This barn swallow was one of dozens that had nested on the back side of Soda Butte in the Lamar Valley at Yellowstone National Park. Barn swallows are the most common swallow in the world spending summers breeding in the Northern Hemisphere then wintering in the Southern Hemisphere.
You can read more about these cool little birds here: http://bit.ly/1toyg8r
Taken two weeks ago in Yellowstone National Park just north of the infamous Old Faithful geyser. On our way to a spot on the east side of the park that supposedly was a hot spot for bears (it turned out not to be), we came across this beast in the forest not too far off of the road.
Shooting into the early morning sun low on the horizon and it causing long, dark shadows in the forest presented a less than ideal picture taking opportunity. The images came out ‘just okay’ but this was the first time I have seen Ursus arctos horribilis in the wild so I was pretty happy anyway.
Sometimes it is more about the experience than the picture.
Taken this past Saturday, July 26, 2014, at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. This was one of five Bull Moose out right at dawn and he was in fact one of the smallest of the group but was about 6 feet tall. In the background is the 13,229 foot tall Mount Audubon.
Did you know Bull Moose can weigh 1500 pounds and despite their heft, reach speeds of 35 mph? Definitely nothing you want to tangle with. 😉
Scroll down below the photo for a complete gallery of moose pictures from that day.
This image from Saturday shows two bull moose squaring off in what was a relatively gentle test. Preparations for the rut in September / October? Possibly. Like elk, moose will become very aggressive during mating season. Any humans in the vicinity could find themselves attacked.
Taken at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado.
Taken at the Midway Geyser Basin, water in excess of 180° was bubbling up in this thermal feature. Rudyard Kipling visited the park in 1889 and famously called this basin, “Hell’s Half Acre.”
Excelsior Geyser is in the basin and used to be the world’s largest with 300+ foot eruptions in the 1880s. Geologists believe the violent eruptions damaged its inner workings and since then activity has been greatly diminished.
Lingering snow cover in the #Colorado Rockies. Taken yesterday (7/26/14) at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Mount Audubon (13,229 feet) still has quite a bit of snow on it despite it being mid-summer. The soft, amber lighting of sunrise made for a pretty nice image and looked gorgeous in person.
This guy was one of five at a spot in Arapaho National Forest west of Boulder, Colorado this morning. He was one of the smaller ones but also one of the more photogenic.
This is the first time I have this close to a bull moose and let me tell you, they are massive, impressive animals to say the least. Their sheer size is absolutely intimidating and nothing you want to mess with.
This is how we do sunrises in Colorado. Taken this morning at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest – Elevation 10,400 feet. A crisp morning and while the sunrise was gorgeous, I was there on a different mission: Moose! Lots of pics of those to share later. In the meantime, enjoy the view from above. 😉
Argentinian triplets in Colorado. After work I swung by a local Swainson’s Hawk nest for the first time in a couple weeks to check on the little ones.
They are getting big quickly and it would appear the strongest one is very close to fledging since it was up and out of the nest.
Swainson’s migrate to Colorado and much of the western half of the United States in the summer. Winters are spent in Argentina – what could be up to a 12,000 mile round trip!
Closing out the workweek is a shot of an absolutely gorgeous Peregrine Falcon taken last week at Yellowstone National Park.
Peregrine’s can be found just about anywhere on the globe. Here in North America, much like other raptors, the bird was threatened by pesticides in the 20th century but is making an incredible comeback now.
This particular Peregrine Falcon was not in the wild (although they do reside in Yellowstone) but rather belonged to a falconer that happened to be staying in the campground I was in. The man was kind enough to let me snap off bunches of pictures of this bird (Merlin) as well as two others he owned.