Tag Archives: Colorado

WP:~Mule Deer~

Sheila’s Wildlife Photos: ~Mule Deer in Rocky Mountain National Park~

 

Mule Deer (male)
Mule Deer (male)

These Mule deer images were taken in September, 2012 in Rocky Mountain National Park. They were in a meadow munching on vegetation; it was fun to photograph  and  observe their behavior.

 

Close Up of his Big Ears
Close Up of his Big Ears

Chatting
Chatting

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are indigenous to western North America and are found west of the Missouri River. They are named Mule deer, because they have big ears like a mule.

A most handsome face
A most handsome face
"I might try this one"
“I might try this one”
"Go Away!"
“Go Away!”

Last Images from Tuesday’s Trip to Rocky…..

I am so very lucky to live in such a beautiful area `the Colorado Rockies

A Beautiful old Tree Stump
A Beautiful old Tree Stump

once beautiful tree

had lived many seasons

beauty in its death

Canyon Walls in the Big Thompson Canyon
Canyon Walls in the Big Thompson Canyon
Big Thompson River
Big Thompson River
Steller's Jay (very agitated because of the Crow)
Steller’s Jay (very agitated because of the Crow)
American Crow - looking pretty ragged
American Crow – looking pretty ragged
Another Hiking Path (dark clouds are to the left of this image)
Another Hiking Path (dark clouds are to the left of this image)
Upper Beaver Meadows. Why would anyone start out with clouds looking like that? See his wife down the path?
Upper Beaver Meadows. Why would anyone start out with clouds looking like that? See his wife down the path?
Meadow in Summer Colors
Meadow in Summer Colors

Devil’s Backbone…..

Devil's Backbone as seen from the trailhead parking lot
Devil’s Backbone as seen from the trailhead parking lot

Less than a mile from my house, our first stop on Tuesday morning on the drive through the Big Thompson Canyon, toward Rocky Mountain National Park, was the trailhead leading to one of Loveland’s gorgeous open space areas. 

 

This area is called the Devil’s Backbone. The area gets it’s name from the unique rock formations called Flatirons. It is believed that the first settlers to this area arrived in 1858 creating farming settlements around the Devil’s Backbone and the Big Thompson River. Flatirons were given their name by these pioneer women, because the flat, jetted peaks reminded them of their metal irons. Not sure how these Flatirons were named The Devil’s Backbone.

 

The Devil’s Backbone Open Space area consists of 2,198 acres and lies in a beautiful valley just west of Loveland. As you hike, bike, bird, eat a picnic lunch or just sit taking in the view, you can’t help being overwhelmed by the areas serene beauty. I can’t wait to hike this area and to capture both a sunset and sunrise photo.

I can't believe how green our area is this year!
I can’t believe how green our area is this year!
You can just make one of the hiking trails
You can just make one of the hiking trails
A close-up of some of the Flatirons
A close-up of some of the Flatirons

WP:~Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep~

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep climbing the cliffs in the Big Thompson Canyon
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep climbing the cliffs in the Big Thompson Canyon

Yesterday, as we were driving through the Big Thompson Canyon, west of Loveland, Colorado, heading up to Rocky Mountain National Park these sheep could be seen from the road.

We stopped to photograph them, which was a first for me. Two ewes were along side the road and the other ewe was up the canyon wall about thirty feet.

Bighorn sheep are named for the large, curved horns borne by the rams (males). Ewes (females) also have horns, but they are shorter with less curvature. They range in color from light brown to grayish or dark, chocolate brown, with a white rump and lining on the backs of all four legs. (as described on the wikipedia web-site).

These images are of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep; they are large, with males occasionally exceeding 500 pounds and females exceeding 200 pounds.

Pretty Face - Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep climbing the cliffs in the Big Thompson Canyon
Pretty Face – Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep climbing the cliffs in the Big Thompson Canyon
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (ewe) something has her attention
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (ewe). What does she see?
I think I have her attention; she was very high up the cliff.
I think I have her attention; she was very high up the cliff.
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep eating grass (ewe)
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep eating grass (ewe)
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (ewe)
Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (ewe)
Off she goes leaving the other two!
Off she goes leaving the other two!
Just for fun!
Just for fun!

The Big Thompson Canyon is beautiful and rugged. I hope these images give you a feel of how the canyon looks during the summer.  With all of our rain this spring and summer the lush grasses and other vegetation are plentiful. Good for them, good for us!

FP:~Wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park~

The morning started out cool and beautiful with white puffy clouds floating like mysterious shapes in the azure sky. The stillness and quiet enhancing the allure to get out. So I got out and drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to take a few photos. I spotted these wildflowers, growing among the trees, just off a trail.

Purple & Pink Wildflower
Purple & Pink Wildflower

seed, rain and light

entice many colors, so bright

purple, pink delight

White Wildflower
White Wildflower

wildflower in white

beauty growing in the sun

leaves a happy thought

Yellow & Orange Wildflower
Yellow & Orange Wildflower

yellow and orange

smiling swaying with the breeze

its sunny side up

Aspen Tree
Aspen Tree

nature leaves its mark

patterns display happenings

scared old aspen tree

White Yarrow
White Yarrow
Black & White
Black & White

I tried to find the names of these wildflowers, but didn’t have any luck. If you know what they are, please let me know.

Additional photos from Rocky to share tomorrow.

A fun day spent with friends in Rocky Mountain National Park…..

Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park is always enjoyable; however when you are showing friends around that have never seen this beautiful national park before, it is even more fun.

 

Summer in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park
Summer in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park

Friends from Louisiana were visiting us and we drove up to Rocky to spend the day. I can remember seeing Rocky for the first time about 27 years ago when we moved from Louisiana to Colorado.

As most people do, I think our Louisiana friends fell in love with this Colorado national park, so much so, they just might be back for another visit. I hope so!

Seeing a place so gorgeous, for the first time, is a memory I think we all hold dear and one we usually never forget.

Tamias minimus - Chipmunk
Tamias minimus – Chipmunk

Nature’s Ornaments…..

Nature's Ornaments
Icicles
Melting Snow
Melting Snow
Afternoon Shadows
Afternoon Shadows

A lovely day today in northern Colorado! The second snow storm has finally stopped, leaving an accumulation of five inches or so. It is beautiful and will soon disappear.

The warmer mid-day temperatures begin to melt the snow laying on the broad branches of the Blue Spruce, Austrian pines and other trees in my yard. The melting snow along with lower afternoon temperatures creates icicles that hang from the tips of the tree branches. It appears as if someone decided to decorate the trees with ornaments. I don’t recall seeing such an occurrence – nature has created a delightful site!

I continue to place bird seed out for the birds. Their frantic searching for food is evidence that these early spring snow storms and freezing temperatures have caught them off guard. The American Robins seem to have moved on, possibly because they have eaten all the berries in my juniper trees! The 30+ Dark-eyed Juncos are still here enjoying the full bird feeders.

Dark-eyed Junco ~Gray-headed~ This photo was taken a few weeks back as we were traveling through New Mexico.
Dark-eyed Junco ~Gray-headed~
This photo was taken a few weeks back as we were traveling through New Mexico.

Other visitors to the feeders have included: Chipping Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Spotted Towhees, Townsend’s Solitaires, Black-capped Chickadees, Scrub-Jays, Morning Doves and Ring-necked Doves.

A simple pastime – gazing out the windows of the house, observing the wonders of nature, leaves moments of joy.