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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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Bighorn Sheep ewe in the early morning light

Oh how I wish the ladies of this species were as striking as their male counterparts but they simply are not. They are far smaller and oftentimes look kind of scraggly, particularly this time of year when they are still shedding their winter coat. Nevertheless, this morning I felt obligated to take this one’s picture as she seemed quite insistent about it.

A Bighorn Sheep ewe in the early morning sun on top Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bighorn Sheep ewe in the early morning sun on top Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Chow time for Burrowing Owl owlets

A couple of very busy parents here with five little ones to take care of. I spent hours watching them this past Wednesday and had an absolute blast.

Mom hung out close to the nest, keeping close watch on the owlets. Dad opted to hang out about 20 yards away for the most part but was far from disconnected. In fact, three times he brought home meals for the family. A good breakfast for the crew, not a good day for the mice. 😉

Here, mom had just taken the latest catch from the dad and was getting ready to take it to the kiddos.

A female Burrowing Owl carries breakfast for her owlets while the male keeps watch.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Burrowing Owl carries breakfast for her owlets while the male keeps watch. (© Tony’s Takes)

Video slideshow: Pronghorn buck goes off to the races

I was shooting while driving so am pretty darned lucky the images of this speed demon came out as good as they did. Haha! Taken in Logan County, Colorado.

Pronghorn (often incorrectly called antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds.

Sunset on the Great Plains provides a stunning view

You would be hard-pressed to find more consistently beautiful sunrises and sunsets than you do in eastern Colorado. The terrain may be a bit flat but it is beautiful in its own right, particularly at the start and end of the day.

This view unfolded before us last week at North Sterling State Park. The golden orb bathed the water of the lake and the landscape in orange and those crepuscular rays shooting into the cloud cover were amazing to see.

If you’re interested, this image is available here.

A stunning sunset as seen from North Sterling State Park, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A stunning sunset as seen from North Sterling State Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fantastic fireworks on Independence Day Eve

I do like fireworks but I have gotten to where I simply cannot stand the crowds that come with 4th of July celebrations. As a result, we normally just skip the shows.

The county in which we live, Adams County, Colorado, did their show last night. I thought perhaps it might be less crowded since it was a day earlier than normal and it is one of the younger, less known shows in the area. So, the family and I went to check it out and we were not disappointed – just beautiful.

I haven’t shot pics of fireworks in many, many years so it was like learning anew. The images came out pretty good I think but I already have lots of notes in my head about how to improve next time. Here are some samples from the show.

Fireworks light up the skies over Adams County, Colorado on Independence Day Eve 2018.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Fireworks light up the skies over Adams County, Colorado on Independence Day Eve 2018. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fireworks light up the skies over Adams County, Colorado on Independence Day Eve 2018.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Fireworks light up the skies over Adams County, Colorado on Independence Day Eve 2018. (© Tony’s Takes)

Freedom takes flight

Happy birthday, America!

I am so thankful to live in the greatest nation on earth. We also have a pretty darned awesome symbol IMHO.  😉

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

A Bald Eagle keeps an eye on its chosen landing spot. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bald Eagle keeps an eye on its chosen landing spot. (© Tony’s Takes)

Nighthawk has me putting on the brakes

Driving down a rural country road I spotted this cool looking bird resting on a post. I knew right away what it was as I had seen pictures of them before but had never actually noticed one myself. It didn’t hang around long only giving me time to squeeze of this one shot but it was fun to get to see one in person.

While called a Nighthawk, both parts of that name are misnomer. They are not nocturnal nor, as you can tell, are they closely related to hawks. They can be found across much of the United States and Canada in the summer and then in Mexico and Central America during the winter.

A Nighthawk rests on a fence post in rural Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Nighthawk rests on a fence post in rural Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sobering reminder of the power man wields

If you spend much time on the backroads of the Great Plains, you probably have come across these unusual facilities scattered around. I suppose many folks that go by them don’t even give them a second thought but if they did, it might make them pause as the reality of them sets in.

These are Minuteman III missile silos in Logan County, Colorado, some of 450 scattered across the central United States. Each missile carries a warhead capable of creating up to a 350 kiloton blast. For comparison, the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima had a 15 kiloton yield and the one on Nagasaki a 20 kiloton yield.

As a someone that grew up at the height of the Cold War when the fear of their use was at its greatest (other than during the Cuban Missile Crisis), I well remember reading about and preparing for the potential aftermath if man should unleash them.

The threat may have diminished since then but they are still there, sleeping, but ready. Always ready. A sobering thought. I don’t share these images because they are particularly photographic – I just find what they show fascinating and perhaps a bit scary in a way.

A Minuteman III missile silo in Logan County, Colorado with wind turbines in the background.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Minuteman III missile silo in Logan County, Colorado with wind turbines in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Minuteman III missile silo in Logan County, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Minuteman III missile silo in Logan County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Warning sign on a Minuteman III missile silo in Logan County, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Warning sign on a Minuteman III missile silo in Logan County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lake Louise in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies

One for Canada Day harkening back to my visit there two years ago. This is an image I haven’t shared before of this absolutely amazing location.

While on this trip I kept telling my wife, “You just can’t take a bad picture.” That is virtually true – it was that beautiful. I cannot wait until the day when I return.

Happy birthday to our friends to the north!

For what was my favorite image of this spot, see here. I actually have that one hanging on my wall at home.

Lake Louise in Canada's Banff National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lake Louise in Canada’s Banff National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wood Stork wades through the wetlands

Jumping back to about a month ago on my trip to Florida. I had hoped to see more of these cool looking birds but only came across this one. It didn’t seem to be busy making baby deliveries (haha!) and instead was looking for a meal.

It was much larger than most of the other wetland and swamp birds we were seeing on our photo excursion this day and quite easy to pick out against the green foliage.

The Wood Stork is the only stork native to North America. It is threatened in some of its native areas, primarily southern Florida, and has expanded its breeding range as far north as South Carolina.

A Wood Stork looks for a meal in the wetlands of central Florida. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Stork looks for a meal in the wetlands of central Florida. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Stork looks for a meal in the wetlands of central Florida.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Stork looks for a meal in the wetlands of central Florida. (© Tony’s Takes)