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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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Golden Eagle gets its portrait taken

Golden Eagle gets its portrait taken

Such an absolutely stunning raptor! I’ve been quite close to a Golden in the wild before and their size is something that is hard to appreciate if you haven’t been near one. However, this past weekend I took part in an event that let me get within just a few feet of one and, well, wow! A local wildlife photographer group arranged for a visit with Nature's Educators, a non-profit group that does public outreach events to educate the public on ...

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I see you down there!

I see you down there!

"I see you down there!" A Great Horned Owl owlet checks out the photographer in Thornton, Colorado. My time with this trio was brief but so much fun. I learned about the nest early last week. On the day of this picture, Thursday, two, including this one were in the nest still. One had fallen out of the nest and was perched in a bush on the other side of the trail. The nest day, all three were out of ...

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Some Monday morning serenity with a gorgeous sunrise

Some Monday morning serenity with a gorgeous sunrise

The first day of the workweek is rarely a fun one and Monday oftentimes lives up to its reputation. Rather than feed the fire, here’s an image I snapped this weekend to calm things down. This was actually looking to the north at a 90-degree angle to the sunrise. The rising sun lit up the cool, cotton ball clouds and the reflection colored the ice and water orange. When you get stressed today, just try to think of a scene ...

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High key Bison bull head on

High key Bison bull head on

One for Tatanka Tuesday! The Bison herd at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado has seen a half dozen new births this spring. I keep trying but I have yet to get good pics of the little ones as they keep hanging out too far away. This past weekend, some of the big bulls provided a nice consolation prize. Here, one of the big boys marches right toward me. The light was drab due to overcast skies and ...

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The diamond ring

The diamond ring

Oh my. I cannot begin to describe what I experienced yesterday. Eclipse 2017 was everything I had hoped it would be. Breathtaking would be a good word for it. Here you see the ‘diamond ring effect’ – the few seconds right before the eclipse enters totality. Nothing short of amazing! I had planned on driving home right afterwards but unfortunately traffic kept me in place. I did actually start to head for home and didn’t make it two miles before hitting a ...

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Black bear cub keeps a close watch

Another for Throwback Thursday… Taken July 11, 2007 in Yellowstone National Park. This little one was curious about the people but also making sure not to stray too far from its sibling and mama.

A black bear cub keeps a close watch on its mama in Yellowstone National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A black bear cub keeps a close watch on its mama in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Persian Gulf sunrise aboard the USS Carl Vinson

One for Throwback Thursday. Taken in August 1996 while in the Persian Gulf conducting Operation Desert Strike. The ‘island’ of the massive aircraft carrier and F/A-18 Hornet and EA-6B Prowler aircraft are silhouetted by the rising sun.

Combat operations were taking place against Iraq to stop Saddam Hussein’s genocidal attacks against Kurds in nation’s north. Tensions were further heightened by the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia two months before that killed 19 U.S. service members.

For those that don’t know, I served six years in the +U.S. Navy primarily working on the electronics on S-3B Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft. Lots of stories from those days and I am proud to have served my nation.

The sun rises behind the USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf in 1996. (© Tony’s Takes)

The sun rises behind the USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf in 1996. (© Tony’s Takes)

But, Mom, look at that guy back there!

Taken at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge back in July. This doe was leading her fawn through the grass but the young one really seemed to want to stop and watch me like I was watching it. 😉

A doe leads here fawn through the grass at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

A doe leads here fawn through the grass at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bull Moose Looks Happy with its Breakfast

‘Ooh! This looks yummy!’ A bull moose at Brainard Lake, Colorado looks rather pleased with his breakfast. Taken from the relative safety of my truck, getting this image was quite easy as the big guy had no problem walking right up to the shrubbery next to the road. These massive animals are surprisingly fleet footed being able to run at 35 mph for short distances and trot steadily at 20 mph.

A bull moose near Brainard Lake, Colorado looks pleased with its breakfast. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull moose near Brainard Lake, Colorado looks pleased with its breakfast. (© Tony’s Takes)

High Altitude Moon

One benefit of going to 12,183 feet in altitude is the skies get clear, the blues bluer and the #moon clearer. Taken this past Saturday atop Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, the mountain landscape is accented by deep blue skies and a waning gibbous moon. Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous road in the United States and over 8 miles of it is above 11,000 feet.

From the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, a gorgeous landscape, deep blue skies and a mid-morning moon are visible.  (© Tony’s Takes)

From the top of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, a gorgeous landscape, deep blue skies and a mid-morning moon are visible. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bull Elk Watches While Eating

“Really? Pictures while I am eating breakfast?” This handsome bull elk was munching on some grass in Rocky Mountain National Park this past Saturday. Without a harem along, he was quite calm and more than willing to pose – even if that meant I was interrupting his meal. 😉

A bull elk watches intently while munching on grass in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull elk watches intently while munching on grass in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

An Old Friend Obliges with a Flyby

I haven’t been able to visit with the nearby eagle’s nest as they haven’t been around much since their eaglet passed away last month. This morning though Dad was hanging out and as always, he put on a show for me. Almost seemed like he recognized me…

Like he always did this past winter and spring, he called as I entered the area, then gave me a flyby to check me out and went right back to his perch. I was so happy to spend some time with him. Hopefully Mom is somewhere nearby and the two will give it another shot this winter and spring.

A male bald eagle performs a  flyover in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A male bald eagle performs a flyover in Adams County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female Osprey Flyby: ‘What Are You Doing Down There’?

Female ?osprey? gives a picture perfect flyby near Lake Granby, ??Colorado?. This gorgeous bird was enjoying its breakfast on the top of a pole when we came along. It calmly finished its meal and then obliged us with a great flyby complemented by the deep blue, high-altitude Colorado skies.

With temperatures dropping and snow having fallen nearby this past week, the osprey will soon begin their migration to their winter grounds along the coasts of Mexico and in South America.

Female osprey gives a picture perfect flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female osprey gives a picture perfect flyby. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Standoff: Coyote and Young Deer Wait for the Next Move

Following a first attack, a deer and coyote size each other up. Absolutely amazing sequence of events this morning at Rocky Mountain National Park. The story is a bit lengthy but worth reading.

We were just starting out on a hike when we hear what almost sounded like a bird screeching or a kid making sounds. Didn’t give it much thought initially then there is a burst of motion behind us and a young deer is running through the grass with one coyote running alongside trying to latch on, another not far behind.

The deer smartly ran to the edge of the parking lot for safety while the coyotes were too skittish to follow near humans. Naturally I didn’t have the right lens on for this type of thing as I was planning to take landscapes (UGH!). I ran to my car, swapped lenses and captured this image.

The deer thought it was safe so bounded out the other side of the parking lot while the coyotes looked on. Unfortunately the deer chose to circle back where it originally came from and the wily coyotes did as well.

We hear more ‘screeching’ from the other side of a bunch of trees and here comes the deer toward us again at full speed. Again the coyotes backed off not wanting to come close to humans. They kept their distance as they worked their way around us, closely watching the deer.

Last we saw, the deer was bounding over a hill with the coyotes in pursuit. Just amazing to witness!

The standoff.  After being attacked, a young deer prepares to make its escape from a coyote.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The standoff. After being attacked, a young deer prepares to make its escape from a coyote. (© Tony’s Takes)

Stormy Skies on the Great Plains

Taken during a storm chase in June 2011. Late spring and early summer is severe weather season here in Colorado and Mother Nature always puts on a show. This particular storm was near the town of Last Chance and for a time had a tornado warning. It never did generate much more than some mean looking skies, a dust devil and hail but the imagery was still pretty neat.

 

Storm clouds collect over the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Storm clouds collect over the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)