2011 – The Year in Pictures

New Year's Eve 2010

One year ago today this was the picture outside our window.  We had just return from visiting relatives in Illinois, and literally as we closed the garage door upon returning home, the snow started to turn the brown landscape into white.

Miss Kitty - June 1991- September 2011

In going through the pictures from this past year, it was almost a shock to come across a set of Kitty’s.This is from January, eight months before she passed away at the age of 20.

 https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/miss-kitty-june-1991-september-2011/

Water Wagon, Cripple Creek Visitor Center

From one of our January weekend drives.  This one to Cripple Creek; this water wagon is parked outside the visitor center.

January Full Moon

Nearly every month I snap pictures of the Moon. Typically on my way to work, and typically hand held.  You’ll see a few of these.

Denver Butterfly Pavilion

January had us visit the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver.  We will likely do so again this month or next.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/the-butterfly-pavilion/

Denver Butterfly Pavilion

This time I will warm up my camera and lenses before heading there, and save the 20 minutes I had to wait before the photographic equipment I had with me stopped fogging up.

Denver Butterfly Pavilion

And this time I will plan my shots, although I liked nearly all the shots I took.

End of January snow

January went out with more snow coming our way . . . I liked the photo opportunities, and Melisa talked of moving.

February moon

February moon

Same moon, a few days later

Same moon, a few days later

Like most years, I took a lot of shots of hawks . . .

Like most years, I took a lot of shots of hawks . . .

. . . and the moon.  Did I mention the moon?

. . . and the moon. Did I mention the moon?

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/februarys-end-part-3-the-hawk-chronicles/

But people like hawks more than they like the moon.

But people like hawks more than they like the moon.

March brought it's own snow . . .

March brought it’s own snow . . .

. . . and decorated the hummingbird lawn ornament.

. . . and decorated the hummingbird lawn ornament.

In late March I bought a D7000 to replace the D200 . . . in April I took this picture of a Western Meadowlark with the new camera.  Yes, I am liking the camera a lot.

In late March I bought a D7000 to replace the D200 . . . in April I took this picture of a Western Meadowlark with the new camera. Yes, I am liking the camera a lot.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/nikon-d7000-a-user-review/

http://ejdalise.smugmug.com/Testing/Testing-the-Nikon-D7000/16756047_793Rkk#1264092079_64GT9V6

Another full Moon for April.

Another full Moon for April.

That same day I took a picture of a vulture . . . very rare for me, as I usually see them high above.

That same day I took a picture of a vulture . . . very rare for me, as I usually see them high above.

And that evening I captured this sunset view of Pikes Peak while on my way home from racquetball.

And that evening I captured this sunset view of Pikes Peak while on my way home from racquetball.

Yes, another hawk.  Not sure what kind, but once again I was impressed with the camera.  This guy was quite a distance away, and flying away from me.

Yes, another hawk. Not sure what kind, but once again I was impressed with the camera. This guy was quite a distance away, and flying away from me.

At the end of April I was pleased to see the Camels were out and about.

At the end of April I was pleased to see the Camels were out and about.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/the-return-of-the-camels/

Late May we got our last snow for the 2010-2011 season.  There was a lot of snow, but it melted reasonably quick.

Late May we got our last snow for the 2010-2011 season. There was a lot of snow, but it melted reasonably quick.

In late May Tree Swallows occupied the Blue Bird House I had put up.  I like Tree Swallows more than Blue Birds, so I was pleased.  The swallows provided me with lots of pictures.

In late May Tree Swallows occupied the Blue Bird House I had put up. I like Tree Swallows more than Blue Birds, so I was pleased. The swallows provided me with lots of pictures.

 https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/02/tree-swallows/

In late may I took a day off to go shoot me some birds  . . . Thunderbirds, that is, at the 2011 Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.

In late may I took a day off to go shoot me some birds . . . Thunderbirds, that is, at the 2011 Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.

 https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/thunderbirds-2011-usafa-graduation-air-show/

End of may got me this late evening picture of a horse grazing on a field next to County Line Road.

End of may got me this late evening picture of a horse grazing on a field next to County Line Road.

In June I witnessed a rare thing (for me) . . . a fox very irritated at a coyote that was passing time in the field next to where I work (and within a hundred yards of her den). I'm guessing the coyote was hurt, as it is unusual to see them out in the open like this.

In June I witnessed a rare thing (for me) . . . a fox very irritated at a coyote that was passing time in the field next to where I work (and within a hundred yards of her den). I’m guessing the coyote was hurt, as it is unusual to see them out in the open like this.

 https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/the-fox-and-the-coyote/

Also in June I went to the Pueblo's Westbrod Air Museum. Very neat place . . . I will go again.

Also in June I went to the Pueblo’s Weisbrod Air Museum. Very neat place . . . I will go again.

 https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/pueblos-weisbrod-air-museum/

 Also in June, I experimented with photography using the light of a full moon.  Different and interesting.

Also in June, I experimented with photography using the light of a full moon. Different and interesting.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/sunlight-at-night/

And a few days later I had the pleasure of shooting a sequence of photos showing the full moon setting over Pikes Peak.

And a few days later I had the pleasure of shooting a sequence of photos showing the full moon setting over Pikes Peak.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/moonset-over-pikes-peak/

Again, I should have used my tripod, but I shot the whole thing hand-held.    It was shot from the I-25 scenic pullout opposite the Air Force Academy air field.

Again, I should have used my tripod, but I shot the whole thing hand-held. It was shot from the I-25 scenic pullout opposite the Air Force Academy air field.

This is the "touch down" moment . . . at least as far as I can tell. I suppose it could have been one picture on either side as well.

This is the “touch down” moment . . . at least as far as I can tell. I suppose it could have been one picture on either side as well.

Because of a family tragedy, in late June I found myself on Galveston Bay shooting pictures of Brown Pelicans and other sights on the bay.

Because of a family tragedy, in late June I found myself on Galveston Bay shooting pictures of Brown Pelicans and other sights on the bay.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/i-want-to-kill-myself/

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/the-bad-boys-of-san-leon/

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/san-leon-the-rest-of-the-story/

Brown Pelican diving.

Brown Pelican diving.

This gecko also offered up photo opportunities aplenty.

This gecko also offered up photo opportunities aplenty.

July and September are usually when I get to watch spectacular sunsets from my deck.

July through September are usually when I get to watch spectacular sunsets from my deck.

The only thing I do to these pictures is tone down the brightness a bit.

The only thing I do to these pictures is tone down the brightness a bit.

And of course July here is the start of the flower season.

And of course July here is the start of the flower season.

And by Mid July the swallow brood is near leaving the nest . . . er . . . box.  More photo opportunities.

And by Mid July the swallow brood is near leaving the nest . . . er . . . box. More photo opportunities.

In addition to the flowers we have in our yard, there are plenty of wild flowers that catch my attention, and get captured in my digital archive.

In addition to the flowers we have in our yard, there are plenty of wild flowers that catch my attention, and get captured in my digital archive.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-flowers-of-2011/

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/tree-and-cliff-swallows-update/

This adult Tree Swallow came to check me out while I was shooting the whole "bringing bugs to the fledglings" routine.

This adult Tree Swallow came to check me out while I was shooting the whole “bringing bugs to the fledglings” routine.

Another great sunset . . . it almost reminds me of Hawaiian underwater paintings.

Another great sunset . . . it almost reminds me of Hawaiian underwater paintings.

There are moments where all the world's problems and all my problems go away as time stands still so I can enjoy what I see.

There are moments where all the world’s problems and all my problems go away as time stands still so I can enjoy what I see.

My favorite shot of the tree swallow saga.

My favorite shot of the tree swallow saga.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/tree-swallows-2011-final-update/

My least favorite shot of the tree swallow saga . . . although a good shot of the hawk.  This hawk got one of the fledglings who left the nest, and was not quick enough in finding its wings.

My least favorite shot of the tree swallow saga . . . although a good shot of the hawk. This hawk got one of the fledglings who left the nest, and was not quick enough in finding its wings.

At the end of July the flower garden was in full swing, and pictures aplenty were taken.

At the end of July the flower garden was in full swing, and pictures aplenty were taken.

Including many pictures of honey bees feasting on the flowers.

Including many pictures of honey bees feasting on the flowers.

August presented my most frustrating (and humorous) hawk experience. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZKxmU1asjE

August presented my most frustrating (and humorous) hawk experience. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZKxmU1asjE

My hunting for bees-on-flowers pictures continued to be fruitful through the month of August.My hunting for bees-on-flowers pictures continued to be fruitful through the month of August.

This year probably had some of the best pictures of bees I've been able to capture.

This year probably had some of the best pictures of bees I’ve been able to capture.

A first for me . . . in August, while playing racquetball, I happen to have a vary intimate encounter with an unmoving and unfeeling wall . . . I hit my head, and a few days later my first ever black eye began to make its appearance.

A first for me . . . in August, while playing racquetball, I happen to have a vary intimate encounter with an unmoving and unfeeling wall . . . I hit my head, and a few days later my first ever black eye began to make its appearance.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/the-wall-and-eye/

Within a few days, it looked awesome.  And a few days after that, it was gone.

Within a few days, it looked awesome. And a few days after that, it was gone.

Flowers continued to be my favorite subjects through August . . .

Flowers continued to be my favorite subjects through August . . .

. . . and bees.  And my favorite, bees and flowers together.

. . . and bees. And my favorite, bees and flowers together.

Like I said, gots me a bunch of pictures I liked.

Like I said, gots me a bunch of pictures I liked.

Part of the success can be attributed to a fairly wet summer (for Colorado).  The flowers in the garden did very well this year.

Part of the success can be attributed to a fairly wet summer (for Colorado). The flowers in the garden did very well this year.

OK, one more bee on a flower.

OK, one more bee on a flower.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/2011-flowers-part-ii/

The Dahlias also did well this year.

The Dahlias also did well this year.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/2011-flowers-part-ii/

This particular one was very striking. especially considering it lasted well into September.

This particular one was very striking. especially considering it lasted well into September.

Not all the butterflies I captured on camera where from the pavilion.  This West Coast Lady visited our garden in September.

Not all the butterflies I captured on camera where from the pavilion. This West Coast Lady visited our garden in September.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/09/13/the-birds-the-bees-and-the-west-coast-lady/

And here it is . . . my favorite picture of the year.    A young Bluebird taking a bath in our back yard.  And me to capture it all.

And here it is . . . my favorite picture of the year. A young Bluebird taking a bath in our back yard. And me to capture it all.

Late September we took a trip to Utah.  Good sights.  Hundreds of pictures.

Late September we took a trip to Utah. Good sights. Hundreds of pictures.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/western-trip-september-2011-utah/

Bryce Canyon NP offered up some awesome sights, and my pictures capture only a small portion of the awesomeness.

Bryce Canyon NP offered up some awesome sights, and my pictures capture only a small portion of the awesomeness.

November saw us heading back to Texas . . . and I saw my first ever cotton field.  We were near harvest time, so cotton was all over the place.

November saw us heading back to Texas . . . and I saw my first ever cotton field. We were near harvest time, so cotton was all over the place.

There were many fields we saw before we figured out what it was we were looking at.  I did not know they grew cotton in Texas.

There were many fields we saw before we figured out what it was we were looking at. I did not know they grew cotton in Texas.

This shot was a close second as my favorite of the year.  This is a foggy sunrise on Galveston Bay.

This shot was a close second as my favorite of the year. This is a foggy sunrise on Galveston Bay.

The window of opportunity for pictures was very small, and I was fortunate to take advantage of it.

The window of opportunity for pictures was very small, and I was fortunate to take advantage of it.

This sandpiper gave me a show while walking the Galveston waterfront.  These little suckers really hustle.

This sandpiper gave me a show while walking the Galveston waterfront. These little suckers really hustle.

And here it is, the year ending as it began.  A snow storm came in just before x-mas, and left us with over a foot of snow, most of which remains even as I write this, and we prepare to head on over into next year.

And here it is, the year ending as it began. A snow storm came in just before x-mas, and left us with over a foot of snow, most of which remains even as I write this, and we prepare to head on over into next year.

https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/22dec2011-snow-aplenty/

 . . . 20 minutes to midnight, and the implied promise of a new year.  Hope you enjoyed this brief (some will say lengthy) look back at 2011.  Not the best of years, but we endure, and strive to make a better tomorrow for ourselves and our world.  

Best wishes for a happy, prosperous, and healthy new year . . . 2012, a toast to you; may you treat us well.