Decided to just stay close to home today, no sense shooting hundreds of new pictures when I don’t even have the ones processed that I have already captured! Really what I wanted this morning was just a bit of exercise and some quiet time on my mountain.
As I climbed toward the top of the mountain I saw my favorite rough legged hawk in the distance. I readied my camera settings for a hawk in flight but the majestic raptor never came close enough. He glided through the valley and around the mountain to the north without ever coming near enough for an image. I have attached an image of him that I captured another time (see below).
I strode on, through the dense forest and up the mountainside to the summit. On the summit I looked around for any wildlife that might be enjoying the solitude of the quiet mountaintop and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a lone buck, peering out curiously from the woods. I quietly set up for a shot and he stood still for a few seconds while I dialed in the best composition. I put my pack down hoping he would remain long enough for me to attach my 1.4x lens extension, but when I looked back up he had vanished into the pine forest. I have to say he is the best looking buck I have seen all year, just magnificent!
Today I decided against the second and third summits on the high ridge and just turned down the old wagon trail towards the return trail. The free range cattle were grazing on the high mountain grass as I made my way back down through the middle of the herd. These cows used to run from me but over the last three years I guess they have gotten used to my presence. In fact this little family of calves started coming over to say hello but before they had gotten very far I was already further from their mother than they were brave enough to venture.
Near the end of the trail birds had gathered by the dozens in the tasty wild bushes. I was trying to get some shots of them but every time I got close they would fly another ten feet away. Finally a couple of these little finches landed on the rocks just close enough for me to capture this nice portrait 🙂
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