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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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Bull moose casts a wary eye at his competition

With only a couple of weeks to go until the rut, bull moose are preparing for the annual competition for the right to mate with nearby females.  Here, a large bull stops eating to look behind him, keeping close watch on another male that was walking by.  

The tension this past Sunday at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest was palatable and fascinating to witness.  Adding drama is the bloody velvet hanging from the moose’s antlers.

A bull moose keeps a close eye on a nearby competitor as the rut approaches.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A bull moose keeps a close eye on a nearby competitor as the rut approaches. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lush forest in Colorado

The Centennial State’s high country saw a tremendous amount of snowfall this past winter and spring and summer have been similarly wet. This has allowed the mountain foliage to really green up, more so than I have seen in years.

While camping in Pike National Forest a couple weeks ago I came across this moss covered log and for whatever reason, it really fascinated me. The textures of the old rotting wood coupled with all of the green was very pleasing.

A very lush and green forest floor in Colorado's Pike National Forest.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A very lush and green forest floor in Colorado’s Pike National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mountain goat has a good laugh

I’m not sure what was so funny but this Mountain Goat at the top of Mount Evans, Colorado was having a good morning apparently. 😉   Image taken August 17, 2014.

Colorado mountain goat appears to have a good laugh.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Colorado mountain goat appears to have a good laugh. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female osprey flyover

Taken this morning in Longmont, Colorado.  This female osprey was hanging out on a light pole near her nest.  After posing for many pictures of her just standing, she obliged with a picture-perfect flyover.  

The osprey in the Centennial State will soon be starting their winter migration to Mexico and South America after summering in the northern, cooler climes of North America.  

Using GPS tracking, scientists have estimated that an osprey may migrate 160,000 miles over its 15 to 20 year lifespan. 

A female osprey performs a picture-perfect flyover in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female osprey performs a picture-perfect flyover in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

High altitude rainbow

Early morning yesterday brought a quick-hitting sun shower to Arapaho National Forest. The 13,229 foot high Mount Audubon (right) was slightly obscured by the rain while an extraordinarily vivid rainbow appeared in front of it. If you look closely at the top right, you can see a second, faint rainbow.

A rainbow appears near Brainard Lake and Mount Audubon in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A rainbow appears near Brainard Lake and Mount Audubon in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moose displays bloody antlers, prepares for the rut

Taken this morning at Brainard Lake in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado . This monstrous bull moose has begun shedding the velvet that covers its antlers.

The blood comes from the blood vessel system that forms the skin covering and grows the antlers. The shedding of the velvet is a precursor to the rut when this male and others nearby will use their massive antlers to battle for the right to mate area females.

He and another nearby bull were vigorously rubbing their antlers on foliage to aid the process. It certainly is gross looking but also very cool to be able to see this stage

Bull moose in Colorado sheds the velvet off its antlers.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Bull moose in Colorado sheds the velvet off its antlers. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunrise honors

Thornton Veterans Memorial, Colorado . This local veterans memorial is one that is particularly special to me as I was chairman of the group that worked for years to fund and build it.

In the foreground you see the winged angel, ‘Grace’, releasing a dove carrying dog tags aloft. In the background you see the flag poles and in between them is a 9′ 11″ high five-sided obelisk. On it are inscribed core values of United States military service: Honor, Integrity, Sacrifice, Duty, Courage.

Thornton Veterans Memorial, Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Thornton Veterans Memorial, Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Swainson’s Hawk launches into the air

I took a detour on the way home yesterday and drove around the hawk hot spots north of Denver International Airport and came across a couple of juvenile Swainson’s Hawks that were very cooperative. This one had just launched itself from the pole it was perched on and took off right over me. Lots of fun!

Scroll down below the main image for more pictures of the hawk and another that was nearby.

A juvenile Swainson's Hawk launches itself into the air.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Swainson’s Hawk launches itself into the air. (© Tony’s Takes)

A dynamic Colorado sunset

Thunderstorms moved through the Denver area yesterday afternoon and evening leading to some dramatic skies above. This is my first attempt at an HDR (High Dynamic Range) image.

The technique uses three or more images, all of different exposures, put together to achieve a higher range of luminosity than what could be accomplished with a single one.

An HDR image of the sunset in Adams County, Colorado as thunderstorms move through the area. (© Tony’s Takes)

An HDR image of the sunset in Adams County, Colorado as thunderstorms move through the area. (© Tony’s Takes)

Juvenile Swainson’s Hawk stare down

A short detour after work led me to an area near Denver International Airport and a Swainson’s Hawk nest that I have documented extensively in recent months. Three young ones came out of it and they have all fledged but one was still hanging around.

The juvenile seemed to think it could intimidate me and chase me off. 😉

They won’t be around for long as they will soon begin their long migration to Argentina where they spend winter.

Scroll down below the main image for more pictures of the hawk and another that was nearby.

A juvenile Swainson's Hawk stares at the photographer. (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Swainson’s Hawk stares at the photographer. (© Tony’s Takes)