Trips: Tetons Winter 2020

Winter in the Tetons is a magical time. In December 2019 and again in February 2020 I was able to witness winter's brilliant displays of hoar frost, a super moon setting over the Tetons just before sunrise and an unusual number of red foxes. Here are my favorite photographs of Grand Teton National Park, winter 2020.

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A heavy hoarfrost coats these aspens along the drive below WIllow Flats.

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Winter Aspen Splendor

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Etched in heavy frost from last night's dip into the minus twenties, this ridge of aspens sparkles like so many diamonds. When the temperatures rises just a few degrees, the hoar frost will melt. The beauty is fleeting.

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Like diamond necklaces against the jeweller's cloth, these aspen glisten against the dark silhouette of Signal Mountain.

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The drive is spectacular, but when the temperature is minus 23, there are not many others around.

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Frosted Aspens

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Frosted Aspens II

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A backlit cottonwood is splendid with either fall's golden colors or winter's frosty kiss.

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There are only a few winters a year where it is so cold that whatever moisture is in the air freezes on contact with bluebird blue skies above.

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Fox on the hunt.

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A vixen stops on her trudge through the snow to take a look behind her.

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As the sun rises, this fox has bedded down. He will stay put for several hours, maybe more, until he resumes his hunt for food.

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The late afternoon sun provides little warmth to this fox, as he peers from his bed near a large pine.

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The spires of the Grand Tetons are glorious and foreboding in winter when storms can appear with little notice.

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Perhaps it was a slight sound below the two feet of snow that has alerted this fox that a small rodent was nearby.

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The milky way spans over the Jackson Hole valley.

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Four mule deer leap this fence to reach higher ground. Leaps over such fences are easy in summer but in winter when there can be feet of soft snow it can be dangerous.

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A coyote peers through the falling snow in search of food.

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A bald eagle calls out to his mate who is feasting on a bison carcass behind some nearby pines. They will take turns feeding for the next couple of days.

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A winter storm has cleared and a super golden snow moon hovers just above the Teton range.

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Just before sunrise, the air is crisp and clear. It is more than 20 below and a super snow moon seems tethered to the Grand Teton.

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I grew up in a small ranch house that had a long expansive window. On the clearest of days, I could see through through that window, way off in the distance, a range of mountains that when occasionally covered with snow would stand out against the blue sky. I was mesmerized and my soul was stirred. I would imagine a day when I could make my way beyond that window and into those mountains. Five decades later, as I watch the moon set, and the sun rise, above the snow-covered Teton mountain range, I recall those earliest dreams of a young boy, and that long window through which my imagination first took flight.

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Sunrise has come and the Teton range glows in the early golden light of a new day.

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A fox makes its way atop a snow ridge enroute to the frozen river's edge.

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A red fox hunts for breakfast along the deep snow-covered shores of the Oxbow Bend. Mount Moran stands above the frozen waters of the Snake River.

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One of the most spectacular vistas in any national park, Oxbow Bend is home to countless animals. In winter, their tracks can be seen criss-crossing the frozen waters.

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A fox leaps from a snow bank as he races ahead.

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A moment in time. A fox races through the deep snows of Grand Teton National Park.

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The morning has grown cloudy as a new storm arrives. This fox senses more snow is soon on the wind and he quickly makes his way across the open meadow to protection of some nearby trees.

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The winter landscape in the Grand Tetons can be bleak and white. But it can be a perfect backdrdop for the lucky few who witness a fox.

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A red fox makes his way across a snow - covered meadow.

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Pausing for a few moments, this fox surveys and listens intently for any sign of movement below the snow that might signal his next meal.

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Light afoot, this fox makes his way across the deep snows of this meadow in Grand Teton National Park.

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The winds have picked up and it is beginning to snow. This fox knows it is time to find a secure place in which to bed down.

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The first rays of morning strike the tip top of the peaks of the Teton range. It is a sight to behold as the peaks begin to glow.

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In a matter of just a few minutes, the rising sun has elevated enough to light half the Teton range.