It’s a tough winter in the Northwest as most of you have probably heard by now. Eastern Idaho, where I live, is no exception. We have had some big snowstorms through the Christmas season and then a warming trend that melted a lot of snow and created a lot of water. High water in the river could lead to potential flood dangers.
Fishing opportunities have been slow as weather and time has predicated my focus be on something else. Don’t worry though, I will get things under control and get out on the ice soon as my favorite local lake becomes safe for some ice fishing.
A few days ago, my work responsibilities took me on a road trip to our agency’s Salmon, Idaho office. Now I have traveled this route from Idaho Falls to Salmon many, many times. The highway heads north across the farm flats and up through the Birch Creek Valley. Continuing in our northern route, passing over Gilmore Summit, to the tiny town of Leadore, we drive. From Leadore, it’s approximately (45) miles through the ranch country of the Lemhi valley traveling most of the way down the Lemhi River to Salmon.
This trip on most occasions provides you with opportunities to see some wildlife as you follow the white line and try to make conversation to pass the time. Over the years, I have had a number of wildlife sightings that I have etched in my memory bank. I have also had opportunities to take a few fairly good wildlife photos. I look forward to this opportunity as it makes the drive and the work seem worthwhile since I am away from home.
I provide all this background information so as to lead to what this post is about. Unfortunately, when the opportunity for a good photo occurs, chances are that you are moving down the highway about (70) mph concentrating on getting to your destination for work. The point being that if you wanted to take along your camera and drive slowly through most of this area, you indeed, would probably capture a bunch of good photos of Idaho wildlife. But at (70) mph you get just quick and sometimes instant glances at wildlife as you hurry by.
On this trip, in particular, I felt I had a trip through an Idaho Wildlife dream. The following is my observations that I wanted to note. What a day!
- Several Bald Eagles perched on fence posts and high up in trees overlooking the valley. My photo attempts were not quality enough to justify how magnificent these birds are.
- A Coyote on one side of a barbed wire fence looking and leering at some birds eating some road kill.
- A good size herd of Elk off to the left of the highway grazing in the field tight to the hillside.
- More Eagles, and , a hawk or two. I think the Eagles may have been Golden Eagles. They were at a distance and harder to tell for sure.
- Mule Deer in the fields feeding away as we get closer to civilization.
- On the ridge off to the left is a large herd of Antelope. They look terrific spotlighted against the skyline.
This trip was probably the best trip I have ever had in this area for seeing multiple species of wildlife during the winter season. Each was spectacular in their own way. Sadly, my photo opportunities were limited or were not good enough photos to publish here. Had they been that would have been a delight for me as well as any of my readers. Kind of like a similar fishing theory I have when the fishing isn’t go good. I just shrug my shoulders and say maybe next time!