COLORADO AT THE SPEED OF LIFE

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SIMPLE PLEASURE



It's a quiet morning, the sun is warm and a gentle breeze wisps across the water of Willow Springs Pond.  She seems oblivious to the noise of construction on the highway directly behind her, her thoughts are far away in the memories of a full and worthwhile life.  In the decade that I have been acquainted with her I have only seen her lips parted in a smile and can only hope to follow in her example as I move through the pages of my own life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

02/24/2010

DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT


Four mature Double Crested Cormorants contemplate the icy water of Willow Springs Pond.  In order to reduce their bouyancy so they can dive for fish, the Cormorants lack the waterproofing oils needed to help insulate them and must contantly air dry their feathers. Although most Cormorants migrate to Texas or Mexico for the winter, some remain year round. This little band of 4 frequent the unfrozen ponds of Willow Springs and Cattail Marsh. Males and females look similar so while I refer to these guys as 'The Brothers', they could very well be two couples.

02/24/2010

HELLO MY FRIEND~


I drive past the pond almost daily and my eyes automatically search for my new friend.  After a couple of weeks he seems to be waiting for me, almost expecting me.  I am not quiet in my approach.  This morning I sang a wordless lullabye.  He watched patiently.  I spoke of my dreams.  He listened graciously.  I felt the need to name him although I'm sure that in his world he already has a name of sorts.  In my mind and in his presence I call him 'Wind'. 


It is naive of me to think that Wind might recognize or even tolerate me personally but I am encouraged by his presence with me at the pond, whether he be perched above in a near by tree or circling low beneath the clouds that beckon him.  There will come a morning when he will not be there on the old cotton wood and I will know that he has begun his journey northward.  Already I am excited for him and what awaits him as his world opens up around him.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

02/17/2010

JUVENILE BALD EAGLE



A juvenile Bald Eagle perches on a tree over looking a half frozen pond.  Although he isn't mature enough for the trademark white head and tail feathers, his yellow beak and talons clearly identify him.  Bald Eagles reach sexual maturity by 5 years, at which time their head and tail plumage will be pure white.


This youngster is just wintering here in the foothills.  As the warm weather sets in he will travel north.  Being a creature of habit, he will probably return to the pond next winter.  The white on his head and tail will be more predominant but it will still be a couple more years before he reaches maturity.  By that time he will be able to soar as high as 10,000 feet and reach speeds of up to 35 mph in level flight.


At about 36 inches in length and with a wingspan of around 7 feet, adult bald eagles are surprising light and weigh between 10 to 14 pounds at maturity.  That's only about as much as a small plucked Thanksgiving turkey. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

02/15/2010

Great Blue Heron


A Great Blue Heron waits patiently perched on one leg as he watches the water of a half frozen pond for fish. A large carp splashes in the shallows just to the left of the heron but seems to know that it is too large to be on the menu. Usually found around water ways fishing in shallow waters, they also eat small rodents and baby birds. The herons are year round inhabitants of Southern Colorado. Sadly, as progress encroaches upon nature, a large colony nesting site was just sold for development. With the declining existence of natural habitat it's anyone's guess as to the fate of future generations of the Great Blue Heron here in Colorado.

Friday, December 11, 2009

12/11/2009

Paisley Frost
Each morning I wake and hurry to the dining room window to see what work of art has been deposited on the pane.  Every morning it is a different masterpiece made entirely of frost.  It lasts only until the sun crosses the morning sky and casts it's warming rays on the front of the house but for at least a few hours of the day I am treated to some of the most magnificient and unique works of natural art imaginable.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12/02/2009

Winter Watchtower

A watchtower stands abandoned as winter rolls in over the Rockies.

Followers

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