SmugMug Appreciation Sunday — No. 043

In brief, these posts serve to introduce new readers — and reintroduce regular readers — to photos from the early days of this blog and, occasionally, to photos from days before this blog came into existence.

As a superfluous reminder, we — Melisa and me — used to live in Colorado, and I took a few photos while we lived there.

Today, I conclude the Mt. Evans series of photos from June of 2012. Depending on how you count them, Colorado has a few mountains (53 or 58) topping 14,000 feet in elevation (4,270 meters), and a few of them (two) have roads allowing people — people like me — to drive to their summits. Pikes Peak is one of them Fourteeners, and Mount Evans is the other and the subject of this post.

The original post for these photos is HERE, and it’s all about the critters we saw. In this post, I’m sharing the 68 photos from THIS Gallery.

Note: some are shared as large files so that interested readers can click and zoom in. Be patient since I don’t know how fast theyll load.

Pond Damsels – Familiar Bluet

Those Damsels were photographed along the shore of Echo Lake before we got onto the scenic highway. There were many flying around, and while they didn’t stand still for long, they usually came back to the same spot, which made it easier to photograph. By the way, that’s the same behavior as dragonflies, which are also easy to photograph.

They are pretty . . .

Next up, once we got on to the mountain proper, and after getting above the tree line, I photographed an insect I hadn’t seen before . . .

Longhorn Bee

OK, so those are technically critters, but people would call them insects . . .

Here’s a proper critter, albeit at a distance . . .

Marmoset – Summit Lake, Mount Evans.

Not an unusual critter to see at these altitudes, but this was shier than most.

Now, in the last post, I mentioned a group of photographers standing around with their cameras on tripods, and I said I drifted toward them . . .

They were photographing a small herd of mountain goats, and I came in behind the herd, or, rather, in front of the herd, and the photographers were slowly herding them my way . . .

That guy didn’t seem too concerned about my presence and just kept coming — slowly — right at me.

Those horns look pretty sharp, and I was getting a tad concerned . . . but I don’t think it had noticed me (I easily blend into the background), and when it did, it backed off and started grazing.

Remember all them flowers I photographed and shared in last’s week installment? I was probably standing in a prime grazing spot.

The head honcho made another move toward me . . .

. . . and I dutifully backed away, which satisfied its territorial defense response, and it turned back to survey his small group . . .

It was probably being protective of the kids in the herd . . .

The young’uns copied the adults, mimicking their grazing behavior, but they got easily distracted and wandered around . . .

Excuse the wind noise . . . winds blow on mountain slopes.

Once we got to the summit, we wanted to walk to the observatory, but what looked like the same herd was blocking the access path. You are supposed to keep a distance from the animals, but many visitors ignored the rule.

However, them horns made us cautious, so we just waited to see if they would move on . . . and I snapped a bunch of photos (I’m only posting a few; see the slideshow for the rest) . . .

I’m not sure why they looked like they were grazing since the ground lacked any vegetation.

We ended up taking the long way around the herd by climbing on some rocks, but here’s a photo of people getting too close . . .

I was excited by the potential to photograph some goring action, but the herd ceded ground to the encroaching humans. Too bad, that, but I guess in their place, I, too, wouldn’t want my nice horns getting soiled with human entrails.

This was the leader of the herd, based on visual observation of its self-important behavior and its bossing of other goats.

There were also a few elders in the herd . . . at least, I thought they might be elders based on their bald spots and hair growing in clumps and at odd angles.

This next one was resting, so I had the chance to get some good photos . . .

Here’s the elder surveying the mountainside, remembering the days when it ruled with an iron hoof.

Here’s a short video of the herd preparing to leave the area . . .

The title is resting, but they are getting ready to leave.

On the way down (just a few hundred feet and a couple of switchbacks from the summit), we watched a small herd of Mountain Sheep head down the side of the mountain.

I parked where I estimated they were heading and was rewarded with some decent shots of the mountain’s other resident ovines.

They looked similar to the goats but were smaller and with shorter, denser coats. They, too, looked as if they were shedding what was likely their winter coats and getting ready for the short summer.

Overall, we were happy with the experience, but, of course, we came back to what was the Waldo Canyon fire.

Here’s the slideshow for the gallery. If you prefer, you can just visit the gallery by clicking on the link I provided above.

Note: the transition is set to 2sec, but — if you move the cursor anywhere within the photo — you’ll see a pause button on the lower left, and, once paused, you can use the left and right arrows on both sides of the photo to navigate the slideshow. This is especially useful because I included the captions.

If you click anywhere in the photo instead of the pause button, you’ll exit the slideshow and find yourself in SmugMug. You can then scroll through the photos or interact in other ways.

Slideshow of Mount Evans — The Critters Gallery — (68 photos)

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


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

Note 2: it’s perfectly OK to share a link that points back here.


If you’re new to this blog, it might be a good idea to read the FAQ page. If you’re considering subscribing to this blog, it’s definitely a good idea to read both the About page and the FAQ page.