to the road may have caused his death. Owls will dive on mice running across the road in the headlights of motor vehicles and get struck while doing so.

I ran over a Great Horned Owl at night many years ago as it caught a mouse right in front of my fast moving pickup.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oregon Wolf Dies After Being Radio-Collared

Oregon Fish and Game Photo

A yearling gray wolf has died within a week after being collared by by state biologists. This photo is shows an Oregon biologist radio-collaring a wolf captured in a similar operation.
Oregon wolves are collared so they can be tracked and killed if they get in trouble by killing or chasing domestic livestock.

Wolves and other captured animals often die from the stress and over exertion caused by being trapped and captured. The fancy name for this is called "Capture Myopathy". The muscles break down and flood the kidneys with damaged muscle protein causing them to fail.

A Collared Wolf Is A Dead Wolf!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sandhill Cranes Are Back In Idaho!

I was sitting out in my daughter's yard here in Boise, Idaho yesterday and was surprised and pleased to hear the call of Sandhill Cranes circling overhead. I could see about thirty of the birds circling and calling from way up in the sky. They were far too high to photograph.

I was delighted to see them, as sandhills are one of my favorite birds to see, hear and to photograph.
I was a little concerned, because they were quite near the Boise Airport. The thought of thirty large sandills colliding with a commercial jet was a little unsettling.

I took this photo in New Mexico two years ago. There is a circle of ice on this crane's leg
as it takes off from a partially frozen pond.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Idaho's War On Wolves - $500 Bounty Proposed

A bill authorizing a $500 bounty on wolves has been drawn up for the Idaho Legislature.
The bill has been drawn up by Runft and Steele Law Offices in Boise,Idaho.
The proposed legislation calls for listing Idaho wolves as predators that can be shot at any time and also proposes a $500 bounty for each wolf killed. The bill calls for paying the bounties out of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's general budget.
I will post more info as it becomes available.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snow Geese - New Mexico

Snow Geese will soon start flying north again. I took this photo two years ago as this flock was coming in to land.
With large areas of farmland available for these birds to find food in the winter, their populations have grown so large that they tend to overwhelm their northern breeding areas and are causing damage to the environment there.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vaginal Implant Team - Yellowstone National Park

This group of Yellowstone employees are about to set off to dart a Bison and put a radio collar on it. There were at least two other members of the team, but I was not able to include them in the photo. Shortly after I took this photo, I watched as the team took their radio collar, dart gun and assorted other tools and darted a Bison near Lava Creek in Yellowstone and put a radio collar on it.

I have to be honest and say that I have never seen this crew put a vaginal radio transmitter in a Yellowstone Bison, but since they are the ones that do the radio collars, it stands to reason that they would do both procedures while the Bison was drugged and down.

The geniuses that run Yellowstone put radio collars on twenty five Bison and vaginal radio transmitters in the females in the group in January and hazed them out of the park in an $3.3 million experiment to see what they would do..

The experiment lasted only a few days when the Bison promptly crossed the Yellowstone River to private property haystacks and had to be hauled back into Yellowstone. Two of them were shot and killed during the process. There are more than 500 Bison trying to leave Yellowstone at this time and they are being fed hay while park officials decide what to do with them.

Yellowstone has been taken over by these bumbling researchers who dart , drug and collar and generally mistreat and harass many of the wildlife species in the park. In this case two of the Bison were shot and killed.
A new superintendent has just started his duties and needs to be made aware of this problem. His name is Daniel Wenk.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bighorn Rams - Alberta, Canada

I played around on photoshop elements and came up with this rendition of two big rams silhouetted against a golden sky. Since the rams were facing away from me, the original photo was nothing special.
I like to try different effects on some of my photos just to see what they look like. I am self taught in all of my digital processing and need to learn a lot more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yellowstone Wolves - Hayden Pack

I took this photo three years ago when the Hayden Pack posed for me right off of the road in Hayden Valley. The secret to good wolf photos is simple. Keep showing up with your camera in areas they frequent and sooner or later they will be close enough to get photos like this. These wolves are listening to another wolf pack howling in the distance. I could hear two other packs in the area besides the Haydens.

I removed the radio collar from the white wolf by using the clone tool in photoshop to cover it with fur. Half of the wolves I see in Yellowstone are radio collared, which can ruin many a good photo.

I used a Canon 40D with a 500mm Canon Lens for this photo. It was the first day that I had used the new 40D and I unknowingly had it set on JPEG without RAW and didn't discover what I had done until I finished shooting. I prefer RAW for initial digital processing of my images and shoot both JPEG and RAW at the same time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Two Wolves and A Grizzly - Yellowstone National Park

Two members of Yellowstone's Canyon Pack confront a Grizzly Bear that took this Elk away from them. The Grizzly has frost on his back from sitting out all night on top of the Elk. The bear has covered the elk with grass to keep the ravens and magpies off of it.

Yellowstone Grizzlies have learned to follow wolf packs in order to steal their kills. The wolves have to eat in a big hurry before the bears arrive.
The wolf on the left is handicapped with a large radio collar and disappeared during the next year.
Researchers, like the ones that collared this wolf, outnumber rangers and maintenance workers combined in some of our National Parks. This over emphasis on research has taken money away from upkeep in our parks and many park facilities are outdated and in disrepair.

If you drive into Yellowstone this time of year, you will see more researchers pointing their radio antennas at collared animals, than you will rangers and other staff working in the park.

I used a Canon 40D with a Canon 500mm lens and a 1.4x multiplier to get this photo.