Friday, October 7, 2011

Sunrise from the Coalton Trail

My post from late last Tuesday about my visit to the Coalton Trail west of Superior, Colorado had me thinking of the area. So, when I was woken up by a page well before sunrise on Wednesday morning I decided to roll with it and go see if I could have any more luck finding birds in the A.M. than I had in the P.M. Just as I hit the trail I was greeted by beautiful colors and silhouettes. The morning was cool, and I moved quickly down the slope of the highland towards the sunrise. I wanted to get as far along as I could before the the sun broke the horizon, I would then have it at my back as I returned, offering great lighting for all the birds I was sure to see.

I reached roughly the halfway point, where the trail turns hard to the east, and slopes more dramatically downhill into one of the draws before reaching the western edge of residential Superior. I had met the halfway point of my available time as well, and just like the fence-line I had a destination back in the civilized world. Fortunately for me, my route took me back towards the mountains, and I was given a spectacular view of the entrance to Eldorado Canyon, the same canyon that had looked so different in the evening on my previous visit.

This whole area is one that I really enjoy, and I will definitely be back to visit through the seasons. I have a feeling as the weather deteriorates in the coming weeks I will have even more opportunity to enjoy the high plains in their full isolation.

This last Black-eyed Susan bloom was standing sentinel over the passing fall weather. It was well colored in the early light - the birds on the other hand were largely non-existent. There were the usual Western Meadowlarks, who were making up for the lack of diversity by belting out a chorus to welcome the day - but even they kept their distance and didn't appear in pictures as much more than noisy blobs. So instead...more sky.

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