Fawning

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Nitchka and babes . . . .

The past two weeks have been filled with newborn mule deer fawns.  They come past the yard on the way to the pond in the evening for a drink, or they hang out back by the goose pen to grab a sip of water out of a tub we keep filled for the geese.  This doe has a notch in her ear from an injury of some kind, and we named her “Nitchka.”  She is very gentle, and before the fawns were old enough to accompany her,  she stood along the fence nibbling and watching us with her great dark eyes.

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“Now this is quite tasty!” . . . .

This fawn was photographed out the bay window in our living room.  A fierce wind storm the night before blew down some branches out of the cottonwood trees overhead, which make for browsing.

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“What do I see?” . . . .

I did not expect to capture all three in one shot–deer move along fairly quickly and the fawns are rarely close together or close to Mom.

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A doe and fawn on the way to the pond . . .

Evening is a good time to watch the deer as they march to water.  Also, early in the morning they nose among the lilac and chokecherry trees for leaves and twigs.  This doe has only one fawn.

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Snack time along the way . . . .

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Got to scratch my tummy! . . . .

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“I’m not supposed to talk to strangers!” . . . .

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Nitchka keeps an eye on her twins . . . .

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An added scene as the sun goes down in the west . . . .

Walk In The Wild

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“What’s for breakfast?” . . . .

July 4, 2016 Red Feather — Our day began with a visit from a Blue Heron across the road on Sam’s Pond.  Calmly surveying the options for a tasty morsel, this grand creature stood quietly while I hung over the porch railing to grab a few shots.  Many of the weekend visitors had already departed for home, leaving Red Feather on this Monday morning quiet and returning to some sense of normalcy.

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“Might as well try another perch” . . . .

Big bird takes a graceful leap for a better vantage point.  By now my breakfast is growing cold, but it doesn’t matter.  Already this day seems special, and as we embark on our daily walks I will record whatever we find out there in “the wild.”

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“A good stretch feels good after a long standing” . . . .

Doesn’t seem to be much action on the pond this morning and after peering intently into the water, our visitor needs a good “seventh inning stretch.”

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“I think I can see a large bird in the water” . . . .

One last image captures the reflection of “Big Bird” and the Aspen trees nearby.  It will be hard to find another image so magical on our walk, but the day holds much promise.

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A tangle of sagebrush and flowers . . . .

Wild flowers are at their peak right now, and it is a challenge to decide which clusters to include.

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Indian Paint Brush  in a meadow of sage . . . .

I located some seeds once, but didn’t realize they only grow with sage.  My plantings didn’t survive.

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Dozens of different yellow flower varieties . . . .

Should have packed my wild flower guide so I could identify these.  Ah well, next time!

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Sunflower . . . .

There were brilliant clusters of sunflowers along the road and in the meadows.

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I will call these Lemon Drops . . . .

Perhaps a study of the predominant colors of wild flowers will reveal that “yellow” wins.  Bright and cheerful, the yellow varieties stand out in the crowd.

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Blue is special . . . .

My personal favorites are the blues.

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White is nice . . . .

After searching for more of these to see if they had “bloomed” I found them all to look alike.  They are “in bloom.”

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White with happy faces . . . .

Didn’t want to disturb the insect perched on board, as it may be a pollinator.  Looked like a very small wasp or bee-like creature.

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Wild roses blooming everywhere . . . .

These little pink roses are ubiquitous and the hips will be food for the bears.

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Oh Columbine! . . . .

Nothing is prettier than the Columbine, Colorado’s state flower.  I grow them in my garden at home, but they don’t seem as vibrant as these found in the wild.

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Blue treasure . . . .

A camera fails to capture the true blue of these extraordinary flowers, but we keep trying.

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A prickly discovery . . . .

Not to be left out, a thistle is also nature’s creation.  Pesky, invasive and labeled a “weed,” it gets no respect.  But it is an interesting specimen!

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A little lavender . . . .

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A little pink . . . .

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A little green . . . .

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A little water . . . .

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A lot of ducks . . . .

Eight babies seems like a tremendous challenge, but this mother calmly leads the way and her ducklings stay in formation.

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Three Sisters . . . .

This iconic rock formation juts into Hiawatha Lake and catches the evening sun as it is going down.

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“Shhhhhh!  Enter quietly” . . . .

It wouldn’t be a walk without a trip down Elf Lane.  This gentle reminder invokes a special respect to avoid disturbing all the gnomes, elves and other little creatures sprinkled through the rocks and along the creek.

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Literary elf . . . .

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Loafing elf . . . .

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Elves galore . . . .

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The babble of a brook . . . .

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Sundown . . . .

Returning to the cabin, the evening sky put on a show of its own.  One spectacular day.