Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Great Sand Dunes: Animals

I couldn't really call this post "wildlife" since most of the fauna we saw were at Colorado Gators Reptile Park. Still, enough solid pics to cobble something together.

A small herd of mule deer were grazing by the main dunes parking area before sunset.  And scratching, as needed.

The vegetation was apparently lip-smacking good.

I don't think this gal was as well hidden as she thought she was.

You can just barely see the antlers starting to form on this young male.

I believe this pose is called the "Black Widow."

How close are you to the gators at Colorado Gators?

I shot these with my wide-angle lens, not my telephoto.  And had to back up to reach my minimum focal length.

Fencing that doesn't keep most folks' dogs in their yards was all that separated you from a few dozen prehistoric killing machines.  Fortunately they weren't too lively after a night when temperatures dipped into the thirties.

I could have gotten closer to these ostrich, but somehow I felt like their greatest pleasure in life came from tourists doing just that.

Same for the emu.

A couple of large tortoises were free to roam around, but seemed content to snack on a pile of greens.

I actually highly recommend a stop at the gator farm if you're in the area.  The grounds aren't shiny and spotless by any stretch -- the place is primarily a tilapia farm that originally brought the gators in for waste disposal.  But they've evolved over the years into an attraction, educational tool and rescue center and I commend them for their flexibility and dedication.  Check them out sometime!

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