Meg Sommers

Recent Posts

How I Got That Shot: A picture-perfect sunset at Swan Lake in Yellowstone

Lucky timing and a little hustle yielded an otherworldly landscape shot at Swan Lake in Yellowstone National Park. (©Meg Sommers - click to enlarge)

Sometimes, a day in Yellowstone can yield nothing in the way of wildlife sightings. It happens to everyone who spends a great deal of time there. Some days are just like that. But sometimes you are just consistently at the wrong place at the right time. I like to call them "Duesdays," as I am a firm believer that you should have to pay a certain amount of "dues" in order to be rewarded with some of the spectacular things Yellowstone can provide. Continue Reading →

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How I Got That Shot: Three Musketeers

While it is not unusual for a grizzly mom to have two cubs in Yellowstone National Park, three cubs is pretty rare, and a huge handful for her. Watching over three cubs is a challenge, as wildlife watchers learned first-hand shortly after this photo was taken. The mother bear had been seen frequently in the area between Mary Bay and Lake Hotel. In fact, she had a regular route that she took in a big circle between those two locations. If you watched long enough, you began to learn her preferred path and habits. Continue Reading →

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Got Elk? Luck and preparation yield an arresting Yellowstone coyote photo

A coyote is smeared with elk blood after feeding on a carcass in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. (©Meg Sommers - click to enlarge)

When I look at this image I remember it as lucky shot. But to paraphrase Louis Pasteur, "Luck favors the prepared." When this coyote crossed the road in front of me that January day in the Lamar Valley, I knew where the carcass was, and I had the right lens and tripod already set. The coyote crossed the road, looked back at us and I took the shot. I was lucky and prepared. Continue Reading →

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How I Got That Shot: Wolf-Bison standoff at Otter Creek in Yellowstone

A wolf from the Canyon Pack stalks an ailing bison at Otter Creek in Yellowstone National Park. (©Meg Sommers - click to enlarge)

It happened at Otter Creek in Yellowstone National Park in October. The female bison (known as a cow) wasn't feeling very well. You could tell that just by watching her. She was lethargic, and never moved very far away from a small meadow she had chosen. Had she felt better, I would have expected her to join the bison herd less than a mile away. It was also pretty clear that the wolf knew she was vulnerable. Continue Reading →

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How I Got That Shot: Yellowstone river otter with cutthroat trout

A river otter in Yellowstone National Park enjoys a bounty of three Yellowstone cutthroat trout. (©Meg Sommers - click to enlarge)

North American river otters are a playful lot, and fun to watch. They generally have litters of two or three pups, and are normally not camera shy. Typically, the pups are raised by their mom, and dad is long gone. Otters in Yellowstone National Park can often be found year-round in the Lamar River. But in late June or early July, one or two families will move into Trout Lake, where the native Yellowstone cutthroat trout begin to spawn. Continue Reading →

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How I got that shot: Drats! — Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon wolf pack chases a coyote

Yellowstone wolves

The coyote was extremely nervous now, and everyone was rooting for her. Run, run, we are thinking. Suddenly she does. There is probably about a foot of snow on the level for her to traverse. Rather than try to break a trail through that much snow, she chooses to follow a trail already established by someone or something. The trail leads directly towards the spectators, which doesn't bother the adaptable coyote much at all. She ran straight towards us. Continue Reading →

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How I Got That Shot: ‘Connoisseur’ – Networking helps find ermine with vole


This is an ermine — white in winter and brown and beige in the summer. It also is known as a stoat or a short-tailed weasel. This little guy had been in the same spot, over and across the road, in about a quarter-acre area, for over a week. All we had to do, once armed with the information, was go there and wait. Within 15 minutes, there he was. In and out all over the place. They are extremely fast animals, and your only chance is when they stop to survey and take a breath. Here he went into the root ball and by the count of about five he was out with the vole. He took a second to look around, and I took the shot. Continue Reading →

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How I Got That Shot: ‘Bedtime’ – Yellowstone sandhill cranes at Floating Island Lake

It takes both patience and preparation to get a great photograph of sandhill cranes bedding down for the evening at Floating Island Lake in Yellowstone National Park. Fortunately, patience can be developed or learned. Sometimes a super image materializes right before your eyes and you barely have time to shoot one frame. Usually though, you have to rely on your skills as a naturalist and "intel" from various sources just to have some idea where to start to look. Continue Reading →

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