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Friday, September 3, 2010

Sunset, bobcat, and sunrise

I hiked with the Duo yesterday evening, in the serene and soft moments just before the sun dipped below the mountains to our west.
Then, this morning, K and I started our mountain bike ride shortly before sunrise, reaching our favorite lookout point in the rosy hue of the first sun rays.
At the start of our ride, K snarled and growled with agitation as we departed from our clearing. Only later, I discovered that a bobcat visited the area under our birdfeeders last night. He managed to hide his face behind a fireweed plant but we can see the rest of him. I wonder if this is the same cat who visited us regularly last winter? Maybe I can tell if I do a side-by-side comparison of their leg stripes and tails.
Based on the stripes inside the front right leg, I think that our visitor is a different bobcat from the one who passed one of my cameras shortly before it was stolen.
Autumn is here. The temperature hovered at freezing when K and I started our ride, and crystalline frost covered green leaves of Golden Banner wildflowers.
The leaves that the sun had touched dripped with melted frost, like this aspen leaf whose gold is emerging.
After I dropped K at home, I accidentally rousted a hawk from the ground cover under a pine forest canopy. He tried again and again to take off but carried a heavy load in his talons. His expansive wings flapped powerfully but he couldn't get the lift that he needed to gain altitude. I quietly backed up, trying to undo my bumbling entry into the scene with no success. Eventually, he left his prey on the ground and flew up to a branch to watch me. I believe that he's a Northern Goshawk, a large raptor with a 21" body length and 41" wingspan.
I quickly investigated his prey, a rabbit whose front end had been picked clean but whose hind end remained, and departed. Like always, I felt mixed up - happy that the hawk had a full stomach but sad for the innocent rabbit.

Have a great weekend!


  1. How cool we each had hawk encounters this past week!

    I know mine will stick with me for quite sometime - each time we walk past that tree, I keep expecting to see him/her sitting in there -

    Khyra says NICE khytty!

  2. I love that aspen leaf picture! It almost looks surreal.

    I'm curious to see if the bobcat is an old friend of yours, too!

  3. Wonderful photographs. Hope all of you have a great weekend as well.

  4. With nice coolish weather we can look forward to a good holiday weekend. A Happy One to you and your gang!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  5. Beautiful bird. There's something really majestic about birds of prey!

    You're right, BTW, I am going to likely have to wind up taking antibiotics for my cat bites. I'm using antibiotic cream and have been soaking my hands in a betadine-water solution, but they're still painful and swollen.

  6. Your photos are wonderful, KB. The turning-gold aspen leaf is awesome! I wonder if Breckenridge got frost overnight - I'm in Denver right now and it's hot. I will keep the news of the bunny's demise from Lucinda.

  7. Wonder why those sunset moments with our faithful companions are serene and soft? More so than any other time of day with the possible exception of sunrise. Contentment at a day well spent?

  8. What an exciting journey! A bobcat and a hawk! Beautiful scenery and fabulous wildlife.

    Fall portends to bring some brilliant hues to your neck of the woods!

    Makes a budding photographer spring green with envy :)

  9. Great photo of the hawk and the aspen leaf looks like jewelry.

  10. Your finds on your daily foray(s) -often several(!) are just miraculous! When we were on our camping trip, we found a couple of "events," one of which we can't explain. I think pictures of both are on today's slide show (Camping Part II) in case you see them. One is of a dead bird hanging from a tree branch, beak encased around what looked like a yellow jacket. We have no idea what happened, but would be interested in knowing. The other sight we caught was sort of yucky - we rowed to the far side of a lake to two large rocks for a picnic and to fish, and there was a snake ingesting a frog. Interesting what one finds when there aren't any people around close by. And to think of the things you find all the time. Stunning! Yes, I feel for the rabbit, but also glad for the raptor's full belly - you have it so right!
    Hugs xoxox
    Sammie and Mom and the crew

  11. That picture of K is stunning! She's so well muscled she looks like she's wearing some sort buff breastplate.

    And the aspen leaf!! I've never seen a picture like that before. I'm really enjoying watching your seasons change.

  12. I can't believe it's that cool already. Great photos!


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