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

Rocky Mountain National Park

November 26th, 2012 · 1 Comment

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Before the snow of winter blankets all of Rocky Mountain National Park, my friend Sharon and I explored some of its elevations below 10,000 feet on Black Friday. But our day in the wilds was anything but black.

We started by hiking up Deer Mountain. Each of us had been there before separately, but I hadn’t been there since September 2008.

Deer Mountain is best for its views. In the photo below you can see Horseshoe Park in the foreground, and in the background, from left to right, is 12,454-foot Mount Chapin, which I climbed in August 2008, 13,069-foot Mount Chiquita, and 13,514-foot Ypsilon Mountain.

The View to the West from Deer Mountain (Panasonic DMC-TS3, 9mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 400)

The View to the West from Deer Mountain (Panasonic DMC-TS3, 9mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 400)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Then, down in Horseshoe Park we found two species of birds especially close to us. We hadn’t gone to Rocky Mountain National Park to see birds, because they are much more plentiful on the high plains of Colorado. But these birds had less fear of people and let us approach.

First, I spotted a Black-billed Magpie, which has a very long tail. While magpies are some of the most common birds in Colorado, I haven’t usually been able to see their blue color, which is prominent here:

A Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) Is Not Only Black and White (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 235mm, f/8, 1/350, ISO 800)

A Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) Is Not Only Black and White (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 235mm, f/8, 1/350, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge
The Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) in Closeup Also Shows its Green (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 380mm, f/8, 1/350, ISO 800)

The Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) in Closeup Also Shows its Green (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 380mm, f/8, 1/350, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Then, Sharon pointed out a Steller’s Jay just a few feet from me. This loud and assertive bird also had no fear of me.

This Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) Poses on a Diagonal Log (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 235mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 800)

This Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) Poses on a Diagonal Log (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 235mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Finally, we drove back through the town of Estes Park and around Lake Estes. Birdlife was scarce, but the scene at sunset was something else.

The Town of Estes Park Lies Between Lake Estes and the Rocky Mountains (Panasonic DMC-TS3, 5mm, f/3.3, 1/640, ISO 400)

The Town of Estes Park Lies Between Lake Estes and the Rocky Mountains (Panasonic DMC-TS3, 5mm, f/3.3, 1/640, ISO 400)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We could have been out shopping with the crowds on Black Friday. Instead, we enjoyed the mountains.

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Posted in: Photography

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Gretchen // Nov 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    beautiful light on Lake Estes.

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