Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

Crested Butte, Colorado

July 20, 2017

The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival had many energetic offerings of guided hikes, professional photographer field led workshops and many more programs.  I had the pleasure of participating in 4 professional photographer led workshops.

The “5am sunrise” workshop took us high above Gothic to watch the sun rise over the headwaters of the East River.

The “Wildflower Landscape” workshop explored the Gothic Road area with a view up the East River Basin.

 

Perfecting Close-Ups” was a challenging but great learning experience.  Recently blossomed columbines were my subjects.

An Evening of Wildflowers began with a heavy thunderstorm passing over the mountain.  The skies did clear enough for the group to explore the Keebler Pass area.  The wildflowers were a little wet but still colorful in this aspen grove.

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Hot Air Balloon Festival

Gunnison, Colorado

July 4, 2017

The Gunnison Hot Air Balloon Festival was a 3 day event and most entertaining to watch.  The crowds appreciated the show.

This colorful balloon was dropping the streamers into the crowd.  The kids loved to chase them.

Always a challenge to get more than one into a shot.

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Black Hills

Custer, South Dakota

June 28, 2017

While we enjoyed our time in the Black Hills, we were distracted by hunting for a summer home.  No luck this time but we will keep our eyes open.  I thoroughly enjoyed car pooling to Evan’s Plunge with a great group of local ladies.  The swimming and the company were  the best.  The hot springs stays a constant 87 degrees and is out of this world.  With all this fun, I did not take my usual portfolio of images but here are a few.

Sylvan Lake is one of my favorites with it’s granite monoliths.  Located in Custer State Park it is located at the start of Needles Highway.

The buffalo calves are growing fast but always close to mom.

Spotted a burrowing owl along the fence line in Wind Cave National Park.

A burrow and calf enjoying the prairie grasses.

A curious pronghorn portrait

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Custer

Custer State Park

Custer, SD

May 27, 2017

Custer State Park is one of the few places in the world where you can see an abundance of wildlife  in their natural habitat.  We have been exploring the park’s 71,000 acres and continually losing count of the wildlife we have seen on each trip into the park.  Bison, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes (hunting the prairie dog fields), white-tailed deer, wild burros and many birds including wild turkeys.

Here is a large female that I spotted walking a ridge line overlooking the grazing herd.

This is how a young bison looks after its first winter.  Growing those horns and shedding that winter coat.

The young bison are always under the cow’s watchful eyes.

After the gold rush in the Black Hills, miners abandoned the burros they used.  The burros still prosper in the park.  Here is a mother with new born.

 

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Red Dogs

Custer State Park

Custer, SD

May 25, 2017

We have been enjoying observing the bison herd with new calves, called red dogs.  They are just full of energy and then they suddenly just drop for a short nap.  Over the next 5 weeks, I will try to highlight the growth of these young calves at Custer State Park.

Our first morning out had an inch of heave wet snow and 32 degrees.  This curious red dog was wet and muddy.

The cow keeps a very close watch over the red dog.  Time to lose the winter coat.

They love to run and charge.

And an occasional muddy drink of water.  There are many creeks and ponds in the park but I think they prefer the mud holes.

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Rainy day in Canyonlands

May 12, 2017

Canyonlands National Park

San Juan County, Utah

Driving into Canyonlands National Park, I was distracted by the “open range” sign and there was cattle all over the road.  An RV hit a cow right in front of me.  He did not slow down because the RV had the right of way.  Too bad they don’t understand “Open Range.”

The clouds got darker as I drove deeper into the park.  Not a good day for photography.

I did spot a small grouping of Indian Paintbrush nestled in the rocks.

and some cactus flowers nearby.  I do love red.

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