2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Glacier presents some great photographic opportunities, talk about it here.

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:41 am

If what you saw was much larger, it may have been a female fisher, but I doubt it. Male fishers are much larger than female fishers, martens, or minks.[/quote]

My first thought when I saw it was a marten, but I realized it was too large to be one. Martens are small, and I remember this critter being about the size of a cat. So maybe a fisher? I will never know for sure, but it was a neat sighting.
[/quote]

Martens and minks are small and similar in size.
Fishers are much larger. Males being much larger than females.
So if it was "cat size" it may have been a fisher.
Maybe someone here has seen fishers in the park?

pete :wink:

Move will be difficult because I'm going to have to part with a LOT of my "stuff".
But gotta be done.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby netresult » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:12 pm

Hi Pete, I'm almost certain that it was a marten that you saw. I had a great view of one and fired off about 20 shots from about 20' at the base of Mt. Rushmore. I dug out my pics, and compared to your sighting. The coat color is variable, but my marten had the same face and dark legs. Also had rusty brown fur and the large orangish patch on the chest. It was in great shape and a stunning little animal. Also looked to be at least a similiar size to yours.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:04 pm

netresult wrote:Hi Pete, I'm almost certain that it was a marten that you saw. I had a great view of one and fired off about 20 shots from about 20' at the base of Mt. Rushmore. I dug out my pics, and compared to your sighting. The coat color is variable, but my marten had the same face and dark legs. Also had rusty brown fur and the large orangish patch on the chest. It was in great shape and a stunning little animal. Also looked to be at least a similiar size to yours.


Yeah I'm sure what Ken and I saw on the bridge was a pine marten.
The animal in question was the one tibber and teapot57 saw at Elizabeth Lake.


In other news... 8)

Sometimes It's Better To Be Lucky, Than Good 8)

My original plan for today was to hike to Hidden Lake, cross the outlet creek to take flower pics in the meadows.
The snow on the ground and the cloud cover changed my mind on that, so I did the Highline to the Loop.


I got home at 7:30PM after doing the Highline down to the Loop.
Walked out of Granite park Chalet at 3:06PM getting to the Loop at 5:02PM which is good time for me.
Ten minute wait on the shuttle back to Logan Pass. Left Logan Pass about 5:30PM
Passed through the gate going out at 6:00PM on the dot.
Ordering pizza at 7:30PM at Jersey Boys in Whitefish.

I think I got some pretty good pictures. Might post a few tonight if I don't fall asleep at the keyboard 8)
Had a long day beginning at 4:30 AM.

I 'll try to get a couple pics up before bed time.


pete :wink:
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:38 am

I say it's better to be lucky than good because I thought when I got to Logan Pass and found the snow, I figured my day was messed up.
It didn't appear that I was going to get any good flower pictures down at Hidden Lake once I saw what the Logan Pass meadows looked like.
The flowers in the higher areas of GNP are pretty hardy, but the ones I could see in the immediate area of the Visitor Center looked pretty sad.
And so I made a snap decision to walk over across the road and do the Highline Trail to Granite Park Chalet and down to the Loop.

The forecast was for the sky to clear up as the day went on. maybe I'd get some decent landscape shots, or see an animal or two--and I did both :arrow:
The constantly changing clouds created a variety of photo ops. Here are some of the images I liked. Hope you like them as well.
I have not uploaded the early shots prior to reaching The Haystack.
I also have some video coming.

Arrived at Logan Pass at 0700 to this scene. Lots of folks were walking around in shorts shivering in the high 30s/low 40s temps LOL!!
I was layered up well and comfortable since I monitor the weather reports closely. The snow line was around 7000ft.
All of it was gone by noon time.

Image

Image

Image

This was at the Haystack pass which is roughly halfway to the chalet and a good spot to take a break and have a snack.
Last time out here I got a nice pic of a big billy goat. This time I saw a new bird for me, a Clark's Nutcracker. There were 6-7 of them flitting around but hard to get close to.
Finally this one landed nearby for this shot. I didn't notice how good the image was until last night. Pretty sharp and had all the wild chives in bloom around it.

Clark's Nutcrackers are very interesting birds. No surprise since they are in my favorite bird family--Corvidae
Corvids are among the smartest of birds and include ravens, crows and jays. Read about Clark's Nutcracker here:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Cla ... r/overview

Image

The clouds were constantly changing. Virtually all these landscape shots either appeared suddenly, or were obscured just as quickly.
This scene disappeared 30 seconds later.

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Part of the Haystack in foreground left with Mt Cannon partially obscured behind it.
Heavens Peak is totally hidden in the big cloud bank above and to the right of McDonald Creek far below

Image

Another view. Clouds constantly moving in and out.
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One of GNP's ubiquitous Columbia ground squirrels
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A little farther down the trail Lake McDonald begins to come in view way down the valley.
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I came across this nice Big Horn ram headed up the trail towards me. I hustled back up the trail to get the attention of two young gals I had just passed.
I knew they'd like to see this ram since they told me this was their first hike here and they hadn't seen any big animals yet.
It was funny that they were a bit overwhelmed at seeing him at such close range. I told them he was far more interested at "licking pee" than coming after them.
8)
It wasn't long before a 12-15 people had gathered around the little copse of trees where the ram was busy licking, ignoring everyone. I moved on.
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Profile view. The Big Horn rams have fully shed their winter coats from last year and are looking quite handsome now.
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Lake McDonald is in full view now. The air had cleared out very nicely after a chilly, stormy Friday night. Hope the backpackers had their long jammies with them. 8)
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I heard and saw more of these little pikas than any day in the last 17 years. I kept hearing them all morning and saw many--albeit fleetingly.
This was the only one who remained still long enough for a decent picture. Pikas are very difficult to see among large grey(ish) boulders they call home.

Image

I arrived at Granite Park Chalet about 1:40PM---along with a 30-40 other hikers! :roll:
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Three frame panographic. You can see all the new snow is gone.
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I noticed on the way down this small area where the paint brush were a brilliant deep red color.
It seems color of paint brush flowers is, or can be, influenced by the micro habitat where they occur.
The most intense orange paint brush that I've found are near the Sunrift gorge end of the Siyeh Pass trail.
Anyone else have that experience?

Image

Tis all for the moment.

later
pete :wink:
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Ear Mountain » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:06 am

I hiked from Long Pass to Waterton Townsite two weeks ago with a group of friends from Choteau. On our first day from Logan to Granite Park we must have seen over 200 people on the highland Trail. It was a real zoo.

Pete, I really like that pika photo. They are hard to find and difficult to photograph. Great job.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby davidwayne » Sun Aug 18, 2019 12:28 pm

Nice pictures, Pete. Thanks!!
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby MarxMN » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:23 pm

Pete,

That pika picture is great. They are hard to see. Getting one to sit still long enough to get a picture is a great challenge.

I agree about the paintbrush color. The colors and color intensities seem to change in different parts of the part. I assume soil type made a different but describing it as "micro-climate" is more comprehensive.

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby mattB » Sun Aug 18, 2019 1:50 pm

Great photo's Pete!! Looks like it was a great day, in spite of the way things looked early on!!
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:44 pm

Thanks everyone for the compliments. :D
I have no idea why so many pikas were out and about on the Highline yesterday.
Last year? Dunno. I watched two pikas scampering around as they cut vegetation and went under a massive boulder just off the Highline trail.
Maybe I can find the video. It was hard keeping the camera on them.

Here's two more of the same pika. I was waiting for him/her to turn around and face my way, but not to be.
People kept walking by making too much commotion talking and moving around.
"Whatcha taking pictures of?" "A pika?" "What's a pika?" "Where is it? I can't see it" "Looks like a big mouse to me."
sigh :(

At another place on the trail, I stopped to take break and look around and happened to look down.
There was a pika not more than a foot from my boot. It was sitting in one of its entrances to its den(or hiding place) right on the downhill side of the trail.
I got slowly got my camera out of its pouch on my belt only to have a half dozen people come walking up.
They at least tried to be nice and exclaimed they'd wait, but it was too late. The pika disappeared back in its hole. :(
THAT would have been the "picture of the day"!
Pika in same frame as my size 14 8)

Image

Image
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby Deb1741 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:50 pm

Braeden and I go pika "hunting" every time we go to Yellowstone Park. We sometimes sit for a hour waiting for them to come out. I got this cool video in June. About halfway through the video he starts chirping to another pika that was about 30 feet away from him.
https://www.facebook.com/deb.roesler/videos/a.2549543598397313/2549479845070355/?type=3

Loving your stories, pics, and videos Pete! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us. I don't post on here much but I come on and look at pics every couple of days.

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:53 am

Deb1741 wrote:Braeden and I go pika "hunting" every time we go to Yellowstone Park. We sometimes sit for a hour waiting for them to come out. I got this cool video in June. About halfway through the video he starts chirping to another pika that was about 30 feet away from him.
https://www.facebook.com/deb.roesler/videos/a.2549543598397313/2549479845070355/?type=3

Loving your stories, pics, and videos Pete! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with us. I don't post on here much but I come on and look at pics every couple of days.

Deb


Thank you Deb. As always, I appreciate your compliments.
That is really cool that you and Braeden go "Pika Hunting" :) :)
and the video is really good! Focus is so sharp.

cheers
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby calicotraveler » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:30 am

I've been enjoying the pika photos and video! I haven't seen any in awhile and this is a treat.
The mountains are calling and I must go.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:56 pm

calicotraveler wrote:I've been enjoying the pika photos and video! I haven't seen any in awhile and this is a treat.


Thanks!
It looks like the diminutive pika is a popular animal with chatters :)
I know a place where I've seen pikas and it's highly unlikely I'll be disturbed by anyone...as happened on the Highline trail---closed now anyway.
I'll take my camcorder this time, along with my still cameras, and a tripod so I can get much better pictures and video.
Same place should still have good flowers as well.
Just gotta talk nice to the boss and get off a day while the good weather is still here 8)

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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby PeteE » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:35 am

Yesterday was a nice day so when I got off work I made an impulse decision and drove up to Logan Pass.
Parking was impossible so I drove to Siyeh Bend and found ONE empty spot to park.
Caught the shuttle back to Logan Pass arriving around 1:40PM

It was too late to hike down to Hidden Lake and cross the outlet creek to look for flowers or pikas.
I needed to be back in time for the last shuttle at 7:00PM.
Plus, the flowers were pretty much done in by the recent snow and cold.

So I decided to do the summit of Mt Oberlin.
And it turned out to be a fun day!
:D

A group of 6 young people passed me at the waterfall.
Then two more young couples found me at the "slot" as I was taking a breather to get ready for the scramble part of the hike.
They didn't want to go up the slot and chose a more ambitious way but we met up again a 100 yards or so farther up.
We then hiked together on up to the summit. I was able to keep up with them most of the way. 8)
Nearing the summit I hung back to rest and take a few pics.

I joined the 10 young adults at the summit where we had a good time chatting and enjoying the view.
Turns out the group of six were college students from around the country working this summer for the Glacier Conservancy.
The two couples were locals from Kalispell.
They all thought I did pretty good for a "geezer"! :arrow:


30 second video. The group of six are in the background.

https://photos.smugmug.com/8-20-2019-Su ... t-1920.mp4

At the summit of Mt Oberlin
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Looking south from the summit. Parking Lot is lower left
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Looking north
Image

pete :wink:
Last edited by PeteE on Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2019 "Snaps" Around Gracier National Park...plus

Postby calicotraveler » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:53 am

What a great day! Wish I were there. :D
The mountains are calling and I must go.
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