Travels With Dick and Judy

Follow us in our trials, triumphs and tribulations, while on the road in our motor home "The Liberty Belle". We chose to forsake the conventional lifestyle in our 3,000+ square-foot home to move into a 40-foot Winnebago Ultimate Freedom. Travel with us as we take you on the road with us in our new lifestyle.
I may grow older, but I'll never grow up!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Pictorial Estes Park Update

It’s been a while since I last posted and a lot has happened in the interim.  So, rather than try to impart a chronological series of events that contains a lot of mixed up subjects, I have decided to post my pictures according to subject, rather than timeline.  If you like this, please let me know and I’ll continue this way and leave the chronology to Judy with her postings.

The Estes Park vicinity is a photographer's paradise.  Just about the time you decide you have seen all that you will ever get a chance to see, something else pops up to capture.  Animals abound.  There are at least 10 species of ground squirrels, as an example, that I'm aware of and there's very likely more.   In any case, I hope you enjoy these pics.

This little fellow, a Gold-Mantled Ground Squirrel,
stood sentinel and watched us as we hiked past his outpost.
This is what they look like as they scamper up next to
you, looking for a handout.
Wyoming Ground Squirrels create warrens
that can take up hundreds of acres and have
thousands of occupants.  Such is the situation here
at Mary's Lake Campground.  This little fellow's home is
right outside my window.

Late afternoon respite.

Deer are in such abundance that I seldom reach for my camera unless
there is a "special" shot.

Bull elk were plentiful in the cooler weather but, as the season warms, they move to higher, cooler pastures.

For years, Judy and I have tried to spot Dahl's Big Horn
Sheep in the park.  This year,  we hit the jackpot.
We were fortunate to see the first group of ewes with
their week-old lambs coming down to the Sheep Lakes
for the mineral licks that occur naturally.

A beautiful site, giving hope to the future.

This group of beaver have their lodge and ponds about
five minutes down the road from our campsite!
All slicked down after his evening swim.

After felling an aspen, individual branches are stripped of their bark
and carried to either the dam or their lodge.


It's still spring here, for all practical purposes.  Flowers abound.  Most that I see, I have no conceivable idea what they are, save a pitiful few.  

A Blue Spruce?  Beautiful bough.
Willow Blossum



On the left is the Wax Currant blossom.  The white blossoms on the right are some sort of wild fruit.  Later this year I'll know more when the tree produces the fruit...providing the local fauna doesn't beat me too it!


It has always been fascinating to me to see the different types of animal life in the different regions we have traveled.  To me, birds have always been among the most amazing of God's creatures.

The Ladder-Backed Woodpecker.  It's supposed to be
pretty rare.  This one likes to hang around the beaver
ponds near the camp.
On one of our hikes, we passed a group of abandoned
beaver ponds and spotted a mother duck and her brood.

Among our favorite subjects to observe and photograph was this pair of Great Horned Owl chicks around their nest about a hundred feet up on a cliff face behind the public library in Estes.  Momma was always close by keeping just enough distance to encourage their flight over to her and to freedom from the cliff face.

 Each evening, they stretch their wings in preparation for that first escape from gravity.

Always developing their awareness, they would often focus their attention on us.  

The Magpie.  Always around looking for the leavings
around the picnic table.
The Mountain Bluebird


The reason most people go to Colorado from other parts of the country is for its uncommon beauty and remarkable vistas.  If i began today and photographed all the wonderful scenes I beheld, it could never do justice to what is really here.  But I must try.

Fish Creek Ranch, Estes Park

Beaver Meadows

Fall River and the Alluvial Fan

Endo Valley

Sheep Lakes, near Endo Valley on the Fall River

Moraine Park Valley of the Big Thompson

On everyone's mind recently throughout Larimer County is the High Park Fire which, to date, has consumed 55,000 acres.  While we are in no danger of it making its way here, we can still see the ominous clouds of smoke billowing above the nearby mountains that separate us from it.  Here are some shots taken from out campground.

Taken on 6/13/2012 at 5:06 P.M. from Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake

Taken on 6/13/2012 at 5:22 P.M. from Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake

Hope you enjoyed these.  All feedback is appreciated.  More to come.

See YA! ~dick~

1 comment:

  1. I like...very much! Beautiful photos. The only problem I can see with doing a pictorial is that many RVers have a problem downloading so many photos using an aircard or free wi-fi. I had no problems tonight-great 4G signal here, but would have had an issue earlier this month when our Verizon signal was marginal, at best. I wouldn't worry about it though. Many of your readers have home hi-speed internet and those of us that don't will just have to wait until our signal is better, if necessary :) I, for one, would love to see more!