Title: Dusky Morning
Location & Date: Lake Butte Overlook, Yellowstone National Park | 2015
Camera Set-Up: Nikon D800 w/ 70-200mm @ 200mm
Shutter Speed: 1/250
One of North America’s largest species of grouse, the dusky was once known as the blue grouse, before genetic studies split it into two distinct species – the sooty and the dusky. Though no one confuses me for a birder, the dusky does hold a special place in my heart. If I strike out looking for grizzlies on Yellowstone National Park’s east entrance road, I will often walk the short trail at Lake Butte Overlook to reach my favourite log and watch the sunrise. And for nearly a decade, a dusky grouse – displaying and projecting its trademark ‘boom’ call – will seek me out and join me for the show. There is something incredibly peaceful about the sun rising over a still, vast wilderness expanse – and sharing it only with a grouse that has chosen to sit right next to me, seemingly appreciating the serenity of the moment.