Sunday, March 19, 2017

TrailMark: March 2017

We took a family road trip back to Colorado for spring break -- a 12-hour drive, but well worth it to get a real taste of winter. The Denver weather, however, had other ideas. There wasn't a flake of snow to be seen, not surprising given that daytime high temperatures were in the 70s throughout our stay.

No matter. Just because there wasn't snow doesn't mean there weren't still pictures to be taken. It just took an afternoon walk around my old TrailMark neighborhood and a change of perspective.

Mallards, Fairview Reservoir
Fairview Reservoir has birds in every season.  This pair of Mallards looked like they just stopped speaking to each other.

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Fairview Reservoir
I heard a keening cry in a wooded area near the shore of the reservoir, and spotted a young hawk who had apparently just finished a meal.  It spent several minutes hopping around the branches wiping off its beak, and I spent several minutes trying to find a view that was fairly unobstructed by branches.  I sort of succeeded.

EDIT: In my original post I identified the hawk as a Sharp-Shinned.  Jeremy Roselle of the Front Range Wildlife Photographers Facebook group corrected me -- it's a Cooper's Hawk.  Thanks, Jeremy!

Northern Flicker, Fairview Reservoir
An odd angle of a Northern Flicker.  I took this pointed nearly straight up from the base of the aspen in which it was perched.

Canada Goose, Fairview Reservoir
Canada Geese are also reliable denizens of the reservoir.  This bird was strutting around with a bit of an attitude.  And with the right crop, you can't even tell that there's a street full of houses in the background.

Dead Grass, Two Brands Trail
Walking the Two Brands Trail brought me in contact with plenty of dead grasses.  Getting low with the blue sky for a backdrop yielded this shot.  Converting to black and white keeps the focus on the shapes, texture, and contrast.

Prairie Dog, Two Brands Trail
The prairie dogs along the trail didn't seem to want to come out and show themselves.  This fellow was the only one I got a good look at, and he may have warned the others about the weird guy in the area.

Dead Grass, Two Brands Trail
More dead grass...

Dead Grass, Two Brands Trail
... in two perspectives.  I wanted to keep the color in this one to give a better sense of the hills and clouds in the background.

Male House Finch, Deer Creek
Finally I strolled along Deer Creek for a ways.  Magpies and a Spotted Towhee didn't want to give me a clear shot.  But this male House Finch wasn't camera shy.

I love the beauty I had right in my own backyard!  It was nice to be reminded of how much wildlife was all around.

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