Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and Farting

October 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm (Colorado, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, , )

Pikes Peak framed by aspen

Pikes Peak framed by aspen

I had an opportunity to visit a childhood friend and her family in Colorado Springs last week, and they took me to the two most famous places there – Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.  (If you tuned in to find out about the farting, keep reading.)

Garden of the Gods at dawn, with Pikes Peak to the right

Garden of the Gods at dawn, with Pikes Peak to the right

I dragged them out of bed to watch the sunrise tint the strange rock fins that are the featured draw of the Garden of the Gods.  

PIkes Peak and one of the rock fins from Garden of the Gods

Pikes Peak and one of the rock fins from Garden of the Gods at dawn

People are even allowed to rock-climb on these thin slices of sandstone!

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Black-billed magpie

Black-billed magpie

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Then we went to take the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak, but my claustrophobia kicked in with the crowded train and we drove up instead – which was way better!

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This viewpoint would have been missed on the train.

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And we wouldn’t have seen Bigfoot either.

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Ta da!

Cog train

Cog train

This train uses tracks, and also a center cog.

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Views are great on a clear day.

Garden of the Gods from Pikes Peak

Garden of the Gods from Pikes Peak

Last night I watched “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” where a lady with leukemia climbed Pikes Peak to die in a holy and peaceful place.  That show is set in late 1800s Colorado Springs – an oldie but goodie.

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Here’s something that I will always remember about Pikes Peak.  My lil brother said when he and his family drove to Pikes Peak several years ago, they couldn’t stop farting!  And other visitors were farting, too!  My friends and I paid close attention to this possibility and nobody , not even ME, farted at the peak.  A little research reveals that high-altitude flatulence is not uncommon, and even has a name: HAFE (high altitude flatus expulsion).  Seriously!

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While some folks need to buy “flavored” oxygen in little expensive bottles to avoid altitude-sickness, we had no problem breathing all-natural, mostly-organic genuinely thinned air.

 

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Apparently farting did not figure into the creation of “America the Beautiful” either.

Kissing Camels

Kissing Camels

And so we’ll conclude with the “Kissing Camels” back at Garden of the Gods.  Which is really an inter-species love affair between a tortoise and a squirrel, but whatever.

Speaking of critters,  Colorado Springs suburbia is a wildlife haven.  Deer are as common as squirrels in yards, and my friend has seen bobcats and black bears on her deck!  Colorado Springs also had two very serious wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes (Waldo Canyon and Black Forest) in the last 3 years as houses are surrounded by pines and shrubs.

Here’s a photo she sent me of a mama bear and her three cubs playing in their hammock!

Suburban bears in Colorado Springs

Suburban bears in Colorado Springs

Cute, cute, cute!  Evidently, since this is a L.L. Bean hammock, the company had featured it on their Facebook page for awhile and sent them a $25 gift card.  The hammock, however, did not survive intact.  :-)

 

Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale:  Etsy

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Bighorn Sheep at Pikes Peak

September 30, 2014 at 9:29 am (Colorado, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

Nyeah Nyeah

Nyeah Nyeah

Driving down from Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs with friends last week, we saw a herd of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep ewes with their families.  They sported patchy coats that looked like they were still shedding last winter’s fur when they should be growing this winter’s coat out.

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A few were chewing cud or licking their lips, which made for a comical portrait.

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You can see how well they blend in with the rocks.

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Next on my bucket list – a herd of rams!

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Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale:  Etsy

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Bear River Birds

September 10, 2014 at 7:15 am (Bird photography, Dragonflies and Bugs, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Southwest Birds) ()

Western grebe pair

Western grebe pair

Although my trip in July to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah was a bust (child-rearing was already over) I did get a few nice images.  The Western grebes look similar to the Clark’s grebe, but the black on the head covers their eyes.   See the difference.

Clark's Grebe

Clark’s Grebe

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Sand Wash Horses – September 2

September 9, 2014 at 2:34 pm (Colorado, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , , )

Photographs and videos of my favorite herd of wild horses – in Sand Wash Basin Herd Management Area near Maybell, Colorado.  Heather Robson, a New Zealander and member of the Sand Wash Advocate Team (SWAT), who keeps track of all the names and lineages from afar, has helped me with the names.  I hope I put them with the right faces!

Stallions at play

Stallions at play

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Sand Wash Basin Foals in June

September 1, 2014 at 11:43 am (Colorado, Photography, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , )

A tender moment

A tender moment

I will be leaving soon for another visit to the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado to watch my favorite herd of wild horses.  I kinda got behind in my editing from the last visit in late June, so I’ll share what I’ve got before the next batch hits.

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McKee Springs Petroglyphs

August 26, 2014 at 9:28 am (Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, fine art photography, National Parks, Photography) (, , , , )

McKee Springs - the most famous panel in Dinosaur National Monument

McKee Springs – the most famous panel in Dinosaur National Monument

After three months of looking at the replica of this famous Fremont culture petroglyph panel in the visitor center, I finally got to see it in person.  We can only make educated guesses as to what these figures represent.  Someone told me that this largest figure is of a woman.  If the figures are solid in color, they are male. This one is “hollow” and the three stripes on the bottom of the torso supposedly represent the number of children she had.  I am not sure if this is true, but it’s the only story I have.  These figures are done in the Classic Vernal Style representing a culture that ranged widely in the Southwest 800 to 1000 years ago.  They are likely ancestors of today’s Utes and other modern Native tribes. Read the rest of this entry »

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All the Pretty Horses

August 25, 2014 at 5:40 pm (Colorado, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , )

I spent an evening and a morning in late June in the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado watching the beautiful wild horses.  I made three videos, and I have some stills yet to edit, so hold your horses (hee hee).  In the meantime, enjoy these videos showing these gorgeous mustangs going about their morning, as well as the sunset from Lookout Mountain.

 

 

 

Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Gallery of Sand Wash Basin horses images

Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale:  Etsy

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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My New Favorite Place

August 20, 2014 at 8:28 am (Dinosaur National Monument, fine art photography, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Night Sky, Photography) (, , , , )

Rainbow over Rainbow Park

Rainbow over Rainbow Park

I had my weekend (Mon-Tues) all planned out:  get my aging minivan serviced at the Ford place in Vernal, Utah, visit the nearby McConkie Ranch’s petroglyphs, then swing south through Nine Mile Canyon (really 70 miles long) to see more rock art.  Car muffler repaired, check.  Car engine problems – still ongoing.  (Sigh!)  Drive up Dry Fork Canyon Road north of Vernal, Utah to McConkie Ranch.  Scramble up to see a handful of unimpressive petroglyphs.  Climb a ladder over a fence to follow a trail that mysteriously ends at a gate to see the more impressive Three Kings petroglyphs.  Give up on that idea since there’s nobody to ask.  See a magnificent peregrine falcon.  Then head west and south through several miles of oil/gas fields with muscular turbo-charged diesel trucks impatient to pass on these tight turns.  Feliciana (my 2000 Ford Windstar) has already whined and complained about going down this road, and my gut instinct tells me I don’t really want to do this.  When the road turns to gravel I realize I don’t have the heart to deal with the oil field traffic for who-knows-how-many-dirt-miles.  I turn around and pick another destination from my long list of places I want to see before my job at Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado ends in six weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stars 1, Satellite 1, Meteors 0

August 13, 2014 at 7:35 am (Nature, Nature photography, Night Sky, Photography, Time-lapse)

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Satellite streaking through the stars in 15 second exposure

I went to the High Uintas in Utah (north of Vernal) to watch the Perseid meteor shower.  The moon rose an hour after sunset so I thought I might have a chance before its brilliant light washed out the visibility.   I did several hours’ worth of time lapse photographs to capture any that might streak by.  Zip.  Nada.  I did catch a satellite though.

See the stars move through the sky – 50 minutes in 22 seconds

Dusk settles on Spirit Lake, the stars appear, then the moonlight tints the lake and trees onshore.

Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale:  Etsy

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Rain Showers and Sunbeams

August 9, 2014 at 6:57 am (Dinosaur National Monument, fine art photography, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, , , )

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Monsoon season in the Southwest brings an ever-changing skyscape as pop-up storms build, wring themselves dry, and scoot off into the sunset.  The light after a desert storm is brilliant and clean, and it enticed me to an east-facing overlook on the side of Plug Hat Butte in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado. Read the rest of this entry »

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