The last day of 2017 was cold and austere in our backyard. The skies were a slate, gray and the ground remained snow-covered. There is beauty still in how the aspen trees stand out against this foreboding winter background and their contrast added to the scene.
Despite being the most common birds we see here by our house on the hill, this male House Finch was taking nothing for granted and was alert as he perched in the branches nearby. Despite being roughly 20ft away and indoors, shooting this photo still revealed, close up, I was being monitored intently through the windows.
A quiet moment to appreciate as the final chapter of the week closes here at our house on a hill.
The last few weeks have had me stepping away from all things online here, but it was definitely for good cause. A few things popped up that filled up my calendar a bit – getting married, moving from Colorado to Wyoming – you know, small things.
I’ve settled in now in Cheyenne, WY with my handsome other half and wouldn’t you know, we’ve had some snow lately. Of course one of the things we immediately did was to hang out a bird feeder or two, as it’s not home without a feeder. This week we found that we had been claimed by the local Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco population, among others. This variety has a different coloration than the Juncos I found in Virginia.
We are still within a hop, skip and a jump from Fort Collins and I’m fast appreciating the city of Cheyenne. One of the exciting aspects of living in Wyoming, for sure, is the ability to have some real estate that is all but astronomical in Fort Collins. Fewer people, less traffic, more space and still access to all that is the great outdoors here in southern Wyoming.
I look forward to getting out a bit more often with my camera here and seeing what all goes on in the now much larger back yard we have and the many hiking trails that surround the area.
Sometimes photos pop up at the most inconvenient moments. Like this one where I was leisurely coming down the stairs to my kitchen on the first floor of my home and saw this gorgeous creature on my back patio fence. I had to decide between taking a not-so-great picture with my phone, or taking a chance that it would still be there if I sprinted back upstairs to grab my 200mm lens. I took a chance and raced upstairs, trying to assemble my camera while flying back down again. Obviously it’s not in great focus as I was trying to catch my breath and still the camera, but at least the owl stayed put long enough to take one decent shot.
My yard in Fort Collins, CO is nearly always occupied by any number of small bunnies looking for a peaceful snack or nap. Yes, they do leave little spots of matted grass after an afternoon of napping, but look at those ears 🙂
I’m actively trying to improve my skills at selecting the right aperture for bright, beaming sunshine. Lately I’ve been horrible at washing out my photos by forgetting to change that basic setting on my camera. This cute furball was my first subject of the day while out for a day of shooting (first rifle, then pictures). I know, ground squirrels are pests and the cause of many, many problems. But darn if they’re not cute as a button.
I’m not sure if this is the same earless lizard I saw a few weeks ago; this one is smaller I think. No doubt, even in our shooting spot, there are many.
I’m also trying to up-skill a bit on focusing on smaller subjects on the fly. However in this photo I was really focusing on the flowers and had no idea a grasshopper was in my view until I loaded the image to my laptop. Observant of me, no?
This fellow was hanging on to this blade of grass for all he was worth. It’s not noticeable in the pictures but the wind was whipping and this guy had clamped onto the grass and was riding the gusts like a championship bull rider. It was a day for critters of all sizes!