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on Jan 20, 2009 in Wildlife Photography, Yellowstone Life

Yellowstone Adventure Gold – white

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After a steller morning of landscape photos, it was back to serious stuff. We headed off to a location I know about for Rocky Mtn Bighorn Sheep along the Gallatin River where we found 12 rams and an ewe (lucky lady). We had four amazing hours with the sheep, pretty much as close as we wanted, as they worked the slope eating amongst the scant snow. That’s when our driver Susie squeaked with excitement and pointed.

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The sun had gone and in the shadowy light and directly behind where we were watching the sheep, a Long-tailed Weasel all dressed for winter was foraging. Oh man, I’ve so dreamed of this moment and I wasn’t let down. I’ve seen some gorgeous shots of the animal and always wondered if there were wild or captives because I couldn’t figure out how folks got their photos. These are one elusive critter! I now have my answer. They can be photographed in the wild.

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For 15 minutes or so, eight adults with very expensive camera gear were completely entertained and challenged by this little (less than a foot long) dynamo. At times, it was right at our feet. A heartbeat later it was100yards away. In one hole, out another to stop, stare at us, posing, and then a total panic to dash into the next hole. Susie said after it was all over, she has a new favorite winter critter. After trying to follow this little guy around with their long lenses and laughing so much, the group completely forgot their four hours of amazing time with the sheep, so enthralled with their new friend and images. To me, it just reminded me why I love wildlife photography so much, this simple little creature touched everyone’s heart with its mere presence on this earth.

The last couple of seconds with the weasel, I thought of turning on the Moose Cam. This gives you just a small taste of the fun photographing this very cool part of our wild heritage.

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Photos captured by D3, 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film