Early January Drive – first photos of 2012

This is the very first photo I snapped in 2012.  Yes, another hawk, a Red-Tailed Hawk, to be precise.

The first picture of 2012

I was driving home along County Line Road, when I saw this fellow perched on a pole.  I slowed and pulled over well ahead of it, hoping it would not get spooked.  

No mistaking this Red-Tailed for some other kind of hawk.

A few seconds later, as I jumped out of the car with camera in hand, it was already airborne.  

Decent detail, and decent focus, despite issues with the lens not wanting to focus.

Luckily, it headed on a flight-path that would take it almost directly over me.  I’ll put one more shot here, but if you click on any of the above pictures you will be linked to a small SmugMug gallery with a total of eight (8) shots for this hawk, and three more for the hawk shown further down the post.

Not as sharp as I like, but not bad.

Later that afternoon, as snow clouds gathered over the Front Range, I headed for a short drive on a couple of dirt roads I like to travel.

Scrub Oaks on a ridge

 I had shot the hawk earlier, but before that nothing for a whole week.  Bad way to start the year.

Frozen pond

I crossed under I-25 and headed on a road that cuts through the Greenland Ranch Open Space.  I had been meaning to snap a picture of the house below ever since I moved here, and now, six years later, here it is.

Abandoned house - - I wonder of its history.

The next three pictures are of various “natural” fence posts.  Branches enlisted for a role that carries their usefulness well past their death.

The remnants of a stockade

 I like natural fence posts . . . they blend in better.

A fence post along the road

I wonder how many years it's been here

As I kept driving I saw a horse and rider in full gallop going along one of the ridges.  I stopped the car to snap some picture . . . 

Horse and rider on a ridge . . . Pikes Peak behind the clouds behind them

And they stopped to see what I was doing . . . eventually they got going again, but no gallop.

A slow gait along one of Greenland Ranch Open Range's ridges

Heading toward Palmer Lake and County Line, the snow began to fall . . . and I saw one more hawk on a pole.  This one a ways off, and not as well lit as I like . . . the clouds were gathering to shield the sun.

Fluffed up against the cold breeze

This hawk too took off right away, despite me being a long way off.

Two hawks in one day . . . good start to the year

 What is impressive about these pictures, at least to me, is they are crops of a very small part of the whole photograph.  I was pleasantly surprised they show as much detail as they do.

Neat that you can see the snowflakes flying about.

With the snow falling, I headed back home.  Not a bad shooting day for my first of 2012.

As usual, better versions of the pictures can be found by clicking on any of the pictures and going to the respective galleries in SmugMug.

Thanks for visiting.