Another world

_MG_8549There are two worlds in Yellowstone during May. Some people choose to miss out on the best.

In the north, it’s dry, dusty and tick friendly (it turns out I’m not fond of all wildlife). Counter intuitively, in the south it’s still a winter wonderland with snow-closed roads. These worlds can be less then a kilometre apart when the elevation changes quickly.

_T6C7059And so it came to be that we stopped on the road with Yellowstone Lake covered with ice to our left and a snow-covered field to our right.

The view to the left was simply beautiful. I would have spent considerable time admiring it, however there was a better offering on the right.

As we drove up, we saw an animal walking slowly on the snow. I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I realized it was a gorgeous fox. Before Yellowstone, a fox was on my most-wanted list. I had seen only snatches of a fox’s bushy tail with no photos to prove it.

Now I had an unobstructed view of this nimble predator, wandering back and forth over a large open space, hunting and giving us an inside view of its remarkable behaviour. It was hard to breathe and photograph – I was so excited! Time seemed to stand still. Later we determined that we had spent about an hour watching and admiring. I would be surprised to ever replicate that incredible experience.

While this scene was playing out like an wildlife documentary, a vehicle pulls up just down the road from us and a number of people jump out. They immediately begin photographing each other in front of the lake – a behaviour best left to psychologists to properly explain. Classic tourist photography was being committed in full view of the fox – only they chose to turn their backs to a scene of a lifetime.

I can only conclude they were just visiting from another world.

_T6C7032, fox

That is one gorgeous tail!

_T6C6694, fox

I found some satisfaction that even the fox broke through the snow occasionally.

_T6C6983, fox

On the move – the search for food never seems to end.

_T6C7574, fox

_T6C6971, fox

Ears perked.

_T6C7282, fox

Carefully listening for any movement under the snow.

_T6C7323, fox

Digging into the fridge looking for a snack.


_T6C6609, fox

Chewing on a delectable morsel.


Latest Comments

  1. Mark Conway says:

    Beautiful fox and some great captures Lyle. Makes me want to get on a plane right now!


    • lylekrahn says:

      I wish I could tell you the exact spot so the same fox would be there but it never seems to work that way. The experience made all that driving worthwhile. I appreciate the comments.


      • Mark Conway says:

        No it doesn’t does it? Some really great posts coming through at the moment. You’re obviously in the groove! Looking forward to the next ones!


        • lylekrahn says:

          Thanks. It really helps to have had access to some great wildlife after spending two weeks in Yellowstone and one week in Banff. Though now you’re putting on pressure to make the next one good:)


  2. rickfurmanek says:

    Great commentary and super images!


  3. Scott Marshall says:

    lovely sequence Lyle of an animal which havent seen with such a coat


  4. mflahertyphoto says:

    That IS a beautiful tail! Did the other tourists even notice him I wonder?


  5. gingeralicia88 says:

    Wow, just wow! I can imagine this being a very magical moment. Until the tourists arrived of course ;). Beautiful pictures. Foxes are just so elegant, I love them ❤


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. Elegant is a great word to describe foxes. I am fascinated by them so it all added up to many magical moments. The carload of tourists were a ways off and didn’t stay long so they created more bemusement than anything.


  6. FeyGirl says:

    Wow, one of my *favorite* creatures… Just look how amazingly lovely she is. How lucky to witness!! Such wonderful shots.


  7. photographybycalliec says:

    Wow Lyle, all the images are brilliant and the beauty in the landscape is breathe taking.The fox is certainly different from what we have here, the tail is so bushy and beautiful. Another set of magic images that deserve to be put into a magazine or something. Your writing ability compliment your images perfectly. Have you thought of publishing your work??
    cheers Callie


  8. westerner54 says:

    That little fellow sure does have an exceptionally gorgeous tail. What a great story your pictures tell – right up to the success at the end!


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. I really couldn’t get over the tail. It is disproportionally large for the body but I could see when it jumped that the tail was useful for balance.


  9. Mandy says:

    Congratulations on your fox. He is a magnificent creature.


  10. hannele says:

    Beautiful, beautiful photos! Your story, although sort of funny, mostly leaves me in awe, and missing being out in wilder country. It must be strange having a group of tourists show up at a moment like that.

    Thanks for sharing these photos and your story, it was all wonderful. 🙂


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. Glad you liked it. I can assure you it was a strange moment when the tourists showed up. It was like something didn’t belong in this picture!


  11. morgenfuglen says:

    Beautiful fox 🙂


  12. Brian says:

    patience obviously pays off Lyle. Great series of shots!!


  13. Solveig says:

    Beautiful pictures, as usual! I love its coat!! It looks terrible around a rich lady’s neck though…


  14. doraiswamyganesh says:

    Dear Lyle , Only one word SPECTACULAR ! Great photography.Best wishes, Ganesh.


  15. 1107photography says:

    Stunning, Lyle! Great captures and I am sure it was simply magical, watching this gorgeous creature.


  16. Mike Powell says:

    This series of shots is simply amazing, Lyle. Getting a photograph or two of such a beautiful fox would have been quite an accomplishment, but you managed to capture so many different poses of the fox, including the incredible one of it diving into the snow.


  17. Ed says:

    Very nice pictures, I love photographing foxes so am very jealous of you!


  18. Seenorway says:

    Beautiful pictures, Lyle. Optimal light, fox – and the happening itself. Lucky you!


  19. owenslaterphotography says:

    Great series of shots Lyle! I couldn’t help notice that its left eye is partially to completely closed in all the photos. Looks like an old injury but with a pair of good ears and one eye I’m sure it’s not slowing the fox down much at all.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. I had noticed that one eye was more closed in a photo or two but not in all of them. That is interesting. In the hunting that I watched, your assessment seemed right – it caught and ate quite a bit.


  20. Kyle Kuns says:

    Very cool that you got to see him digging into the fridge.


  21. The Earth Beneath My Feet says:

    Oh WOW! What a gorgeous post Lyle. I love the shot with his face in the fridge!


  22. vanbraman says:

    Great pictures! I have seen a few foxes in the wild over the years, but they usually don’t hang around for a photo shoot.


  23. melodylowes says:

    What a great story those shots tell! I’ve seen the hunt for a mouse, but never captured it, that’s for sure. There is a den of fox pups near our yard every spring – I haven’t seen them yet, but I’ll keep an eye out for them. “You had to go a long way to find your fox! 🙂


  24. artsifrtsy says:

    Wow – That is am amazing set! You are so right about the two faces of the northern parks right now – it’a wonderful time to experience them. I see foxes in the woods here but have never captured them – these images are wonderful.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. It was a unique experience with the fox at least for me.

      I never got tired of turning that one corner, down the road from Mammoth, and suddenly it was winter.


      • artsifrtsy says:

        The foxes I see are so much smaller than that – that thing is just stunning. May is a wonderful time in the parks at that latitude. I remember having a snowball fight with my parents at Crater Lake in June.


        • lylekrahn says:

          I thot it was a larger one but then wondered if I was just biased.

          Altitude makes such a difference. It’s funny how snow in summer can be such a fun discovery.


  25. Deb W. Trotter says:

    They are truly beautiful creatures. A friend once wrote a poem about this snow hunting behavior after observing a fox in a snowy meadow in Yosemite Valley in February. Thank you for the gorgeous photos to illustrate the poem!


  26. Sheryl @ Flowery Prose says:

    Fabulous photos of an amazing and beautiful animal. 🙂


  27. renxkyoko says:

    These are stunning photos.


  28. Gunta says:

    I have yet to figure out why the tourists don’t save themselves a bunch of trouble and just pose in front of a poster.


  29. Julie Gomez says:

    I love the mixed colors of the fox, and the motion of its fur blowing in the wind. Beautiful!


  30. bearspawprint says:

    Reblogged this on bearspawprint and commented:
    Wonderful wonderful pictures!!! That is a VERY bushy tail. Oh what a beauty! Thank you.


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