Posted on August 28, 2019
We were heading west to the mountains and deserts of Colorado and Utah. Our new to us Lance 1995 travel trailer and GMC Yukon tow vehicle were acquired primarily, or so we thought, to explore and photograph the natural wonders of Florida for two months each winter. But now in the high plains of eastern Colorado where interstate 70 finds little reason to alter it’s course we were to encounter the first bit of “exciting” western scenery. In a place where the all encompassing sky and the land meet at an uninterrupted horizon, a wall of black clouds as far a the eye could see presented a seemingly impenetrable barrier between us and the small half ghost town of Siebert which was to be the day’s destination. Crawling along into the “wall”, with heavy rain and some hail pounding the car and fragile plastic vents and other pieces on the trailer’s roof, we passed cars stopped by the side of the road and even one or two that had found the ditch. Then almost as quickly as it began it was over, fortunately having sounded much worse than it turned out to be.
As we left Siebert the next morning what appeared to be relatively new grain elevators attested to the fact that someone in the town, who’s center is now comprised largely of abandoned sun bleached weathered storefronts, must be making some money. About seven hours later, after crossing the continental divide at Monarch Pass, a task that severely tested our until now very competent tow vehicle, we arrived in Montrose, Colorado about six miles from the entrance to The Black Canyon of The Gunnison NP.
Since no one in our party was in shape for extended hikes into the interior of the park or a 2000 foot near vertical descent into the canyon our exploring would be done by driving to trailheads and doing less ambitious day hikes to points of interest. Even so the trails ranged from easy to moderate in difficulty with the 8000 feet elevation contributing to the difficulty for us usually near sea level hikers.
Below are some pictures that we felt in a very limited way captured the essence of the park. To really do such a place justice would take many more years than we have.
The canyon rim:
Along the river:
There were an interesting variety of critters as well as wild flowers along the park trails. While we saw birds they were much more dispersed than what we are used to in central Ohio.
As we left western Colorado and headed for Arches NP we couldn’t help but wish for just a few more days to explore the canyon and surrounding area but have the suspicion that no matter how long our stay we would always want just a few days more. Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Black Canyon of The Gunnison NP, Central Ohio Nature, Nature Photography, nature writing, photography, Wildflowers Tagged: Clark's Nutcracker, Collared Lazard, Eastern Fence Lizard, Great Spangled Fritillary, Little Wood Satyr, Mule Deer, Orange Meadowhawk, Scrub Jay, Sphinx Moth, Townsend's Solitaire, Western Branded Skippers, Western Tiger Swallowtail
Posted on August 8, 2019
With the arrival of a granddaughter and my annual fishing trip to Michigan photographing the wonders of nature in central Ohio has been a bit neglected. Fortunately in my absence my wife took up the slack and was busy finding fascinating things closer to home. In fact, considering that it’s usually the slow time of year, there have been an amazing number of things to see.
Numerous Kingbirds nest along the reservoir in Griggs Reservoir Park and while the babies have fledged they still expect their meals to be catered. Fortunately, ample fresh berries and cicadas make the work a little easier.
When not being entertained by the kingbirds; vireos, numerous Great Crested Flycatchers, and even a Yellow Warbler were spotted.
A first of the year Buckeye Butterfly and a seldom seen Royal River Cruiser were also spotted.
and not to ignore some of the more usual suspects . . .
It’s always hard to compete with my wife’s discoveries but as usual the Rifle River Recreation Area did not disappoint with some nice Large Mouth Bass caught. To eliminate as much trauma as possible the barbs were removed from the hooks which doesn’t seem to effect the catch rate and I’m sure the fish are much happier as they swim away.
There were often a pair of Trumpeter Swans not far off while fishing on Devoe Lake. In addition there were always loons to enjoy. An encouraging discovery was not only the number of loons seen on the lakes within the park, where they nest due to the absence of motorboat traffic/wakes, but on the cottage lined lakes nearby.
As can be seen from the above screen shots Rifle Lake does not have suitable habitat for nesting but Au Sable Lake does with a considerable amount of sheltered natural shoreline. To my joy, immature loons were observed there.
As I finished this post a task required that I briefly venture outside. In our front yard a hummingbird briefly hovered close by and then went about it’s business. Such a serendipitous occurrence caused me to stop for a moment, and as I did, ever so faintly, the call of a loon on Devoe Lake could be “heard”. I was left again with the realization that nature’s wonder can be found in many places. Whether on a lake in Michigan or in a city park of Columbus Ohio, all we need to do is open our eyes.
Thanks for stopping by.
Category: Central Ohio Nature, Central Ohio Parks, Columbus, Griggs Reservoir Park, kayak fishing, Michigan, Michigan State Parks, Nature Photography, Rifle River Recreation Area Tagged: Barn Swallow, Buckeye, Common Loon, Eastern Amberwing, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Great Crested Flycatcher, Monarch Butterfly, Red-eyed Vireo, Royal River Cruiser, Trumeter Swan, Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler
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