Crystal Mill is a wooden powerhouse built in 1892 and is located on a rock outcrop above the Crystal River in Colorado. It wasn’t an easy find, as the mill is located six miles into the mountains and is accessible only by foot, 4x4 Jeep or ATV. Two silver mines were located nearby on the mountainside. Today the mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and probably the most unique subject I’ve ever photographed.
Searching for a tasty mouse or vole, this coyote would trot a short distance, stop, cock his ears, look intently at the ground, jump like an acrobat into the air, spiral nose down into the dense brush and raise his head with a mouse in his mouth. Specialists in rodent control, coyotes and foxes perfected this technique eons ago using their acute hearing and keen sense of smell.
Panther Lacewing Butterfly
Often found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, the Panther Lacewing butterfly is considered one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world. The distinguishing characteristic between the Panther Lacewing and the North American Monarch Butterfly is the zig-zag white stripe on its wingtips.
By the late 1890s, bison were teetering on the brink of extinction after being slaughtered for hides, sport and to weaken the Plains Indians who depended on bison for food, clothing and shelter. With only 23 bison left in Yellowstone in 1916, park managers began some of the nation’s first efforts to save an endangered species. Today 4,900 bison roam free in the park.
North American Elk
Elk abound in the Rocky Mountains and are a common sight in Yellowstone National Park. This big bull was photographed in autumn in the northern sector of the park.
Photographed in the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen Colorado, this purple pansy is but one of thousands of beautiful flowers dedicated to preserving his memory. Located next to the Roaring Fork River, the sanctuary is one of the largest perennial flower gardens anywhere, attracting visitors from around the world.
Grand Teton Scenic
Grand Teton National Park is part of the Rocky Mountains, with its mountains rising from the floor of Jackson Hole without any foothills along an active fault mountain system 40 miles long by 7 to 9 miles wide. The area is considered to be one of the most picturesque places in North America and is home to moose, coyotes, black bears, badgers, bald eagles, elk, martins, squirrels and several species of trout.
Red Fox Kits
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a shy, nocturnal omnivore, typically hunting at night, dusk and dawn. It is an efficient and lethal predator, due to its acute senses of sight, smell and hearing. These two kits were photographed in early evening before entering their den in a woodpile in southeastern Nebraska.
Maroon Lake is an alpine lake perfectly positioned to reflect the image of the Maroon Bells peaks in Colorado. Photographers come to find different angles to photograph the lake, fly fishermen arching their lines upon its placid waters and hikers humbled by the panorama. Only a few miles away is Aspen, Colorado.
This spirited pinto was romping in a huge meadow near Grand Teton National Park, challenging other horses to run and play. It’s always exciting when an animal shows spirit, curiosity or different emotions through its actions and behaviors. Oftentimes when wildlife is spotted the animal is just grazing or walking slowly with its head down. This guy wasn’t about to let the day pass without having a great time!
Eastern Kingbird on Thorny Branch
The Eastern Kingbird is a medium-sized bird that is easily recognizable because of a distinctive white band across its tail. It practices a technique called “hawking,” where it flies out to catch insects and returns to the same tall branch.
Approximately 160 bighorn sheep reside in Yellowstone National Park, with adult rams weighing 175-320 pounds and adult ewes weighing up to 130 pounds. Bighorn sheep feed primarily on grasses and forage on shrubby plants in fall and winter.
Lower Antelope Canyon is located in the American Southwest in north central Arizona. It’s one of two slot canyons on Navaho land, formed by flash floods over thousands of years. Approximately a mile long, it’s essentially a 100-foot deep crack in the ground. When the sun shines down on its swirling sandstone walls a rainbow of colors makes it an amazing sight to behold.
Brown Bear Roars
On his way to the river to catch a prize salmon, this big bruin on the Alaska Peninsula established his dominance with a low adrenaline-filled roar.
Mountain Goat in the Wild
Mountain goats are the largest mammals found in high-altitude habitats, often exceeding elevations of 13,000 feet. They’re well-suited for climbing steep slopes and can jump nearly 12 feet in a single bound. Their multi-layer wool coats help them withstand winter temperatures as low as −50 °F and winds of up to 99 mph. Mountain lions are their primary predators and they typically live 12-15 years in the wild.
Old Faithful at Sunrise
Unlike the billions of typical shots of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, this image shows a golden sunrise behind the world-famous geyser. Even the ground steams as the morning sun burns off the rising moisture. This shot was taken in mid September at the height of the fall colors, when aspen trees paint the forest in shades of yellow, gold and red.
Bull elk live along meadows and the forest edges and often weigh up to 1,000 pounds. In September and October bull elk “bugle” and lock antlers during the mating season. The bulls show dominance to gather females during the annual rut.
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a shy, nocturnal omnivore, typically hunting at night, dusk and dawn. It is an efficient and lethal predator, due to its acute senses of sight, smell and hearing. This kit was photographed in early evening before entering his den in a woodpile in southeastern Nebraska.
Deep in the Denali wilderness, a colossal bull moose trots along a shallow creek. Moose in Alaska often weigh over 1,500 pounds and stand over seven feet tall. The moose is the largest member of the deer family and the largest moose ever recorded was taken in the Yukon weighing and incredible 1,800 pounds.
Photographed in Wilderness Park near Lincoln, Nebraska, the male House Finch is known for its bright red head and cheerful song. Its historic range is the western United States to southern Mexico, but it was introduced to the northeastern United States about 1940. Its habitat now includes cities, suburbs and farms.
Arches National Park is located on the Colorado River 4 miles north of Moab, Utah. The Double Arch is an incredible formation of arches within the Windows area of the park, having the largest concentration of natural arches in the entire world. Double Arch takes its name because it consists of two arches that share the same stone as a foundation for both of their outer legs. Double Arch was formed by downward water erosion from atop the sandstone, rather than from side-to-side water erosion. Arches National Park is known for containing over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.
Master of the Hunt
Only hours after a successful hunt, this timber wolf and his pack consumed most of an elk. According to biologists in Yellowstone National Park, an adult wolf typically consumes about one half elk per week. Wolves are near the top of the food chain in Alaska, Canada and now northwest Wyoming and Montana. Persecuted over the centuries, wolves were eradicated in the lower 48 states by poisoning, trapping, shooting and other methods now considered cruel and unethical.
Sagebrush and a few solitary trees blow in the southern area of Grand Teton National Park.
Grizzly on Alert
In autumn, grizzly bears in Central Alaska roam the tundra searching for berries, roots, ground squirrels and other rodents to eat. Grizzlies are large, nomadic and embody the very spirit of primeval wilderness.
Teton Moose Crossing Snake River
In late September this solitary bull moose casually crosses the Snake River to browse near giant cattails. Moose are members of the deer family and their diet is primarily terrestrial and aquatic vegetation. The most common moose predators are the gray wolf along with bears and humans. Bull moose normally weigh between 835 to 1,545 pounds in the Rocky Mountains, whereas the largest confirmed size for the Alaska moose was a bull that weighed 1,808 pounds and measured 7.6 feet high at the shoulder.
Prolific throughout Yellowstone National Park, approximately 5,000 bison meander throughout the expansive landscape of the park year around. Yellowstone is the only place in the United States where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. In the 1800s, market hunting, sport hunting and the U.S. Army nearly caused the extinction of the bison, and by 1902 poachers reduced Yellowstone’s small herd to about two dozen animals. Bison are true survivors, fending off attacks by predators and the bitter cold Yellowstone winters.
The Common Loon is the Minnesota state bird. It has a black bill, red eyes and a spotty black and white body with a black/iridescent green head. The common loon has four calls. The tremolo, which sounds like maniacal laughter, is an aggressive call. The wail is a long, drawn-out sound that people mistake for a wolf. The hoot, a shorter call, is used to communicate among parents and young. Male loons make a yodel sound when guarding their territory. Loons can dive as deep as 250 feet to search for food.
William H. Wiley
1221 Rockhurst Dr.
Lincoln, NE 68510