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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Sawhill Ponds in Fall

October 26th, 2012 · 4 Comments

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When my friend Marveen visits me from her home in Alaska, I make sure to show her Boulder’s beauty. The fall landscape at Sawhill Ponds is one of my favorite places, so that’s where we went on Monday.

The city of Boulder manages this open space as a wildlife preserve just east of the city limits. Except for a few maintained trails, several social trails, and the occasional overflight of planes taking off from the nearby Boulder Municipal Airport, this is a preserve for birds, fish, and animals, rather than people. That makes it all the more attractive to me.

Boulder Creek forms the western boundary. There we saw fish that were at least two feet long.

Boulder Creek Has Some Big Fish (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 105mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO 800)

Boulder Creek Has Some Big Fish (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 105mm, f/8, 1/30, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

After this year’s drought, the water level in the all of 18 Sawhill ponds was low. But it was still high enough for some colorful reflections.

Reflections (Canon 7D with 18-200mm lens at 60mm, f/16, 1/60, ISO 800)

Reflections (Canon 7D with 18-200mm lens at 60mm, f/16, 1/60, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Much of the social trail through the center of the preserve is a tangle of vegetation. Some of it still shows the intense color of fall.

A Colorful Tangle of Fall (Canon 7D with 18-200mm lens at 18mm, f/16, 1/60, ISO 800)

A Colorful Tangle of Fall (Canon 7D with 18-200mm lens at 18mm, f/16, 1/60, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

At the furthest distance from the trailhead we found this scene of a large cottonwood framing an apparently small one, which is actually just as large.

A Frame (Canon 7D with 18-200mm lens at 18mm, f/16, 1/180, ISO 800)

A Frame (Canon 7D with 18-200mm lens at 18mm, f/16, 1/180, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Not until we left the preserve did I take any shots of birds worth sharing. But as we drove out the dirt entrance road toward 75th Street, a hawk flew right over my SUV and landed on a tree just to the south. Stopping the car and quickly getting out with my camera, I caught images of the hawk at rest on a tree. Then, when it took off in the very last light of this glorious day, I captured this shot.

Last Light Illuminates a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) in Flight (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 360mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 800)

Last Light Illuminates a Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) in Flight (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 360mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

This hawk was work waiting for! Of course, last light is always worth the wait.

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Posted in: Photography

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Richard Kreitzer // Nov 1, 2012 at 7:31 am

    David, Great newsletter and pictures. I look forward in receiving them monthly. Your neighbor in KS Richard

  • 2 Dan Hunter // Nov 1, 2012 at 11:56 am

    “A Colouful Tangle of Fall” photograph: Is the tree in glorious yellow a trembling aspen perchance. It’s my favourite tree.

    Regards,
    Dan Hunter
    Vancouver

  • 3 David Mendosa // Nov 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Dear Dan,

    Yes, it is indeed an aspen, which is particularly beautiful in the fall.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 4 Pine // Nov 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks David, this post is a great insight into your part of the world.

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