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Good Hygiene

Posted By David Mendosa On October 26, 2011 @ 6:18 am In Photography | 1 Comment

Hygiene was good to me this weekend.

It was good for pictures. Hygiene is a little Colorado town with a funny name 18 miles north of Boulder. The town got its name not because it is particularly clean, but rather because the Rev. Jacob Flory established a “hygiene sanitarium” for tuberculosis patients there in 1882. The cool dry air that we have around here is good both for people and nature.

While the ponds at Pella Crossing [1], which are a mile this side of Hygiene, were my destination, I first drove around the backroads to see what I could see. Along North 59th Street in Hygiene, near where last February I got a favorite shot of a painted silo [2], I captured this fall scene:

Fall Colors [3]

Fall Colors

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Then, I remembered having seen a huge cottonwood tree along Crane Hollow Road nearby. I didn’t get a satisfactory photo then for a couple of reasons (I didn’t have the right lens with me and the light was wrong). But when I went back there this weekend, it worked.

This “Gentle Giant of Boulder County” is America’s largest plains cottonwood, according to a sign there. It is 105 feet high, according to the sign (95 feet high according to the National Registry of Big Trees [4]) and has a circumference of 36 feet, which is 432 inches). Since the National Registry says that “No image available,” I just sent them this one, which they immediately put online:

The Biggest Plains Cottonwood in the Country [5]

The Biggest Plains Cottonwood in the Country

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Still driving to the ponds at Pella Crossing, I found this hawk perched on top of a pole along Hygiene Road. Using my SUV as a blind, I pulled right underneath the hawk for this shot:

A Red-Tailed Hawk and I Study Each Other [6]

A Red-Tailed Hawk and I Study Each Other

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Reaching the ponds just an hour before the light faded behind the mountains, I broke a “rule” of photography and shot into the sun. This worked too:

A Trail at Pella Crossing [7]

A Trail at Pella Crossing

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When I reached Webster Pond at Pella Crossing, the few birds remaining for the season were either along the pond’s far side or in the air. So I concentrated on looking up. What I saw was one of our most common birds — but one of the most graceful.

A Gull Flies Over Webster Pond [8]

A Gull Flies Over Webster Pond

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URLs in this post:

[1] ponds at Pella Crossing: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/?p=8026

[2] a painted silo: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/?p=6895

[3] Image: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/trees.jpg

[4] National Registry of Big Trees: http://www.americanforests.org/2011/06/populus-deltoides-ssp-monilifera/

[5] Image: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/cottonwood.jpg

[6] Image: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/hawk.jpg

[7] Image: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/trail.jpg

[8] Image: http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/gull.jpg

[9] Image: http://www.addtoany.com/share_save

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