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

Red Rocks and Crown Hill Park

February 19th, 2012 · 3 Comments

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Birding yesterday began with a great experience. A gentle, beautiful bird perched on my fingers and then on my head.

The bird is a Peace Dove that has lived with a woman named Trudith in Arvanda for many years. For many more years she and my friend Marveen have been friends. Marveen lives about 3,400 road miles from here on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, but has been visiting Colorado to help her stepmother, who lives in Steamboat Springs.

Marveen took photos of the Peace Dove perched on me.

Me and "Shalom," a Peace Dove, a White Morph Ringneck Dove

Me and "Shalom," a Peace Dove, a White Morph Ringneck Dove

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I took photos of Marveen and “Shalom.”

Marveen and "Shalom," a Peace Dove, a White Morph Ringneck Dove

Marveen and "Shalom," a Peace Dove

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When we went out on a sunny and still day, we started at Red Rocks near Morrison, where Sharon and I had birded Thursday after going to Loveland Pass. Marveen and I saw some of the same species, but appropriately we also saw this Rock Dove, which is in the same family as “Shalom.”

A Rock Dove at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre

A Rock Dove at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre

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On our hike up to the amphitheatre we saw many of the red rocks that give this famous stage its well-deserved name. My favorite shot was this simple one of two rocks:

Two Red Rocks

Two Red Rocks

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Back down by the feeders behind the Red Rocks Trading Post we found hundreds of hungry birds. While I had photographed all of them before, I like some of these shots better than my previous efforts.

A Song Sparrow Drops a Seed or a Shell

A Song Sparrow Drops a Seed or a Shell

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A Spotted Towhee Eats

A Spotted Towhee Eats

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A Dark-eyed Junco Just Looks Cute

A Dark-eyed Junco Just Looks Cute

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Crown Hill Park in Lakewood was one of Marveen’s favorite places when she lived in this Denver suburb years ago. After we visited Red Rocks, she took me to Crown Hill on Sunday. We walked all the way around both Crown Hill Lake and Kestrel Pond, taking many photos of birds as we went. Here is a bird I have made nice shots of before, but it never showed its long tail so well:

th_maggie

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Most of Kestral Pond is a national urban wildlife refuge that is closed to the public from March to June. Most of the pond is free of ice, attracting many birds, including this one:

A Hooded Merganser Catches a Seafood Lunch

A Hooded Merganser Catches a Seafood Lunch

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Most of the way around the pond we stopped to take a break from birding to sit on a convenient bench. But then we looked up and went right back to birding:

A Downy Woodpecker at Work

A Downy Woodpecker at Work

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My third camera card was almost full as we finished walking around the pond. But then Marveen spotted a Coyote walking along the trail that we had just left. It must have waited for us to leave as it started the hunt right away. We were delighted to see it pounce several times. The last time that it pounced it turned toward us:

The Coyote Pounces

The Coyote Pounces

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The Coyote Pounces Again

The Coyote Pounces Again

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From tame and wild birds through hungry mammals, nature offered us a full day.

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Posted in: Photography

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JAN WILLIAMS // Apr 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Wonderful pics of the coyote, David! Amazing how it blends in with the reeds.

  • 2 Cindy // Jun 14, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I was looking for images using the words “shalom” and “dove”, and this page came up! Great pictures, but I especially love the ones of “Shalom” on your heads! What kind of camera do you use?

  • 3 David Mendosa // Jun 15, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Dear Cindy,

    You are so lucky! And thanks for writing. I use a Canon 7D, which is a digital single lens reflex camera. But my friend Marveen took the shot of me with an old point-and-shoot camera. Both shots came out OK.

    Namaste,

    David

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