Wild Morning

Rough Legged Hawk

It was a wild and wonderful morning on the mountain, I saw a little of everything today ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted to see some wildlife today and I was debating a long drive to up my chances but in the end I decided on a short drive to my usual local trail. I knew it was a good omen as I was climbing the hill and I heard the screech of a hawk.ย  It sounded close by so I looked around and there he was perched on top of a power pole. Unfortunately he had is back to me and I couldn’t get a decent shot. So I waited hoping the big raptor would take flight but that didn’t work out either. When he finally flew he went down and all the power lines and the pole were in the way… later on I got a shot of him high in the brilliant blue Colorado sky but a closer shot would have been much nicer.

Herd of Mule Deer

I continued my trek up the hill and soon I spotted a lone doe mule deer in a perfect pose in the perfect morning light ๐Ÿ™‚ But now my camera was stuck. I live in Tv mode and the front wheel wouldn’t change the shutter speed, it was stuck on a 2000th of a second from my birds in flight efforts yesterday. So I went to manual and that was a no go too. Av mode was next on the list and it was fine but it was setting a wildly outrageous ISO which I quickly locked in at 400. Now, free to choose my exposure compensation with the real wheel I set up for the shot. By then a few more deer had moved into the lush meadow to feed and I probably got in about a half hour of uninterrupted shooting. Kind of wish now that I had done a little video, but in all the excitement it didn’t occur to me. Eventually for some unknown reason the front wheel started working again and I finished up the scene in the preferred Tv mode using a 500th and a 640th of a second for a few captures before the deer disappeared into the wilderness.

Sage Sparrow on a  Perch

Eventually I was on top of the ridge in the clearing where I heard a faint but urgent chirping to the north. I looked over but didn’t see anything… a closer look revealed a sage sparrow on top of a bush singing her song with a fresh batch of nesting materials in her mouth! Usually those little guys stay perched for about a billionth of a second but today she stayed for a full portrait session ๐Ÿ™‚

While descending the mountain I spotted a big coyote over by the prairie dogs standing and just staring at me. Naturally I stopped and snapped a few pictures before she began a wary retreat. Every few steps she would stop and look at me to see if I was a threat and I was hoping she would just stop and wait, but she finally trotted away and disappeared over the ridge.

Coyote Hunting Prairie DogsMy extraordinary morning in the mountains was at an end, I was back in the parking lot when I spotted what I first thought was the hawk again but it turned out to be a White American Pelican. I once again adjusted my camera for bird in flight and tried my hand at capturing he soaring majestically overhead. You can really go overboard with a bird soaring in the air with the rapid fire button and in about 10 minutes I had already rattled off about 150 more pictures… pictures I really didn’t feel like processing :( But a couple did turn out pretty nice so Iย  guess it was worth it :)

Fortunately a good number of my images from today made for good print candidates and

American Pelican

as always, the best of these images 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 donโ€™t forget to check out my YouTube channel if you want to see some ofย  my adventures in action!

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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Prairie Dogs