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Stranded Book Log Part 8

Finally got the shot!
by Dan Hartman

Aug. 5, 2013

     Day 21

     The wind was howling this morning.  Kelly was along and right away we realized it was going to be impossible to photograph on the summits.  I've got a spot just above Rock Creek Overlook where one can climb up onto a natural hollow.  Here you're out of the wind and the rocks are alive with pika, golden mantled ground squirrels and marmonts.  Also the whole area is ringed with white-bark pine trees.  The only downside is half of the trees have died.

     We worked the area for a while then headed back down to the cabin.  Along the way we spotted a cow moose near the Fire Tower road entrance, then east of Fox Creek, a grizz grazed out in a meadow.  I was surprised to see one still this low.

     Day 22

     It had rained all night, so the way up to the Beartooths was fogged in.  I reached my favorite pika spot and began working along a rocky ridge.  All around me was closed in with fog but the little rock rabbits didn't mind and were busy gathering grasses.  I had been so engrossed with photographing I didn't realize the fog had dissipated.  I noticed now and was a little taken back!  A few feet to my right lay a sheer drop of 200-300 feet.  Far to the east rose Beartooth Butte and farther on Pilot-Index.  To the South, the haunting Sawtooth Peak and many peaks beyond.  For awhile, I had been like the pika.  My whole world was just what I could see close around me.  But now a curtain had been lifted and the realization of what a tiny speck this slope was against the huge Beatooth-Absaroka Mountain Range.

     Day 23

     I'm filling in gaps for the book, working on scenes, flowers, insects and redoing shots I know I can improve on.  One such shot is of pika running through the rocks.  Well, today I got that photo!  I was getting shots of a pika hauling in grasses to his main pile.  He was pretty much oblivious of me, although he once came down to where I stood and sniffed my shoes!  Any way, he suddenly appeared on a rock fifty feet away and I sensed something cool was about to happen.  The nearest rock was a foot and a half away.  Would he make the jump?  I swung the camera and focused.  Then just had time to engage the motor drive when he jumped!  Got it!

     Note:  A band of goats appeared at the mineral lick just east of West Summit this morning.  Still no wolverine. 


View slide show

Leaping Pica

Pretty Spot



Cliff Edge

Beartooth Scene

Goat Mineral Lick