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Life... ya gotta be doin' something...

 

2012 Adventures

Updated:  29-Oct-2012

            

January

'Tis truly wonderful to be able to start off yet another year in the Arizona desert, a land of blue skies and magnificent Saguaro cactus. This photo was taken in the Pima Canyon area near Tucson:

tucson saguaro 3

 

Such splendid sights in Saguaro National Park:

tucson saguaro 1

 

tucson saguaro 2

 

This saguaro seems to have been unable to decide which way to grow next... and ended up with many heads:

tucson saguaro 4

 

 

February

A bit of snow to get the month off to a wintery start here in Colorado. I'm glad I don't have a very long driveway to shovel!

snow at home

 

Even though the roads are a mess with all the recent snow, the mountain views from my backyard are spectacular:

snow at home 2

 

 

March

Hiking on the Towhee Trail, south of Boulder, Colorado... with no snow on the ground. This lack of snow in March is quite unusual. February was very wet, but now it is unusually warm and dry in mid-march:

Boulder Flatirons 1


Wild turkeys meandering about in the woods:

wild turkeys


A little bit of snow on the continental divide, about 25 miles away:

snow on the divide

Early wildflowers already starting to bloom in March, which is typically the snowiest month here in Colorado:

march flowers 1 march flowers 3

march flowers 4 march flowers 5

 

 

April

Foothills south of Boulder, Colorado on a warm, sunny April day:

april flatirons

Flowers and cactus happily blooming in April here in Colorado:

april cactus

april flowers 1 april flowers 2 april flowers 3

april flowers 4 april flowers 5 april flowers 6

april flowers 7 april flowers 8 april flowers 9

april flowers 10 april flowers 11 april flowers 12

april flowers 13 april flowers 14 april flowers 15

april flowers 16 april flowers 17 april flowers 22

april flowers 19 april flowers 20 april flowers 21


Hmmm... is this a good sign?? A Turkey Vulture landed in a tree alongside the trail we were hiking on:

april vulture

 

You can click on the following image to see a little 30 second movie about a confused spider going in circles on the kitchen window...  the spider is on the inside of the window, trying to find his way to a bug which is on the other side of the window:

            confused spider

 

May

More flowers blooming in May:

may flowers 1 may flowers 2 may flowers 3
may flowers 4 may flowers 6 may flowers 8
may flowers 10 may flowers 9 may flowers 7
may flowers 11 may flowers 12 may flowers 13
may flowers 14 may flowers 15 may flowers 16
may flowers 17 may flowers 18 may flowers 19
may flowers 20 may flowers 21 may flowers 22


While hiking late one beautiful afternoon, we encountered this fox standing on a rock just a few feet away:

may fox 1

The fox didn't seem to care about our proximity, even sometimes closing it's eyes, showing no fear or concern whatsoever:

may fox 2

Then another person came up the trail, and the fox suddenly disappeared. I thought that was the end of our visit, but as soon as the other person passed by, the fox came back out of the bushes:

may fox 3

and then stood contentedly on it's favorite rock again:

may fox 4

and again showed no concern about our presence:

may fox 5

Being so unconcerned as to turn her head completely away from me and my camera... even though we were less than 3 meters (10 feet) apart:

may fox 6

And never seeming to stare directly at us:

may fox 7

After a few minutes, the fox heard or saw something in the bushes on the other side of the trail, and meandered off into those bushes to see what it was.

I thought that we'd never see the dear little fox again, so we began to walk away. After a few steps, I turned and looked back... and there was the little fox watching us leave, with a curious look in it's eye, as if to say "Hey, where are you going?":

may fox 8


This year's solar eclipse was not clearly visible here, due to clouds, but the sky was still quite spectacular during the eclipse:

may eclipse

 

A few more May wildflowers, near Golden, Colorado:

may flowers 23 may flowers 24 may flowers 25
may flowers 26 may flowers 27 may flowers 28
                   may flowers 29 may flowers 30

 

 

June

A bunny "hiding" (by freezing in place):

bunny hiding


A huge wildfire broke out June 8th near Fort Collins, Colorado. This is a view of part of the immense smoke plume which was clearly visible from near my home, some 50 km (30 miles) from the fire:

ft collins smoke


"Bernstock" DUP dance gathering in Hotchkiss, Colorado... with Bernie Heideman and Narayan Waldman:

jun bernstock 1

jun bernstock 2


Colorful mountains near Silverton, Colorado:

jun mountains 1


Slot canyons and hoodoos in Kasha Katuwe National Monument near Santa Fe, New Mexico. Formed in layers of volcanic ash from a huge volcano explosion near Los Alamos, New Mexico which occurred millions of years ago:

kasha katuwe 1

kasha katuwe 2

kasha katuwe 4

kasha katuwe 3

kasha katuwe 5

kasha katuwe 6


Just big enough for two butterflies, near Santa Fe, New Mexico ski area:

jun butterflies


A few New Mexico wildflowers near Santa Fe:

jun wildflowers 1 jun wildflowers 2 jun wildflowers 3
jun wildflowers 4 jun wildflowers 5 jun wildflowers 6
jun wildflowers 7 jun wildflowers 8 jun wildflowers 11
                                        jun wildflowers 10


Still some snow along the hiking trails in late June near Lake Isabelle in the Roosevelt National Forest, at about 3400 m (11,000 ft) elevation::

 jun snowy trail


Columbine flowers near Lake Isabelle:

jun columbine


Fields of wildflowers, near Brainard Lake, Colorado... thousands and thousands of flowers in magnificent meadows, at about 3000 m (10,000 ft) elevation:

jun field of flowers 1

 

jun field of flowers 3


Tranquil mountain view along Long Lake, near Brainard Lake, Colorado:

 

July

A camera really can't capture the grandeur of a swiftly flowing mountain stream high in the Rocky Mountains, but here's a photo anyway!

jul_stream_1


Golden marmots, on the look-out:

jul_marmot_1


Hermitage at Saint Benedict's Monastery, near Snowmass, Colorado:

jul_st_bens_1


Looking across the pastures toward the Saint Benedict's hermitages in late afternoon sunlight:

jul_st_bens_4


Mountain view near the hermitage. A lovely place to re-connect with the simple wonders of nature:

jul_st_bens_2


A storm is brewing in the mountains:

jul_st_bens_3


More wildflowers beginning to bloom in the mountains in July:

jul_wildflowers_1 jul_wildflowers_2 jul_wildflowers_5
jul_wildflowers_3 jul_wildflowers_8 jul_wildflowers_11
jul_wildflowers_7 jul_wildflowers_9 jul_wildflowers_12
jul_wildflowers_10 jul_wildflowers_4 jul_wildflowers_6
jul_wildflowers_13 jul_wildflowers_14 jul_wildflowers_15
jul_wildflowers_16 jul_wildflowers_17 jul_wildflowers_18
jul_wildflowers_19 jul_wildflowers_20 jul_wildflowers_21
jul_wildflowers_22 jul_wildflowers_23 jul_wildflowers_24


A bunny "hiding":

jul_bunny_1


Ptarmigans strolling on a hiking trail near Snowmass, Colorado:

jul_birds_1


Silly birds seem to prefer staying on the hiking trail, despite the large creature with a camera (me) following them:

jul_birds-2


Hmmm... I wonder how many horses actually read this sign... perhaps a fence would keep them out better than a sign??

jul_sign_1


Miles and miles of sand dunes in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, in southern Colorado... at an altitude of about  2500 meters (8000 ft) above sea level, right alongside the mountains! What a funny place for sand dunes:

jul_dunes_2

Some of the sand dunes are nearly 250 m (800 ft) tall. These are the tallest sand dunes in North America:

jul_dunes_1

 

August


A splendid Swainson's hawk sitting in a tree near my back yard... apparently eyeing something for dinner:

aug_hawk_1


Brilliantly colored mushrooms along the Lost Lake Trail near Eldora, Colorado:

aug_mushrooms_1


Star Gentian and Blue Gentian flowers along the trail to Lake Isabel, above Brainard Lake, Colorado:

 aug_flower_1 aug_flower_2


A rather large moose on the shore of Brainard Lake, Colorado

aug_moose_1


A lazy moose, lying down to forage in the bushes. Is he smiling? or perhaps thinking about charging?

aug_moose_3


Panorama of a few of the rock formations in Lumpy Ridge, near Estes Park, Colorado... with shadows from the late afternoon sun:

aug_lumpy_1


These are some of the shadows on the rock formations in Lumpy Ridge... what do you see in the shadows? a long legged gnome wearing a dunce cap? a poodle or maybe a lama? a bull-fighter with hat and cape? a pregnant woman wearing a hat? Very amusing shadows!

aug_rocks_1

September

Look at the bare rock hillside near the center of this picture... I see a cat's face... what do you see??

cat_face

 

Mountain scenery near Wild Basin in Rocky Mountain National Park, a few miles south of Estes Park Colorado:

sep_wild_basin_1

sep_wild_basin_2

 

Fall colors along a hiking trail heading to Forest lake, south of Nederland, Colorado:

sep_forest_lake_1

Noisy marmot along the trail:

sep_forest_lake_2

 

Fall colors in the mountains along the Peak-to-Peak highway, north of Nederland, Colorado:

sep_colors

 

A herd of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park:

sep_elk_1

Bull elk "directing" his ladies:

 sep_elk_2

 

First significant snowfall in the high mountains this fall:

sep_snowfall

 

October

Fall colors and blue skies, south of Boulder, Colorado:

oct_skies_1


Sandhill cranes at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge south of Socorro, New Mexico. These magnificent waterfowl are about 1 m (3 ft) tall and have a wingspan of about 2 m (6 ft). They are migratory, and many spend the winter in the Bosque. Here are photos of a few feeding in a farm field:

sandhill_cranes_1

A heart on the forehead:

sandhill_cranes_2

The cranes seem to prefer to return to the marshes in the late afternoon, perhaps for safety from predators overnight.

sandhill_cranes_3

 

White Sands National Monument in southern New Mexico has over 750 sq km  (275 square miles) of brilliant white wind swept gypsum dunes:

white_sands_1

white_sands_3

A few Yucca manage to establish a little colony in the shifting sands:

white_sands_2

 

Magnificent scenery along a hiking trail in Dog Canyon, south of Alamogordo, New Mexico:

dog_canyon_1

dog_canyon_2

 

November

Late one afternoon, whilst I was strolling around the Pella Crossing ponds near Hygiene, Colorado (yes, Hygiene is really the name of a town!), I saw this American Coot swimming about. It looks a bit duck-like, but it's not a duck... I had never seen a coot before:

coot

 

And then I saw this Golden-Eye Duck, which I had also never seen before... quite magnificent... and perhaps you can guess why they call it a Golden-Eye:

golden eye duck 1

 

December

On a stroll around Coot Lake, just outside Boulder, Colorado (no, there weren't any coots there), I happened to see three Bald Eagles sitting in a tree. I couldn't get very close, but managed to get this quick shot of one of them, just as the sun was setting:

bald eagle