Last week I went to my house in Granby Colorado to relax and photograph wildlife. Behind by home I watched this fox hunt for over 45 minutes. He didn’t mind that I watched and photographed him, from a distance.
Burrowing owls are hard to locate, but if you know where to look and how to spot them they are around. These images were taken near Denver International Airport, less than a mile from the runway. Burrowing owls live in prairie dog holes and if you are driving down the road and just casually look you probably won’t see any owls. Look closely and you might see an owl. The majority of these images are of young “owlets”, they are the ones with fuzzy all white bellies, the adults bellies are brown and white.
There is a field not far from my home that a pair of Eagles have been raising one baby, although it is as large as it’s parents now. Here are a series of photos, that I took with my new Nikon D 800 camera, of one of them landing on a tree branch.
Love the new camera, but the files are huge! Almost 40 MB for one RAW photo. A little over 25 years ago I bought my first MAC computer and added a 20 MB hard drive (for over $1000). Thank God technology has brought prices down!
Last weekend I went to the north eastern part of Colorado in hopes to photograph the full moon as it was rising in the Pawnee Buttes National Grasslands. But the weather didn’t cooperate when the moon was rising. I did get some great shots of the nearly abandoned town of Keota Colorado. Life is very hard on the eastern plains of Colorado, not much rain, windy and a tough place to earn a living. Novelist James Mitchener used Keota as his base of operations when he was writing his novel Centennial.
Janet and I went to Maybell, Colorado to take more photographs of wild horses at the Sand Wash Basin wild horse refuge. Maybell is in the the north western part of Colorado. This area is high plains desert and very dry and inhospitable, but the horses seem to be very healthy. One of the stallions photographed is a paint, look at his face to see one of his ears missing. He must have lost it during a fight – ouch! I personally think the area is beautiful – but to each their own.
Janet and I traveled to New Mexico last week to visit and photograph the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Winter is the time of year that the migratory birds call this area home. We saw thousands of cranes, snow geese and other water fowl and got some great images of other wildlife. Bosque del Apache or “Forest of the Apache” is an area that surrounds the Rio Grande River about 90 miles south of Albuquerque. A wet land area in the middle of the New Mexico desert, Bosque del Apache was created in 1939 as a winter refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife. According to the visitors center there are (at the time we were there) 8000 Sandhill Cranes, and 40,000 Snow Geese and thousands of other migratory water fowl and birds. At the end of February the Cranes will be moving to the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge for a few months and then fly up to the Yellowstone National Park area for the summer. Sounds like a retirees life, south in the winter then go up north for the summer!
Driving around this weekend I had to stop and take a photo of this “police car”. As you can guess the people in this little town of Rand Colorado, population 49, thought they could slow people down by setting up this police car. I don’t know if it really works or not, but it’s a great photo opportunity. If you look inside the car it looks like ET is sitting the drivers seat.
This weekend I went fishing and searching for photo opportunities. Fishing was great but so was photographing Big Horn Sheep! This gallery has sheep from the Frying Pan river canyon near Basalt Colorado and sheep at several locations along I-70 between Silver Plume and Idaho Springs Colorado. The best viewing for Big Horn Sheep is around Georgetown Colorado, on the north side of I-70.
This time of year makes it fun to take “spooky” photos and here are two that I took several years ago in the Georgetown, Colorado cemetery. This cemetery still has a lot of the old grave stones, unlike many of the old mining towns in Colorado that vandals have either taken the grave stone or broke them into pieces. Earlier this September I went to Caribou, which was an old mining town high in the Rockies west of Boulder Colorado. Back in the 1970′s we would go 4 wheeling in that area and some of the town was still standing and the cemetery was ran down but the grave stones were still visible. In September all of the grave stones were gone, vandals had either broken them into pieces or taken them for souvenirs. What a shame!!
The end of September and October are great times to view the Elk and Moose in Rocky Mt. National Park. Here are some images that I took last week. I didn’t see many of the Bulls fighting this year, timing is everything.
It has been typical for me to photograph the Elk late in the afternoon, after 5:00 pm, so using a very high ISO of 800 or as much as 1600 is almost a necessity. Of course using my 200mm – 400mm f4 Nikor zoom with VR helps tremendously!