Such a pretty lady, eh? She looked absolutely stunning as she hunted the fields in the Upper Beaver Meadows area of Rocky Mountain National Park this past Sunday.
It seems like if I see coyotes in the park, this is usually the spot. The ones there seem quite comfortable with the humans that intrude on their domain and oftentimes just go about their business, ignoring the interlopers.
This particular one was clearly looking for a meal, at one point stopping and listening hard at the grass in front of it. I was sure it was going to give me a nice pounce but whatever she thought she heard must have quieted down and she moved on, crossing right in front of my truck.
Coyotes are amazingly adaptable animals and have not been greatly impacted by human expansion. Here in the area I live, this has resulted in some human – coyote conflicts, mainly with the coyotes attacking domestic pets. They range across North America and some have even been seen into Central America and Panama.
With hormones raging, the Elk rut is in full swing and the males are doing their best to gather up their harems. This particular guy, while a good-sized specimen for sure, was not having much luck.
He was relegated to an area far away from the main herds and was chasing a single cow. Despite his best strutting and bugling, she showed little interest and spurned the overtures.
We sometimes call these creatures Wapiti, a word that comes from the Shawnee and Cree word ‘waapiti’ which means ‘white rump.’ They are one of the largest members of the deer family in North America, second only to Moose.
These guys are so darned cute and entertaining. This particular kid was pretty interested in the group of photographers that had gathered to capture images of it and the rest of the herd near the top of Mount Evans, Colorado.
While the other kids pretty much ignored us, this one took a keen interest and spent much of the time from a perch above observing us. No doubt it found the scrambling creatures on two legs just as entertaining as we found it.
With the road to their domain now closed for the season, the next time I see this little one it will be much larger and probably not quite as cute. There should however be a new crop of little ones to take its place in my viewfinder.
A fun image of these two American Badger cubs taken back in May. The three cubs and their mom provided a couple of weeks of fun and a photo opportunity that does not come along often. The cubs would appear for an hour or so each morning and spend time romping around and playing.
The behavior here was often repeated with one seeming to rear back and roar although I never did hear a sound come from them.
The American Badger is ferocious in its hunting ability choosing snakes, prairie dogs, mice and other residents of plains-like areas where it lives. It is considered an endangered species in parts of Canada and a threatened species in some locations in the United States.
It has been a while since I have seen my friend – in fact it has been since early spring. I was thinking about her this morning and hoping that she reappears soon. On this particular day back in April, she put on a nice little show for me. There were plenty of flight shots but she also took a break on one of her favorite overlooks, a pole on a hillside, where she kept close watch on the goings on.
If you’ve never seen a golden, you are missing an extraordinary treat. They are clearly just gorgeous but more impressive is their sheer size.
These little guys are busily fattening themselves up and stashing food for the coming winter. It has been unseasonably warm across much of Colorado in recent weeks but there are signs things are changing. A cold front moving through this weekend may deliver some snow to the residences of some of these high-altitude creatures.
Sometimes called a ‘rock chuck’, Yellow-bellied Marmots are actually members of the squirrel family. They are found above 6,500 feet in grassland, meadows and talus fields. Here in Colorado you are most likely to spot them above timberline sunning themselves on rocks.
One more for Patriot Day. Our nation’s emblem symbolizes the spirit of this great nation – ferocious and unrelenting when we must be as we were in the days and years following that horrific date. We are, however, by nature a peaceful, loving nation, and one that would prefer to extend the olive branch.
Well, my hope for Moose pics this weekend did not pan out at all so this one comes from early last month in the forest up above Grand Lake, Colorado. This young guy was chomping down on the young aspen trees and despite what appears to be intimidating pose here, he actually couldn’t have cared less about us watching him.
One of the bears we saw during our early summer trip to Yellowstone National Park. This one was grazing not 20 yards off the road, largely ignoring us and a couple other folks that had come along and were watching us.
Ursus americanus is by far the most common bear in North America with a wide range and populations in most wooded and higher elevation areas of the continent. While not as big as some of their cousins, they can be 5 to 6 feet in length and weigh from 200 to 600 pounds. This particular one was probably right about in the middle of those ranges.
Taken back on Independence Day, I had spent a couple of hours waiting for this little one and its siblings to emerge from their nest at Barr Lake State Park, Colorado. I was about to give up when this one finally decided to make an appearance.
While it was the only one of the three to show its face, it put on a nice little show for myself an the other photographers nearby. I love this shot of it as it first appeared with what looks to be a huge smile at its audience. It isn’t often you will find these birds out in the open.
Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States.