Friday, October 26, 2012

A Day in Rocky

 [Sunrise, Upper Beaver Meadows, Rocky Mountain National Park, Oct 26, 2012. Beating the crowds, greeting the elk. Click to enlarge all photos.]

God, I love this place. Rocky Mountain National Park, that is. Which is why the stupid Hurricane Sandy just frosts me, forcing an early return to the east when I was supposed to have a couple days recharging and photographing in mountain paradise. Much as I miss my dear ones, a snowy Rocky is hard to leave.

But I had today. The dozen photos in this post were taken today, after about 3 inches of snow fell in the park last night and the temps dipped into the teens. That's the same weather now sweeping eastward that the over-dramatic forecasters fantasize about colliding with the hurricane and dumping 5 feet of snow on. . . someplace. Looks like Cape May will get wind, rain, and especially coastal flooding. My house is 9 feet above sea level and a half mile inland. And I've got two kayaks and a canoe and a dog that swims real well. . .

Right. Rocky. Today. Wonderful.

[A bull elk bugles at his harem, keeping them in line.]

[Winter wonderland, looking across Beaver Meadows towards Bear Lake country]

 [Clark's Nutcrackers buzz loudly like my grandmother's doorbell from a long time ago. This one does what they do, pry pine nuts from cones. Just outside the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center.]

[Little troops of Pygmy Nuthatches were everywhere today, very much reminding me of the troops of Brown-headed Nuthaches that wander the pines of the Delmarva. Wonder how they'll fare with the hurricane, which is supposed to make landfall right there on the Delmarva Penninsula?]

[Female Red Crossbill, Type X. . . it sounded like, pfewp, pfewp, and seemed to enjoy the windblown snow whirling around it.]

 [Agile Mountain Chickadee. I love these guys, I think of them as the mounties of the mountains.]

[This Red-breasted Nuthatch provided the third checkmark for the Rocky Mountain Nuthatch sweep.]

[Female Mountain Bluebird.]

[This nice mule deer buck made me. . . hungry for venison, I must confess.]

[Bugling elk, swirls in rock.]

[Swift as a magpie the day departed. ]

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