An unexpected highlight of last Fall’s trip to the Tetons was the opportunity to photograph a family of beavers. Previously, I’d seen a beaver only once – while rather rudely crossing his dam en route to Snowmass lake in the Maroon-Bells wilderness near Aspen – and had I given it any thought I’d probably have guessed that they were rather elusive and largely nocturnal creatures. So it was quite a surprise to find a pair of Teton beavers active well before sunset, and relaxed with onlookers around. They’re truly amazing animals to see in action!
These beavers are, it turns out, rather famous. Hanging around at the beaver ponds after sunset (waiting to shoot star trails) we were lucky enough to meet Jeff Hogan, a wildlife cameraman whose work for the BBC we knew well. Jeff had been filming beavers at this spot for more than a decade – mostly alone but once with David Attenborough on location. It was a reminder, if any were needed, of how critical it is to really get to know the behavior of the wildlife you’re photographing.