Time of Transition

Raptors at Eleven Mile Canyon

Now is truly the time of transition in the Colorado Rockies. After months of looking at smoke and barren rocks for mountains there is a beautiful mantle of snow on the high peaks, the mountain air clear and crisp. The transitioning seasons is most obvious in the animal kingdom, they know the change is coming and they are doing their best to prepare for the onslaught of the bitter Rocky Mountain winter and  have mostly disappeared from the landscape. Perhaps during the daylight hours they are preparing their dens for the long cold nights, for whatever reason I have had little luck capturing any images the last few weeks.

Coyote on the Hunt

The bears are out stuffing themselves with as many calories as they can find, the bucks are almost at full rack for the coming rut and the coyotes and wolves are putting on their winter coats. The elk have completed their rut and have moved on, far from the high meadow where I like to hike. I looked for the osprey over the weekend but they too seem to have moved on, beginning their months long 4,000 mile journey to South America. The eagles are still in their summer pattern and will probably remain that way until the still water all freezes over. There are still some red-tail hawks hanging around, Colorado may be temperate enough to make it unnecessary for them to fly south. I suppose they would fly further south if the snow became too deep for them to hunt, however the intense Colorado sun usually dispatches the snow in short order, even in the dead of winter.

Coyote on the Hunt

They wolves and coyotes are putting on their thick winter coats which seem impervious to the cold. However these animals are rarely seen, mere phantoms in the snow, seen only early in the morning or at dusk… if you are lucky. Luckily for me, this was one of those times. There is a particularly well populated marsh on one of my favorite trails and when I came to it there was a big beautiful coyote rodent hunting there. He eyed me warily as I moved into position for a shot and began to move away toward the far side of the valley. My first shot of him as he stared at me was the best, but I was able to capture a few images as he continued to hunt as he retreated toward the back side of the meadow.

I departed before he reached the other side of his hunting grounds so that he wouldn’t have to miss the morning meal. He watched curiously as I slipped away before going back to his coyote business.

Coyote on the Hunt

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Bull Moose and a New Gallery

Big day yesterday… finally got some pictures of a bull moose! Kevin and I left at sunrise for Jefferson Lake where we have been trying all summer to capture moose images. In fact we’ve been trying without success to find moose for a couple of years now. This summer we finally saw a few moose cows, one in Jefferson Lake and a couple in Rocky Mountain National Park. But no big beautiful bull moose with those magnificent antlers.

Autumn in the San Isabel National Forest

We wanted to get to the park as soon as possible so there were no side tours at all on the trip there… no waterfalls, no hawks, no foggy landscapes, just the direct route to the park. We spotted the big cow moose and her calf fairly early in the morning, but not in the beautifully lit beaver ponds as we had hoped. She made such a brief appearance near the base of the pine covered mountain that we didn’t have time to even snap off a single image. We made a note of which direction she was going and set up near another beaver pond that we hoped was on her route, but she never showed.

The leaves in the park were beautiful so I couldn’t resist capturing a couple of shots while we waited and as it turns out they are a couple of my all time favorites! Pretty happy about that I have to say 🙂

Bull Moose on the Blue River

Eventually we decided to head on into Fairplay for some lunch but after one pass through the town we were aimed at Breckenridge so we just kept going, hoping for some great scenery to photograph on Hoosier Pass and a nice place to have lunch in the larger town. As we traveled along the Blue River nearing Breckenridge we noticed a large traffic jam in the road near a clearing in the river valley. In Colorado whenever you see a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere, there is sure to be some awesome looking animal at the center of it!

Bull Moose on the Blue River

Turns out, it was our bull moose… He was out in the valley feeding on the tender reeds growing along the river banks. He was barely visible through the reeds but bunches of people were trying to get pictures with their phones from the top of the steep embankment. We were able to get a couple of unsatisfactory images but without going down the embankment to get on the other side of the trees there wasn’t much hope of a good capture. I looked the situation over and said to Kevin, “You know we are going down there…”! I heard the “Yup!” and we were scrambling down the embankment to get a closer look.

Herd of Elk Cows

Eventually we got into a good position and were able to watch the majestic beast for a few minutes as he munched on the reeds. At first I feared he was never going to turn around for a head on shot, but eventually he turned sideways to get at a bush and looked in our direction a couple of times so we could get a nice shot.

After lunch we returned to the lake for a couple more passes by the beaver ponds to no avail. We never saw the big cow moose or any other wildlife in the park the rest of the day, save for a couple of red-tail hawks. We did however have some luck just outside the recreation area, spotting a herd of pronghorns and a small herd of elk cows on their way to the high country in a hurry! If you look really carefully off to the right in the image, I accidentally picked up a stray pronghorn watching the elk run by!

All in all it was a pretty great day and I hope you enjoy a few of the images that I have gotten processed thus far! Oh, and before I forget… I have created a new gallery on my website just for moose! I don’t have a whole bunch of moose images yet, but I certainly plan to!

 

Pronghorn Antelope

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

Hanging with the Bucks

I was up well before sunrise hoping to see the deer pass through the beautiful meadows of the high country before going off to rest in the shade of the dense pine forest. As I made my way up the mountain I could see their ghostly figures moving toward the summit in the predawn light, small herds of bucks and does making their way separately. I knew if I could quietly get into position without causing them to run I would get a chance to photograph them just as the sun was clearing the ridge to the east.

Mule Deer Bucks in the Rockies

And I was not disappointed… It wasn’t long before the first regal buck made his way into the clearing, a majestic figure against the morning sky. It wasn’t long before the handsome beasts were aware of me sitting on my rock, staring at me for a few seconds as they sized me up… threat or not? I was glad to see they were going to tolerate my presence as they went back to grazing on the high mountain grass. As the sun began to rise in the sky the crisp mountain morning began to become uncomfortably warm and the deer retreated to a pine shaded oasis on the summit to lie down for an early morning nap. I have no idea how long their night was or how long of a journey it was for them to reach the mountaintop but they were definitely ready for a break. I have to say I was a bit surprised that they were comfortable enough with me that they could just lay down and rest a few feet from me!

Autumn Colors in Colorado

I decided to leave them in peace so I arose and walked directly away from the group. It cost me an extra half mile around the mountainside to avoid startling them but I was hoping that I would be able to return in a couple of hours to find them once again grazing and doing deer stuff.

I traveled on over to the gold mines of Goldfield hoping to capture some beautiful autumn color around the mines and on Pikes Peak, and perhaps some early morning wildlife in the open prairie there. Didn’t see any wildlife but the leaves were beautiful this morning although I can see they are past the prime now. It won’t be long before this mountainside is covered by a mantle of white, in fact I am already hearing rumors of snow rolling in next week. That’s ok with me… I think these mountains are happier with a fresh blanket of snow.

Mule Deer Bucks in the Rockies

Eventually I was ready to return to Victor for some coffee but unfortunately my usual hangout wasn’t quite prepared with the morning nourishment so I decided to try out a new place, the Phantom Canyon Coffee shop. This place has just recently opened and they don’t have a full blown website yet, but I can see it is going to be a great addition to the new Victor. The help is friendly and the atmosphere hip and inviting… and the coffee tasty and hot 🙂 I say new Victor because the old Victor nearly became a ghost town a few years ago. Now there is new blood moving to town and the town is reconstituting itself as a quaint mountain art and eats mecca, drawing people from cities up and down the front range wanting to check out the new places and historic attachment to the 1800’s gold mining boom.

Mule Deer Bucks in the Rockies

After becoming sufficiently caffeinated I returned to the mountain to check on the little band of bucks. Sure enough they were done with their morning respite and were back to feeding on the dry mountain grass. I slowly maneuvered back into position as we once again went through the ritual of suspicion followed by grudging acceptance. This time I found a good seat on top of some mine tailings where I sat and watched for at least an hour before they meandered over the ridge and out of sight. I had acquired enough images for one day and decided not to disturb them any further.

I finished out the day with a visit to the Victor Gold Camp Artist’s Coop where I have some of my work displayed… Turned out to be a fortuitous visit… One of the customers was interested in my framed elk picture from our visit to Rocky Mountain National Park earlier this fall, and as I was there to tell the story of the image I made the sale 🙂 Now I’m going to have to find another awesome frame so I can get another one done!

Now, home in front of the computer I can see it was a very successful morning. I will be uploading quite a few from today, starting with just a few that I was able to produce today. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

 

Mule Deer Bucks in the Rockies

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Deer in the Gold

Mule Deer in the Rocky Mountian Autumn

It was a beautiful morning for a hike… a crisp, clear mountain autumn morning. The leaves are in peak color on the south face of Pikes Peak, the wildlife are starting to come out from their refuge from the summer heat deep in the shade of the dense pine forest and the air is finally clearing of the terrible smoke from the summer’s fires.

Saw a couple of doe mule deer grazing and enjoying the pleasant morning and a lot of golden leaves to

Autumn on Pikes Peak and Mine Country

photograph. On my return down the mountainside I looked back and spotted a lone deer shining in the sun in the golden canopy. I captured a number of images of the deer, including some zooms with my 400mm lens, but the one of the deer in the distance with just 100mm of magnification is my favorite!

I’ve  been eyeing one of the gold mines for a picture but the leaves on that side of the mountain have yet to change color. It was also a great morning to stop and have some biscuits and gravy at my favorite place, the Gold Camp Bakery. I was tempted to add a cinnamon roll to that but I decided to save the calories for another day 😦

Some days I get pictures that are nice to look at, but not really up to snuff to put on my website for sale as prints… but today a got a few that I’m putting up! I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Mule Deer in the Rocky Mountian Autumn

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Hawks, Hunting and Gold

I fully expected to go out to another flat tire this morning so I was pretty happy to discover that the tire had held air overnight. Ran back in the house, grabbed my camera and headed for the Victor / Cripple Creek gold mining district where the leaves are changing around the old historic gold mines of a past era.

Gold Mine in Autumn

The leaves up on Victor and Tenderfoot Passes are in peak color, but a few  feet lower down in Victor there is still quite a bit of green so I was not expecting any photography there until later in the season. However there was a view of one of the mines with some gold in the background so I stopped to capture an image. I had to shoot with the long lens and crop pretty tight to get the leaves in the image, hopefully on another day I’ll have a wider field to work with. I also need to get back out in the morning and find the names of these mines for the metadata!

Red-tailed Hawk Hunting

I worked my way north up Victor Pass hoping for some more cool images when I spotted a red-tailed hawk hunting in the prairie dog town. I followed him around a bit until I finally saw him take a dive and snatch up a rodent, I assume a prairie dog. I would think the little creatures would be more mindful of the “death from the sky”, but maybe the young ones aren’t too smart yet. The great bird must have killed the rodent instantly because I never saw it so much as wiggle once he was in the grasp of the razor sharp talons of the powerful raptor.

Red-tailed Hawk Hunting

The hawk carried his prey high into the sky and then headed out across the open field, perhaps to bring to a young one or to a more private place to enjoy his breakfast. I was ready for some breakfast myself by this time so I headed back down the hill when I spotted a good view of this mine (below), the Vindicator I believe… with some golden leaves in the background. I stopped and readjusted my camera for a still shot of the mine and snapped a few pictures.

Unfortunately there was a large crowd at the Gold Camp Bakery so I decided to just go home for breakfast. Not a fan of the large crowds of leaf lookers up here in the mountains at this time of year.

 

Gold Mine in Autumn

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Autumn, My Favorite Time of Year

Gold in Mine Country

I absolutely love this time of year… the clear fresh mountain air, the brisk mornings, the active wildlife and the beautiful colors as aspen trees turn to gold. Sort of a utopia for nature photographers! As soon as it was light this morning I headed out into prime leaf country. Victor, Colorado is one of the finest places for aspen leaf looking in the state. There is an awesome view of the south face of Pikes Peak from Victor Pass covered with aspen trees and I wanted to capture it before we lost the moisture in the air leftover from yesterday’s rains.

Gold in Mine Country

And today it was magnificent probably within a couple of days of peak color. I set the camera to manual with a 320th of a second and an aperture of F8 for good depth of field, and checked a couple of exposures before making my way around to all the best vantage points. It was early morning with the sun nearly at my back so I knew there would be no need for a polarizer. Eventually I knew I had captured the scene so it was off to the Gold Camp Bakery for some biscuits and gravy 🙂 There were quite a few leaf seeking customers there today so my order took a bit longer, but I never get tired of looking out the window at historic Victor while I contemplate my the rest of the day.

Mule Deer in the Rockies

I decided to take a short jaunt down the hill to see if the deer might be stirring on such a beautiful morning, and I was not disappointed! I found a herd of four beautiful bucks, which I assume is probably the Three Amigos + One. Don’t know why but each fall the three inseparable friends pick up a fourth prior to the rut season, which is soon to come. Once they get interested in the ladies you won’t see them together until later in the winter.

Mule Deer in the Rockies

Eventually the two herds meandered into the trees and I headed back up the mountain to see what the brighter light may have done for my autumn scene. Indeed it was a bit different so I retraced my earlier steps to recapture all the best angles in the more intense light.

Satisfied that I had sufficiently captured the scene I was ready to call it a day. There was still hope that I might see a few more deer or perhaps even some elk but it was not to be. They don’t like to stay out in the bright sunshine and retreat to the dark depths of the pine forest to while away the days hidden in the shadows.

My one last stop was to check on my pieces at the Victor Gold Camp Artist’s Coop and hopefully chat with a few of the potential customers trickling through. If you get up to Victor this season be sure to stop in and check on the mountain art! It’s well worth the effort 🙂 I have a few pieces scattered around the place and a notebook of prints on a table right in front of the cash register. Be sure to pick up one of my picture business cards!

 

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Misty Foggy Autumn Morning

As I sipped my coffee this morning I was wondering why it was taking so long to get light. At the first sign of sunrise I peeked outside to see what kind of a day would greet me. Wet sidewalks and a dense layer of fog so thick it almost blotted out the street lights revealed the reason behind the stubborn darkness. There would be a short delay on this day as I knew I would have to wait for a bit more light before attempting any photographs.

Beautiful Buck in Dense Fog

My first thought was to go see if there was any interesting foggy effects and maybe even some  new snow on the south face of Pikes Peak, so I headed toward Victor while carefully watching the aspen stands for deer. As I climbed higher the fog got even more dense until I could barely see to drive. A huge buck mule deer crossed the road in front of me so I leaped out of the truck to capture an image. You can barely make out the handsome beast, but the ghostly figure in the fog made a pretty cool picture I think!

Osprey in Eleven Mile Canyon

Pikes Peak wasn’t visible at all so I decided to try something else. I was thinking Eleven Mile Canyon might not be quite as foggy and the drive would give the sun a bit more time to burn off the mist. I didn’t get very far up the canyon before encountering my favorite inhabitant, one of the osprey nesting pair high in the branches of a dead tree.

He carefully watched me for a while before taking flight and landing a few yards away on the cliff wall, where he watched the water intently for a fish. I snapped a few images of him watching the water and then he took flight. Fortunately I was prepared and got some nice ones of him flying away. He circled the water a couple of times looking for a fish before finally giving up and flying downstream to a new spot.

I spotted him one more time before the road grader scared him off, and I believe he circled back around and headed back upstream to quieter fishing grounds. I whiled away some time shooting the beautiful autumn colors lining the banks of the headwaters of the South Platte before calling it a day.

 

Osprey in Eleven Mile Canyon

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Autumn in Eleven Mile Canyon

Hunting the Hawks

Red-tailed Hawk in FlightOr hawks hunting… Could go either way! I was out early this morning hoping to photograph some red-tailed hawks but this was beyond expectations! As I rounded the curve outside of Victor I spotted a red-tail hunting in a grassy wetland area so I quietly pulled closer hoping to get a shot… Much to my surprise though, it wasn’t one hawk, there were at least four of them circling and diving down to the grass, for some kind of rodent I assume! I wasn’t quick enough to catch any of them on the ground but it wasn’t long and a couple of them were perched in the nearby trees where I could get close.

I set my camera to shutter priority mode (Tv) on a 2000th of a second. As usual I left the ISO on auto to ensure enough light for the capture and then dialed in +2 on the exposure compensation to account for the bright Colorado sky.

The intrepid raptors eyeballed me for a few minutes and then took flight for a better view. There was a breeze on this morning so the great birds were having no trouble staying afloat right above me. One managed to remain almost stationary right above me as he looked down assessing my presence. I was able to snap off about a hundred images before they drifted ever higher into the blue Colorado sky.

Red-tailed Hawk in FlightAs always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

The Joy of Shooting Film

The goal today was to finish my roll of film that I have been shooting through my new / vintage film camera that I found at a  thrift store, a Canon AE-1. I was going to run into town with the camera and shoot a couple of  random pictures to round out my 36 exposures, but I decided upon a trip out to the canyon instead. The bulk of the tourists leave after the holiday weekend so I was kind of hoping the wildlife had settled down and reappeared along the banks of the beautiful South Platte River.

Great Blue Heron

Things have definitely settled down in the canyon, only a hand full of campers remain and it looked like they were packing up. There are always fishermen, even in the dead of winter but there weren’t the giant trucks roaring up and down the dirt road stirring up huge clouds of dust.

Didn’t see much on the drive up the canyon, but I wanted to stop somewhere and make a video so I kept an eye out for a good place to do that. Having spotted a nice private spot along the banks of the river I gathered up my gear and walked down to the river. Much to my surprise as I was getting ready I spotted a great blue heron fishing only about 30 yards from me! I quick snapped a few images, but I managed to scare him away trying to adjust my pants and missed the coveted flight image 😦

Eventually I completed my little talk about the Canon AE-1 film camera that I found at the thrift shop a few weeks ago and took a few shots with it. At first the experience seemed a bit hollow, I’m used to shooting digital and looking at the screen after each series. But I soon fell into the groove and began to enjoy the experience. In film photography you have to slow down and really think about what you are doing. Careful consideration of your shutter speed and aperture are required, you have to make every shot count. With my Canon 90D digital I can burn up 36 exposures in three seconds followed by a quick check of the results and another three second burst. Frequently I find myself shooting six or seven hundred captures in a day along the river, while today I had to make my last six film frames count.

Red-tailed Hawk

So I whiled away my time looking at the river imagining the picture I wanted to capture, how much motion in the water do I want to see, how much depth of field am I going to need… Which lens is going to give me the coverage that I want, what to leave in, what to leave out. Finally I am ready and click, there it is. Did it  turn out, I don’t know… I’ll find out in two weeks! But there is something about the click, the sound of the antique shutter, the slap of the mirror, the sound of the film advance lever. Somehow I feel like a real photographer, not just the operator of a highly advance machine.

However I know I won’t be going back to shooting film exclusively… One day I calculated what my expenses would be if I were to be conducting my stock photo business with film, the film and developing cost alone would be running me about $1500 per month and that doesn’t even include the cost of high res scans that would be required for the uploads.

However I did enjoy the experience enough to pick up another roll of 35mm film at the store where I dropped off the film. Although I may have jumped the gun on that purchase, the camera seems to work fine, but it is 40 years old and I’m not even sure it is going to work, and I won’t know for two weeks!

On pins and needles 🙂

 

As always, the best of these images and hundreds more are available for purchase on my website as wall art on glossy metal or acrylic sheets, stretched canvas and traditional matting and framing. Tons of cool household and gift items are also available with any image you like including coffee mugs, t-shirts, blankets and pillows, battery chargers, phone cases, stationary and much much more! Just click on any image you like and all the choices, sizes and prices will appear! For my viewers interested in images for commercial use, please visit my image licensing portal! Also, if you would like to see a more complete record of today’s images please follow my Instagram account!

Many of my adventures have also been captured on beautiful HD video on my Youtube Channel! If you enjoy my content please subscribe to my channel, subscribers have a big impact on channel rankings!

This post is not sponsored and all equipment used in it’s creation was purchased by me on my own volition.

Cloud Nine

I have definitely been on Cloud Nine since yesterday’s road trip to Jefferson Lake. I just recently learned of the place when I got a hot tip from one of the rangers that there were often moose feeding around this lake. On our way back from Mount Evans last week Kevin and I decided to swing by there and check it out. We didn’t see any moose that day but a return trip was assured when we saw all the awesome moose habitat!

Storm on Lost Creek Wilderness

So plans were made and by sunrise we were off on a road trip to see moose. We’ve been hoping for a few years now to finally get some pictures of moose, all the while hearing stories and seeing the pictures from everyone else who seemed to be having much better luck 😦

As the sun rose over the mountains of the Lost Creek Wilderness to the east it was obvious that it was going to be an amazing day! Temperatures were nice and cool, a bit of fog lingered in the valley… and a lot of red-tailed hawks were watching down upon us from above. We finally arrived at our destination not too long after sunrise. A few trips through the park and a bit of hiking on the Colorado Trail yielded nothing in the way of large mammal photography. I must admit, by this time I was a bit discouraged.

Moose at Jefferson Lake Colorado

We decided at this time to take a break and head down to Como where we also heard there was moose habitat, again… to no avail. By this time it seemed lunch was the best idea so we went on in to Fairplay where we found a place that was serving pizza by the slice.

As ominous rain clouds began to build towards the north we decided upon at least one more pass through the park, even if it was raining. As we neared the first pull out we spotted a huge black animal shaking the aspen trees. Finally, a moose to photograph!

We pulled in close and quietly exited the car in hopes of a clear capture through the heavy vegetation. I carefully moved around to the side while trying not to disturb the huge moose cow from her meal of aspen leaves. She glanced at me a couple of times but didn’t appear to be very worried about our presence. She was going to allow us to snap a few photographs!

Soon I noticed another animal off to the side, and then another. Two moose calves were resting on the ground not too far from their mother. As we snapped a few images of the calves they slowly began to stir, finally getting up to join their mother in the feeding.

Every once in a while the mother would let out a great huff and the younger ones would occasionally make a  grunting sound so I shot a few seconds of video so you all could share in the experience! It’s not much… but it’s something. Hopefully I’ll be seeing more of these magnificent creatures soon and I’ll capture some more video footage for you to see. By this time the little family was very close to our vehicle so we decided to give them some time and space and moved on to look for a bull moose in the beautiful pond area ahead.

We made a couple of passes by the beaver ponds without seeing any more of the giant mammals, so we decided to return and check on the trio. We found them right where we left them… feeding on the aspen leaves beside the road. Only this time they were moving a bit and came out of the dense forest to pose for a few unobstructed photographs. Mother moose turned to look at us a couple of times, seeming to warn us that she was watching and would not tolerate any kind of threat to her little ones… Not that they are that little anymore, baby moose appear to be about the size of some full grown farm livestock!

I have to say though, I am still on Cloud Nine from the experience. I can  barely put into words what it is like to lock eyes with such an amazing creature. It is an amazing experience to stare into those huge soulful brown eyes and for just a few short seconds feel the bond between animal and man. Every time I experience such a thing I come away incredulous that someone could pull the trigger and kill one of these great beasts. The need to kill these animals is beyond my comprehension, perhaps if hunters could see into their eyes the way I do, the killing would stop.

Finally the trio ambled off into the dense forest to the north and we lost sight of them. The day was not over yet though, there were still the red-tail hawks to photograph along Tarryall Road, a waterfall to capture with the motion blur effect, and as it turned out a herd of pronghorn antelope too! The day ended at the waterfall as the storm finally caught up to us with a deluge of water and hail that drove us back to the car and on our way home.

Well anyway, what a fantastic day of photography it was! Once again I hope you enjoy the little video I made to document the sighting, along with a few photographs that I was able to capture!

 

 

Pronghorn Antelope

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Waterfall at Tarryall