Sunday, May 6, 2012

South Platte Park: May 2012

When you know there are baby Great Horned Owls only 10 minutes from your house, do you only go there one weekend?  No!  You go back again the next weekend, and have to hunt around for them a little bit because they're flying more and more and aren't on the same trees they were the last time you saw them.

It's interesting to me how much younger this one looks than its sibling.  It was on a different tree, but about 20 feet directly above the other.

I went to a workshop put on by John and Barbara Gerlach a few weeks ago, and one of the things they really emphasized was back-button focusing. So I started trying it today.  The results were mixed, but I understand it's going to take some getting used to.  This was one of my sharper efforts.

I have no idea what this is.  Some sort of seed pod, maybe?  Cool-looking, regardless.

Ducks are funny.  I can't imagine it's enjoyable to eat like this.

After nearly three straight days of clouds the following weekend, the sun broke through late afternoon on May 13.  So I dashed back to see what was worth shooting in the last hour of light, like a rabbit making a half-hearted attempt to hide in some brush.

It's amazing how an otherwise dry winter and spring can be quickly forgotten after a few days of rain work their magic on the vegetation.

I needed a little help from a fellow photographer to find the owlets this time. And I only noticed the one farther out on the branch at first before eventually realizing the shape in the crook of the branch wasn't actually part of the tree.

All too soon the sun had dipped behind the foothills, and it was time to pack up and head home.

Back out at sunrise on May 20 to check out the blind at Bufflehead Lake.  Just as I was starting to think I maybe didn't have the patience to sit at a blind and wait for something interesting, a pair of pelicans began cruising around and feeding.  I'm not sure exactly what this fellow had on the top of his beak, but I don't believe it's supposed to be there.

The pelicans were followed shortly be a small flock of White-faced ibis.  Despite being on a tripod using back-button focusing and Live View, I was still disappointed I didn't get any shots sharper than this one.

A robin offered itself as a better subject with a very flattering pose.

I only had time for a couple of shots of a coyote on the west bank of the river before it slipped into the underbrush. 

For a pretty common bird, the colorful green head and bright orange feet on mallards always make me want to take their pictures.

Speaking of common.  But again, still photogenic so me.  I love squirrels' big, bright eyes and bushy tails.

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