I took a drive to the Colorado high country this morning and the leaves are just starting to hint at the change of seasons. In another couple of weeks, those trees will look like these aspen trees on Guanella Pass last year on September 24th. I can’t wait! I’ve already planned out at least one route that I will be taking.
During a recent visit to our neighboring state to the north, I took the opportunity to get out and do some astrophotography. I don’t really have the right gear to do this justice (need a faster lens) but it is fun to go out and see what I can come up with. Here you do get a pretty good view of our galaxy although there were a few, light clouds that intruded on the view.
One of this summer’s favorite pairs of Burrowing Owls. They provided me with a good number of photo opportunities although once their little ones began emerging, they became a bit more reclusive and standoffish.
It won’t be long now and the family will begin their journey to someplace further south for the winter. During the summer Burrowing Owls can be found across much of the western United States. At more southern latitudes closer to Mexico and in Florida they stay in place year round.
Unlike most owls, they are diurnal (versus nocturnal) so it is quite common to find them out and about during the day. Burrowing Owls are considered a threatened species here in the Colorado. Their numbers appear to be on the decline as humans take over and destroy their habitat.
Many folks think nothing of wiping out Prairie Dog colonies, a keystone species itself, but don’t think of the cascading effects of that on all of the other creatures down the line, including these little guys.
Kickoff for the Rocky Mountain Showdown is in less than a half hour. Where does your allegiance lie? With the Colorado State Rams or Colorado Buffaloes? Do you stand with Cam or Ralphie? I don’t have a preference unless it involves Navy Football. 😉
It is hard to imagine a more fitting creature to represent this great nation. Regal, majestic, relentless, indomitable and honorable might be some adjectives you could use to describe both.
I found this fellow last November at St. Vrain State Park in Colorado as he surveyed the ponds, no doubt contemplating a nice meal.
There aren’t too many Bald Eagles readily around right now but that will change in the coming months as the temperatures cool and they come here to spend the winter months. As always, I am very much looking forward to that time!
Such impressive creatures and I think a panoramic crop of this handsome fellow coming straight at you does a nice job of showcasing its six plus foot wide wingspan.
Taken back in April, this image is of the male at my local nest, being grumpy as he almost always is. He did not care for strangers and anyone coming even remotely near his home could be guaranteed a flyby while he checked them out and let them know they were not welcome.
As the spring and summer wore on though, he became far more used to the traffic in the area (there is a regional bike trail nearby). He and his mate successfully raised one young one this year.
I haven’t seen them in a couple of months which isn’t unusual as they spread out after their young fledges. I do hope they return this winter / spring and make their home in the same spot.
Bald eagles have been a spiritual symbol of Native Americans for hundreds of years. There were variations between tribes as to the eagles’ symbolism but for most it generally represented bravery, wisdom, strength and courage. It was believed that the eagles carried prayers to the Great Spirit.
One for Throwback Thursday taken back in May when I spent a couple of times observing these siblings. Just like human kids, the kits were quite rambunctious, spending much of the morning exploring their new-to-them world and of course attacking each other. It was a very fun time for them and of course for me!
While they aren’t seen often, Red Foxes are quite common across the entire Northern Hemisphere from near the equator to the Arctic Circle. They are extremely adaptable and able to coexist in areas with large human populations.
I don’t know how many “amazing” adjectives I can use to describe the solar eclipse last week and my being under the path of totality. More than a week later I still can’t believe it. The problem is that I don’t know how best to depict the photos I took of the event. The collage I shared last week did a good job I think and now I took some of the images and put them into a video slideshow. What do you think?
These big-eared denizens of the Great Plains don’t usually want to pose for pictures. Occasionally you come across one that will pose and such was the case on this morning in July.
I kind of find these guys a bit disturbing. They are really quite big and not near as cute as you typically envision a rabbit to be. 😉
Also called the American desert hare, these jackrabbits have a wide range across the western United States where they can be found at altitudes ranging from sea level to 10,000 feet. Here in Colorado, they are pretty common on the plains.
It isn’t too often a big Bison is going to catch you by surprise as they are kind of hard to miss. However, such was the case with this cow on my visit to Yellowstone National Park in June.
I had stopped at Soda Butte, the remnants of an extinct geyser in the Lamar Valley, to snap a few pictures. As I rounded the side of the butte opposite the road, I came face to face with this large, hairy creature. Oops! She was working her way up and directly toward me. Needless to say, I quickly backpedaled and gave her all the room she wanted. 😉
These impressive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands.