Didn't take any photos in the entire month! I was busy working on this web site, moving from a troublesome Plesk-based server to a bare-metal server having only a Linux operating system, initially lacking useful features such as email and web server. It was a lot of work, requiring several weeks of intense effort, but this will be a much more reliable server.
Beautiful Northern Harrier hawk shopping for breakfast in my back yard on a cold February morning:
The first of the Pasque flowers have begun to bloom. An encouraging sign that spring is arriving.
Red Fox near a hiking trail in Boulder, Colorado. Getting ready to pounce on an afternoon snack:
Spring pilgrimage to the wonderful red-rock areas around Moab, Utah. There is something about these red-rock colors and shapes which is so spectacular!
Thin slivers of rock. I wonder why they don't just fall down...
Harsh life in the high desert:
Then off to Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo lands in northeastern Arizona. We hired a Navajo guide to give us a three hour tour of the canyon. Our guide was born and raised in the canyon, and he told us stories from his early days in the canyon as well as his trips to far away boarding schools for his education.
Canyon de Chelly must have been (and still seems to be) a very challenging place to raise a family, raise crops and eke out a living in a deep canyon which is hot in the summer, full of rushing water in the spring and very cold in the winter.
Back home now.
Oh my... this was much too close for comfort. Almost walked right up to this rattlesnake on a hiking trail north of Boulder, Colorado.
I was walking along looking at the scenery, and heard the sound of the snake's rattle, but didn't recognize the sound immediately. Luckily my friend Peggy saw something move, and she jumped backwards, giving me a clue that there was something important to pay attention to.
Just another step or two would have likely meant a trip to the hospital (or worse):
Conference of the Pelicans, along Lake McIntosh in Longmont, Colorado. Dozens of pelicans come through here every summer, about 1500 km (a thousand miles) from the nearest ocean:
The following photo collection was taken in the Bisti Badlands, south of Farmington, New Mexico. What an amazing place! A splendidly odd collection of other-worldly shapes eroded into the landscape. I went hiking in this spectacular area on two consecutive days (a total of about 12 hours), and was continually surprised by the awesome variety.
The Bisti is a wilderness area, which means that there are no marked trails and no signs to follow. Fortunately, I found a map and some GPS waypoints on the internet. Without an annotated map and GPS waypoints it would be very difficult to stumble onto some of the most spectacular sights.
There was so much to see, I took nearly 400 photos in the Bisti Bandlands. Here are 21 of my favorites (you can swipe the image or use the arrow buttons):
What a fantastic place!
Next, a visit to Devil's Tower in northeastern Wyoming. The tower is not a big as I had expected, but it is quite spectacular. Here's a photo taken on a walking trail which circles the base of the tower:
By 9 AM the next morning, I was back at Devil's Tower,
walking around to various locations, and just listening quietly.
But alas, after a couple more hours, the mountain remained, for
the most part, just a lovely and highly unusual sight. So, I
left the Tower and headed off into the Black Hills, wondering
why nothing "special" had seemed to have happened.
What a wonderful experience it is to "come together in recognition of the sacred."
And as I was departing, a photo of Devils Tower from a bit farther away:
The work on the Crazy Horse Memorial has been going on since 1948, and apparently is going to take quite a number of additional years before being finished... if ever:
Currently, the Crazy Horse Memorial claims to have over a million visitors each year, and they charge $11 per person (or $28 per car-load). That's a lot of money, yet there is very slow progress on the mountain. Some call it a blatant money-making scam for the sculptor's family, others just say it's very expensive to turn a mountain into a sculpture.
Wild turkey trying to hide in the grass along Lumpy Ridge Trail near Estes Park, Colorado:
Still many wildflowers blooming this month, but the mountains have been too wet and rainy to visit them! Here are a few:
Time for my annual fall pilgrimage to the glorious red-rock countryside around Moab, Utah.
Here are four sandstone arches... Landscape Arch:
A few wildflowers still blooming in September:
Strolling along the top of a sandstone fin:
Heading back into Colorado, via the Grand Mesa near Grand Junction:
Then Kebler Pass near Crested Butte. Unfortunately, there was no sunshine, so the brilliant fall colors are a bit flat in these photos:
A trail along Guanella Pass, near Georgetown, as the Aspen leaves are falling:
A nice fall day, the view out my kitchen window:
There are still a few wildflowers blooming around here in mid-October:
This is a telephoto view of clouds of snow blowing in the mountains about 50 km (30 miles) away.... very nasty up there today:
Hmmm... it seems that there are no birds in the bird-bath today: