Friday, October 12, 2012

Autumn in the Rockies

We especially enjoy getting out in the early fall and playing with our cameras, to document the colors and the wildlife.  This year, we had a wonderful day trip up to Rocky Mountain National Park to view the colors and witness the Elk spectacular.  Several days earlier we enjoyed hiking along Elkhorn Creek, a few miles west of our house.  And at home, we continued to enjoy the surprising visitors that appeared outside our dining room windows.

In the Park, we spent a couple of hours watching a bull Elk try to keep his 30-some cows from straying off where other eager males lurked.  Nancy documented the bull's menacing stance:

Chuck photographed the bull with some of his cows, and captured a silhouette of a lurking male:

We drove up Trail Ridge Road, where the Clark's Nutcrackers flock to every viewpoint to beg  peanuts and crackers from the visitors.

Once the road was up around 12,000 feet above sea level, we had beautiful views of the Park's highest mountain, Long's Peak

And down around Moraine Park, the colors were spectacular.

We found the colors along Elkhorn Creek even more vibrant.  Nancy took this close-up of some aspen leaves:

Every bend in the trail brought more gleaming aspen stands into view.

The colors were so vibrant, that in an earlier visit, Chuck took some surprisingly good pictures with his cell phone:

And the cell phone camera came in very handy, when Charley sat down among the golden aspen:

Back at home, we stayed alert to whatever might appear outside our dining room window, like this young female Sharp-shinned Hawk that Nancy was stealthy enough to photograph before it took after a small finch.

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