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Wildlife

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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)

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)

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)

Video: Big Moose versus little pine tree

I opted not to spend my Labor Day laboring. Well, unless you count lugging my camera and tripod in Colorado’s high country. 😉 I had hoped to get pics of bunches of Moose but only got images of one but he was a good one.

This big bull really, really wanted the last of the velvet off of his antlers. He took his frustration out on a little, spindly pine tree, vigorously rubbing on it. This is just a quick shot of what was almost 10 minutes of the big guy beating up the tree. By the time he was done, there wasn’t much bark left on the little guy.

Big whiskers on a little Pika

Such fun creatures to photograph but not always easy to do so. They are always on the move, scrambling to gather food before winter arrives. Yesterday, this little American Pika was kind enough to take a break and pose about five feet away. I can’t help but be struck by how darned long those whiskers are!

An American Pika takes a break from gathering food for the winter on Mount Evans in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Pika takes a break from gathering food for the winter on Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Coming soon: fall foliage

Going back to September 24 of last year for this image for Throwback Thursday. By all indications, our dry summer is leading to an early change of the foliage this year and will likely make the viewing time short. That will complicate things and make my annual goal to capture the spectacle a bit difficult but hopefully luck will prevail.

This image was taken along Colorado’s famous Peak to Peak Highway south of Nederland. About an hour before this image was taken I was standing about 1,000 feet higher in altitude in fresh snow taking picture of wildlife. Here though it was just rain and fog. The fence helped to create interest in the scene as the dreary skies sure weren’t helping.

Fall colors, fog and a fence along Colorado's Peak to Peak Highway.    (© Tony’s Takes)

Fall colors, fog and a fence along Colorado’s Peak to Peak Highway. (© Tony’s Takes)

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