Thursday, April 29, 2010

04_29_2010 More bird photos

Dave has been busy outside on the Spring-like days getting more fun photos. Though it's snowing a lot still, the spring flowers are blooming - Daffodils, Tulips, etc.

He came home recently knowing he'd photographed a new singer. And he had. The first bird shown here is an Ash-Throated Flycatcher. He got enough shots of this bird that we could make a positive ID. I find some of the flycathers real ID challenges!

I especially like the ducks and coots taking off in the lake. I can almost hear the commotion that is shown in this photo.

How can anyone resist not showing some more photos of the flatirons? This shot is especially cool because of the storm creeping in from the south. Wonder if this is one of those "It's Spring, no it's not" moment?

With all the snow and lots of rain, the creeks are overflowing. Eldorado Springs is very high and many new creeks are showing up. It makes for some nice opportunities to get some moving water shots. They're really lovely.

I think you get the picture though. Spring is trying to spring. Birds are singing. Storms are brewing. Creeks are flowing. Rocks are rocking?


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4_2010 New bathroom # 2

We had such fun with the first bathroom renovation that we decided to tackle bathroom number two. This one is going much more slowly because we decided to let other people actually do the work. :)

Goodbye ugly white tile with perma-stained white grout (why would anyone select white grout???). Goodbye tiny dinged up vanity. Goodbye toilet that defies physics and every remedy in that it sticks EVERY TIME IT IS FLUSHED. We will not miss that demonic toilet.

So far, we've found no girly magazines hidden in crevasses (unlike the downstairs renovation). No rotten wood (yay). And the walls were all actually insulated. One never knows what they'll find when sheet rock is ripped off the wall.

Though these photos show the demo part, at this point, we do have the new tile in the bath surround up. It's looking good. Soon (I hope) I'll be able to post the rest of the bathroom renovation photos showing the new 21st bathroom! Until then, enjoy the destruction shown here. :)

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04_18_2010 Hike up Green Mountain

Every place I've ever lived has claimed a particular phrase as their own. A phrase they feel describes their locale only. You've heard it I'm sure: "If you don't like the weather in XXXXX, give it ten minutes and it'll change." I heard it in Houston. In DC. In Virginia. STL. And now Boulder (although here they say "If you don't like the weather in Colorado...").

No place is this phrase more true than in Boulder I think. For the last month or so, it has been stuck going back and forth between Spring and Winter. For instance, yesterday it was a beautiful 82 degree sunny day. Today, it is snowing. A lot. There were about 2" down when I left the house and it's expected to continue all day.

It's the THIRD snow storm this week.

One one of those Spring days, Dave hiked up to the top of Green Mountain and grabbed several photos. Thought I'd post them since the views are quite pretty. I, of course, stayed and kept my hiking confined to going upstairs and downstairs. I've two more weeks before my bones are 100% healed so no big hikes like that for me. Yet.


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Thursday, April 22, 2010

04_22_2010 - Eldorado from a different view

Dave here... After spending many years on the cliffs of Eldorado, I recently went to there with a different goal in mind - interesting creek pictures. I also finally got a shot of the somewhat elusive spotted towhee nearby. I hope you enjoy the pics!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

04_12_2010 One wet cat

Well, you've all seen photos of the cat dressed up in risque outfits (e.g., her Carnival outfit), so it shouldn't surprise you to see Pente taking the next outlandish step - photos of a naked wet cat.

I'm not sure what is wrong with this animal. She is the most tolerant cat ever. Agreed - she doesn't beg to be bathed, but she doesn't fight it at all.

Her ears pulled back are the only indication of indignation. A feeling quickly forgotten afterward. So now she's clean again. She's pretty silly looking wet!

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04_2010 More birds!

While capturing a bird in flight on a photograph is difficult, capturing them perched is not easy task either. Nonetheless, Dave has brought home some really nice photos. Thought I would present some of them here tonight.

The first bird shown is a Red-Breasted Nuthatch. I love how this bird looks to have a long flowing mane of hair (feathers) down his back. What a beautiful little bird! The second bird shown makes me think of the imminent arrival of Spring. This is an American Goldfinch who is part way through a molt. He is losing his drab winter feathers and growing in his beautiful bright yellow breeding plumage. Just seeing this bird molting has the same affect as seeing daffodils poking through the snow! Spring is imminent!

Next is a photo of what is commonly called a Snowbird. It's proper name is Dark-Eyed Junco. Dave caught this one with a seed in his mouth! See the little tongue? Cute!

Next up is a dessert bird - the Sage Thrasher. If you are familiar with Northern Mockingbirds, you should recognize that the Sage Thrasher is a close relative. What a beautiful song this bird has.

Dave photographed a cute little Black-Capped Chickadee. This is no ordinary Chickadee, this one resides in a nest by our front porch. Last year the pair in that nest fledged four chicks! We are hoping for an equally successful year for them this year.

Check out the nice photo of the White-Breasted Nuthatch. He is slightly larger than the Red-Breasted Nuthatch shown above though he is only about 5" long. Tiny cute little birds that make the silliest little sounds. They are always a treat to see and hear.

And finally, last but not least is a Western Meadowlark. Isn't he beautiful? Dave got a spectacular photo of this bird. Who can ever get tired of the song of a Meadowlark?

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04_2010 What a backyard we have in Boulder!

Not only do we live in a beautiful state, but we live in a beautiful county/city. Dave has photographed some of our daily views recently. It's really amazing isn't it?

The first two photos are taken in Eldorado State Park. We can get there from the house in no more than ten minutes.

Oh the humanity!

This area is open to all but holds a special place for rock climbers all over the world. We're lucky to have it so close.

The next two photos is also in our backyard here in Boulder. Part of this view can be seen from our back deck even. Known as the Flatirons, they make a nice subject for photos as this picture shows. No one can resist photos of the flatirons. They are spectacular.

The nighttime time lapse photo is taken a few blocks from the house in Boulder. Something oddly relaxing about these type of photos I think. I love how one can see that a motorist actually used a blinker in the outbound lane!

It's a beautiful city!

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04_2010 Sand Dunes and Wildlife near Alamosa, Co

We are fortunate to live in such a pretty part of the country. We have a variety of landscapes and terrain within short drives. Dave has been busy trying to capture many of these beautiful scenes.

This past weekend, we drove a few hours southwest to the area around Alamosa. I needed desperately to get out of the house. Did I mention it was desperate? Hideous cabin fever is taking place.

I'm not sure of Alamosa's great claim to fame, but for us, it is that this cool little town has KILLER Mexican food! :)

Just outside of Alamosa are two excellent locales: The Great Sand Dunes National Park and a Wildlife refuge where Sandhill Cranes regularly stop over on their southern migration.

The sand dunes are crazy. They are 750 feet tall! They were created over time as the winds blew through the San Luis Valley eastward. Because of the mountains, the sand could go no further and instead collected at the base of the mountain range.

While Dave was able to hike to the top and leap off into the safety of the soft sand, I piddled at the edge. You may not know this, but walking on sand is advanced walking. It's hard on the feet. My recovering feet couldn't do it. Next time...

We also spent a day at the wildlife refuge. I was able to hike about two miles on flat terrain (and paid for that the next day!). We saw many birds and beautiful views. The San Luis Valley is quite spectacular as these landscape photos demonstrate!

We plan on making more trips back. Hopefully we can do that soon!

Edit: Thought I would add the list of all the birds we saw on this trip. They are offered in the order we saw them in. A few were new!

Red-Tailed Hawk
Black-Billed Magpie
Horned Lark (new)
European Starling
American Crow
American Kestral
Rock Dove (aka Pigeon)
Northern Harrier (f)
Western Meadowlark
Wilson's Snipe (new!)
Red-Winged Blackbird
Yellow-Headed Blackbird
Song Sparrow
Tree Swallow
Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Hairy Woodpecker
Red Shafted Northern Flicker
Great Horned Owl (saw this in broad daylight sitting in a tree! New bird)
American Robin
Brewer's Blackbird
Mountain Bluebird (tons!)
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Dark-Eyed Junco
Mountain Chickadee
Say's Phoebe (new)
American Coot
Ruddy Duck (Ha ha - funniest ducks ever!)
Sage Thrasher (new)
Red-Head Duck
House Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Turkey Vulture
Mourning Dove
Stellar's Jay

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