It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Spring Brook

August 2nd, 2011 · 2 Comments

Print This Post Print This Post

To avoid the certainty of heat of the day and the possibility of thunderstorms, my friend, Sharon, and I like to get an early start on our summer hikes. We did that Monday and got a further reward in a glorious view of Boulder’s iconic flatirons from the Doudy Draw Trailhead.

Alpenglow on the Flatirons

Alpenglow on the Flatirons

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We hiked the 5.3 mile Spring Brook Loop Trail. Moving quicker than our usual slow, watchful pace, we were back to my SUV in just four hours. We were quicker because we took fewer photos. I limited myself to two CF cards holding no more than 600 shots total.

While we scanned the trees as we looked for birds, sometimes we didn’t see animals on the ground until they moved. Good thing that they weren’t stock still because I would not have wanted to miss these shots.

I have seen mule deers every time I hiked this trail. If you ever wondered how these deer got their name, this shot should explain it.

Deer's Ears

Deer's Ears

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The big surprise was a much smaller animal. Never before have I seen a black squirrel. Yesterday we saw two of them within the space of as many minutes.

I Love This Expression!

I Love This Expression!

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A Cute Guy

A Cute Guy

Click on the picture above to enlarge
Sitting

Sitting

Click on the picture above to enlarge

We thought at first that this might be an Abert’s Squirrel, because they are supposedly the only squirrels in Colorado that can be black. But the ears don’t match. The other kinds of squirrels commonly here are Fox and Pine Squirrels, but they don’t fit this case because they aren’t black. After asking on Facebook, a friend identified the black squirrel “as a melanistic subgroup of the Eastern Gray Squirrel.”

The first bird we got a good view of was a Western Meadowlark. It probably had a nest nearby and showed itself to us to attract attention away from the nest.

A Western Meadowlark

A Western Meadowlark

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Barn Swallow

A Barn Swallow

Click on the picture above to enlarge

All this wasn’t enough for me yesterday. We heard so many birds at one spot along the trail that I decided to go back both yesterday evening and today, when I wouldn’t have to shoot into the sun. We had seen this bird at the nest in the morning, but I got better shots in the evening. This is probably a female Summer Tanager, although its normal range doesn’t include Colorado.

Dinner's Ready

Dinner's Ready

Click on the picture above to enlarge
Nest Delivery

Nest Delivery

Click on the picture above to enlarge

But after half an hour the clouds became too thick and I walked back to the trailhead. Still, I saw this Spotted Towhee right next to the trail. Even though the light level was low, I just had to shoot it:

A Spotted Towhee in Doudy Draw Studies Me While I Study It

A Spotted Towhee in Doudy Draw Studies Me While I Study It

Click on the picture above to enlarge

With all the fauna we saw on the trail, we didn’t ignore the flora. So for contrast in more ways than one here is a shot of one of my favorite flowers:

A Prickly Poppy in the Sun

A Prickly Poppy in the Sun

Click on the picture above to enlarge

This evening as I left the trail the clouds billowed up over the draw.

The Bookend

The Bookend

Click on the picture above to enlarge
Share

Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kamia Taylor // Sep 1, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Oh my gosh. How funny – I just saw a black squirrel on my property today for the first time and didn’t know what it was! Thanks for the 411.

    The bookend picture is stunning. Not right away, but if you’d like to give me a better copy to print, it would be put in a place of honor in the main room upstairs! I wish you’d at least sign them, but the framer I’m using told me how to add a piece at the bottom on who took the pix, and when. Thanks so much!

  • 2 Claudia Peterkin // Sep 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I live in Canada and we have black, red and grey squirrels and sometimes a mixture of black with a grey tail or vice versa.

Leave a Comment