ferine: (Nature)
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What a beautiful--if chilly--day that was!
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There's such a presence to the area; drama, mood...

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Holy... er, holey trees:
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There was a beaver hard at work here:
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And the path rounds a bend:
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Wow... Big-time wow.

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Hair-standing-on-the-back-of-my-neck time, looking at these while listening to Rain by Tones On Tail. Eerie perfection, tranquil bliss. Right on!
ferine: (photography)
As we pressed on through the softly falling snow, we noticed many Red-tailed Hawks all around us. None of the pictures came out very well due to the multitude of tree branches camouflaging them. The poor camera would focus on the foliage, and not the fowl. D'oh! Farther along, we spied what had to be two enormous birds in a tree in the distance. We moved forward as cautiously as possible to keep from spooking the birds. One did fly off to an adjacent tree--we couldn't tell if it was a Red-tailed or a Cooper's Hawk. The other bird, to our excitement, was a Bald Eagle! We weren't able to get very close to take pictures, as the area was private property and fenced off. Still, it was a neat surprise:
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A jarring patch of color:
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Seed pods:
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We had to photograph the amount of mud that caked my wheels for posterity's sake:
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ferine: (photography)
These shots of the drainage ditch epitomized the cold of the day to my mind's eye:
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Nearby in the mud lay several prints, smaller than the average dog. Fox, maybe? There are plenty in the area, and not far away was coyote scat:
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Antonio left the path to check out some shrubs before...
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... we reached the owl bridge:
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Something odd in a tree at the base of the overpass pillars made me do a double take. Since the pillars are off the trail in a ditch, the boys investigated the scene. A piece of rabbit was tucked into the branches! Since it was near a white-washed concrete pillar where the owls roost, I'm pretty sure an owl either dropped it there from its perch, or it cached it there for later.
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Nearly every time we've visited the owl bridge we've found at least one owl feather. I assume they're Great Horned Owl feathers, as they're the most common owl in these parts. Some might be Barn Owl; their feathers are difficult to differentiate.
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Close to the owl feather was this severed duck wing, and we found a great mess of duck fluff just outside the bridge where it must have been dispatched in the first place:
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ferine: (photography)
Across Riverdale Road, where we access the path that leads to the owl bridge, are a veritable sled dog team. Here's a good shot of two of them:
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The sky was oppressively stark:
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I spied this uprooted root beside the trail. It appears large in the pictures, but it wasn't much bigger than my hand. Still fascinating to me, though:
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We were excited that someones been landscaping the area, planting all manner of young trees and shrubs along the path. Looking forward to seeing it in the spring and summer!
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Canada geese comin' in for a landing:
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The colors! Divine:
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ferine: (screech owl tribal)
Beautiful...
ferine: (Artemis)
As we neared the end of our excursion, we found a sacred grove with stone benches and a big stone table that overlooked the river. Surrounding the benches and packed earth were beautiful trees, many old. There was a big bit of old, sun-bleached root-work there that, of course, captivated me. I want to return and get more photos of the area, especially the table. It was like a stereotypical stone sacrificial altar *chuckles*. When I feel a little better I'll do my photo shoot there.
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This cluster of trees were enchanting with the lowering sun behind them:
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Uh-oh... tree-hole-gasm! Seriously, these just overflow with character and magic to me:
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Look, there was even a portable bark hole!
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We came across raccoon tracks permanently etched in the cement trail:
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Another inviting walking bridge, followed by webs on its rail:
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More South Plattitude (har, har):
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There was actual sand among the pebbles along the river shore:
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A crude fence was erected from driftwood:
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Jay said this huge emerald Dragonfly was perched at eye level, eyeballing him curiously:
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Snowy Egret:
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Belted Kingfisher:
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Some beautiful mood shots of the South Platte:
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Beneath the walking bridge were muddy banks riddled with critter tracks--especially raccoon:
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ferine: (Default)
We diverged at this point, as I couldn't follow the deer-made trail to the water's edge. Jay discovered all sorts of cool stuff down there:
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Look at the white butterfly--it blends in with the pale flowers: [EDIT--is that a spider attacking it's wing?]
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The weeds, thick grasses, and sinking earth was proving too much of a deterrent so Antonio and I veered off to return to the cement path. The area was awfully pretty:
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Can anyone identify these berries?
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A Killdeer on the shore:
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ferine: (Default)
Solo sunflower:
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I always thought these were pretty. They're weeds, but they remind me of wheat:
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There was a fist-sized hole, like a natural alcove, in a nearby tree:
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This square-ish rock in the midst of the river was interesting:
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To the right were greenhouses with pretty flowers outside:
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A Red-tailed Hawk circled above:
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This was beneath a bridge:
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This lone pine spoke to me:
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ferine: (Default)
Continuing south on the Southern Platte:
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This Double-crested Cormorant loved to strike a pose:
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Duckies!
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Again, me and my wood obsession *chuckles*. This beaver-stripped log was cool:
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There was a lovely patch of sunflowers on the opposite side of the path by the river. Delicate white butterflies flitted every which way:
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ferine: (Default)
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For a lesbian, I'm more than a little obsessed with wood. Har, har, bad joke, I know. It's true, though; I am captivated by the personality present in tree stumps, exposed tree roots, holes and furrows in bark, gnarled limbs, etc. The following cluster of stumps were no exception:
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And a mysterious deep fissure!
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ferine: (Goldfrapp in nature)
The lighting was in our favor, as was the temperature and the weather.
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Beneath the bridge, Jay spotted this enormous crayfish/crawdad in the stream. He plucked it out so we could photograph it on the trail. Neat-o!
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Next up, photos and commentary from September 3rd's hike, which originates from the bridge we turned back from here. >:-)
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Sarah B. Chamberlain

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