Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday and Sunday



So last Sunday, Hazel and I hiked at Buttonrock. We did almost 8 miles by doing the sleepy lion trail both ways plus we hiked up to the rez for some swimming time....
I did get some nice flower pics but never sat down to post them. So here they are.......

My college classmate- Janet was moving from Colorado to Montana and came upon some wildflower books that she sent to me. So I attempted to use them to start learning the names of these beautiful flowers. If I misnamed any of them,please let me know as I am a newbie....



wild geranium




                                                       western spiderwort



                                                       meadow arnica



                                                 hairy evening primrose


                                                    


                                                     common mouse ear- 
                  this is my favorite flower and it is as tiny as a mouse ear too...





This is a flowering bush but not sure of the name.......



And this flower is so delicate and stunningly beautiful but I could not find out who this is....




So today Hazel dog and I decided to hike the boulder valley ranch loop. I decided to bring my camera along just in case........

Good thing I did as you will see!

These flowers are very abundant around here. They are a bit smaller than a baseball. Their name is false dandelion....perfect!



My western kingbirds were hanging out in their usual spot. I couldn't find their nest but they posed nicely for me......




We were halfway down to the pond when I spotted a bird on the fence. Yes! It was a northern harrier! These raptors are amazing! I know they nest at BVR but it's always a treat to see them. This one gave me some decent pics and then took off to find breakfast. Unlike redtail hawks which tend fly high in the sky to hunt for food, the harrier flies low over open fields hunting for food. So damn cool!




So I got some flight shots and then we continued to the pond so Hazel could go swimming! 
Afterwards instead of doing the loop, we doubled back up the hill and the harrier gave me some more flight shots!







The harrier finally flew off and then I spotted this little guy feeding right on the trail. Definitely a sparrow and most likely a chipping sparrow. There are over 25 types of sparrows, so it's an educated guess at best.....





Check out this flower.....I'm calling it a wild rose. Soooo beautiful!




This is a south east corner of the pond. I've walked by this spot hundreds of times but today it caught my eye and had to grab a pic. And then I had to use the prism app and see what it looked like. I like them both......









I am so glad I brought my camera! A fun hike with Hazel and we got to see the harrier!
When we got back to the parking lot, there was a small running group. Looked like they were done and just visiting with each other. A man in street clothes came up and said hi. His wife was a runner and he was recovering from a running injury. So I'm guessing he felt a bit left out. So when he spotted my camera setup, he took that opportunity to chat.Seems they live in Kansas city and are just visiting lovely Boulder. He took my business card as he has a professional photographer friend he wanted to share it with. So I wonder what will come of this chance meeting.....

Thanks for reading!






Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Hike



Yup! Another spectacular day in Colorado! I promised Hazel a fun hike because she sat home yesterday while I was out photographing. We had not been to Buttonrock since February, so it was time! With coffee in hand we jumped in the car and headed over. There's lots going on around here on Memorial day. There's the bolder boulder 10k race which attracts 50,000 people and also the boulder creek festival which is a three day event. So heading away from Boulder is the smart thing to do!

I didn't feel like lugging my camera on the hike today, so thought I'd just use my phone camera to give you a tour of Buttonrock! I also did some video which I hope actually works. I won't know until I publish the blog, so fingers crossed.

We were the second car in the parking lot...perfect! As you start up the road, dogs need to be on leash as a few people actually live back up in the hills, so they do drive on this dirt road.

check out the waterfall........




Listen to that!





It's just a 10 minute walk up the road to get to the sleepy lion trailhead.





Hazel was happy to be FREE to run!




The trail is steeper than it looks....




The trail goes upward with a few switchbacks before opening into this beautiful meadow!





New hiking shoes and very white legs.......this is as close as I get to doing a selfie.




Hall ranch is another trail that connects to Buttonrock. But Hazel was bummed to see that no dogs are allowed.....




This is the view you get when you reach the high point of the trail. That is Ralph Price reservoir and our ultimate destination....




It's all down hill for now...





This pic does not do justice to how beautiful these and other wildflowers are. So Hazel and I will go back with my real camera and get some flower pics soon!









good for doggies to get a drink too....




The sleepy lion trail ends at the bottom of the dam.....



Here's how the water level is regulated in the rez...



wow!





Yes, that is a steep climb to get up to the rez....




wildflowers!!!!





It's about a 10 minute uphill hike and this is the reward!



When Hazel and I go to Coot lake, the tennis ball is part of the fun. But when we go on other hikes, the tennis ball does not appear until we reach our destination. And yes, Hazel knows it's time for the ball!!!!





I found a comfortable rock to sit on and have breakfast while Hazel did some ball chasing...














After playing at the rez we took the road all the way back to the car. Now the parking lot was full with about 50 cars or so. This is why we always go early, especially on a holiday!
Thanks for reading! Hope you had a fun long weekend!


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday at Walden Ponds


We are having some spectacular weather for Memorial Day weekend. So of course I had to get out for some photographing today! I decided to stay close to home, so I headed over to Walden Ponds. On the way, I took a look for my owl friends but no one was around. The youngsters are very mobile, so I knew it would be a crap shoot to find them. Oh well.....

Walden Ponds did not disappoint! This cute robin welcomed me as I started out......



The views of the snow capped mountains was amazing!




Yes! Yellow warblers are so gorgeous! This guy was high up in the tree but I had to attempt a few pics!




Bullock's orioles were everywhere but they usually stay high up in the trees. I got very lucky with this flight shot and then he perched nearby. These birds are pretty special! They arrive in early May, quickly build a nest, have their young and head south in early August. So I always look forward to seeing them each spring!





I didn't walk far before seeing a tree full of swallows. This is a violet green swallow......


And this is a bank swallow! I would have thought it was a northern rough wing swallow but luckily I met a birder and after chatting about swallows, it helped me realize who this was.




The western wood-pewees were everywhere! Luckily this one posed nicely for me!






The wrens were everywhere too!






And I saw one goose family!




Yea! Then a yellow warbler gave me some nice shots!









Sweet! My first sand piper of the season! I have been hearing them but not seeing them until today. 


The sand piper was hanging out with the killdeer.....




Looks like they are having a meeting.....







Turtle reflection!



I was back at the trailhead and saw this robin with a mouthful of worms! Yum!



And then she flew into her nest under the picnic shelter. Looks like two youngsters!



There was a pair of avocets in the main pond.I never get tired of seeing these birds!



So next I stopped at 75th St but all was quiet so I headed back over to my see my owl friends. Just as I got out of the car, the crows were making a fuss. So of course I had to see what the fuss was. Yup! They were harassing Sonny. He was tucked into a big cottonwood and dealing with all the fuss nicely. Bummer, but he was not in a place to get any pics. The crews continued harassing him for a bit and then a sharp shinned hawk and a blue jay joined in too. It was quite noisy for a bit.....

I decided to walk down the old nest trail. My friends and I had wondered if the owlets would get over there eventually. I didn't see anyone but I will check again soon.
I did see two large snapping turtles soaking up the sun. And I also ran into my drumming teacher, Gregg!





This nest hole was occupied by downy woodpeckers two summers ago. Now the wrens are taking it over......



It was time to head home and I took the scenic route through Lagerman rez and crane hollow road. Here's a couple of views of Longs Peak.....





Well, it was a fantastic morning with amazing weather and getting to spend time in Nature! 
Happy Memorial Day everyone!
Thanks for reading!