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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.

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Coyote on the hunt for breakfast

Coyote on the hunt for breakfast

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 ...

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Bison graze at ease along the Madison River

Bison graze at ease along the Madison River

This beautiful scene kickstarted our visit to Yellowstone National Park last month. Winter had been harsh up there with a great deal of snowfall and the spring was a wet one. However, all that moisture made for a lush, green landscape and rivers flowing full and quick. Soon after arrival we set out for a quick exploration trip and found a herd of bison grazing along the banks of the river. Above, a cloud-dotted sky with spots of bright blue peering ...

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The intense focus of a raptor

The intense focus of a raptor

While raptors like this Red-tailed Hawk are certainly gorgeous, they are also ferocious predators. With the right look, they can look quite pretty but at the same time be downright intimidating as this pretty lady appears in this capture. Karma is a captive bird, used for falconry and education. A few weeks ago I and my son got the opportunity to spend a lot of time photographing her and some other raptors up close and personal. Found across all of North America, Red-tailed ...

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The master of the deep forest

The master of the deep forest

Rumor had it that the Moose in my favorite area had finally returned after spending the past month or so at higher altitude. The weather looked iffy at best but I could not resist at least making an attempt to see them Sunday. At 10,000+ feet in altitude I knew it would be cold and fresh snow had fallen. There was some welcome sun initially but soon the clouds descended bringing a thick fog and snow began to fall again. It ...

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Barn Owl owlet puts on a show

Barn Owl owlet puts on a show

Such a ham. While its siblings remained hidden in the next within the tree cavity, this little one seemed to revel in the attention myself and a half dozen other photographers gave him a few weeks ago. Three times he scampered out of the nest, and then back in, climbing around and putting on a display each time. It was undoubtedly a bit cramped down in the home so this particular time it chose to stretch its wings above its head. ...

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Impressive looking storm cell near Denver

Severe weather struck northeastern Colorado, a common occurrence this time of year.  Heavy rain, hail and tornadoes routinely pay visits, particularly during the months of May and June.

This storm cell was in western Adams County, just north of Denver, on the edge of the suburb of Thornton.  It was rather impressive looking although it only delivered some rain and dime-sized hail.

Denver area storm cell. (© Tony’s Takes)

Denver area storm cell. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lenticular over Longs

Taken this past Saturday in Rocky Mountain National Park from a spot on Trail Ridge Road. The monstrous lenticular cloud was hovering over 14,259′ tall Longs Peak. The mountain is one of 54 “14ers” in Colorado and was first ascended in 1868 by John Wesley Powell.

Lenticular over Longs. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lenticular over Longs. (© Tony’s Takes)

There’s one in every crowd

Getting wildlife to cooperate to get the ‘perfect shot’ is a losing battle.  I was reminded of this lesson while taking pictures of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday.

Colorado’s most popular national park never disappoints with its abundance of scenery and wildlife.  From sprawling mountain landscapes with 14ers to creatures big and small, all can be seen.

On this day I came across a small herd of elk grazing in a meadow.  Staying a safe distance away, I started snapping some pictures and they looked at me curiously.  Well, almost all of them did.

One of the five insisted on looking the opposite direction, never looking my way and preventing me from getting the picture I thought I wanted.  In the end though, I kind of like the image.

It showcases how even in the animal kingdom, there is at least one that just doesn’t get it.  😉

While most of the elk look on with curiosity, one refuses to pay the photographer any attention. (© Tony’s Takes)

While most of the elk look on with curiosity, one refuses to pay the photographer any attention. (© Tony’s Takes)

Cell phone image: Colorado clouds at sunset

I rarely use my cell phone to take pictures and virtually never do when it comes to capturing something as gorgeous as Colorado sunsets.  This time though I made an exception and decided it was a good opportunity to play with a new cell phone and an app.

The sunset was beautiful on this evening as is often the case.  As the sun descended on the horizon, the clouds to the south took on a gorgeous orange color.  I snapped a picture using my Galaxy S4 and then applied a ‘fake’ HDR effect using an app called Snapseed.

The effect was a relatively passable HDR-like image that looks pretty cool.

Cell phone capture of a Colorado sunset with an HDR like effect applied. (© Tony’s Takes)

Cell phone capture of a Colorado sunset with an HDR like effect applied. (© Tony’s Takes)

Canada goose silhouetted at sunset

Photo opportunities just present themselves and the subjects oftentimes aren’t what you are looking for. Such was the case with this image.

I was at Metzger Farm in Broomfield, Colorado take pictures of a blue heron rookery.  Unfortunately the images of the herons I took were underwhelming but sunset provided other opportunities.

While taking pictures of the gorgeous sunset to the west, this Canada goose came swimming across the rippled surface of a pond.  It was perfectly backlit and the water was reflecting the orange sky above.

Canada goose silhouetted at sunset. (© Tony’s Takes)

Canada goose silhouetted at sunset. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Osprey, great blue heron and geese

My usual Saturday morning photo shoot took me back to Longmont, Colorado to check out the osprey again.  As before, they were very compliant and provided some great shots – including many of them enjoying a sushi breakfast.

Making a guest appearance was a family of Canada geese and their newly hatched goslings as well as a great blue heron.

As you view the photos below, you will see the last nine photos are a sequence where one of the osprey has twine on its talons.  It was very interesting to watch.  I was focusing on one sitting on a pole when its mate came flying over.

It had some twine stuck to its claw and seemed pretty upset about it. It took back off and started dragging its claws in the water and then even did a belly skid in an attempt to get it off. It is pretty interesting to see. Glad it worked out.

Please disregard the poor quality of that series of images – it all happened so fast I didn’t have a chance to adjust the exposure on the fly.

An osprey makes a close fly by. (© Tony’s Takes)

An osprey makes a close fly by. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

A good day for a swim with the family

A very mild day along the Colorado Front Range today made for a great day for outdoor activities.  In Longmont these Canada geese were taking their freshly hatched little ones for a swim.

A swim with the family. (© Tony’s Takes)

A swim with the family. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Swainson’s Hawks return to Colorado

The Swainson Hawk is a truly beautiful bird with a wide variety of color / morph types.  The birds come to Colorado to mate during the spring and summer and I was very happy to discover a pair less than a half mile from my house in suburban Denver.

Near where I live there is a small open space area with a prairie dog colony and some old trees. I have always thought that would be a prime hawk area and at different times have thought I saw a couple hanging out but by the time I parked and got out they seemed to disappear. Not today.

A light morph male and medium / dark female were hanging around.  The male was more than willing to pose and seemed quite curious about me.  The female though was pretty skittish.  Hopefully this pair will make a home in the area.  Overall I am pleased with the photos but the overcast skies made it a bit of a challenge with lighting.

“What have we here?” A Swainson’s Hawk was quite curious about the photographer. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.

Great Horned Owl nests begin running out of room

As we get further into spring, wildlife becomes much more active – in more ways than one.  Most area Great Horned Owls have seen their eggs hatch and the owlets are getting bigger by the day as I saw at two different nests.

There are two nests that I have been observing near where I live in Adams County, Colorado.  For the first time in a couple of weeks I stopped by for a visit and was amazed at how quickly the owlets are growing.

At one nest, things are getting quite cramped for mama and her two offspring.  At another with three “little” ones, there is no room and two of them were camped out on a nearby branch.

“You lookin’ at me?” A young great horned owl was giving me the eye this morning. You can see mama behind it. There was another owlet in the nest as well but it was hunkered down out of sight. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

“Why is everyone looking at me?” That is almost what I was thinking as I took an evening drive to check out a nearby owl ‘s nest. Mama and two of her young were intently checking me out. There was a third but it was down in the nest behind them. (© Tony’s Takes)

 

Pelicans play follow the leader

The American white pelicans have returned to the Great Plains for the spring and summer. These large aquatic birds spend their winters in Mexico and Central America.

Follow the leader. (© Tony’s Takes)

Follow the leader. (© Tony’s Takes)

Photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as a print or for digital use. Please don’t steal, my prices aren’t particularly expensive. For more information contact me here.