Welcome to nature-track.com! My name is Terry Thomas. I'm a professional wildlife biologist, photographer, author and naturalist. I love everything about nature and I love to learn and teach about what I learn.
We are developing this site as a place where visitors become friends and we all share ideas, experiences, and even our favorite wild places. Our goal is to help us all find ways to get outside, to learn, to explore, and to educate. I hope you'll join me often as we explore the natural world together.
People care for the things they know and love. My mission is to help people understand and appreciate the natural world and to inspire all of us to better care for it.
Nature is a place of stunning beauty, raw action, and awesome power. There is something for everyone if you just know where to look. That is what this website is all about: bringing the natural world to your fingertips through inspirational writing, photography, and education. We'll show you where to find what you are looking for, and hopefully we'll introduce you to places, animals, plants, and ideas that you will find interesting and exciting. One of our goals is to help you and your family get the most from every excursion, have fun, learn about the environment, and even become an expert naturalist if you so desire.
The Apaches believe that wisdom rests in wild places. To gain its wisdom, one must sit in that place. Another one of our goals is to help you get out and find those places. Nature-track.com is not about looking at nature, but rather, looking into nature and being tutored by what we see, applying and sharing the messages.
For those who find getting outside and close to wildness a bit intimidating, we hope to unravel some of the mystery through education. We'll help you replace fear with wonder as you discover an incredible new world, often as close as your own backyard.
As you navigate through the website, you will find useful ideas and products to help you relish any adventure outside. We will bring you ways to enjoy time spent outside with your family and teach your children to embrace nature through games and activities outside.
Finally, Nature-track.com is a place of sharing. We hope that visitors will share their ideas and thoughts about the out-of-doors, personal experiences, places to go, and ways to enjoy every aspect of being outside in a world where getting dirty is part of the fun!
If you find this site to be useful and entertaining, please share it with your friends.
There are many pages on this website and we try to add something new each week. Check back often to see new additions.
"WOW. What a phenomenal piece you wrote. You are amazing." Jennifer Jackson
That is embarrassing but actually a fairly typical response to my nature essays. Since The Best of Nature is created from the very best of 16 years of these nature essays published weekly in the Idaho Falls Post Register (online readership 70,000), it is a fine read. It covers a wide variety of topics including humorous glimpses of nature, philosophy, natural history, and conservation. Readers praise the style, breadth of subject matter and my ability to communicate complex and emotional topics in a relaxed and understandable manner.
Everyone can find something to love in this book. From teenagers to octogenarians, from the coffee shop to the school room, these nature essays are widely read and enjoyed.
Some of the essays here are my personal favorites, others seemed to strike a chord with readers. Most have an important message or lesson that will resonate with you. They are written with a goal to simultaneously entertain and educate about the wonderful workings of nature. Some will make you laugh out loud and others will bring a tear to the eye and warm your heart.
"You hit a home run with your article on, Big Questions in Nature. It should be required reading for everyone who has lost touch with nature...great job!" Joe Chapman
"We enjoyed your column, Bloom Where Planted. Some of the best writing yet. The Post Register is fortunate to have your weekly columns." Lou Griffin.
To read more and to order a copy, click here or get the Kindle version
Copies are also available at:
Island Park Builders Supply (upstairs)
Barnes and Noble in Idaho Falls
Harriman State Park, Island Park
Museum of Idaho
Valley Books, Jackson Wyoming
Avocet Corner Bookstore, Bear River National Wildlife Refuge, Brigham City, Utah
Craters of the Moon National Monument Bookstore, Arco, Idaho
Join the Friends of Camas NWR
Learn more about becoming an Idaho Master Naturalist here
TAX DAY is coming! Here is a chance to do something good with a bit of your tax return and make the day less painful.
Donate part of your tax return to support wildlife in Idaho!
On the second page of the Idaho Individual Tax form 40 you have the opportunity to donate to the “Nongame Wildlife Conservation Fund”.
Check-off this box on your next return or ask your tax preparer to mark the Nongame check-off on your behalf.
If you are not from Idaho, check with your own state wildlife agency about how you can help. Many states have a similar program.
Watch here for news of upcoming events and other noteworthy activities
August 2, 2022
Check out the June 2022 nature columns. Go to the Nature Columns tab at the top of this page and give it a click.
June 30, 2022
Update on Yellowstone Park roads and access. Click on image below to read all about it.
June 26, 2022
The 2023 Island Park calendars are finally here! Click on the image below to learn more.
June 26, 2022
Three entrances are back open in Yellowstone National Park: West, South and East. Entry is still by license plate: for more information, click here.
June 15, 2022
Check out the May 2022 nature columns. Go to the Nature Columns tab at the top of this page and give it a click.
June 14, 2022
If you haven't heard, Yellowstone National Park is CLOSED! Historic rains have washed out roads, buildings and have isolated the towns of Gardiner, Cooke City and Silver Gate. All entrances to the Park are closed and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Not sure if there is a message in all of this, coming in the 150th year. Pretty sad though, as a lot of lives and livelihoods will be affected.
May 24, 2022
Check out the April 2022 nature columns. Go to the Nature Columns tab at the top of this page and give it a click.
April 11, 2022
I just added a blog about our recent visit to Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Read about it by clicking on the image below
April 11, 2022
Finally! I just added all the nature columns for January, February and March. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 400 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
February 28, 2022
We visited Cathedral Gorge State Park in Nevada about the middle of this month. You can read all about the park and see some of our images by clicking on the image below.
January 3, 2022
I just posted the November and December 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 400 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
December 18, 2021
Just a reminder that the Island Park, Idaho 2022 calendar is ready to go. This calendar makes a great gift for anyone who lives in or loves to visit Island Park and West Yellowstone. There are 12 original photos printed on a thick paper stock with a spiral binding. They measure almost 12 inches square. You will want to keep this calendar long after 2022 is over. They are available at Island Park Builders, Elk Creek Station, Last Chance Store and Robin's Roost in Island Park or you can order one (or more) here by using the contact us button above. While we can't accept credit cards, we can do Venmo.
November 2, 2021
Yellowstone is closing soon to regular vehicles. Get your last visit in soon! Click on the image below for more information.
November 2, 2021
I just posted the August, September and October 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 400 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
August 3, 2021
I just posted the May 2021 nature columns as well! Now I am finally caught up!
August 3, 2021
I just posted the June and July 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
May 19, 2021
I just posted the April 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
April 13, 2021
I just posted the March 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
March 24, 2021
I just posted the February 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
February 17, 2021
I just posted the January 2021 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
February 7, 2021
We have just 4 more days to comment on the Kilgore gold exploration Draft Environmental Assessment. Learn more about this bad idea HERE
January 7, 2021
I just posted the December 2020 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
December 30, 2020
I just posted the November 2020 nature columns. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
November 2, 2020
I just posted the Nature Columns from August, September and October. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Column tab at the top of this page. There are over 300 columns there that you can read on a wide variety of topics.
June 8, 2020
Believe it or not, it is snowing again today in Island Park. Snow is expected most of the day so I again decided to use my time posting May's nature columns to this website. You can find them by clicking on the Nature columns tab above.
May 21, 2020
It is snowing here in Island Park so I decided it would be a perfect day to catch up on postings.
I just posted the April 2020 nature columns and corrected a mistake in the March line-up. You can read them by clicking on the Nature Columns tab above.
April 3, 2020
I just added a new lesson to the Photography Classroom page. This one is on backgrounds for wildlife and macro. You can read it by clicking on the image below.
March 29, 2020
In response to the Covid-19 virus and the effect it is having on school kids and parents, I have created a new section on this website called For Parents and Teachers. In it I have included a number of activities and resources to help parents who are now home-schooling their kids. Hopefully, it will be a useful resource for teachers and grandparents as well when things get back to normal. Just look for the new tab at the top of this page.
March 1, 2020
We just returned from a trip to Costa Rica. If you have a hankering to go to Costa Rica, perhaps our experiences can help you create the trip of a lifetime for you. Just click on the monkey below to read more.
February 2, 2020
I just updated the Preparing Skulls for Presentation. I have learned a few new things recently that are going to really simplify skull preparation. Check it out by clicking on the image below.
December 31, 2019
I celebrated the end of the year by completing a new blog in the Naturalist Corner (see tab above) about how to prepare skulls for presentation. If you have ever wondered how to do that, then this might be of interest to you. Read more by clicking on the image below or go to the Naturalist Corner tab and see everything there.
December 20, 2019
I just completed a post on how to sanitize eggshells. Why would you want to do that? Because birds, especially females, end up in a calcium deficit, and providing a calcium source such as eggshells can help. Read more by clicking on the image below.
October 30, 2019
If you hope to get into Yellowstone one more time before winter sets in, you need to hurry! Read more by clicking on the image below.
September 6, 2019.
The annual Birds, Bugles and Brunch activity at Camas National Wildlife Refuge north of Hamer is planned for September 21, 0800-noon. This is a fun activity you shouldn't miss. Find out more by visiting: Friends of Camas
April 25, 2019
The Fourth Annual Hagerman Bird Festival is coming up May 17-19, 2019 in Hagerman, Idaho. This is a really fun event and has been made even better by moving it from a winter month to spring. Check it out on their Facebook page by clicking HERE (you will leave this site but you can come back!)
April 25, 2019
The Fourth Annual Bucks for Birds Birdathon is coming up May 20th -May 27th. Read more by clicking on the image below.
March 22, 2019
You have likely heard about the incredible poppy superbloom occurring right now at Lake Elsinore, California. We were there on March 19th and it truly was the show of a lifetime. Read more about it by clicking on the image below.
March 18, 2019
If you are interested in learning bird songs, I just posted a list of western birds organized by habitat that is a suggested starting list. Click on the image below to see the list.
March 11, 2019
If you like to bird, and if you would like to get to know the southeast corner of Arizona, read about our visit there and the birding opportunities that abound. Just click on the image below.
January 28, 2019
We visited a place in Southern California that is a far cry from places like Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. Mojave National Preserve is an incredible, diverse and wonderful place. Read about our visit there by clicking on the image below.
November 12, 2018
Have you ever heard of Cuyahoga Valley National Park? This is Ohio's only national park. It is a hiking/biking dream and full of beautiful scenery. To read more, click on the image below.
October 31, 2018
I have just completed a blog on what it is like to visit Denali National Park in Alaska. This place should be on everyone's bucket list. Read more by clicking on the image below.
October 19, 2018
I just completed a blog on traveling the Denali Highway between Paxson and Cantwell Alaska. You may hear horror stories about traveling this road but we found it to be well worth the drive. Click on the image below to read more.
September 21, 2018
We are home from our great Alaskan adventure. I have just completed a blog on our visit to Fairbanks area. There was so much to do there (everything from northern lights to the Arctic Circle) this turned out to be a pretty long report. I hope you can wade through it. Might have to take it in stages! Just click on the image below.
September 8, 2018
After over a week without cell and internet (awesome!) in Denali National Park, we are finally back in service. I have posted a blog on what to do in Soldotna, Alaska. Check it out by clicking on the image below.
August 31, 2018.
Read the latest blog about our trip to Alaska and see what there is to do in Seward. Click on the image below for more.
August 27, 2018
Read the latest blog about our trip to Alaska. This time we visited Valdez and had a great time despite the rain. Click on the image below to read more.
August 20, 2018
Read the latest blog about our trip to Alaska. This time it is about Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Click on the image below to read more.
August 8, 2018
Find out whether or not Hyder, AK should be on your Alaska travel plans by clicking on the image below.
August 7, 2018
Is Jasper the best of the Canadian Rockies parks? Click on the image below to read our experiences and impressions there.
August 6, 2018
Read about Yoho and Kootenay National Parks in the Canadian Rockies on the Nature Blog. Just click on the image below.
August 2, 2018
Planning a trip to Canada's Banff National Park? Read our blog about what to expect by clicking on the image below.
May 10, 2018.
What is springtime like in Yellowstone? Click on the image below to read my blog on our latest foray.
April 18, 2018
There is a good chance, a very good chance, that you have never heard of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge located between Quartzsite and Yuma Arizona. We were pleasantly surprised with the variety and beauty of this rugged section of the Sonoran Desert. Click on the image below to read more.
April 19, 2018
If you have never been to Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, you need to add it to your bucket list--the short one. Click on the image below to read my blog about our recent visit.
January 24, 2018
Check out my blog on today's trip to Camas NWR and all the deer we saw. Click on the image below to read more.
January 16, 2018
I recently completed a video on how to make plaster casts of tracks and other things in nature. The video is less than 12 minutes long and shows how I made the wolf track cast below. Just click on the image to follow the link.
Are coyotes roaming in your neighborhood? What do you need to know about living with the most adaptable predator ever? Click on the image below to read: Living With Coyotes.
September 14, 2017
I just added a new blog in Photography Classroom on how to create sunbursts in your images. Click on the image below to read more.
August 19, 2017
Want to avoid the crowds at the better known parks? Try Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Click on the image below to go to my blog about TRNP.
June 11, 2017
I just posted two new blogs on our travels to southern Utah in May. Click on the images below to read them.
March 27, 2017
I have added a new section to the website entitled: Resources. You can see the new tab above. This is intended to be a go to place for information to help you in planning adventures and answering questions. The first page I have completed is a long list of contact information that you might find useful. Just click on the Resources tab and then click on the link called Contacts on the Resources page. Let me know if you like it and what I can do to improve it.
February 16, 2017
We just returned from 2 weeks in Florida. I posted 5 blogs about our experience. You can start reading about how we did our trip by clicking on the images below.
February 9, 2017
I received a question from a reader in New York regarding deer smashing down her vinyl fence. You can read about it here:
September 24, 2016. Quick Note: We drove through Grand Teton National Park on our way home from South Dakota on the 22nd. I have never seen better color in the park! The cottonwood trees are all in full yellow and it doesn't look like a frost has gotten any of them. Willows and aspens are mostly at their peak as well, creating a sensory overload of yellow. It is worth the drive just to look at it. Better hurry as it won't last long.
I just posted a photography classroom topic called, Shooting from a Moving Vehicle. Check it out here!
I have posted a new lesson in the Photography classroom. This one is on Foreground, Middle ground, Background. Will post another on shooting landscapes from a moving vehicle (!?!?!) very soon. Photography classroom