Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Moose, Marmots, Pika and an Elk

This could also be called wildlife photography with a broken lens. As I'm slowly wading through the images from my trip to Colorado I'm very impressed with how well my images turned out with a cracked front lens element on my 150-600mm Tamron lens. The seventh of September was a banner day for photography. We drove up early in the morning into Rocky Mountain National Park and up Fall River Road. We looking to see if we could find any Shiras Moose. Shiras Moose are the smallest subspecies of moose being about six feet high at the shoulder and weighing in at around a thousand pounds. They may be the smallest moose but they aren't something you want to mess with! Records show a transient moose population that used to wander into the state from Wyoming as far back as the 1850s but there wasn't really a stable population until they introduced twenty four Shiras Moose into North Park near Walden in 1978. More introductions followed and there is now a population of over two thousand moose in the state. At the top of the road we spotted one moose way far away down in a valley. When we got to the top we went by Rock Cut looking for some Pikas but both they and the sun weren't out yet. My brother Eric suggested we try down in the Kawuneche Valley down past Poudre Lake. We didn't spot anything on the way down but when we turned the corner at Poudre Lake we spotted a really nice bull moose feeding out in the lake. He was spectacular with the velvet on his rack dripping off. The light was fairly dim but we photographed him a bit and then headed down into the valley where we spotted a cow moose and two calves. What a morning for moose! We returned back up Trail Ridge Road and I sat down on the edge of the tundra and had a marvelous time photographing Pikas. They are one of my favorite animals to photograph. They are little bundles of energy running back and forth building up their hay supply for the winter. I sat there photographing them for close to an hour.Later as we were leaving we photographed the sentry. A Yellow Bellied Marmot that is always on the same rock almost every time I would go by.When we got into Estss Park there was a nice bull elk by the Catholic Church. He was having trouble keeping his eyes open and his head up he was so tired from rounding up his cows. Thank you Lord for such a beautiful day, chris


  1. Wow, that was quite the rack on the moose! We were able to see Moose on our first trip to Yellowstone years ago. It was cool. The Pikas are too cute! I have not seen them in person ever. Love the Marmot shots. I have seen them a couple of times in RMNP.

  2. Shelly, glad to hear that you got to see moose in Yellowstone (such a cool place) and Marmots in RMNP. Next time you are in RMNP stop at Rock Cut up on Trail Ridge Road. Go to the rock wall on the west side across the road from the parking area. Just sit and watch and you will very likely see both Pika and Yellow Bellied Marmots.