Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Denali - Caribou & Dall Sheep
Have been busy since my last post using all free time taking photography trips (backpacking and vehicle) into the park. The fall colors in the tundra have been amazing. The two species featured in this post are Caribou and Dall Sheep.
The Caribou in the top image and above is one of the largest males in the park. He is regularly seen in Wonder Lake (far west) area of the park.
This young male was seen on my way out to Wonder Lake. The afternoon sun in the fall tundra made for a nice background.
Sorry, but I had to include the above two images. Know I have inundated you with Mt. McKinley/Denali shots, but every time I see the mountain I am awed. These shots were taken just as the sun began to show some alpenglow on the mountain. The photos were taken at Reflection Pond, which is also in the Wonder Lake area. From this distance the mountain is a tad less than 30 miles away.
After taking a rather strenuous hike to the top of Mount Margaret (4,992 feet) with 35 pounds of photo gear, I was rewarded with a bachelor herd of 5 Dall Sheep rams. I have seen these sheep with binoculars near the summit (they stay in the higher elevations to stay safe from the wolves) from the park road on a number of occasions and really wanted to photograph them.
After photographing the group from a distance I sat down in hopes that the direction they were browsing would allow some closer shots. Lo and behold, they came closer and then actually laid down right adjacent to my location! Needless to say I was thrilled. The last thing I want to do is disturb them.
The moose rut is in full swing. I have been out in the traditional rutting area every chance I get. Next post will be some dynamic bull shots.