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Showing posts from 2021

The Ranch - A Hard Life

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The ranch It’s a smoky dusk in western Nebraska and as the spectral light begins to dissipate, the checklist of laborious chores comes to completion. Life on the ranch is hard as illustrated by battered grain bins and ragged hay bales but at least it’s not winter when the weather is brutal. The rhythm of life revolves around the horse as this beast of burden is indispensable to running a successful cattle ranch. This important work animal must be properly cared for from head to hoof, attending to its nutrition, hygiene and exercise. Weathered boots adorn the fence posts, signifying the passage of another tough year while the smoldering, prairie sunset marks the conclusion of summer. As darkness descends on the home place, the work day comes to an end and the peacocks go to roost.  The horse is indispensable Peacocks go to roost Ragged hay bales Prairie sunset A hard life Life revolves around the horse

Denver Zoo - A Relaxed Atmosphere

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A relaxed atmosphere On a lazy, summer day at the Denver Zoo, we trekked across the grounds observing animals during their afternoon slumber. Too hot to engage in activity, most of the creatures we saw slept innocently in their comfortable confines. It always makes me feel bad to see wild animals held captive but in many cases it’s an unfortunate but necessary circumstance. The enclosures’s exotic inhabitants were well cared for and appeared content as they exhibited a friendly, playful attitude. I enjoyed roaming around the gardens because I could practice taking pictures in a more controlled environment. I was intent on capturing portraits and usually a theme develops which in this case was sleeping animals. After a busy morning rooting in the mud, red river hogs slept as hard as they live and the king of beasts looked vulnerable as he was laid out casually on a bed of lush grass. In a more touching display, two, tired otters were curled up quietly in a circular position. Whi

Evergreen Lake Summer - A Gleaming Eden

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Evergreen Lake summer During the summer, Evergreen Lake is a gleaming eden treasured by floating waterfowl, rainbow trout and the great blue heron. Below the dam, a bountiful garden of wildflowers bursts forth, displaying nature’s full color spectrum. The biggest draw is the plethora of birds that inhabit this area during the year’s warmest months. The lively reservoir is home to cormorants, geese, blackbirds, swallows, sparrows, hummingbirds, hawks and bald eagles.   The region’s wildest weather is funneled through Bear Creek Canyon so some of the most surreal clouds can be seen reflected on the surface of the lake. The forest creeps down to the water creating interesting compositions with branches shaped to follow the contour of Bergen Peak. The popular park is a place that has something to offer everyone so the usage gets pretty heavy. That’s why summer isn’t necessarily my favorite season - I like this place in the winter, after a storm, when the only noise is the sound of sile

Dedisse Park - A Niche of Paradise

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Dedisse Park The eastern most section of Dedisse Park is a sliver of lost wilderness overlooking the heart of Evergreen, Colorado. Picturesque reflections, mirrored in the sparkling blue reservoir below, circulate through the memories of all those who visit. A dense forest of mature pine is wrapped around the hillside offering tranquility and shade from the scorching, summer sun. This niche of paradise is little known even to locals who have inhabited the area for a long time. A steep ascent to the pinnacle of the park rewards the climber with astounding views of the surrounding foothills. As fleeting thoughts come and go, the crest of this rocky outcrop is the perfect place to focus on the clouds and clear a busy mind. A lost wilderness Sparkling blue reservoir Astounding views Little known to locals The heart of Evergreen A niche of paradise

Elk Ridge Trail - A Scenic Backbone

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Elk Ridge Secluded in Bergen Peak’s purple shadow, a writhing dirt path snakes it’s way through a tall grass meadow. From the wavy elk pasture, you can see Elk Ridge’s dark spine curve above a dense forest of ponderosa pine. The narrow crinkle of rocky trail is a scenic backbone that bridges the flatland with the big mountain’s steep slopes. This year an assortment of yellow wildflowers sprout from the rich turf, glittering like gold medallions in the summer sunlight. Tall, leaning trees testify to the power of strong wind gusts that blow intermittently across the open sections of the rugged buttress. Blue clouds churn overhead promising precipitation but the atmosphere is too hot so it doesn’t rain at all. From the summit of the natural crease in the land, the edges of pyramidal peaks in the distance are softened by a smokey haze. The current season is fleeting as during the lazy descent, departing bluebirds, turning aspen leaves and floating thistle seed hint at an early autumn. A

Horses - How the West was Won

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Horses Out in the panhandle of western Nebraska, where the desolate Sandhills assimilate into the North Platte River Valley, horses seem to outnumber the sparse human population. Circles of corn are scattered throughout the fertile basin but the rugged highlands are reserved as pastureland for cattle and horses. Sometimes I see them as a solitary creature lost in a vast sea of prairie grasses but usually these social animals are observed in small herds. Horses are curious by nature so sometimes they approach the fence line in order to investigate strange visitors. Horses spend most of their time grazing contentedly in their idyllic environment but sometimes they become quite playful as they run, buck and roll with enthusiastic delight. Horses are an indisputable symbol of the Great Plains and a beautiful reminder of their importance in how the West was won. Small herds Horses outnumber people North Platte River Valley Lost in a sea of grass Symbol of the Great Plains Grazing contente