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

Betasso’s Ponderosas

April 1st, 2012 · 3 Comments

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Returning again to Boulder’s Betasso Preserve might seem like overkill. I had hiked there on the previous Saturday, as I wrote in “The Bluebirds are Back” and again on Wednesday with Sharon, as I wrote in “Back to Betasso.”

But those were mostly hikes combined with a little photography. Yesterday was mostly photography and reading in the warm sun on my Kindle and prompted by a correspondent in Sweden who asked me what a ponderosa pine looked like.

I had written that I hadn’t yet figured out how to capture the beauty of these big trees. On Saturday I tried again.

The problem with ponderosas is that they usually grow in large forests of them. On Saturday I focused on a few isolated ponderosas growing in meadows. In so doing I discovered that lots of birds love these particular ponderosas.

Ponderosas in a Clearing

Ponderosas in a Clearing

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One Big Ponderosa Pine Tree

One Big Ponderosa Pine Tree

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A Woodpecker Pecks on a Ponderosa Pine

A Hairy Woodpecker Pecks on a Ponderosa Pine

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This House Finch is Away from Home on a Mullein Stalk Near the Ponderosas

This House Finch is Away from Home on a Mullein Stalk Near the Ponderosas

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A Steller's Jay Rests in a Ponderosa Pine Tree

A Steller's Jay Rests in a Ponderosa Pine Tree

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While Stellar’s Jays are blue, they are considerably bigger than bluebirds, which have an even more intense blue color. And I found more bluebirds in these isolated group of ponderosa pines than I had in hiking miles of the Betasso Preserve on my two most recent previous visits.

A Female Western Bluebird Flies

A Female Western Bluebird Flies

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A Male Western Bluebird Flies

A Male Western Bluebird Flies

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As much as I love photos of birds in flight, my favorite shot yesterday was a simple one of a male Mountain Bluebird at rest in a favorite ponderosa pine tree. This little fellow let me get so close that I was able to capture the fine details of his plumage.

A Male Mountain Bluebird in a Ponderosa Pine

A Male Mountain Bluebird in a Ponderosa Pine

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Ponderosa pines are native to western North America and are the tallest known pine tree. One specimen is 268 feet high. Birds love their pine cones and the cover that these trees provide them. The cinnamon-red bark of these trees usually smells like butterscotch to me, although some people think it smells like vanilla. I often stop to smell them. I love these trees and the birds that call them home.

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Posted in: Photography

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ezra Alit // Apr 30, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Beautiful pictures. I enjoyed them very much. Thanks!!

  • 2 Jim Kerwin // May 1, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Excellent pictures ! I don’t know if you’ve been there but sometime you need to go to Bristlecone Pine area near Bishop Ca. & photograph the worlds oldest living trees. They’re fantastic !

  • 3 David Mendosa // May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you. I haven’t been there yet, but I always wanted to go there. I did photograph some of the Bristlecone Pines that we have here in Colorado. You can see some of my images at http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/?p=5949 and in Nevada at http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/?p=6033

    David

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