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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunrise, Mountain Lion, Sunset

The wind had calmed to a much nicer ~20 mph this morning when Shyla and I headed out at sunrise. Yesterday's fierce wind took down many trees and blew away a lot of our snow. I'm wondering how far east all that snow flew in the furious wind.

It was a big relief to feel the relative tranquility this morning.
Shyla was a much happier dog without being in danger of being blown away.
As a photographer, I love getting down very low to look up at Shyla as she runs. But, she's developed this very funny habit of crouching down to the level of the lens when I do that, like in the next photo.
I think she's wondering why her zany human is lying in the snow!

After a fairly rough snowbike ride with Shyla, navigating deep snow drifts and a nasty wind-blasted snow crust, I decided to go rescue a trail camera that I'd left on a cold and snowy north-facing slope. I wanted to move it to a place more likely to have wildlife traffic at this time of year.

The trail camera was completely submerged in snow. If I hadn't known exactly where it was, I wouldn't have been able to find it. Here was a photo it had taken after being buried in snow. I'm guessing that a small animal had burrowed into the snow, triggering it to take photos.
I was really glad that I rescued it because, just before the big snow storm, one of my favorite animals had walked past it.
S/he walked right past the spot where we've seen photos of a mother-kitten mountain lion pair playing in recent months.
Without pausing, this lion headed in the direction of another trail camera. Alas, today the snow was too deep for me to go check that trail camera. There's another way for me to hike to it, and I'll do that sometime in the near future.
I'm hoping that the photos at the next camera will give me a better idea of whether this is a male or female, and whether we've seen this cat in photos before. Regardless, I still get a huge thrill when my trail camera captures photos of our fiercest predator.

It was a good day - one that ended with the second spectacular sunset in two days. Here's yesterday's sunset.
The Rocky Mountain skies never cease to amaze me.


  1. i love shyla's red glow, but always love her silhouettes, too! glad you salvaged that buried camera! :)

  2. Love that silhouette photo! The lower to the ground perspective is wonderful for dogs!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  3. No matter where you are, laying on the ground, or standing taking the photos, you capture Shyla's spirit and your world perfectly!

  4. The sun on her fur looks glorious!

  5. Love the way Shyla gets down on your level. Great photographs of your lovely mountains and your lovely girl.

  6. Love the 3rd photo of Syla!

    Aroo to you,

  7. What a gorgeous sunset! I'm pretty sure a bunch of your snow blew over here. I think we got almost eight inches! We'll all be curled up inside together tomorrow since the wind chill is set to be over 20 below for at least 30 hours. I'd be happy to send some of it back, if you like!

  8. You certainly do live in a magical place! I'm glad the wind died down for you.

  9. Stay warm in this particularly vicious polar blast! The photos are simply amazing.

  10. Oh wow!! Beautiful sunset!!! :D I love the picture of Shyla crouching, too!! Phoenix does something similar when I'm doing indoor photoshoots! LOL

  11. You do have the most amazing skies!!! Love the mountain lion shots!

  12. We've just been to a Virginia blog....and that snow got all the way there!

  13. I would love to have a print of that last photo!!! It is absolutely STUNNING!!! Beautiful skies!! That's one of the things I just love about the West!!

  14. Shyla is doing her best to be a model isn't she. Hope you get more shots of that mountain lion.

  15. Shyla is too funny. And I'm glad your wind died down. That must have been horrible.

  16. We like when silly momma gets down low for your pics. Beautiful lions. It's amazing just watching them
    Lily & Edward

  17. You are so funny crouching to the level of the lens, Shyla. You need to be sure you're in the shot, right? LOL
    Love the sunset photo! It's just magnificent!

  18. Such gorgeous photos! That mountain lion looks so powerful!


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