Pronghorn Family

July 21, 2014 at 5:38 am (National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , )

Papa Pronghorn and fawns

Papa Pronghorn and fawns

Often called “pronghorn antelope,” this wild symbol of the open spaces isn’t really an antelope.  Nor is it a goat, even though its scientific name Antilocapra americana means “American antelope goat.”   And although it has horns instead of antlers, it is the only horned animal to shed them.  (Typically only antlers are shed, such as those of deer and moose.)  The males have the largest horns; females may only have stubs.

Patriarch of another herd of pronghorns

Patriarch of another herd of pronghorns

In the video, filmed this week at Fossil Butte National Monument near Kemmerer, Wyoming, this small pronghorn family consists of three does, four fawns, and an imposing patriarch.  At one point, something startled the herd, and they took off like buckshot.  Only the male was unperturbed.  Pronghorns can run up to 60 mph, and I’ve seen them chase a coyote that was interested in newborn fawns.  (See my earlier blog post for the photos.)

A pair of twins often tempted fate by leaving the herd, and you’ll see papa chase them back.

 

Papa Pronghorn keeping the kiddoes in line

Papa Pronghorn keeping the kiddoes in line

The fawns

The fawns

Fossil Butte is a great place to watch these graceful animals, as even though they are wary, they don’t run as far away as herds in areas that don’t get a lot of visitors.

A doe

A doe

Papa

Papa

The entire family

The entire family

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To learn more see the National Wildlife Federation page  and the DesertUSA page.

Text and photographs copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

These photographs available here

Original hand-painted BW photographs for sale:  Etsy

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

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Ants Do Heavy Lifting

July 2, 2014 at 6:38 pm (Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, Dragonflies and Bugs, National Parks, Nature) (, )

Western harvester ants do some heavy lifting when finishing off their distinctive homes.

Their nests are covered with an even layer of gravel – most of which is pretty much the same size.  What to an ant must be like a 50-lb boulder to us is lifted with seemingly little effort. Apparently the gravel serves the same purpose as shingles on a house roof.  It keeps the wind from blowing away all their hard work, and also provides shade from the summer heat and releases a bit of warmth in the cool nights.

https://vimeo.com/99730647 Read the rest of this entry »

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Prairie Dog Gathers Hay

June 30, 2014 at 3:31 pm (Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

White-tailed prairie dog gathering hay

White-tailed prairie dog gathering hay

I’ve observed a new behavior in “our” white-tailed prairie dogs in the employee housing area of Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.  They are gathering hay for their burrows.

Watch this short video to see how it’s done:

It reminds me of the smaller mountain pikas who gather grasses and leaves and dry them on the rocks before bringing them inside their burrows. Read the rest of this entry »

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Prairie Dog Village Video

June 19, 2014 at 8:10 am (Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Wildlife) (, , )

See these cute critters in action.  White-tailed prairie dogs live in (and under) the employee housing area at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado.

 

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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Meerkat Cousins

June 18, 2014 at 6:00 am (Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) ()

White-tailed prairie dogs

White-tailed prairie dogs

One might think this is Meerkat Manor, but it’s actually Prairie Dog Town here in the employee housing area at Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado.

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Whenever I’ve seen prairie dogs in Texas or other places, they are so shy I could never get a good photograph.  However, the ones who live here are quite comfortable living around humans.  Perhaps they feel we keep some of their predators at bay.  They do like burrowing under our houses. Read the rest of this entry »

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View From My Summer Home

June 17, 2014 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Colorado, Colorado birds, Dinosaur National Monument, National Parks, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) (, , )

View from the employee housing area, Colorado

View from the employee housing area, Colorado

The employee housing area for Dinosaur National Monument on the Colorado side is at around 5,900 feet in elevation, and even though it’s 2,300 feet lower than that at Mesa Verde, this area reminds me so much of my summer there three years ago.  The Utah junipers and pinyon pines are familiar.  But instead of scrub oak we have big sagebrush.

Mule deer buck in velvet

Mule deer buck in velvet

We had mule deer at Mesa Verde, often in bachelor herds like we have parading through our yards here. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin – Sunset

June 13, 2014 at 5:00 am (Colorado, Photography, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , )

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The day’s last light cast a golden glow on the landscape and the horses of the Sand Wash Basin near Maybell, Colorado.  The palomino stallion had been grazing alone across the road for quite awhile, and now rejoins the herd.  Is he the herd stallion?  He initiated many enthusiastic interactions, as if he were saying “glad to see ya, buddy” or maybe “don’t forget who’s boss.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin – Portraits

June 12, 2014 at 5:00 am (Colorado, Photography, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , )

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This is part 3 of the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin.  I hope to know the names of these beautiful horses.  Enjoy these portraits! Read the rest of this entry »

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Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin – Interactions

June 11, 2014 at 5:00 am (Colorado, Photography, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , , )

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To continue the story from the previous post:

As the sun lowered in the clear sky, the horses became more animated.  Smaller bands joined into a larger herd and some minor skirmishes broke out.  Since I don’t know much about horse behavior, I will just be guessing, but it looked more like play than any real challenge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin – Foals

June 10, 2014 at 5:00 am (Photography, Wild Horses of the Southwest) (, , , , , )

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I was very happy to discover that the Bureau of Land Management maintains four Herd Management Areas in Colorado to protect the feral horses – two of them fairly close to where I am currently living.  I visited the Sand Wash Basin area, which is also on the way to the Gates of Lodore entrance to Dinosaur National Monument. Read the rest of this entry »

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