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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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Wild sunflowers greet the sunrise

I’ve been seeing tons of these beautiful flowers across the Great Plains lately and last weekend made sure to capture some pics of them. This image is probably my favorite of the bunch. As the sun rose it illuminated the petals of the flowers making them seem to glow. Image available here.

Wild sunflowers greet sunrise on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wild sunflowers greet sunrise on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Big whiskers on a little Pika

Such fun creatures to photograph but not always easy to do so. They are always on the move, scrambling to gather food before winter arrives. Yesterday, this little American Pika was kind enough to take a break and pose about five feet away. I can’t help but be struck by how darned long those whiskers are!

An American Pika takes a break from gathering food for the winter on Mount Evans in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Pika takes a break from gathering food for the winter on Mount Evans in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Coming soon: fall foliage

Going back to September 24 of last year for this image for Throwback Thursday. By all indications, our dry summer is leading to an early change of the foliage this year and will likely make the viewing time short. That will complicate things and make my annual goal to capture the spectacle a bit difficult but hopefully luck will prevail.

This image was taken along Colorado’s famous Peak to Peak Highway south of Nederland. About an hour before this image was taken I was standing about 1,000 feet higher in altitude in fresh snow taking picture of wildlife. Here though it was just rain and fog. The fence helped to create interest in the scene as the dreary skies sure weren’t helping.

Fall colors, fog and a fence along Colorado's Peak to Peak Highway.    (© Tony’s Takes)

Fall colors, fog and a fence along Colorado’s Peak to Peak Highway. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Red-tailed Hawk keeps watch

Red-tails are about the most common hawks on the plains but they also aren’t usually prone to hang around for pictures. Every now and then I come across one that is willing to pose and such was the case with this juvenile. It had staked out a nice tree to keep watch on a field, undoubtedly waiting for some poor rodent or snake to appear and become breakfast.

A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk keeps watch near Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado.   (© Tony’s Takes)

A juvenile Red-tailed Hawk keeps watch near Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A mountain of Mountain Goats

A fun image from back in June when I spent time with the herd on top of Mount Evans, Colorado. As usual, the animals were spending the morning hanging out entertaining the tourists and photographers.

After a time, they then proceeded around the east face of the mountain, bounding higher and across the large rocks. This made for a great photo opportunity to capture a large number of them in a single image, something you usually can’t do. It is a bummer the skies were so hazy but it still made for a neat shot.

A Mountain Goat herd hangs out high on Mount Evans, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mountain Goat herd hangs out high on Mount Evans, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moose bulls go head-to-head

The rut is getting close and even a few weeks ago when this picture was taken, the Moose bulls were establishing a pecking order.

Here, two go head to head leading up to a bit of pushing and shoving. Unfortunately, this was before the sun hit the valley floor so my pics of the action came out blurry due to the necessity of a slow shutter speed. Sigh.

These two big guys were part of a bachelor group of four, but, they were only the middle two in terms of size. There was another with them that was clearly the senior and dominant one of them all. Taken in Arapaho National Forest, Colorado.

Two Moose bulls prepare for some sparring in the forest.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Two Moose bulls prepare for some sparring in the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Ring around the sunrise

Colorado has had a good number of wildfires this season but nothing as bad as what areas to our west have seen. As fires rage in California, Montana, British Columbia and Alberta, their smoke has been a near constant presence this summer.

This makes for some crazy, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets but of course I would prefer not to have them as a result of the fires. Nevertheless, it does make some good photo ops such as this rising sun taken yesterday morning in Weld County. The ring was caused by the polarizer filter on my lens.

A sunrise ablaze in orange in Weld County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A sunrise ablaze in orange in Weld County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bald Eagle bathed in the early morning light

Well, my last few photo outings have been pretty much duds. Subjects were non-existent or uncooperative or the resulting pics just sucked. So, I am jumping back to Tax Day for this image.

This is the male of my favorite mated pair of eagles. He had just returned from dropping off some nesting material and stopped and posed not long after sunrise.

Temperatures are cooling here in Colorado (finally) and while I am not anxious for the end of summer, it does mean the seasonal Eagles will be returning soon and that makes me happy.

A male Bald Eagle is bathed in the golden light of sunrise near Denver, Colorado.   (© Tony’s Takes)

A male Bald Eagle is bathed in the golden light of sunrise near Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn battle on the plains

This was a fun little bit of action that I had never witnessed with this particular type of creature before. Driving along I spotted five Pronghorn bucks out in a field north of Denver International Airport.

Normally, stopping would send them running but they were more interested in each other. Four of them were engaged in some back and forth battles, locking horns and pushing each other around.

I presume this is all leading up to the annual rut as they start to establish a pecking order for mating season. Fun stuff to see!

Pronghorn bucks test their mettle against each other in some pre-rut action in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn bucks test their mettle against each other in some pre-rut action in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn bucks test their mettle against each other in some pre-rut action in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn bucks test their mettle against each other in some pre-rut action in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn bucks test their mettle against each other in some pre-rut action in Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Pronghorn bucks test their mettle against each other in some pre-rut action in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mass of Yellow-headed Blackbirds take over the trees

I’m not normally into taking pictures of ‘little birds’ but sometimes you just can’t ignore them. Such was the case this past weekend when I came across a massive gathering of these cool dudes. Hundreds of them, literally, had assembled in a few trees in Longmont, Colorado. They were very noisy, making a heck of a racket. Most likely the gathering was a precursor to their winter migration to the southwestern United States and Mexico.

A mass of Yellow-headed Blackbirds in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A mass of Yellow-headed Blackbirds in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Yellow-headed Blackbirds in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Yellow-headed Blackbirds in Longmont, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)