Bighorn Ram, a young one! Handsome and immaculately turned out. His horns look like they haven’t yet seen any rutting or any entanglement with larger, more experienced, rams. He was on his own, on a rock in the Orilla Verde area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, chewing his cud. Doing what bighorn sheep tend to do, he ignored us and moseyed on his leisurely way. Thanks for looking. G
Wild Mustang, roaming in the San Luis Valley, southern Colorado. It was the stallion permitting us to participate in this encounter with these beautiful and powerful wild beings. Stomping his foot and showing his teeth we moved forward, cautious, in deference, as if in some form of supplication. As close as this is, we respected their space and with the aid of long lenses, were able to make images of these magnificent creatures. Click on photo to enlarge. Thanks for looking. G
Badger, northern New Mexico. This badger is building a “set” in the middle of a meadow, strewn with wild flowers, in northern New Mexico. It has taste in locations, the setting was stunning. Pami spotted dirt flying in the air from a hole in the ground. We were going slow, as we drove along the rain muddied road, or we may have missed this outstanding creature. I made a number of images before it was done digging, before it disappeared down the hole. I’ve seen three of these animals over the years, one alive in England, one dead at the side of the road in England, and this magnificent specimen. This badger made our hearts beat faster today. Thanks for looking. G
Pronghorn, Ocate, New Mexico, “Where The Rockies Meet The Plains”. Working through some images from yesterday I thought this was a real sweet picture with soft diffuse lighting adding to the gentle look of this Pronghorn. Can’t say I’d like to stand in it’s way when it decides to bolt! It is the fastest land animal in North America, with sustained speeds of 45 mph and top speed just over 60 mph. I know a couple of photographers who can attest to this fact, Paul Malinowski and Linda Duffy. Remember the lone Pronghorn racing the car? Thanks for looking. G
Marmot on a roadside perch in southern Colorado. This marmot was lazing on a rock, minding it’s own business. It didn’t seem to mind me making portraits of it. Given where we found it, on a pile of lava rocks at the side of the highway turnout, people would be quite familiar to it. Thanks for looking. G
Elk Cows, in the high country of New Mexico. In the Valle Vidal (Valley of Lifeagain today. We spent the afternoon and evening photographing the high alpine light. Because we stayed out past dinner time, we were fortunate to see so many elk. One bull with two cows emerged from the trees and crossed the road. They stared at us momentarily, then took off into a hillside of pines. Not long after, as twilight descended over the valley, we spotted a dozen cow elks, a number of them pregnant, grazing on the fresh shoots of grass along the creek. These three ladies came down the hillside, herded the others and ushered them into the trees. It was a beautiful drive home. Thanks for looking. G
Rattlesnake on the trail/walkway at Fort Union, NM. The ranger said they hadn’t seen one in a long while, physically on the trail. I have a lot of respect for these creatures. It didn’t warn us with a rattle, the air temps were still cool. Rattlesnakes become lethargic when it is cold, so they exhibit a near narcoleptic state, but it seems they still exude energy because I certainly picked up on it! For that I am grateful. The ranger warned other visitors, some with young children, that the snake had been spotted and to be aware. Note the way the snake blends beautifully with its environment. Thanks for looking. G
Coyote Watches, at the Rio Pueblo, in the Orilla Verde RA, NM. Today we were down on the banks of the Rio Pueblo, amongst the red willows, photographing fast flowing water. I was very surprised to look up at one point and discover we were being watched by this gorgeous coyote. It stayed where it was, not moving, during the photo session only varying its gaze to the left and right. We surmised that it had a den very near, possibly with young pups. It kept watching until we left. We felt very privileged to be party to this moment in nature, watching… as coyote watches us . Thanks for looking. G
Mountain Bluebird of happiness in the snow covered Ranchos de Taos valley today. This gorgeous, happy little creature was hopping along the fence and tree line paralleling the road we were on. We slowed down and came to a stop where this bird playfully dropped to the verge for a snack, then back up to the fence for a few photos, repeating this playful behavior a few times, with more photos at each break. Today, I believe, we watched happiness in action. Thanks for looking. G
Commotion, taken in the snow. I think the hawk got the rabbit. Though, on second thought… it could have been an owl last night. I’m deducing that the rabbit was gleaning fallen bird seed close to this location and the owl got it. Looks like it made a couple of attempts. This latter scenario would explain why I didn’t see the actually commotion this morning. Thanks for looking. G
Coyote winter morning in the fields, Taos NM. I was rooting through the archives today for another image and found this fellow staring back at me. There’s a hint of the last kill under it’s jaw. The eyes are always what grab me. Coyotes either stand and stare or take a rapid flight in the other direction. Can’t say I blame them taking off. Maybe a camera and a gun mean the same thing to them, shooting! Thanks for taking the time to stare back. G
Encounter with a mule deer doe, over the fence in San Cristobal, NM. A poem by Robert Frost comes to mind. It describes an encounter for two lovers, “Two look at Two.” I’ve posted the poem below. This very brief moment lasted an eternity. I studied Robert Frost in college. I was able to recite this poem, and others by the author, on command. This one, although I can no longer recite the whole piece from memory, resides in my very being and remembering the words verbatim seems redundant. My encounter, “One looked at One.” Thanks for looking G
Two Look At Two.
Love and forgetting might have carried them
A little further up the mountain side
With night so near, but not much further up.
They must have halted soon in any case
With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was
With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness;
When they were halted by a tumbled wall
With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this,
Spending what onward impulse they still had
In One last look the way they must not go,
On up the failing path, where, if a stone
Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself;
No footstep moved it. ‘This is all,’ they sighed,
Good-night to woods.’ But not so; there was more.
A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall, as near the wall as they.
She saw them in their field, they her in hers.
The difficulty of seeing what stood still,
Like some up-ended boulder split in two,
Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there.
She seemed to think that two thus they were safe.
Then, as if they were something that, though strange,
She could not trouble her mind with too long,
She sighed and passed unscared along the wall.
‘This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?’
But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait.
A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them
Across the wall as near the wall as they.
This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril,
Not the same doe come back into her place.
He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head,
As if to ask, ‘Why don’t you make some motion?
Or give some sign of life? Because you can’t.
I doubt if you’re as living as you look.”
Thus till he had them almost feeling dared
To stretch a proffering hand — and a spell-breaking.
Then he too passed unscared along the wall.
Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from.
‘This must be all.’ It was all. Still they stood,
A great wave from it going over them,
As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour
Had made them certain earth returned their love.
Evening Coyote in the long grasses, in a meadow in southern Colorado. I love it when the coyote stops and stares and decides we are just as interesting to him as he is to us. We were, transfixed, during this brief, eye to eye encounter with this animal. In the words of Tony Hillerman “Coyote Watches”, he does, but, I feel sure he saw us long before we saw him! Thanks for looking. G