wildlife

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556)

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography My apologies for falling off the travel blog post wagon. Life has been a bit hectic the last few weeks since arriving home. Happily settling back into normalcy :)

Grand Teton National Park is an area I am happy to explore again and again. My third visit was spectacular, filled with stunning light, bears popping up everywhere, elk crossing the Snake River, dramatic clouds, cool temperatures and endless landscape goodness.

My top list of places to explore remains the same. Stop by my first blog post for more details.

Here are my recent favorite captures from this beautiful corner of Wyoming.

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Grand Teton National Park | Travel (111/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Bridger-Teton National Forest | Travel (109 and 110/556)

Bridger-Teton National Forest | Travel (109 and 110/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) The Bridger-Teton National Forest, although considered separate national forests, will be shared together. They intertwine beautifully across 3.4 million acres of land.

I covered ground here after leaving Yellowstone National Park and driving along the beautiful John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway.

Bridger-Teton National Forest | Travel (109 and 110/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Big Rocks Trail - two mile, moderate hike, through an old growth forest with large boulders waiting for you along the way to the top.
  2. Big Spring Scenic Backway - oh how I love a scenic road. This drive offers 68 miles of mountains, wildlife and valley goodness.
  3. Bridger Wilderness - located in the Wind River Mountains with more than 600 miles of trails. Loads of options for exploring!
  4. Gros Ventre Wilderness - a beautiful area called home to larger wildlife, including bison, elk, grizzlies, wolves and mountain lions.
  5. Teton Wilderness - located in the southern portion of Yellowstone National Park, be sure to stop in for a hike before heading south on the Parkway and into Grand Teton National Park.

What are your favorite hikes and places to explore in the Bridger-Teton National Forest?

Bridger-Teton National Forest | Travel (109 and 110/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Bridger-Teton National Forest | Travel (109 and 110/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Yellowstone National Park | Travel (107/556)

Yellowstone National Park | Travel (107/556) | Alaina Ann Photography Visiting Yellowstone National Park is always a treat. My time exploring was low-key and familiar since this was visit number five. Highlights included bison everywhere (as usual), steamy and colorful geysers and beautiful rivers.

As in any national park unit, national forest, wilderness area and the like, be sure to read signs and follow regulations. For your safety as well as protection of wildlife and the surrounding ecosystem.

Yellowstone National Park | Travel (107/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Lamar Valley - always a great place to see wildlife. Bison, bears and bighorn sheep are always my favorites in this area.
  2. Madison River - while driving toward the West Entrance of the park, the meandering Madison River is always a beautiful and peaceful stop.
  3. Midway Geyser Basin - contains two of Yellowstone's largest hydrothermal features, including the Grand Prismatic Spring.
  4. Upper Terrace Drive - a beautiful drive around thermal features, near Mammoth Hot Springs.
  5. West Thumb Geyser Basin - the largest geyser basin located on the shores of Yellowstone Lake. I walk the boardwalks here during every visit!

What are some of your favorite hikes and places to explore in Yellowstone National Park?

Yellowstone National Park | Travel (107/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Yellowstone National Park | Travel (107/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument | Travel (103/556)

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument | Travel (103/556) | Alaina Ann Photography The most striking part of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is the tombstones, placed where the soldier died during the battle. You will come across on single tombstone, small clusters and a large cemetery.

The Auto Tour is highly recommended to see the entire park. And the drive through the open horse range is stunning, briefly taking you away from the somberness.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument | Travel (103/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument | Travel (103/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

In the Water | Week 16 (Project 52)

In the Water | Week 16 (Project 52) | Alaina Ann Photography Originally I planned to physically be in the water capturing photographs for this assignment. And then this single white feather entered my life, on a windy evening, floating in the Chesapeake Bay.

There's so much I love about this photograph. The contrast of dark water with the bright white feather. The ripples of small waves as wind and current move the water beneath the feather. The simplicity of composition and isolation of the subject.

I can feel the feather slowly drifting away.

Goal: Capture a subject in the water. Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: 105mm

Wildflowers in the Smokies | Friday Favorite

Wildflowers in the Smokies | Friday Favorite | Alaina Ann Photography I spent the last week exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park, specifically looking for colorful wildflowers. Loved crossing paths with this butterfly while it flew between the flowers, stopping briefly along the way.

One of many beautiful moments from my time in the park.

Have a bright weekend :)

Camera: Nikon D800 Lens: 70-200mm at 200mm ISO: 100 Aperture: f/2.8 Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec