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.

Bachelors

Bachelors

But Mesa Verde did not have prairie dogs, and we are smack in the middle of a large prairie dog town.  However, I will do a separate post on those adorable critters.

Ground squirrel

Ground squirrel

We have ground squirrels, which look like a large chipmunk.  However, chipmunks have striped faces, and ground squirrels do not.

Leucistic ground squirrel

Leucistic ground squirrel

Although this fellow appears to have red eyes, I do not believe it is a true albino since it does have pigment.  It just seems to be lacking in black.

Leucistic ground squirrel

Leucistic ground squirrel

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

The chipmunks here are smaller than the ones back East.  This guy’s full cheek pouches make it look like it has mumps.  The dripping water hose was a magnet for thirsty critters.

Desert cottontail

Desert cottontail

Most of these animals are not too shy, including the desert cottontail.

Psssst....!

Psssst….!

House finch male

House finch male

Quite a few bird species have visited the back yard, but the house finches and Say’s phoebes have made nests right on the house.  The house finch hid hers behind a defunct red fire alarm bell, and the phoebe has hers built behind a globe lamp.

House finch female

House finch female

I think this female house finch forgot to read the handbook that says female birds don’t sing.  I actually saw a female purple finch in Maine sing once, so I guess it’s not unheard of.

Say's Phoebe

Say’s Phoebe

Milky Way, 4 a.m.

Milky Way, 4 a.m.

The Milky Way seems to rise late here, and even though the sky was a bit hazy the stars still show up quite well.  Next:  the Prairie Dogs!

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Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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2 Comments

  1. Alli Farkas said,

    Gee, I’m glad that fire alarm bell is defunct…could have been quite an unwelcome surprise if someone decided to test it.

  2. mbkircus said,

    Very neat quarters.

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