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

Walden Ponds

June 3rd, 2012 · 6 Comments

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The “First Sunday Birding Outing at Walden Ponds” of the Boulder Bird Club and the Boulder County Audubon Society this morning attracted more than 40 participants, including my friend Sharon and me. The trip leader just reported that the group saw 56 species of birds.

While I saw many of them, most of my sightings were with my binoculars or with someone else’s spotting scope. What my camera captured is what counts for me.

Birders call their first bird sighting a “life bird.” While I didn’t see any birds today that I had never seen before, one of them was a life bird — for my camera.

This Say's Phoebe was a Life Bird for my Camera

This Say's Phoebe was a Life Bird for my Camera

Click on the picture above to enlarge

And this was just one of three firsts for me and my camera today. While the Say’s Phoebe may be a drab bird, as some people describe it, my second first was an offering from a bird called the Killdeer that is anything but drab. My camera and I have seen and appreciated many Killdeer, but never before did we see the well-known behavior that we captured today.

A Killdeer is a medium-sized plover. And plovers, waders, and doves feign injury to distract predators from nests or young that the adult bird is protecting. Their usual trick is a “broken-wing display.” Both my camera and I saw that today for the first time ever.

A Killdeer Put on a Broken-Wing Display to Draw My Attention from its Nest

A Killdeer Put on a Broken-Wing Display to Draw My Attention from its Nest

Click on the picture above to enlarge

The third first for me today was to hike a new trail. We started at the so-called Cottonwood Marsh, which is the biggest of the five ponds in Boulder County’s Walden Ponds Wildlife Habitat. While I have hiked there many times before, I never knew that we could hike around Cottonwood Marsh, which is closed along the north side. But we went even further north to the trail along Boulder Creek and looped around the pond. I had never found that section of the trail before. Along that trail I saw these flowers, which for me are a symbol of wildness.

Flowers in the Wild

Flowers in the Wild

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Henry David Thoreau, who hiked his own Walden Pond in Massachusetts, would have loved this scene. He wrote in his book, Walking, that “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”


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Posted in: Photography

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 gretchen // Jun 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Lovely photo of wildflowers. I can’t keep up with all the mowing I should do, and I’ve realized I actually prefer the slightly overgrown stone walls, and the mixture of wildflowers, ferns, and roses in what is supposed to be a flower garden.

    Thoreau was right about that.

  • 2 David Mendosa // Jun 12, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Thank you, Gretchen! That photo has a subtle sort of beauty, and I am so pleased that you wrote your appreciation of it.


  • 3 Gretchen // Jun 13, 2012 at 4:34 am

    That photo reminded me of some of the photos in Eliot Porter’s book of the same name. He combines photos of New England woods with quotes from Thoreau.

    It’s sad that so few people these days get to see such places in person.

  • 4 Fran Stearns // Jun 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Squint and the killdeer merges with her background.

  • 5 Marianne // Jun 30, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Your free newsletter is one of the best ever helps for us diabetics. Thank you!

  • 6 David Mendosa // Jun 30, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Dear Marianne,

    Thank you so much!