The 2009 drives

Long time readers might know I occasionally go on photo drives and then write posts about the photographs from those drives. I also used to always go to and from work with my photography gear at the ready. Readers might know that from my various posts about stuff I photographed in Woodland Park or on the way home (example).

But, how did I share photos before I had a blog? Well, I had other blogs, all of which went defunct as the hosts had glitches. I also had a mailing list of unlucky humans who regularly received links to galleries and posts. All that went away in 2010 when I started this blog.

Sooo . . . I thought I would reprocess some of my ‘on-the-move’ photos from 2009. First up, from a shade over five years ago, a herd of Elk near Divide, Colorado. As we sometimes do when the weather is nice, we had gone for a long drive and passed by a field where a good-sized herd was resting.


As usual, you can click on the photos for a larger version. These photos are also in SmugMug, but they are in various galleries, and I don’t want to go to the trouble of linking them all.


Colorado has lots of horses, or at least the part of Colorado I live in, and on May 2009 I stopped to shoot a few photos of these grazing horses.


Horses come in three versions: skittish, indifferent, and curious. These were curious and when they noticed me leaning on the fence with my fancy-schmancy camera gear, they came over to visit.


Well, this one got side-tracked by a clump of whatever it’s eating.


The other came right over, but I moved away so I could get the above shot along the fence. The horse then started chewing on the fence. This behavior can be indicative of a problem, but the fence was not damaged anywhere else, and the horse stopped chewing the wood in short order.


The other one finally came to the fence, but it was more interested in the grass he could reach beyond the fence. Odd that because the pasture they were in had a lot of grass (2009 had a wet spring).


I really like horses; they are beautiful animals and have a personality. I would not mind keeping horses, but they are work and prone to various issues. My life and current interests preclude opting to keep horses.

One other thing you can see, even relatively close to populated areas, are cows.



The above photos were shot in July. Pikes Peak is in the background, partially obscured by clouds.

These next photos are from September. The months in between are populated by photos of hummingbirds, insects, and flowers. I think readers can readily found many examples of both with even a cursory search of this blog.


I had thrown in a photo of this car in the previous post, doing so without explanation. This was in a parking lot of a supermarket, and I asked the lady if she would mind me taking photos of her car.


I also asked her how this came about, and she said it’s something she had always wanted to do. She just keeps adding stuff and adding layers whenever she feels like it.


I did see this car a few years later, but not where I could photograph it. I like to think it’s still out there attracting attention and prompting smiles.


These next shots are from November. They are close crops of larger photos as I could not get any closer. They are a bit rough but still passable, primarily because of the hawk’s various expressions.





I kept waiting for the bird to launch, but I think it was just posing and had no intention of moving from the spot.



This next guy was shot along Powers Blvd. and had already got its meal.




This guy did not like me watching it eat. It grabbed its food and flew off to another lamppost. Those shots did not turn out.

There are months where I go for a drive and all I get is scenery . . . and the occasional buffalo.


These are captive, probably grown for meat. I could be wrong; had I the room, I’d be more than happy to have wild buffalo roam my pasture. By the way, there are Antelopes in the area, but they are difficult to photograph.

Get ready; December 2009 was a very photo-prolific.

This next sequence was shot also along Powers Blvd., a major artery on the East side of Colorado Springs. A road with very generous shoulders where the dedicated photographer can pull over without worries of getting run over.



These are so-so photos. In 2009, I was still in the putting-in-the-time phase of my hawk photography.



Don’t get me wrong, I like these shots, but they are a bit soft; the result of shooting at slower speeds than I should have.


Catch a bird in mid-blink, and they can look positively evil.

The meal finished, the hawk takes off. This is where one can see the difference a few years and hundreds of photos make; these shots are not as detailed as I like. At the time, I was happy with them, but now I find them lacking.

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Notice I also missed the launch. Before I get comments on this, yes, some people like the indication of motion, the blur of the wing flap. I admit it’s not bad, but I like the detail of the feathers in the various stages of flight.

This next critter was captured a few days later and only a few miles from my house.


Coyotes are all around the area, but I hardly ever catch any. This guy was in the wrong spot – lighting wise – for very good shots, but these are better than nothing.



This looks like a relatively healthy animal. When I do see coyotes they’re often in bad shape and hence desperate enough not to keep out of sight.

Two days after the coyote another hawk posed for me.




This was late in the day with the sun playing hide-and-seek with clouds in the Western horizon, so the bird is not well lit.



The bird was preening until something caught its attention.



I thought for sure I would capture the rare strike on an unsuspecting prey . . . but it just flew to another pole. Again, note the lack of sharpness and the missed launch. Still learning, I was.

A few days later, the buffalo herd was once again close to the road, probably because of the roll of hay.



I wish the lighting or my skill had been a bit better for this next shot.


A week later I had a good drive . . .




I’m reasonably sure, but not certain, that’s a Northern Harrier Hawk. Once again, note how I fail to get a good photo of the launch; especially annoying as I’ve not had another opportunity since.

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A few miles down the road, I see this . . . 



All of a sudden the horse heads off toward other horses . . . 


. . . and I thought that was that. But no; they all turned and started galloping parallel to the road heading to a spot opposite where I had stopped.





As they got directly opposite . . . 



There was a connection; a moment shared. I raised my hand in a Jeremiah Johnson-like salute. They bowed their heads once and then reared on their hind legs . . . I kid; they just watched as I resumed my drive. 

On the 21st of December, I went on my last drive of the year and caught a familiar sight around these parts.





I do like Colorado . . . too bad it’s becoming like other places, and I might have to say goodbye.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Splits
The Splits

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