chasing chislers and red dogs

We are at Grand Teton National Park on another photography outing. It is still early in the season, but the key spots are crowded with the very many trying to get the usual shots. We headed to Mormon Row this morning to check sunrise at the Moulton barns, and there were maybe 60 or so photographers crowded with tripods to capture the early morning colors and light. We looked at the shot opportunities and decided that it just was not worth the hassle. Yesterday we drove into a so-called “bear jam”, where the somewhat famous “Grizzly 399” was seen with her four cubs. It was certainly a traffic jam, and later I read that there were around 200 photographers waiting for a chance to capture an image. We found a spot in the crowd and waited a while, but I just wasn’t willing to wait for what might have been hours.

Instead of braving the crowds, we decided to chase the pleasures of little sideshows. The first images below are of a Uinta ground squirrel, known locally as a “chisler” and whose burrows are everywhere near the TA Moulton barn. This little guy was more than glad to pose for me as I sat on the ground enjoying the warm morning sun.

I found an article in the local newspaper describing chislers as “The Salmon of the Interior West” because they are such an important food source for raptors. Be sure and click on the link to the article – I found it so enlightening.

Our next stop was to try and find baby bison! We were told that these little guys are known as “red dogs” because of their color. We knew that we could find some near Elk Ranch Flats and hit paydirt, coming away with a number of great images – see the one I posted below.

A young bison is known as red-dog for it reddish fur color

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