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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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I see you out there!

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

A barn swallow peers out from its nest.  © Tony’s Takes

A barn swallow peers out from its nest. © Tony’s Takes

Grizzly in the grass

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.

A grizzly bear walks through the grass at Yellowstone National Park. © Tony’s Takes

A grizzly bear walks through the grass at Yellowstone National Park. © Tony’s Takes

Can’t I just eat in peace?

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.

A moose bull eats its breakfast with the Colorado Rockies in the background.  © Tony’s Takes

A moose bull eats its breakfast with the Colorado Rockies in the background. © Tony’s Takes

Squaring off: Bull moose test each other

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.

Two moose bulls square off in what was a relatively gentle contest.  © Tony’s Takes

Two moose bulls square off in what was a relatively gentle contest. © Tony’s Takes

Bubbling hot water at Yellowstone National Park

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.

Hot water erupts from a thermal feature at Yellowstone. © Tony’s Takes

Hot water erupts from a thermal feature at Yellowstone. © Tony’s Takes

Snow lingering in Colorado high above timberline

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.

Colorado's Mount Audubon still has some spots of snow in July. © Tony’s Takes

Colorado’s Mount Audubon still has some spots of snow in July. © Tony’s Takes

Bull moose at sunrise

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.

Moose bull at sunrise. © Tony’s Takes

Moose bull at sunrise. © Tony’s Takes

 

Lakeside sunrise high in the Colorado Rockies

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. 😉

Sunrise at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. © Tony’s Takes

Sunrise at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado. © Tony’s Takes

Young Swainson’s Hawks hang out in the nest

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!

Swainson's Hawk eyasses hang out in and near the nest. © Tony’s Takes

Swainson’s Hawk eyasses hang out in and near the nest. © Tony’s Takes

Peregrine Falcon gets its closeup

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.

A Peregrine Falcon gets its close up.  © Tony’s Takes

A Peregrine Falcon gets its close up. © Tony’s Takes