Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Grand Tour or Crazy Day

On the official first day of my vacation in Colorado I was up before the sunrise. I wanted to check out Ketring Park for Wood Ducks and the Rachael Carson Nature Center along the Platte River. As I headed north up Broadway I was taken by how the city skyscrapers were being bathed in warm golden light by the sun. I pulled over and immediately made an image of it. When I arrived at Ketring Park I found that it had a concrete pathway around the eastern half on the lake. Perfect for low level photography of waterfowl. Problem was that there were very few waterfowl to be found this morning. Though there were plenty of people out walking dogs and pushing strollers. That's when I noticed a cormorant drying its wings on a rock near the edge of the lake. When it looked my way it immediately closed up its wings. After a long, long wait it opened them again and I had my image. What a cool bird! After a bit of being lost for a short time I found the Rachael Carson Nature Center along the Platte. Wow, what incredible trails. Walking them brought back so many memories of my youth. The scent of cottonwoods leaves and the river bottom. I noted milkweed, wildflowers and anthills. There were numerous bikes that you had to watch out for as you walked along. I finally branched off onto a dirt trail where there was far less traffic and it was much quieter. Here I photographed a snowy egret along the shoreline of the river. Further on there was a large paper wasp nest. Thankfully it wasn't active! I ended up walking just under five miles along the Platte. what a great place to escape into nature right next to Denver. Leaving the city behind I headed west on I 70 branching of south at Idaho Springs to go up towards Mt. Evans. Sadly I should have checked the closure dates because it was closed on Sept. 15th and I was a week too late. It didn't matter too much as the aspens on the drive in were spectacular. It brought tears to my eyes and I had to pull over when I realized that I hadn't seen Aspen like this in over forty years. Every time I have visited Colorado it has been in the summer and the aspens weren't changing color.The views were spectacular. Too bad it was in midday and not the best time for photography. I headed back down to the plains via Juniper and Squaw Pass. I stopped at the top of Juniper Pass and the the view back towards the west was just incredible with swaths of yellow aspen. While I was admiring the view a lovely Gray Jay stopped by for a visit. Wondering what to do next I decided to go for a walk up Waterton Canyon to look for Bighorn Sheep. I quickly learned the best way to negotiate the canyon is on bicycle. I saw a lot of photographers coming out that told me where the bighorns were as they peddled on by back out of the canyon. Seemingly each time they reported that the bighorns were just a little further in. Luckily there were other things to photograph such as the numerous fly fisherman along the river. It dawned on me that I was getting dehydrated and worn out. At just past the three mile marker I turned back. A wise decision as the sun was starting to go down behind the canyon rim. On my return when I was almost at the parking lot I heard a noise behind me. I was so tired that I had stepped over a small Bull Snake and it had coiled up and was hissing at me!I drank a lot of water when I returned to Dan's house in Centenial. I had walked eleven miles and I was tired out! God's love and blessings to all, chris All images created with a Canon 7D


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so very much for your kind and lovely comment, kyllimarjaana!

  2. Amazing and beautiful photo shots, thanks for sharing Chris!

  3. Thank you very much, Marie Flutterby. I really appreciate you stopping by for a look and leaving your commenrts.