Images, Thoughts on Travel, Equipment and Techniques that somehow relate to Nature & Wildlife Photography.

Posts tagged “Colorado

Snakes Alive!

Western Prairie Rattlesnake [Crotalus viridis]

Western Prairie Rattlesnake

The snake was in the sun, loosely coiled, relaxed.  Not all that obvious, blending with the pinyon needles, twigs and grass.  It was in a small flat surrounded by rock, granite rock, weathered into smooth shapes but still rough, mica and quartz glinting in the sun.  There was a second snake, smaller, also relaxed, in the shade a foot or two from the first.  I would never have seen it had Mark, our neighbor and the one that told us about these two reptiles, not pointed it out for me. (more…)


Here We Go Again

Hayden Pass wildfire

Hayden Pass fire

The Hayden Pass wildfire went from a lightning strike, quietly smoldering to over 5,000 acres in one day to over 12,000 acres that night.  Many people evacuated from the small community of Coaldale, directly below the fire.  Huge amount of beetle killed pines (winter is no longer cold enough to kill off most of the beetle larvae, thank you, climate change) are the fuel, high, hot winds blast it across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.  Far enough away (could be 5 or 6 miles as the raven flies) to be of no concern for our safety, near enough to set our nerves on edge, wildfire is our new reality.

Hayden Pass wildfire

Smoke filters the sun with a few “fair weather clouds”

Hayden Pass wildfire

Volcanic eruption, without the volcano

 


The Valley

 

The sky fills with Sandhill Cranes.

The Valley is flat, billiard table flat.  Oh, it’s a little rumpled along the edges. The massive, volcanic San Juan Mountains are to the west. East of here are the knife edged Sangre de Cristos.  Flat, almost treeless and now that its warmed a bit, there are dust devils scrolling across the dry alkali playas.  Sometimes the wind brings a little grit to the tongue.  All in all a very nice day.

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Morley’s Ghost

The Church of Saint Aloysius (the Saint is the patron of those beset by plagues) overlooks the ruins of Morley.  Just to the north of the New Mexico-Colorado line, below the crest of Raton Pass sits the ruins of the old coal town.  Scattered foundations and mounds of rock mark the townsite.  Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s coal was king and the area around Raton Pass had plenty of it.

St Aloysius Church

Ruins of St. Aloysius Church

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Owls

Fledged Great Horned Owl

Fledged Great Horned Owl

It was morning and I was out setting up my gear to photograph hummingbirds when I heard a strange sharp, growling bark. Certainly nothing that I could recognize, a Grey Fox maybe. (more…)