Little escapes the eagle’s eye and that clearly includes photographers nearby. ??? A fun encounter with this gorgeous female bald eagle as she hung out on a chilly but otherwise beautiful winter day recently. The skies were ridiculously blue and she looked absolutely regal as she posed from the top of a tree.
Not a great quality image due to the conditions at the time but a fun one that captures some of the action of the annual elk rut. This big boy had gathered himself up a really nice-sized harem of a couple dozen cows and calves. One pretty lady, however, was finding it hard to resist a nearby competitor bull’s bugle.
She kept testing, trying to see if she could escape. Each time, the bull would herd her back. On this attempt, she waited until he had moved off a ways to warn the other bull. She saw her chance and started to make a break for it but he was watching and returned, flying at Mach 1, to stop her escape.
You can’t fully appreciate just how fast these massive creatures can run if you have never seen it in person, but this gives you a sense of it.
My judgement of the sunrise to be on this day last weekend was clearly off or I would have ensured I was in a good position to capture it. Instead, I found myself with a sea of suburbia and its houses between the horizon and I. So, here you go, just the clouds, no McMansions as I cropped them out. ? It really was a pretty scene (sans the houses) with the sun pillar topping it off. Sun pillars most often appear at sunrise and sunset showing as a shaft of light emanating from the sun. Ice crystals falling reflect the sun’s rays creating the effect.
Oh, how I wish I could! 😉
A couple weeks ago I shared a pic of one of a pair of great horned owls that seem to be returning to a common spot for them. This is the second of them.
It was far more well-hidden as you can tell from all the branches in the way and, well, clearly not particularly interested in posing for pictures. It gave me a glance then turned back around to resume its nap.
I schedule my pics for publishing ahead of time and yesterday I set this image to publish today, with a narrative about this veterans memorial and this replica of the USS Colorado (BB-45) that is its main feature. Not long after, I received news that has made me delete that and write a new narrative.
A friend, a fellow sailor, took his life after a battle with depression. While JR and I never served on the same ship, we had that special connection as sailors and veterans. I met him through his wife, Kim, a former soldier, as she and I worked to build a different veterans memorial not far from this one.
Like most sailors, he was a salty dog (yellow shirt!) and we of course hit it off instantly. I haven’t seen him in several years as they had moved to California but we stayed connected online, always wishing each other a happy Veterans Day and calling each other ‘shipmate.’
When I read the news last night, I just cried. This morning, I write this through tears. As I told Kim a bit ago, I am rarely at a loss for words but words are entirely inadequate in times like this. Perhaps it is appropriate, in some little way, that this is the image I had already chosen to share today. It is done so now in honor of him.
JR, I hope you have found the peace up there that you could not find here. You shall be missed. Fair winds and following seas, my friend and shipmate. ?
The rut is over but that doesn’t mean a fella can’t try. 😉
I came across this good-looking guy and a trio of does last weekend in the Colorado Front Range foothills. He didn’t have a huge rack but was quite handsome and unlike most bucks this time of year, his rack did appear to be entirely intact having survived the battles of recent months.
While he was hot to trot, the ladies were not. They all took off running and while he gave it a valiant effort, he was rebuffed and left unsatisfied.
So, you think you found a nice tree overlooking a lake to perch in. You are enjoying a mild winter day and suddenly, you have the realization that you are in someone else’s territory. The clue? The residents are coming like a bat out of hell at you!
Such was the case with this beautiful eagle that dared to land in a tree near a nested pair’s home. I initially assumed this was the female from the nest but it soon became apparent that was not the case. As I was photographing her, she suddenly took off which afforded me some fantastic launch and departure shots, including this one. What I did not know was that coming directly from behind me were the homeowners, arriving fast to chase off the interloper. It was a fun scene to witness for sure.
Here, you get a great look at that impressive wingspan, beautifully lit by the morning light. I also love the way she is clearly watching the mated bald eagle pair as they fly in to chase her off.
Have a fantastic, #FreedomFriday!
Red tails are the most common hawk we have here in Colorado but I don’t usually bother to photograph them. While they are pretty, they are a bit plain looking (don’t get mad at me – just my opinion – haha) plus they are usually quite skittish. Lately, however, I have photographed a number of them and they have given me some cool shots.
This one is from Christmas Eve morning. It was cloudy, cold and blustery so I was in no rush to venture out and did not want to go far. I decided to just check some local parks and open spaces which is where I found this one. With the wind, it wasn’t too inclined to flee so it gave me some nice poses. When it finally decided it was time to go, I was ready, capturing this cool launch shot.
For some reason, my question went unanswered by this fuzzy fellow. 😀
This past weekend I tried for a fourth time to get pictures of a rather popular eastern screech owl in northern Colorado. And, for the fourth time, I saw nothing. I spent 3 ½ hours staring at a hole in a tree with only some pics of this squirrel and the moon to show for it – on top of the two-hour roundtrip drive. Sigh. Such is the life of a wildlife photographer!
Well, of course a bald eagle was the best I found on the first day of 2024! 😀
The morning excursion was not going so great with few critters gracing my lens. As I worked my way back home, I took a different route than normal, opting for a slower route but one with less traffic. That turned out to be very fortuitous as I happened across this handsome fellow and his female companion.
They gave me some nice poses and then he leapt into action. I had a sense that he was getting ready to go so I was ready. Most of the pictures of the launch came out quite nice but this is my favorite.
I love the focused look in his eyes and the aggressive posture of the wings. Let’s all enter the new year that way – focused and ready to kick butt!