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

North Teller Lake

September 30th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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North Teller Lake was birdy and sunny when I went there in the morning. It is less than 10 miles northeast of my apartment in Boulder, and I had the trail entirely to myself. What more could I want?

I would have appreciated seeing some rare birds. I did see and photograph several of the most common species in Colorado. Some people turn up their noses at the birds they see every day, but to me what matters most is how attractive the photograph is.

In the past few years I have hiked several times to North Teller Lake when they still called it Teller Lake Number 5. But this time I walked all around the lake to the east side, which offers the best light in the morning. Here is what some photographers call an “establishing shot,” the setting.

North Teller Lake Reflects the Front Range

North Teller Lake Reflects the Front Range

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Growing in marshy land at the edge of the lake, the flower pictured below caught my attention. It’s so beautiful that I expected to find it in all my flower identification books. It was not only missing but none of my friends could quickly identify it. Finally, my friend Rich Wolf and our mutual friend Dave Sutherland identified it for me.

Scarlet Smartweed Grows at the Lake

Scarlet Smartweed Grows at the Lake

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Also at the far edge of the lake I found birds: common birds in uncommonly nice scenes.

A Sparrow Finds Food

A Sparrow Finds Food

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A Male House Finch Where There Are No Houses

A Male House Finch Where There Are No Houses

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An Immature Male Red-winged Blackbird

An Immature Male Red-winged Blackbird

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A Double-crested Cormorant Flies By

A Double-crested Cormorant Flies By

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Eventually I decided that these were all the birds that I could photograph on this jaunt. So I walked back to my car at the trailhead. Just there at the top of a post was the most common hawk we have in Colorado. Still, this bird is much less abundant than any of the other birds I saw this morning.

‚ÄčA Red-tailed Hawk Preens Itself

A Red-tailed Hawk Preens Itself

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The sight of this majestic raptor always gives me a thrill.

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Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bob Fenton // Sep 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I wondered when this last picture above would reappear? It is such an interesting picture. The house finch is common here as well and is just beginning to show its winter plumage. The red-winged black bird is a favorite of mine and I have been dive bombed many times when the young are in the nest.

  • 2 David Mendosa // Sep 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Dear Bob,

    That was too good of a shot to use only once! Hawks are such especially powerful birds, the pose was unusual, and I was able to get really close for an especially clear shot. So, yes, that’s why I used it to illustrate this month’s issue of my newsletter. It was a choice of that one or one of the hummingbirds in Sanitas Valley.

    With metta,
    David