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A Wild(life) Year in Photography!

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A Wild(life) Year in Photography!

A Wild(life) Year in Photography!

Me and the Roaming Bison in Colorado.  

Photo by Eric Peffer.

It has been been a wild year for me, in many aspects.  One of those areas that continues to make my head swirl, is the amazing desert I live in and the wildlife I have had the opportunity to spend some quality time with.  

Most of the photos are from my home base in Catalina, Arizona, although photo adventures to Colorado and New Mexico have added some new animals and geography to my photo line up.

Part of the large herd of elk in Colorado (approximately 150)

I have a number of things in my favor:

1.  An eye for things that are 'wild'

2.  a 70-300 lens

3.  Many of my photo adventures are with a wildlife biologist.

4.  I run in an a desert area where I see maybe 1 person a month.  More of a true desert setting. 

5.  Just plain luck

Family of 4 Bobcats in the neighborhood

Many of my photos are taken during my daily runs through the desert.  I typically run near sunset, which I feel is a better time to see animals plus it puts me on the highest road in our area to capture stunning sunsets.  The runs limit my camera options but I have had good success with a decent point and shoot camera (Samsung WB350F).  The Samsung is sporting a 42x zoom.  Oh yeah!

One of the four bobcats (family) in the neighborhood

My goal, when possible, is to take film along with photos.  I may put together a film blog for this year.  

I think back to last year and I did not get much in the way of wildlife photos while this year has been phenomenal.  Looking toward 2016. 

Wild horses near Fort Garland, CO

Enjoy the photos! 

When I grab my camera, I aim to get photos and video.  Check out the videos on my latest blog:  

A Wild(life) Year in Video!

Wild horse near Fort Garland, CO

Bighorn Sheep - Taos, NM

Redtail Hawk - Klondyke, AZ

Not totally 'wild' but a wild setting - near La Veta, Colorado

Rattlesnake on one of my runs - Catalina, AZ

Roadrunner near the house - Catalina, AZ

At the house

A Javelina visit during a run - Catalina, AZ

Horned Lizard during a run - Catalina, AZ

Young Desert Tortoise - Catalina, AZ

Walking Stick, almost stepped on and bypassed - Catalina, AZ

Tarantula visit on a run - Catalina, AZ

Tarantula on one of my runs

Gila Monster at the house - Catalina, AZ

Family of 4 Bobcats in the neighborhood - Catalina, AZ

Bobcat photo published in a local paper

Young Desert Tortoise on a desert run - Catalina, AZ

A brief stop during the Race Across America as wild horses cross the road in Utah

During the Race Across America - Pagosa Springs, CO

Praying Mantis, Lori & Eric in Klondyke, AZ

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'It is Far to EVERYTHING, except Nature


'It is Far to EVERYTHING, except Nature

'It is Far to EVERYTHING, except Nature'

Maybe 20 minutes ago I read a letter that Gunvor had written to my mother.  It is about the famed cookies that I had brought up to their cabin in Colorado.  She thanked my mother for the highly valued recipe and further on was a line she had shared about the remote location of the cabin.  She shared,  'It is far to EVERYTHING, except Nature'.  Agreed.  

This escape to the rugged majesty that is Southern Colorado was furnished by an invite from Eric (who is training me in photography) and the family cabin, situated high above Fort Garland.  Away from civilization, and close to things that wander the hills.  

The 12 hour drive would take a little bit longer as we stalked the many elusive photo ops along the back roads of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.  En route we would take the back roads of New Mexico, with an introduction to Pronghorn Antelope, and into the grandeur of El Malpais National Monument where we would encounter a few roaming elk.  They would continue their roaming ways until they connected with a herd of maybe 50.  Too far for even my 300mm lens, but a good sign for the trip.  

When we first saw the Bison in Colorado it was devouring grass behind a fence.  Only thing was that the fence had major gaps in it.  As he/she began to wander outside of the barbed wire it opened up a unique opportunity to photo and film a bison that was free to roam and spend some time near us.

1 of 3 videos I posted on my youtube channel with the Bison.

Having just worked the Race Across America in the Media 1 vehicle I was stoked to come back to what is probably my favorite area of the course.  The stunning section of Hwy 12 between La Vita and Cuchara, CO is hands down, cool and beautiful.  Unfortunately, no wildlife, but always enjoy capturing our colorful, metal rooster.

We were fortunate enough to come across a herd of 150-200 elk.  It took roughly 20 minutes for the herd to cross this area.

I wanted to include some shots of the incredible Great Sand Dunes National Park (near Alamosa, CO).  

The Rio Grande Gorge near Taos provided us with tremendous views and bighorn sheep right next to the bridge.

Shortly after returning, I came across a bobcat family of 4 near my parents house.  This was the straggler of the family, as he ran down the wall to catch up with the rest of the clan.