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What’s going on down there?

A watchful juvenile Red Tailed Hawk flies overhead for a closer inspection of the guy carrying the camera. 😉 Taken yesterday in Adams County, Colorado, this hawk was one of five circling a prairie dog colony. Needless to say, the rodents were a bit stressed out about that.

A Red-Tailed Hawk keeps a close watch as it flies over. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Red-Tailed Hawk keeps a close watch as it flies over. (© Tony’s Takes)

Brilliant Colorado sunrise

Taken back in May just outside #Denver, #sunrise on this morning was absolutely gorgeous. Scenes like this are quite common here – something which we oftentimes don’t take time to enjoy. But, when we do slow down and look, we are aptly rewarded.

Sunrise in Adams County, Colorado in May 2014. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise in Adams County, Colorado in May 2014. (© Tony’s Takes)

Freedom flyby

My first weekend staying close to home in quite a while and it actually turned out quite well. This morning I went to check a local bald eagle nest in Adams County, Colorado and was fortunate enough to find the residents home. Here one of them gave me a picture perfect flyby. I am looking forward to many more eagles returning to the area for winter in the coming months.

A bald eagle lit by the morning sun performs a flyby.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A bald eagle lit by the morning sun performs a flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)

One antler or not, I still look fabulous, right?

“One antler or not, I still look fabulous, right?” This younger bull elk was sporting some damage to one of his antlers recently. Perhaps the result of a fight with a more senior and more powerful resident of the area. Nevertheless, despite the damage and despite him not having a harem, he seemed rather proud of himself.

A young elk bull doesn't seem to mind the fact he is missing an antler. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young elk bull doesn’t seem to mind the fact he is missing an antler. (© Tony’s Takes)

Winter sunrise reflections

Going back a few years for Throwback Thursday to December 12, 2010. It was a calm morning in Thornton, Colorado but also quite cold with temperatures in the teens. A friend and I met to walk along the South Platte River and take pictures. We were treated to a gorgeous #sunrise which was reflected almost perfectly in a pond’s surface. It was worth braving the cold to see this!

A brilliant orange and red sunrise is reflected on the calm waters of a pond.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A brilliant orange and red sunrise is reflected on the calm waters of a pond. (© Tony’s Takes)

Where did that little bugger go?

A bald eagle looks around for his tormentors, a couple little Western Kingbirds that were constantly harassing him. This beautiful raptor was hanging out in a tree at a lake on Colorado’s eastern plains back in June and provided a ton of photo opportunities. While he did not mind me one bit, he really was frustrated by a couple of the little yellow-breasted birds that were not at all intimidated by the size difference.

 

A bald eagle looks above for smaller birds that were pestering it. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bald eagle looks above for smaller birds that were pestering it. (© Tony’s Takes)

Dramatic high-altitude Sawtooth Ridge

Situated between Mount Evans (14,265′) and Mount Bierstadt (14,065′) in Colorado’s Arapaho National Forest, this rugged peak looks impressive any time. Throw in stormy, fall skies, high contrast caused by the strong afternoon shadows and a perfectly placed spot of light on the peak and this mountain looks intimidating.

The route from Guanella Pass to Bierstadt, across Sawtooth to Evans and back is a very popular hiking route that is just over 10 miles round-trip. Parts of the route are considered moderate in difficulty with Mother Nature oftentimes being the big wildcard with fast-changing weather at this high of altitude.

Sawtooth Ridge bathed in light. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sawtooth Ridge bathed in light. (© Tony’s Takes)

High plains beast at sunset

Storm chasing season is a long ways away and I am already longing for it to arrive so was flipping through some older pictures. This monstrous supercell was part of a system that spawned six tornadoes in southeastern Colorado and the Oklahoma panhandle on May 31, 2010. It was an amazing day capped off by this extraordinary scene of the setting sun and a slowly dying supercell thunderstorm

A supercell thunderstorm at sunset in Oklahoma. (© Tony’s Takes)

A supercell thunderstorm at sunset in Oklahoma. (© Tony’s Takes)

The blood moon as seen from Denver

I don’t have the best gear for capturing an eclipse but didn’t do too bad this morning. A few light cirrus clouds no doubt impacted the sharpness but at least it was relatively mild.

While everyone is calling it a ‘blood moon’, the meaning behind that term isn’t exactly clear. As written on EarthSky.org, some attribute it to the lunar tetrad – four successive full lunar eclipses without any partial eclipses. This is the second of the four, each coming six months apart.

A lunar eclipse creates a 'blood moon'.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A lunar eclipse creates a ‘blood moon’. (© Tony’s Takes)

Naptime on the golf course

Some of the area elk had taken up residence on the Estes Park, Colorado golf course this past weekend. This young bull apparently decided golf was a pretty boring game and chose instead to take a bit of a morning nap in the warm sun. I’m not sure if the human players just play through these normally moving obstacles or steer clear. 😉

A young bull elk takes a nap on the golf course in Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young bull elk takes a nap on the golf course in Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)