Bighorn Morning

The Bighorn rut season is in full swing in Waterton Canyon and yesterday seemed like the perfect morning to get some pictures.We arrived fairly early and made the mountain bike ride up to the Marsten Dam where we usually find animals, but no sheep were to be seen. Not to worry though, often the sheep don’t make it down the mountainside until afternoon so we decided to take a short break to hydrate. After a  little bit other visitors told us the ewes were coming down the mountain at about the 1.25 mile point, so we mounted up and headed back downstream.

Whitetail Deer

There were a couple of young rams challenging each other but the big time head butting that we had hoped for did not seem to be materializing… Of course the rams were out in full force the day before, the story of my life 😦 So we hung around and photographed the ews and the young rams for a bit, but it wasn’t long before they were heading right back up the mountainside for their afternoon naps.

So there’s the dilemma, do you hang around for a few hours hoping they come back down, or do you move on and try another subject? Well we decided to leave and try the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, which turned out to be a good choice as I captured some of the nicest whitetail deer images ever! At one point one of the bucks started running right at us, which was a great chance to try out the focusing system on my Canon R7. My 90D is a great camera, but is terrible when it comes to tracking a rapidly approaching animal or bird. I’m happy to report the the R7 handled the situation with flying colors and I really like this image! In fact I have uploaded it to the Artist Choice library on my website!

I wanted to get a nice capture of the buffalo too, but they were either walking away from us, lying down in bad light or too far away, so the buffalo were a big fail. We saw a big hawk, but he flew off while we were trying to get into position. The prairie dogs were out in force so we captured a few images of them, but the coyote that we were hoping for must have already gotten a full belly before we arrived!

 

 

Also don’t forget to check out my books and calendars on Lulu Press and Amazon including my latest, “Wildlife Photography in the Colorado Rockies” and this year’s wildlife calendar “Colorado Wildlife 2023“!

Elk Herd on a Beautiful Rocky Mountain Evening

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!

Coyote on the Hunt
 
 
 
 

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.

A Simple Morning

Prairie Dog

It was a simple morning, a short hike close by… no exotic animals in sight. It seems unfortunately that some guy with his loose dog has been beating me to the trail and scaring away all the wildlife 😦

Today I only saw a couple of chipmunks, a prairie dog and a mountain bluebird which I couldn’t see to get a shot of. He was just too elusive for my slow reactions!

The prairie dog and the chipmunk were more cooperative though, each giving me a lengthy and cute pose 🙂

Cute Chipmunk

For your enjoyment I have created many short multimedia videos for my YouTube channel! Feel free to watch and be sure to subscribe to my channel  if you would like to see more of our adventures!

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!

Be Like the Birds

Deer at First Light

It was an exceptionally quiet day on my mountain this morning, no wind, no other people, only the sound of the birds happily singing about the beautiful Colorado mountain morning. I was walking along worrying about going back to work with all the new virus related issues and rules when I found myself thinking, the birds know nothing of the Corona Virus or social distancing, nothing of the murders, riots and homelessness that permeates the news and our minds these days. They are just enjoying life, minding their own business bringing joy to everyone they come in contact with.  As I pondered the birds and life in general I was reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:26,

Deer at First Light

Behold the birds of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”.

The familiar verse helped me to resolve the dilemma cluttering my mind and I was able to finish my hike with peace in the knowledge that as always I was not walking alone. It occurred to me that we all might be a better off if we could be a little more like the birds!

Soon I noticed a few of my furry friends staring curiously out from the brush at me. I quickly checked my shutter speed

Sagebrush Sparrow

and steadied the camera for a shot. The deer herd slowly shifted their positions giving me an opportunity to shoot individual portraits and then a group shot 🙂

Eventually the small herd disappeared into the dense pine forest and I was left with some sage sparrows and baby prairie dogs who also were in a mood to cooperate with a little photo session 🙂

Prairie Dogs

 

 

 

Winter in May

Clouds on the Sangre de Cristo Range of Colorado

It was definitely winter when I was loading my camera equipment into the truck for my hike on the mountain today! Yesterday afternoon a cold front came through and we got snow, hail, thunder, lightning and wind! This morning the ice was all still present and it took me about 15 minutes just to scrape out a place to see through the windshield!

It was also winter when I started my hike through the fresh snow at 11,000 feet. The

Baby Prairie Dog

wind was blowing and I was glad I had a hood on my jacket, which I quickly pulled over my frozen and aching ears. Eventually I cleared the ridge and thankfully the wind subsided. The Sangre de Cristo range soon came into view in all it’s glory, still sporting storm clouds from yesterdays weather. I stopped there for a while to take in the sound of the wind blowing in the tall pines and the chirping of happy song birds, and of course to capture a few images of the magnificent snow capped peaks.

By now the it was warming up quickly and spring had returned to the Rocky Mountains. The prairie dogs were chirping out their happiness to see the sunshine and luckily for me this one little fellow stuck around long enough for me to get his picture. I moved around to the sunny side while he warily kept a little black eye on my movement. I was able to get two captures before the diminutive creature retreated back into his den.