Toughest Teeth in Town

National Parks, Rafting, Uncategorized, Wildlife

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The riparian bottomland habitat along the Snake River is home to a multitude of wildlife. One of the residents we often see is the beaver. There are two types of beaver in the world: the native North American beaver (Castor canadensis) and the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber). Here in Grand Teton National Park, we often see beaver in the late evening. As our rafts glide by the river’s willowed banks, we can spot these charismatic animals sitting on the shore grooming themselves, gnawing away at tree branches, or splashing into the water at our approach. Pond-dwelling beavers build dams across small streams to create deep-water environments as protection from predators, and for ice-free food storage in winter.  Along the swiftly flowing Snake, our bank-dwelling beaver can easily flee their clawed and toothed adversaries by diving into the deep channel or swimming to the opposite bank.

Beaver on Snake River bank - Barker Ewing
Beaver along the Snake River

The beavers along the Snake fell Cottonwoods and Willows for food, just as their counterparts do alongside the beaver ponds. A beaver’s primary food source is the delicate layer of cambium between the inner bark and the wood. And since beavers can’t climb, down the tree goes. Just like pond-dwelling beaver, our Snake River bank beavers also use tree branches to build the domed home called a lodge. Pond beavers usually build in the middle of the pond for protection, while the bank beaver use the lodge to cover the den that they’ve excavated into the riverbank. …continue reading Toughest Teeth in Town

Our River Guides are on the Move

Barker-Ewing, Jackson Hole, Rafting, Recreation, Uncategorized

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lesser-canada-geese-female-bird-with-brood-swimming-in-water-branta-canadensisAs the summer rafting season on the Snake River slowly fades to autumn, we hear the cry of the wild geese as they fly in squadrons overhead. With winter approaching, these mighty birds wing their way southward in massive v-shaped wedges. Some geese will remain in Jackson Hole, finding the few choice spots of wintering habitat that our valley has to offer. But most will fly to wet grasslands in the southern United States to enjoy rich vegetation, fish, and insects throughout the winter months. …continue reading Our River Guides are on the Move

Tiny Invaders

Barker-Ewing, Environment, Rafting, Recreation, Uncategorized

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f3167b23161a6d79c27bbe8902ac6b82Summers are warmer now compared to when I started rafting in the early 1980’s. And we have less water. To the untrained eye, Grand Teton’s Snake River looks fast and deep, but it’s deceptive. At Dead Man’s Bar, our float trip launch point, the river is confined to one narrow channel and moves along quickly due to an eighteen feet per mile gradient. Once the river starts braiding and splitting, the water gets quite shallow. At this time of year, we’re often navigating river flows that are around 3,000 cfs (that’s cubic feet of water per second). In contrast, during the spring snowmelt in late June, we might see flows of up to 14,000 cfs. Why the large difference? The Snake River’s flow is regulated by a dam built in 1916, prior to the formation of the park. The flows we see are maintained in a complicated balancing act between flood control to protect local subdivisions along the river, recreational needs in Jackson Hole, and agricultural uses in Idaho. …continue reading Tiny Invaders

Enter Barker-Ewing’s Wildlife & Landscape Photo Contest Today!

Barker-Ewing, Rafting, Uncategorized, Wildlife

Did you enjoy a Barker-Ewing Scenic Float Trip in Grand Teton National Park this summer? If so, we invite you to share your best photographs with us! Throughout the years, our visitors have seen some amazing, spectacular, and even peculiar sights on our stretch of the Snake River. If you’ve snapped an image that you’re especially proud of, then this is your time to shine!

Enter today and win!

The-Last-Great-Wild-Places-cover-smEnter your wildlife or landscape photos in our Second Annual Barker-Ewing Photo Contest by October 31st for a chance to win a signed copy of world-renowned nature photographer Tom Mangelsen’s latest book, The Last Great Wild Places. This beautiful volume chronicles 40 years of photographic adventures in the field – from the frozen Arctic to the African savanna – and contains more than 150 of Mangelsen’s most important images. (A $95 value!)

Tom will be judging this year’s contest, so your entries will be seen by one of the very best wildlife photographers working today. Entries will be assessed for originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.

Eagle-CharleneKlassenLast year’s Wildlife photography winner was Charlene Klassen Morris from Manitoba, Canada with a beautiful shot of a bald eagle. This year we’ve added a Landscape category, so we’ll be crowning two winners! And with just 18 more days to submit your photos, time is of the essence.

Enter now. Here’s how:

Click here to access our entry form, or email your high-res digital photo (2MB – 10MB file size) by October 31, 2015. All emailed submissions must contain the photographer’s full name, age, phone number and mailing address, and the date of your Barker-Ewing Scenic Float Trip. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older. Youths 18 and under may enter with a parent’s permission.

Best of luck!