Teton Mysteries Revealed

Amazing, all that you can find in just one day in the Tetons. This post is like skipping a stone along the surface of Jackson Lake. The auditory experience was as strong as the visual. It started for me with an early rise, as it almost always does. I stopped by a small lake adjacent to Lake Yellowstone to photograph the dawn. While I was standing along above the lake a bull elk bugled. It’s one of the most hauntingly beautiful sounds in all of creation. I stayed until the sun broke the surface of the sky and listened. The elk calls have lingered longer than the dawn.

As I passed by the Lewis River I returned to the fog of the lowlands. It coated the surrounding forest with a mystery.

The mountains remained obscured through late in the morning, occasionally giving glimpses of a promise. A young eagle soared beneath the peaks.

While scouting a location for evening photographs we were both surprised and delighted to find one of the Grand Tetons lesser-celebrated mammals, the badger. Teton badger didn’t care, he let make his photograph and follow him around for a bit while he searched for his favorite meal, the ground squirrel.

A storm arose that afternoon. I wanted to exalt in it, like in a Nancy Newhall poem, but the lightning demanded that we seek shelter. We were able to catch a bit of light before the rains came.

We knew the sun would soon be setting and the sky looked as though it might hold some color that evening. We decided to head down towards Gros Ventres, just above Jackson, WY, an area reputed to have occasional moose sightings. We raced against the sun, hoping we might make it to a photographic location and not miss the light.

What did we find there? Several bull moose! The willows were already in shadow, and getting any kind of photograph would be a challenge, but I was able to make one image of a moose feeding that evening. There were a couple of beaver nearby as well.

It was one of the those amazing evenings where you could hardly decide in which direction to turn. Ah, the moose, wait, don’t forget the beaver, look at that sky! Oh, the beavers, try another shot of the moose. Look at that sky! How can even the souls of four friends absorb such beauty? It cannot be contained in the shells of mere mortals. Yet it was all once simply spoken.

While photographing this penultimate scene, coyotes began to howl! The day started with bugling elk and was bookended with howling coyotes. My soul was slain. My Creator knows no boundaries.

The last morning I parted from my friends, for I had to return to rangering in Yellowstone. I stopped at my favorite spot along the Snake River and was greeted by a pair bald eagles. I could no longer speak, for sometimes one can only listen. That still small voice is still revealing mysteries.

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23 thoughts on “Teton Mysteries Revealed

  1. Wonderful series and I well understand your amazement and wonder at the beauty Nature provides. Sometimes I look out my lounge window across the rooftops at the dying sun hitting the clouds and almost feel like crying at the sheer beauty of it all. Even watching the rock doves flying past my 3rd floor balcony makes me feel like I’m in a tree house. Do miss the old days of travel and adventure when I was young.

    • Thanks Steve-Anna, appreciate you taking the time to comment! Great photo of you there. It is wonderful that so many delight nature, I think I’ve just always felt there’s a bit more that goes unstated. I think C.S. Lewis said it best when he said, “Nature is mortal, we shall outlive her. When all the suns and nebulae have passed away, each one of you will still be alive. Nature is only the image, the symbol, but it is the symbol Scripture invites me to use. We are summoned to pass through Nature, beyond her, into that splendour which she fitfully reflects. And in there, beyond Nature, we shall eat of the tree of Life.”

      Your jewelry is gorgeous too. I’ll be coming to you for me next pieces!

      • To me, God is in a constant state of invitation, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” How precious are those times when we hear the knock and have the opportunity to share God’s riches, so aptly served up to us in Nature. You are at a very bountiful table there!!

  2. What a wonderful day the Lord has made, and you captured it and shared it with us. I so enjoyed your day in the Tetons! My favorite is the one with the two bald eagles!

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