For a little over a week I have been back in Colorado. The goal was to photograph fall colors and the elk rut, staples of any Colorado photographer’s fall agenda.
Chimney_Rock_Fall_Colors_2015_2The clouds of an approaching storm behind Chimney Rock light up in shades of pink, purple and orange at sunset in the Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado The colors were wonderful in the San Juan Mountains. I even caught a beautiful sunset one evening, found a few waterfalls and saw some dusky grouse.
After a few days in the San Juans, I headed north to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was wonderful to stay in Moraine Campground next to Moraine Park, something I have rarely done even though I only lived an hour from the location. Elk_RMNP_2015_6A bull elk (Cervus elaphus) pauses in a grassy meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
The elk came through the campground each evening and were often heard bugling. Now that is something to cherish about this adventure – the sounds of bugling elk and crisp evening air wafting through the RV as I lay in bed with the dogs and cats. The dogs have seen elk and heard their bugling before, but the cats on the other hand were a little intimidated by the unusual sounds. Sage also found the pine squirrels in the campground very entertaining.
Sage and the SquirrelsSage was enjoying watching the squirrels squawk at him from up in the trees. The sight of the elk each morning on the walks with the dogs made me think about all of the critters I have seen in the different campgrounds. Although deer have been present in just about all of the campgrounds, there have been quite a few other critters: pronghorn at Flaming Gorge, turkeys at Devil’s Tower, sandhill cranes near the rest stop in Jensen, Utah, and great horned owls at Highline and Sylvan Lake State Parks.
I have always wanted to live someplace where I could walk out the back door and have wildlife at my doorstep. Although I had pictured that abode being a little more permanent, the RV has certainly satisfied that description.South_Clear_Creek_Falls_2015_1South Clear Creek Falls spill into the beginnings of fall colors near Lake City, Colorado
So off to my next campground to see what critters might be residing there.
Dusky_grouse_2015_1A dusky grouse walks up a hill covered in pine needles along Last Dollar Road in the San Juan Mountains near Ridgway, Colorado