Tag Archives: birds

The River Flows South


One last peaceful day along the Rio Grande River before we head south for good this time.

The soft glow of the light in the evening…




Our feathered friends waking us in the mornings.




And those sunsets over the Taos Mountains in the Carson National Forest.




We’ll dearly miss this, but its off to different lands. There’s much more to explore.



Colorado Feathers And Fur


We spent the day in Estes Park, walking around, enjoying the weather,  gawking at store windows, visiting a book store, and generally relaxing away the day before we decided to find a place to sleep for the night.

We wound up heading south on highway 7 and came to  Olive Ridge Campground. Since the calendar flipped to September, and the kiddos are back in school now, we seem to have our pick of the choicest sites. We do the drive through, make sure no generators are in sight or earshot, size up the spot for levelness and find some Sun for the solar panel, and settle right in.

We find friends with feathers close by.


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Many of these little White-breasted nuthatches were also camped here, as was the Mountain chickadee in the top photo up in the header.

Cold weather has definitely settled in, and like the birds, we find ourselves continually heading south.  We moved camp again the next day to carry on with our slow progress to warmer weather, this time stopping at Cold Springs Campground, where we had another camping loop all to ourselves.

The entire time we were in Montana and Wyoming, with all the wildlife we saw, we never did spot a moose. Seems nobody was seeing any moose.

We asked the park ranger about this, and his theory and others in the know about these things, mostly seem to agree that after Montana and Wyoming suffered some intense drought years, (even though this year, everything is lush and green with water everywhere) much of the local moose population decided to hit the road and migrate to “greener pastures.” People in Oregon have seen a huge increase in the animals, as have folks here in Colorado.

While camping in Cold Springs Campground and talking to our camp hosts, we mentioned this to them and wouldn’t you know that those super nice folks told us where we could go to see the Colorado Moose immigrants.

Sure enough, a side trip to Brainard Lake up around 11,000 feet in elevation, brought us to not one, but three of these big fellows.


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Another day of our life on the road. Another piece of the wildlife inter-connections that has touched our hearts, and warmed our souls.

Wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything…

Oh, and have I mentioned…that we meet the nicest and most generous people while on the road?


Walker Creek – Wildlife and Cows

We pulled into a beautiful little campsite and had it all to ourselves. Well we thought we did…until we realized how much life was here along this little red slick rock lined creek.

slick red rocks along walker creek.
Camp Area Below Where the Van was Parked


After spending time in the van, we  were eager to relax for awhile on these beautiful rocks. Pia was enjoying getting herself cooled off in the water, and started exploring a bit upstream. Gladly I was following her very closely, (always cautious around these parts) as we were soon met by this big dude taking his daily bath…

apr. 4 foot long diamond back rattle snake.
Western Diamond-back Rattlesnake


He was at least 4 feet long, and when first spotted was in the middle of the creek, bathing, hunting, or just cooling off, not sure which. He was actually quite relaxed about having visitors, and we gave him a wide berth once we spotted him. And rest assured, I retrieved my camera with the zoom lens on it. No close up iPhone photo here.  We spent probably about an hour, watching him make his way out of the creek, around a tree, under some rocks and across the road. (On the opposite side of the creek from where we are camped.)

Then the birds came out! We have been going wild with all the different birds here. Note that neither Fred nor I are expert ornithologist’s, but we do carry a good birding book, and a few bird apps on the iPhone.  We love to just sit and watch them and try to identify the species. Since being here, we’ve seen: Summer tanagers, Northern Cardinals (a southwestern species) Bullocks Orioles, Yellow Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, and I think a Lark Sparrow. That’s in addition to the normal Juncos, Jays, Ravens, etc. It is so fun for us seeing the red and yellow birds. There is so much variation here!

No photos of the birds, as I was just enjoying sitting and watching them flutter around. Sometimes it’s good to look at life without seeing everything through a camera lens.

When the days get hot here, the birds settle down, and out come the lizards. More new species to identify. We are like a couple of little kids in a zoo.

And…when all else is  quiet, our camp is surrounded by cows. They too keep us entertained, coming to the creek to get water, mooing to each other,  and generally being cows! It is amazing watching them maneuver their mass of hulk around on these slippery rocks.

Lizard peeking over the rock near Walker Creek
A Small Visitor


Golden calf posing for a photo
A Large Visitor


Fred sitting in a chair by the creek with dog pia by his side on slick red rocks
Fred & Pia Relaxing


Entertainment is quite cheap in the desert.   ❧