Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Walker Ranch at Dusk (Monday 1/19)

Our unseasonably warm weather continues through today, Wednesday the 21st, but I had a chance to enjoy the evening hours on Monday. As previously stated my workday ends at 3:00 on Mondays, so I have a bit of time in the afternoon to get out if I have no other pressing concerns. This past Monday I headed up to a renowned part of the Boulder County Open Space property, Walker Ranch.
I have known of Walker Ranch for years, but not really had a chance to explore it. I believe I had the first of many visits there Monday night. I parked and began walking up the Meyer's Homestead Trail. It is an approximate 2.4 mile out and back trail. I made it roughly a mile and a half up the trail before fading light made me turn back.
In the meantime I had a great evening walk. One of the first birds I saw was soaring well overhead. Squinting against the low light I took a few frames of it before it rose out of photographic range. After zooming in on him after the fact I confirmed a Turkey Vulture, Lifetime list #85.

I also realized that I had left my camera in black and white mode. I made adjustments and headed on down the trail.
While I was looking for birds I had the greatest success seeing deer.

These white-tails were crossing the into the eastern area of the 2000 Walker Ranch fire.

Further down the trail I was able to pass this Townsend's Solitaire and catch him enjoying the view from his perch at the end of a beautiful day, and a White-breasted Nuthatch, (not pictured here) doing the same.
I love Colorado for its diversity of scenery, and my trip to Walker Ranch was a welcome one-hour escape to the higher elevations. The barn ruins (above) and trail markers provide an insight to the history of the area over the past 100 years. I can't wait until the days get longer and I am able to make it all the way to the trail's end.

2009 Count: 51
Lifetime: 85

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