Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bike Trip Reunion-The Things (Critters, and Plants, and Some other Stuff)

Ok, this is the last post of bike trip reunion of pictures.  Forgive me.  Here we have the Cow Whisperer.  The first day we were all together we lost two of the people during a hike.  We searched for them for an hour and a half.  We didn't find them but we found a herd of cattle.

They look somewhat annoyed with the paparazzi.

Whereas this elk looks either perplexed or as if he's trying to give that typical senior class photo head angle where the photographer makes it feel like he's going to snap your neck.  I promise I did not touch the elk.

During his sitting he wanted to make sure I got his good side.  "Here make sure you get a majestic shot, ok?"

He soon lost interest in the whole process and needed a snack.

I dunno what this is other than potential elk salad buffet fixings but it was pretty.

I had to look up this bird online.  I think it's a Clark's Nutcracker. With a name like that I had the unsophisticated thought of a character from a National Lampoon Vacation movie having an unfortunate encounter with this critter.

Look, Hilary!  Not only did I capture a bird but I also captured a chipmunk!  Not easy with all the scampering for seeds and such.

Mr. Lime on top of the world during the hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  He was excited to set a personal record in terms of altitude reached.  I still hold the family record since I have been to the airport in La Paz, Bolivia (13,323 ft) but Mr. Lime holds the family record for insane activity.  He decided to run the last half mile of the hike.  I moved uphill at a pace that could be characterized as "gasping plod."  Once the path leveled out I resumed the more dignified and non-gasping saunter.

The marker where Mr. Lime stood at 12,304 ft above sea level.

At saunter pace I could enjoy not only the grand vistas from the previous post but the tiny gems among the alpine tundra.  I have no idea what any of these plants are but they intrigued me.

Our hosts/guides told me these were closed up after the peak of blooming earlier in the summer.  they were still kind of translucent even closed up like this.

Even though it was early August it's more or less the end of summer at this altitude. Most things were looking a bit dry though there was lots of colorful lichen all over the rocks.

This lone stem was close to the ground and seemed determined to stand in the face of the harsh winds on top of the mountains.


Stephen Hayes said...

Beautiful nature shots. Can't get enough of them.

Beach Bum said...

He was excited to set a personal record in terms of altitude reached.

Way too much for me, my first day at Fort Carson, Colorado back in 1986 I about passed out after just jogging a mile. My platoon sergeant who warned me to take it easy thought my condition was funny as hell.

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures!

Tabor said...

Elk shot is the best. He hung around which is very cool. Congrats on the hike success. I admired folks who can do this. The purple is a fireweed considered invasive in most areas. The little red star is a succulent found in dry areas and the white gentian can sometimes be rare to find. The purple gentian are more easy. It is my understanding that they grew well in Colorado this year.

Daryl said...

I am impressed .. elk, steers, chipmunks and oddly named birds .. I do believe you've won the nature badge for most diverse critters in a single post! WOOT

Craig said...

Wow. . . amazing photos, Lime! Especially the elk. Those are BIG critters, and for you to get close enough to snap off shots of that quality is simply amazing. . .

Congrats to Mr. Lime (although you still got him by over 1000 feet; just sayin'). I don't think I've ever been above 10,000 feet, outside of an airplane. . . Yer hubs must be pretty doggone fit to run a half-mile UPHILL at 12,000 feet. My hat goes off to him. . .

lime said...

stephen, thanks so much. can't get enough. i have over 300 other shats, shall i forward them? heheh

beach bum, way too much for me as well!

haphazardlife, so glad you enjoyed them :)

tabor, thanks so much for giving me the names of those flowers. i was really intrigued by the white gentian. there seemed to be quite a few in the area.

daryl, it's a zoo out there!

craig, i had my nice big zoom lens on the camera but even so the elk walked toward me to within about 30 ft. as for mr. lime, his cardio fitness is absurd. he had a stress test last year and they nearly had to put it on a vertical incline before he broke a sweat.

Hilary said...

Wow.. very impressive photos, Lime. You know how chippers always catch my eye but that elk.. so majestic. I've never seen one and this guy posed so nicely for you. Great pics.

silly rabbit said...

More great pictures. Animals don't like me to photograph them.
I thought Mr. Lime was a pretty cross at first. Ha.

Suldog said...

"Clark's Nutcracker"

Heh. That's why you're the Queen Of The Memes. Your mind in mysterious ways its wonders does perform.

Craver Vii said...

Ooh, lots of great photos!! It looks like a great time.

So... you and Mr. Lime like to run off and get high, eh?

Uncle Skip, said...

We have a whole closet full of nutcrackers... all sizes.
None of them look like that.

lime said...

hilary, i was surprised the elk actually walked toward me during his photo shoot!

silly rabbit, i thought mr lime was doing his imitation of that statue of christ in rio.

suldog, i am glad you appreciated my warped thoughts.

craver, yes...a rocky mountain high

uncle skip, i wonder if his mouth opens if i lift his tail?

Barb said...

Hello Lime, Fabulous photos of my home state. The closed white flowers you encountered at high altitude are Arctic Gentian. They close in cloudy, windy conditions. The saying is that when they start blooming in late smummer it's 6 weeks 'til the first snowfall. The pink are fireweed and the succulent is a sedum. Glad you enjoyed CO. I grew up in Lancaster County, PA.

Jocelyn said...

Altitude's a bitch, indeed. I'm equally blown away by adaptation to it and how even unfit people can live at altitude, just because they stay.

Wonderful photos--you make me want to look up these flowers. You know, on a more motivated day.

~Tim said...

I'm sure I've said this before [just as I'm sure this won't be the last time], I love your photos.