“Colorado”

© Teklanika Photography 2013
© Teklanika Photography 2013

“Colorado”
Rocky Mountain National Park’s 415 square miles encompass and protect spectacular mountain environments.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
04/12/2013
Canon 7D
Canon 50mm lens
1/2000 sec @ f4.5
iso 200
© Teklanika Photography 2013

To Shoot, or Not to Shoot, at Rocky Mountain National Park

courtesy of High Country News
by Larry Keller

The elk of Rocky Mountain National Park are wildlife’s couch potatoes. Rather than roam widely throughout the 415-square-mile park and the land outside it, they are content to laze around in meadows, eating, sleeping and mating.

With no predators, they can afford to be slackers. Many of them saunter into the tourist town of Estes Park outside the eastern entrance. There, they mosey along city streets and loiter on golf courses.

Their inertia has created problems in the park, however. Aspen and willow stands are denuded where the elk do much of their grazing. That habitat is vital to a variety of birds and butterflies, park officials say. The damage has also driven out most of the beavers that once populated the area, which in turn has caused a nearly 70-percent decline in surface water that helps nourish the very habitat being damaged.

Click here to read the rest of the story

January 27 – February 3, 2011

Some new, some old…

December 1, 2010 – More Old & New Shots

Finally finished culling unwanted photos from the hard drive, here’s the last batch of shots that were overlooked for one reason or another the first time around…

November 14, 2010 – Old & New Shots

In an effort to conserve disk space and clean up my hard drive, I’ve been going through my files and deleting unwanted shots. I came across a couple of decent shots that, for one reason or another, I’d overlooked.

October 20 – November 7, 2010

October 14 – 19, 2010

“Our remnants of wilderness will yield bigger values to the nation’s character and health than they will to its pocketbook, and to destroy them will be to admit that the latter are the only values that interest us.”
– Aldo Leopold

October 6 – 13, 2010

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir

September 29 – October 5, 2010

The elk rut is beginning to slowly wind down, bugles are losing intensity and serious fights between the big males are happening less frequently. I’ve witnessed some excellent mating season drama this year – madness, serenity, ferocity, compassion, weakness, strength, refusal, acceptance, frustration, satisfaction, rage, glee, defeat and victory. Soon the mule deer bucks here in Colorado will begin sparring and rounding up the does and fawns, and the long-awaited deer rut will begin. All of the osprey have left their summer homes, migrating south to spend the winter in Texas and Mexico. Still few sightings and no shots of the elusive pine marten, maybe they will be easier to track and photograph in the late fall and winter (fingers crossed)…

September 7 – 12, 2010

It’s early September and the elk rut is on! Hunting pressure has made wildlife viewing in the National Forest sporadic (to say the least), so I’ve been spending most of my free time in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Kawuneeche Valley. The big bull elk are trying to herd up as many cows as they can, chasing them around and bugling their hearts out. Smaller bulls lurk around the outskirts of the herds, bugling loudly as well, attempting to pull a cow or two away from the main group for a romantic rendezvous. Most are chased away by the dominant bulls, but some are successful. The elk coy (calves of the year) are extremely confused by the behavior of the previously peaceful bulls, and they stay very close to the older cows when the bulls begin to chase and herd the harem. I haven’t seen any serious sparring skirmishes between the big guys yet, mostly just bulls chasing each other around and threatening each other from a distance.

Mornings are very cold in the high country now – the canteen that I keep near my sleeping bag while I sleep has been freezing solid by dawn.

Here’s a great snippet from a National Geographic video featuring elk rutting season in Rocky Mountain National Park…

August 17 – 24, 2010

Another hot Colorado summer is slowly coming to a close in the high country. Aspen leaves are beginning to change color, elk calves and deer fawns have nearly lost their spots, and reports of bear sightings are slowing down. Most of the osprey chicks have fledged and are now nearly identical in size and plumage to their parents. I’m ready for the fall – looking forward to watching the moose and elk in rut and listening to bugling bulls and cow calls.