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

Louisville’s North Open Space

August 12th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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It’s a rare day when I hike on a Boulder County trail that I hadn’t seen before. I figure that I am well on my way to having hiked just about every mile of the county’s trails.

But at sunrise this morning I was on a trail in the City of Louisville’s North Open Space that I hadn’t even known existed until Sharon told me about it. She had discovered it a few days earlier and took me there.

The trailhead near South Boulder Road and Washington Avenue is five miles due east of my apartment. The best map of the open space that I have been able to find is this online Parks, Open Space & Trails Map.

North Open Space itself is just 37 acres, but it adjoins the 45 acres of Louisville’s Callahan Open Space and Lafayette’s smaller Nyland Open Space, which together form a large natural island within suburban development.

During much of our hike we were out of sight of suburbia. But we started out along an irrigation ditch below some large homes up the hill to the south. There we saw an unusual collection of birds on the roof of one of those homes. A Northern Flicker and an American Kestrel were the first to arrive.

​A Blue Jay Joins the Party

A Blue Jay Joins the Party

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We saw several species of flowers as well as of birds.

​A Sunflower Bigger than a Full Moon

A Sunflower Bigger than a Full Moon

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​The Common Mullein is Food for Insects

The Common Mullein is Food for Insects

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​The Prickly Lettuce Can Be Pretty

The Prickly Lettuce Can Be Pretty

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Birds that always delight me when I am able to see and photograph it are the New World wood warblers. Some of them are pretty bright.

​A Yellow Warbler is Yellow

A Yellow Warbler is Yellow

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This was the only warbler we saw. But we saw quite a few hummingbirds. I always like to capture photos of them in flight, and I succeeded today.

​One Calliope Hummingbird

One Calliope Hummingbird

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​Two Calliope Hummingbirds

Two Calliope Hummingbirds

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My camera’s clock says that I took each of these shots at the same second, 8:36:29. Even though I was quick, I wasn’t quick enough to stop the wings at 1/3,000th of a second. Hummingbirds do move their wings pretty fast.


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Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John Dorey // Aug 13, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Great pictures as always, David! I love the single hummingbird. What setting did you use?

    BTW…left New Mexico, living in Ohio now. Hope you’re doing well.

  • 2 David Mendosa // Aug 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Dear John,

    Thank you! I was using my backup camera, my Canon 50D (since my 7D is in for repair). As usual with bird photography I used my Canon 100-400mm telephoto zoom lens. As usual I used Aperture Priority at f/8 the “sweet spot,” in other words the sharpest setting. To get as fast a speed as possible without noise I used as usual ISO 800 and was able to shoot at 1/3000th of a second, which is fast enough to stop the motion of almost any bird’s wings — except hummingbirds! Of course I was shooting in high-speed continuous mode. Thanks for asking!