Monday, November 10, 2014

Blizzard, Elk, Mountains at Dusk

I believe this is a Dark-Eyed Junco. Photo taken by Darla Sue Dollman in Berthoud, CO.

They are lovely little creatures, playful and quick. I believe they are Dark-Eyed Juncos. We had a few of them in our yard in Texas, but never as many as this! They are everywhere in the valley in the mountains near Carter Lake in Colorado.

Battling the blizzard. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I had to sneak up on this one because the snowfall was so heavy I could not see past my back porch. It is partially brown and its eyes are so dark it is difficult to see them. 

Dark-Eyed Juncos in Feeder. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

Oh, but they are so much fun to watch! They chase each other through the snow and fly between the slats on the back porch. They sit in small groups on my fence, in the two trees that shade my back porch, and when it is not snowing they gather on the roof of the barn. 

Dark-Eyed Junco on tree branch. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman. 

I hope they find shelter tonight. I turned my canoe on its side in the barn and there are numerous bird houses outside, but I've seen them flying out from beneath the porch and suspect they are finding shelter there for now. 

Napping in a field near Loveland, Colorado. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I spotted these three beauties in a field in Loveland, Colorado last night on my way home from buying firewood. 

Elk sunbathing in Loveland, CO. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I think they are elk, but their antlers look unfamiliar to me. It's difficult to tell when they're lying down! There are many hunting ranches in Texas with animals imported from around the world and killed for sport. Sometimes they escape and it's hard to tell the natives from the fortunate escapees. This is Colorado, though, and I do not believe there are hunting ranches in this area. There are many wildlife rescue facilities, though! 

Elk in Loveland, CO. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

Elk within city limits can be controversial at times. Tourists and visitors don't always understand that these are not pets, they are wild animals and can be dangerous.

Near Carter Lake in Berthoud, CO. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I took this photo on the way home last night. It was terribly windy and all of the bird feeders were knocked down from the trees. My welcome mats were scattered as far as the dirt road leading to my home. The wind gusts were 45 to 60 mph. Colorado is known for its fierce winds. In fact, Longs Peak holds the record in Colorado for a wind gust of 201 mph that occurred during the winter of 1981, a particularly fierce winter as I recall. Boulder, which is only about half an hour's drive from my home is also one of the windiest cities in the US with wind gusts clocked at 147 mph in 1971.

Near Carter Lake in Berthoud, CO. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

I could tell it would be cold today when I looked at the mountains last night. The sky was filled with thin, wispy clouds and it looked like there were fast winds in the higher elevations. The mountains had a purple tint and already looked cold.

Luminescence in the clouds above Lake Loveland, CO. Photo by Darla Sue Dollman.

It's going to be a chilly winter, but I'm prepared. I've lived in Colorado most of my life and whenever I leave I am homesick. When I lived in Texas and drove home to visit family, as I passed through the Sangre de Christos and into the Colorado Rocky Mountains the sight always brought tears to my eyes. Such magnificent beauty! 

No comments: