It’s a Happy Birthday Elk!

Greetings all on this last day of September!  For the counters out there, you were probably getting worried that my production this month was coming up a bit short on my self-imposed quota.  No worries, as you can see.. that deficiency has officially been addressed.  Truth is this month is an annual test of how much sleep one truly needs to be able to function.  In my case that is staggeringly low.  Running definitely takes time off the top, but the rest is being consumed by work on the Haunted Trail of Tears.  Somehow I forget how much work it is to put this on every year… a true labor of love.  Today also happens to be the one year anniversary of my Father’s passing.  One of the saddest days in my life and still a big hole in my heart that will never be filled.  Um to that Yang, it is Ron’s birthday and nothing says Happy Birthday like an Elk.

Elk spotted at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado in May 2014

It isn’t very often that you get to have an Elk from the Rocky Mountains give you a birthday greeting.  By the way, that is your gift this year hehehe.

Elk spotted at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado in May 2014

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the Wapiti.

Continue reading It’s a Happy Birthday Elk!

Circle of Life Plays Out in a Theatre Far Away

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!  Not sure if I am going to get around to posting tomorrow, so thought I would go ahead and put one out there today.  Finally feels like Christmas in the Midwest thanks to a lot of white stuff coming down at the moment.  Looks like 2-4 inches when it is all done for the day.  A perfect dusting to add to the holiday atmosphere – not to mention our well could sure use some recharging.  Today’s post is actually inspired by a recent set of pictures my brother Ron posted from his recent Florida trip.  He was able to witness and get in the tin the brutality of the Loggerhead Shrike. You have to feel a little bad for whatever creature crosses its path at feeding time.  I wonder if he would be willing to guest blog on that series of shots – think you would enjoy that in a squeamish sort of way.  .

In light of that, thought I would roll out my example of the circle of life.  Warning though, bunny lovers might want to skip this particular post.

Cooper's Hawk Dining on a Rabbit in Red Rocks Ampitheatre - Colorado May 2014

That there is a Cooper’s Hawk that I encountered while visiting Red Rocks Ampitheatre back in May 2014.  We were out in Colorado for a Teacup Dog Agility Nationals.  Linda knows how to bribe me to go with her.  Simply mention Red Rocks Ampitheatre and my bags will be packed in a jiffy.  I’ve posted a number of shots from my explorations at that place in the past.  A number of those were +1’s on the birding list.  Even got a nice fox while out there (link here).

From the birding list perspective, the Cooper doesn’t represent a +1 having posted most recently from an encounter in Champaign IL (link here).
Cooper's Hawk Dining on a Rabbit in Red Rocks Ampitheatre - Colorado May 2014

Hit the jump to see some more images from the Ampitheatre.

Continue reading Circle of Life Plays Out in a Theatre Far Away

Never Mind the Bullock’s

I am glad to be back home now.  It was a rather long weekend with the two races at the start of the weekend and then ended with a long day at the Poodle Agility Nationals down at Purina Farm near St. Louis.  By the time we made it home last night Linda and I were totally exhausted and the dogs were like potato sacks passed out on the RV bed.  That is when you know you have officially got everything you possibly could out of an extended weekend – of course, that made the workday a lot longer to ugh.  Luckily, I was able to get at least one post out while traveling leaving me with only one more to hit my monthly quota – might as well get that out of the way while I am thinking about it.

Take a look at this beauty of a bird…Bullock's Oriole Shot at Red Rocks Ampitheatre near Denver Colorado in May 2014

All I can say is gorgeous.  It may be due to the fact I am so fond of Halloween, but this has to be one of my favorite color palettes for a bird.  Please overlook the composition and technical execution of this batch of photos.  This particular specimen was hanging out in clearly the most tangled branch tree it could find to thwart my every effort to get a clean shot.  Not sure what kind of tree this was, but it ended up not only providing excellent protection from The Beast, but it also looks quite menacing seeing as how some of the branches look like grey barbed wire.

Bullock's Oriole Shot at Red Rocks Ampitheatre near Denver Colorado in May 2014

Hit the jump to find out what this bird is!

Continue reading Never Mind the Bullock’s

A Mellow Fellow

We are still in bonus time here at blog headquarters.  I was able to get my monthly quota in pretty quick this month thanks to a strong push out of the gate.  That means we get some extra time to focus on subjects that have already been featured in a previous post.  I’ve typed it once, I’ve typed it a hundred times, the greatest thing about being a birder photographer is every outing is like a new beginning.  Even if you have a bird in your gallery, you can always try to improve your image.  Better technical, more interesting posture or even unique behavior.  Note, “birder photographer” was not a typo.  It is amazing how many times the question comes up as to whether you are a birder or a photographer as if they are exclusive titles.  With my brother Ron on this, we are answering this question with a resounding “Yes” from now on hehehe.

So, welcome back to the blog…

Yellow Warbler shot on Colorado Trip - May 2014

… the Yellow Warbler.  You may recall that this brightly feathered bird made its debut back on April 15th, 2015 (link here). Mr. Yellow from the previous post was found at Lake Andes in South Dakota.  This new specimen was spotted on our trip to Colorado back in May of 2014.  True to the statement above, I happen to like these first two shots better than the previous set (especially the first one).

Yellow Warbler shot on Colorado Trip - May 2014

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the yella fella.

Continue reading A Mellow Fellow

A Sly Red at Red Rocks

Apparently just changing whether it was a +1 or not is not sufficient to officially characterize my last post as bringing you something “different” – as in something other than a bird post.  I base this on the number of emails that showed up from my loyal readers essentially stating changing whether it was a +1 or not “is not something different”.  I can take a subtle hint (okay, maybe it wasn’t that subtle).  As a form of appeasement, I officially bring you something that isn’t related to a bird.  Instead, today’s feature is likely something that would EAT a bird given the opportunity.
Amphitheatre
Decided to do a quick check and sure enough, Foxes do eat birds so we can dispense with the likely.  I must admit, that my bird knowledge far outweighs my Fox expertise.  To the best of my knowledge bolstered by a healthy dose of Google searches, this specimen is a Red Fox.  I was also able to find a few shots on the web that had the dark leg markings.  That feature was confusing me a bit since our local Foxes do not seem to display that amount of darkness.  The other interesting feature can be seen in the hindquarters.
Amphitheatre

Hit the jump to read a bit more about this encounter!

Continue reading A Sly Red at Red Rocks