Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wildlife Encounters - Early Autumn

Mule Deer Fawns

It’s early autumn in Evergreen, Colorado and animals are on the move. Hiking along the edges of Bear Creek Canyon, I’m lucky enough to experience some remarkable wildlife encounters.

Up on top, a pair of mule deer fawns and their mother skirt the wide ridge. They forage furiously as their winter survival depends on the calories they consume now.

On the lush, north-facing slope, more muleys are like gray apparitions emerging from the shadows of a dark forest. As they pass through a stream of diffused sunlight, their movements are sheer stealth.

The trees are quiet because most of the birds have gone but down in the creek below, a curious fellow still remains. Watching the American dipper hunt in the midst of whitewater rapids is an absolute delight.

Across to the other side and the eerie bellow of a Rocky Mountain elk can already be heard. Upon reaching the impressive creatures, I find them resting and grazing in the cool shade.

Browsing on the community’s fringe, a young male still has fuzzy velvet on his stubby antlers. With the rut about to begin, I’m afraid the massive bulls will keep him at bay on the outside looking in.

Finally, a fat ground squirrel with cheeks full of food is a fitting symbol for fall. Before long, the cold weather will settle in and we’ll be looking at our first snow.

Bear Creek Canyon

A mule deer mother and twins

A wide ridge

A gray apparition

Diffused sunlight

Upper Bear Creek

The American dipper is a delight

A big bull elk

A young male

On the outside looking in

A fat ground squirrel

2 comments:

  1. Great pics, Dan! The first one almost looks like a painting. Wondering if deer ever yawn? Maybe because I'm yawning myself - it's late here. - Courtney, Maui Jungalow

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    1. Thanks so much. I'm sure they do yawn but mostly I see them chew their cud. Sounds like you need to get some rest. Goodnight.

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