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Going down – via the express route!

Not a great quality pic as I was a good ways away when this little guy chose to head down the tree but a fun capture. I and a bunch of other shutterbugs were focused on much larger wildlife nearby. We all start hearing the sounds of things hitting the ground nearby and, looking up, tree branches are bouncing up and down. A closer look found this squirrel, picking pine cones off the tree, dropping them below and then, eventually, going down to gather them. Pretty clever and much easier than going up and down multiple times. 😉

A squirrel dives down a tree after dropping a bunch of pine cones to the ground.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A squirrel dives down a tree after dropping a bunch of pine cones to the ground. (© Tony’s Takes)

Dramatic mountain sunset in black and white

One of the benefits in camping at this spot is that stunning scenery is only a short walk away and when Mother Nature does her thing, the show is awesome. On this evening, the clouds just above the mountains were lit up brilliant orange giving the sunset a nice color. However, I actually came away liking my black and white presentations of the show better. Taken at Brainard Lake in Colorado.

I think this image would look awesome on your wall! 😉 Image available here.

A sunset in Colorado's high country in black and white.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A sunset in Colorado’s high country in black and white. (© Tony’s Takes)

Portrait of the Milky Way

From last weekend’s trip to the Colorado high country. Taken on Friday night, I was pretty beat after working and driving but made myself leave the warm bed at camp and go out and capture a few images of the show after dark. Certainly, ideally, I would have gone far later at night but as is, the images didn’t come out too bad.

Here, you clearly see the center of our galaxy and as an added bonus, Mars (bright red, bottom left). Just below Mars, the lights from a plane is seen and if you look close toward the top right you see the faint light trail of a satellite.

Portrait of the Milky Way galaxy as seen from Brainard Lake, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Portrait of the Milky Way galaxy as seen from Brainard Lake, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Time to change the sign to Moose crossing

Time to change the sign to Moose crossing. 😀

Another for Moose Monday since I have taken so danged many pics of these guys here lately.

This big guy was crossing the road yesterday and while those folks were there before him, they really should be backpedaling. Here’s a bit of a hint – If you are close enough to wildlife to get a good picture with your phone, you are TOO CLOSE!

A Moose bull can weigh 1,000+ pounds and run at 35 mph. How long do you think it would take for this Moose to close that distance between him and those people? Not very long and with rut season gearing up, these guys are in no mood to deal with tourists.

I know not everyone has access to the gear I do but even a decent quality point and shoot camera will give you a decent zoom lens allowing you to maintain a respectful distance from wildlife and, best of all, the quality will blow away that which you get with your phone. Food for thought!

A Moose bull crosses a road in the Colorado high country.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Moose bull crosses a road in the Colorado high country. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young bull Moose faces off with the old guard

I spent this past weekend in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness area where the scenery is breathtaking and the wildlife impressive. Certainly, my biggest goal in going there is to photograph the Moose.

These creatures are absolutely massive and this time of year, the bulls are prepping for the annual rut and are more active than usual. Sparring almost always ensues as the big guys begin to establish a pecking order.

This past Saturday, one of the younger bulls decided to test the senior member of the bachelor herd. The fight wasn’t particularly intense as the old guy seemed to be humoring the younger one more than anything. Nevertheless, it was a ton of fun to watch as the two put their heads together and knock their massive antlers.

Check out more of my pics of these beasts here.

A young bull Moose challenges the senior member of the bachelor herd. Taken in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young bull Moose challenges the senior member of the bachelor herd. Taken in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Turn around!

I am back from a fantastic weekend of camping in Colorado’s high country and have lots of pics to share. First of them is one I took this morning. I was almost entirely focused on some wildlife to my west. Thankfully I turned around and saw the gorgeous light show at sunrise that was happening to the east.

Sunrise illuminates the mountain clouds in orange. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise illuminates the mountain clouds in orange. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise illuminates the mountain clouds in orange. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise illuminates the mountain clouds in orange. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bald Eagle focused on flying for Freedom Friday

I was flipping through some older pictures and came across a Bald Eagle launch sequence I had captured back in February 2017. This fantastic raptor was sitting high up on a high tension power line pole keeping watch on a nearby prairie dog colony.

I recall waiting and waiting and waiting for it to do something and was about to give up when it finally decided to take flight. I ended up with a nice, full sequence of images of it. This particular one was one of the first in the series not long after it leapt into action.

Have a great weekend and get out there and see some of all that Mother Nature has to offer!

A gorgeous Bald Eagle takes flight in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A gorgeous Bald Eagle takes flight in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Precious Mule Deer fawn among wildflowers

Check out this cutie! I happened upon it this past Sunday. It was calmly, laying down and enjoying a cool morning while mom grazed nearby. The curious look on its face and the flora surrounding the fawn really make for a pretty picture I think.

A Mule Deer fawn lies among wildflowers at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mule Deer fawn lies among wildflowers at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Swainson’s Hawk takes flight

A fun capture of this very cool raptor taken this past weekend. These hawks arrive in Colorado in great numbers in the spring, seemingly outnumbering the year-round Red-tailed Hawk we often see. The Swainson’s mate and fledge their young here then head to South America for the winters. They will begin that journey here very soon.

A Swainson's Hawk takes to the skies in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Swainson’s Hawk takes to the skies in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

“See you next spring!”

Pretty much my last look at a Mountain Goat until next spring. It seemed fitting that one of the last images I captured of one was of this cute one as it headed around the side of Mount Evans and out of view. The road to this very popular Mountain Goat hangout closes after Labor Day every year due to typically deteriorating weather conditions as the seasons change and won’t open up again until Memorial Day weekend.

See more of these cool creatures here.

A Mountain Goat seems to bid farewell as it disappears over the side of Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat seems to bid farewell as it disappears over the side of Mount Evans. (© Tony’s Takes)

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