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

Walden Ponds

March 23rd, 2012 · 4 Comments

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Few migrating birds are back here yet, but Colorado is ready for them. We are having one of the warmest, driest, sunniest, calmest Marches in Colorado history.

I’m also ready to see migrants. But just the chance to get out in nature even before they return was good enough for me yesterday. I took my Amazon Kindle Touch in my fanny pack and found the benches at Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat, eight miles northeast of my apartment in Boulder. In the four hours that I visited Walden Ponds, I must have spent an hour reading and finished a delightful book on birding, A Supremely Bad Idea: Three Mad Birders and Their Quest to See it All.

Of course, I also wandered around the three miles of trails that border the ponds. Only the most common birds seemed to be in residence: Red-winged Blackbirds, Mallards and other common ducks, sparrows, and American Robins. One of these robins was enjoyed itself so much as it took a bath that it seeing it added to my happiness.

An American Robin Takes a Bath

An American Robin Takes a Bath

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Near the end of my visit to Walden Ponds yesterday I sat on a bench minding my own business as I read on my Kindle. But movement in the pond right in front of me captured my attention. A muskrat was swimming just a few feet away in the big pond they call Cottonwood Marsh. The muskrat isn’t a true rat. Its name probably comes from a word in the Algonquin language meaning “it is red.”

A Muskrat Swims By

A Muskrat Swims By

Click on the picture above to enlarge

I had seen this rodent before, but never so close and never in such good light. Now I know why the Algonquins called them muskrats.


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Posted in: Photography

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Melvin Pennington // Apr 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    David, I viewed your article on Walden Ponds with a bit of excitement as I thought it would be about my favorite place in Massachuesetts, Walden Pond in Concord where Thoreau had spent a couple of years. By any chance are the ponds there named after Henry David Thoreau?

  • 2 David Mendosa // Apr 1, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Dear Melvin,

    Good question. “Contrary to what many believe, Walden Ponds is not a reference to Thoreau’s pond of the same name. It is named after Walden “Wally” Toevs, the Boulder County Commissioner who spearheaded the plan to convert the gravel pits into a wildlife habitat in the 1970s,” according to a Boulder County website at


  • 3 JAN WILLIAMS // Apr 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Do you realize how much $$$$ you could make from your nature photography???! ;@)))
    I know that you do it out of your own personal love of the craft as well as of nature, but I just wanted to say that your pics really make me catch my breath sometimes. I love the detail of the robin above, but also that of the Bald Eagle sitting on the branch. Just breathtaking! The quality of your work is awesome.
    Thank you so much for sharing your pictures with us in addition to your knowledge of diabetes. I always gain something new to think about and implement.

    Dallas, TX

  • 4 David Mendosa // Apr 2, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Dear Jan,

    Thank you so much. But my photography is a labor of love. I want to share the beauty that I find in the world freely.

    Best regards,