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

St. Vrain State Park

March 21st, 2012 · No Comments

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An article in our local newspaper last month inspired me to hike the 1.3 mile loop around Pelican Pond in St. Vrain State Park before it’s too late. This park is already pretty noisy, since it’s adjacent to Interstate 25. But the article, “A nature walk: Pelican Pond Trail, St. Vrain State Park,” says that it may soon be worse: “Eventually seven [oil and gas] wells may be drilled within the boundaries of this small park.”

Yesterday afternoon I hiked that trail around the big pond and didn’t hear a thing. My secret weapon was the off switch on my hearing aids.

St. Vrain State Park is 30 miles northeast of my apartment in Boulder, Colorado. As usual I took a lot of photos, but this time I outdid myself, filling up three CD cards with about 1,200 shots. One of the shots that I took on my hike and three more as I started to drive away are worth sharing.

I had seen a Killdeer the last time I visited St. Vrain State Park as well as elsewhere. But I was never before able to get so close and have excellent light as well. This Killdeer, a medium-sized plover, called a few times as I watched it. The bird was probably calling to announce his territory or to attract another Killdeer. Unfortunately, I don’t know the mind of the Killdeer well enough to determine which.

A Killdeer Calls

A Killdeer Calls

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Just as I left the park I noticed a big bird land on a big cottonwood tree. When I slowed down to take a good look, I saw that it was a Bald Eagle.

So I stopped, got out of my SUV, and walked as close as I could get to it.

A Bald Eagle Waits

A Bald Eagle Waits

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I photographed the eagle for half an hour with my camera on my tripod, hoping to get a good shot of it taking off from the tree. I did.

The Bald Eagle Flies Away

The Bald Eagle Flies Away

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I was satisfied. But as I walked back to my SUV and put my tripod away, I saw that the eagle was flying back. In fact it flew right over me. This shot is the result.

The Bald Eagle Flies Back

The Bald Eagle Flies Back

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My, what big wings an eagle has!

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