Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mt. Rosa with Fall Color 9/20/14

Looking at last year's photos, I think fall came a week earlier this year.  We hiked Mt. Rosa from the forest service road, about 4.5 miles round trip (runtotal 134 miles).  Ending elevation 11,504 ft. We saw the great color at the Penrose-Rosemont reservoir from the summit, and since it is situated right near the start of our forest road, we then went down to the reservoir to get a closer look.


Pikes Peak - maybe similar to Pike's view when he summited Mt. Rosa

Penrose-Rosemont reservoir fro Mt. Rosa

Cheyenne Mountain

After I posted, Google "auto-awesomed" the above photo and here is the result.

Mt. Rosa from the reservoir

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fall Bird Count Fountain Creek Nature Center 9/13/14

40 or so people counted birds at the park today.  I was in a group of 6 ladies covering areas 1, 2 and 3A - from Willow Springs ponds down to the old beaver lodge.  One notable bird was Black and White Warbler.  We also had Ferruginous Hawk and American Coot which are a little unusual based on historical count data.  Barn Swallows are still around, but to our shock, in the North Pavillion we discovered a nest with at least two babies nowhere near fledging - I hope they make it.  Saw some Domestic Geese and a black and white rabbit in Area 1 that I'm thinking may be someone's thrown-away pet.  Hope it makes it, too.  Osprey was exciting to see.  Lots of Wilson's Warblers and a sizable group of Yellow-Rumped and quite a number of Western Wood Pewees.  Lots of Downy Woodpeckers and Flickers.  One Flicker was sitting just right in shadow that we all had to give it a double-take.  

The young Cooper's Hawk below was back at the Nature Center - it was sitting in a little tree by the feeders eagerly spying on potential meals.  Many of little birds didn't seem to pay it much attention, although the Chickadees put up a bit of fuss.  Two blue-gray gnatcatchers flew right into its tree and only after getting there and having the Cooper's take note of them did they seem to notice it - but they didn't leave, they just repositioned themselves to keep a better eye.  Also at the center a Nighthawk came out in the day - I'm speculating the cold last night maybe kept him less active than usual and he went out at day to make up for a missed meal.

When it was facing away it looked like an all-black bird with a white patch, then facing this way it took binoculars and watching/hearing it call to get all in the group to be sure they were really seeing a Flicker. :)

The cheeky young Cooper's Hawk sitting at the bird feeders right at the Nature Center entrance.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

FCNC 9/11/14

Went birding around Fountain Creek Nature Center today - good birds were Osprey and Plumbeous Vireo - good looks of those. Didn't take many pictures.  Count is Saturday and was kind of just seeing what we might see in preparation for that.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Macneil Trail to Cheyenne Mtn. Horns Summit 9/6/14

Hiked from Broadmoor Stables to the Horns on Cheyenne Mountain (now Cloud Camp).  Elevation gain a little over 1500 ft, round trip about 6.5 miles (129.5 runtotal).  Barely missed the rain - got some nice above-the-clouds views.
Old Stage Road and town in clouds

one beautiful quartz rock along trail

trail looks like this most of the way

old pump just after Swisher trail

first leaves of fall

Hmm, don't think I've seen one of these before - there were 2 or 3 near the Horns.

Antenna Farm

some kind of earthenworks dam down Fishers Canyon 

fire tower at Cloud Camp

flag by the Horns

remnants of the old site pushed off the hillside decades ago

not wild - they planted these at the camp

that dam thingy

the new lodge - built on the foundation of the old

 Townsend's Solitaire - molting?

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Clark's Nutcracker

don't eat me

sticky pine cones - popular fare, several eaten along trail

back at the car

Video from another hiker before the lodge was rebuilt, and a sunnier day, different (drier) time of year.