The early bird…

…gets the good shots.

I had gotten to bed late due to having my quarterly 3-hour conversation with my youngest brother.  What was I doing awake already at five AM? By 5:30, I was tossing around like a fish out of water and decided to get up, go hike, and shoot photos before work.

I recently paid Canon USA way too much money to fix my broken EF70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens.  I received the lens back last week so I decided to use it this morning to give it a good workout.   Generally most of the photos I capture are with focal lengths under 50mm.  Being forced to use 70mm or more is a challenge.  Fortunately, getting up at dawn gives me the chance to see a lot of wildlife, which the longer focal lengths are good for.

I headed over to Caribou Ranch and set out on the trail.  Needless to say, at 6 AM, I didn’t seen any other people.  Just the way I like it.


Chickaree squirrel digging up a cached morsel next to a beautiful lichen covered rock.


As usual, click on the photos for a better view.


Mission accomplished. Breakfast!


Flowers in dew covered grass, glistening in the sunrise.


It had rained last night, so everything was fresh smelling and wet.  So engrossed was I getting the effect of the water droplets in the sun, that I didn’t realize I was being watched from across the meadow.


Moose walking towards me wondering what the hell I was doing.


This happens a lot.  I’ll be taking a photos of something and I’ll realize an animal I didn’t initially see is watching with curiosity.   We checked each other out for a minute, then we simultaneously went in our intended directions:  he, to the beaver pond, I, back to the trail.


Young bull moose


Not a great photo because the sun is behind him.  Mostly silhouette.

I wondered, who else is watching me?


Elk doe keeping an eye on me.


Again, not a very good photo.  She was in the shadows and pretty far away.  She wanted the barn between us.

There was a lot of wildlife activity.  I hadn’t been expecting very much. There was a golden eagle flying across the meadow and this upset the red-tailed hawk who began screeching from somewhere in the forest.


Spider's web


Aspen leaf with last night's rain on it.



And another aspen leaf in the morning sun


I reminded myself I had to get home home for breakfast and work.  It was 7:30.  But there were still photos to get.


Golden mantled ground squirrel


A little larger than a chipmunk, ground squirrels don’t have stripes on their faces.


Top secret famous recording studio, as seen through a tiny break in the trees


I couldn’t help one more shot of the recording studio (but that’s the topic of another post).  As far as the operation of the lens is concerned, it might be even better now than when it was new. 🙂

8 thoughts on “The early bird…

  1. Hard not to call in sick and skip work with all these photo ops, and such a better way to spend time rather than tossing and turning in the early morning hours.

    Great shots…

  2. You do manage to do a lot before work!

    Love the moose! I snapped a bear in the garden, but have never seen a moose in the wild, beautiful animal.

    Great set of shots! I’m glad the lens is working well.:)

    • Thanks! It’s difficult to get good shots of moose because their faces are generally pretty dark. I think getting a good shot of eyes is important for most wildlife. Marmots, too, are hard to photograph due to their dark faces.

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