The sandhill cranes have returned. We saw the first few birds a couple of weeks ago, but now they are there in flocks. When we drove through today, they were a tad more spread out than usual. These ones (above) were hunting the early wood frogs. I could hear the frogs while I took the pictures.
These were across the street from the others. During the summer this hill is a cotton field, so I’m not sure what critters there are now.
However, there must be something because the flocks were spread out over several fields. These were the closest to the road where there was a convenient place to pull over and take pictures. I used a 600mm sigma lens. I’m not thoroughly happy about the sharpness.
This map shows where to look if you’re interested in seeing them yourselves. Remember they are protected birds. If you continue to Centre there are some half-decent places to eat and the petrol is about 30 cents cheaper than in Atlanta.
The first day of winter was warm and foggy this year. It lent itself to great atmospheric pictures, if you like that sort of thing. It’s the sort of weather where even mundane dirt roads take on a Tolkienesque touch of mystery.
The lake is still out for the winter, but with the rain, back up to a normal pool. There’s a mudbank out there, but most of it is underwater.
While making a flying visit out west for various personal reasons, I had a chance to drive up to the top of Lookout Mountain near Golden Colorado. I had to be a tad careful on the road up the mountain as it is a popular (and dashed strenuous) bicycle ride. Wild Bill Hickock and his wife’s graves are at the top, but I didn’t feel like paying the $5 admission to the museum.
The views are fantastic.
This shows Golden, the Coors plant, and the Table Mesas. If you look carefully, you can see traces of the K-T boundary in the South Mesa (right hand one). They’re about as far down from the bottom of the cliff as the top is up. It’s a line in the vegetation where the discontinuity traps water or lets the roots grow deeper.
Denver Wild Bill’s grave.
We did a bit of pub-crawling – which means something else when you’re walking this far from town to try the Cannonball Creek brewery.
The view from the Brewery back into Golden
A town scene. Historic means something else in the American west. Coming from the east where buildings are a touch older and knowing the UK pretty well – where things are truly old – I found this disorientating.
A wild sunflower.
(and by the way – a liter engined car is perfectly fine in the mountains – don’t let the rental people upsell you.)