Baby Bighorns Learning

May 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


While in Colorado National Monument last month, I spotted a herd of Desert Bighorns in Fruita Canyon. They were pretty high up and not the best for photos, but among them were about 10 babies so I sat there watching them frolic in their natural habitat.  I was well below them and they never showed any sign of having noticed me. As night started to take hold they retreated higher up into the canyons. Before they could get there though, they had to cross this bit, an obviously well traveled rock. Can you see the well worn path? The adults crossed with ease, the babies, however? They had lots of trouble. As you can see they were scared even to attempt it, and when they did, they would slide down the rock barely in control just able to stop themselves from a disastrous fall.

They tried and failed several times, narrowly avoiding a fall each time. They ran away back towards the comfort of the stragglers in the herd, stared at the crossing filled with trepidation looking for a route over and  would watch the older sheep cross while simultaneously getting in their way.  They would follow the same route as the others, but couldn't even get halfway across. I was worried wondering what was going to happen? Fall? Abandonment?

Maybe 10 minutes of this and then a brave little one attempted it and went almost vertically up the rock then across instead of just across like the older ones did. This allowed it to be in a more manageable position when it started to slide back down, which it did, but through this it had enough momentum/traction to make it across! It then took off at a lightning pace up the canyon running full speed to catch up to presumably Mom. I wish I could have got that photo.  It really was a last day of school run. The others spurred on by the success followed using the same tactic, failing quite a few times but all managing it in the end.

 Basically the lambs got out of a slippery spot by climbing a harder route. Not often you get to see newborn animals learning in front of your eyes. I'm sure they can handle that spot with ease now.

TrepidationTrepidationSee blog for more photos

While in Colorado National Monument, I spotted a herd of Desert Bighorns in Fruita Canyon. They were pretty high up and not the best for photos, but among them were about 10 babies so I sat there watching them frolic in their natural habitat. I was well below them and they never showed any sign of having noticed me. As night started to take hold they retreated higher up into the canyons. Before they could get there though, they had to cross this bit, an obviously well traveled rock. Can you see the well worn path? The adults crossed with ease, the babies, however? They had lots of trouble. As you can see they were scared even to attempt it, and when they did, they would slide down the rock barely in control just able to stop themselves from a disastrous fall.
They tried and failed several times, narrowly avoiding a fall each time. They ran away back towards the comfort of the stragglers in the herd, stared at the crossing filled with trepidation looking for a route over and would watch the older sheep cross while simultaneously getting in their way. They would follow the same route as the others, but couldn't even get halfway across. I was worried wondering what was going to happen? Fall? Abandonment?
Maybe 10 minutes of this and then a brave little one attempted it and went almost vertically up the rock then across instead of just across like the older ones did. This allowed it to be in a more manageable position when it started to slide back down, which it did, but through this it had enough momentum/traction to make it across! It then took off at a lightning pace up the canyon running full speed to catch up to presumably Mom. I wish I could have got that photo. It really was a last day of school run. The others spurred on by the success followed using the same tactic, failing quite a few times but all managing it in the end.
Basically the lambs got out of a slippery spot by climbing a harder route. Not often you get to see newborn animals learning in front of your eyes. I'm sure they can handle that spot with ease now.

Trepidation StandoffStandoffSee blog for more photos
While in Colorado National Monument, I spotted a herd of Desert Bighorns in Fruita Canyon. They were pretty high up and not the best for photos, but among them were about 10 babies so I sat there watching them frolic in their natural habitat. I was well below them and they never showed any sign of having noticed me. As night started to take hold they retreated higher up into the canyons. Before they could get there though, they had to cross this bit, an obviously well traveled rock. Can you see the well worn path? The adults crossed with ease, the babies, however? They had lots of trouble. As you can see they were scared even to attempt it, and when they did, they would slide down the rock barely in control just able to stop themselves from a disastrous fall.
They tried and failed several times, narrowly avoiding a fall each time. They ran away back towards the comfort of the stragglers in the herd, stared at the crossing filled with trepidation looking for a route over and would watch the older sheep cross while simultaneously getting in their way. They would follow the same route as the others, but couldn't even get halfway across. I was worried wondering what was going to happen? Fall? Abandonment?
Maybe 10 minutes of this and then a brave little one attempted it and went almost vertically up the rock then across instead of just across like the older ones did. This allowed it to be in a more manageable position when it started to slide back down, which it did, but through this it had enough momentum/traction to make it across! It then took off at a lightning pace up the canyon running full speed to catch up to presumably Mom. I wish I could have got that photo. It really was a last day of school run. The others spurred on by the success followed using the same tactic, failing quite a few times but all managing it in the end.
Basically the lambs got out of a slippery spot by climbing a harder route. Not often you get to see newborn animals learning in front of your eyes. I'm sure they can handle that spot with ease now.

"But Mom I don't wanna"

(The other two had ran away back down the path)

Scary moments

A traffic jam.

The way across is found!


One achieves, one attempts, one runs away.

No lamb left behind!

And all was well in the Monument that night.


Trump Inauguration and Women's March

January 24, 2017  •  1 Comment

My experiences on Donald Trump's Inauguration and the Women's March the day after. This isn't meant to be political. I went for neither side. I tried to be unbiased as possible in the captions but one thing I'll say is that there are more Anti-Trump signs and people below. This is because they had signs and I'm just not going to take photos of random people who just came out for the event. I tended to focus on the entire scene losing sight of the individuals that made them up. A detriment to my attempts, but first try at any sort of photography like this.

 

Judiciary Station lined with Trump supporters, 8ish am.

I came out of Judiciary Station and saw this group waving an Anti-fa flag around. Of course I followed. They got in several verbal skirmishes, to be fair not instigated by them. The woman standing next to the guy with the flag was allegedly punched in the mouth by a Trump supporter. I didn't see it but she did have a split lip. Things got pretty tense with the police there for a bit but they took statements and everyone moved on, peacefully and free.

Opposite Numbers.

This man was desperate to convince a woman she was a coward for wearing a bandanna, as police don't need to hide their identities. I don't think his point was made to her.

Anti-Fa.

Mostly Trump supporters line up for an unticketed gate. A police said this was one of the least congested.

A woman looks down on the security checkpoint to get into the mall.

Bring back real journalism.......and weed scribbled on the back.

Hello there Mr. Secret Service man. You had a nice view of me in my checkpoint.

Young girl waits in line for a checkpoint to get into the National Mall.

Not bothered at all. Anti Trump demonstrators march past mostly Trump supporters in a checkpoint. Chants of "USA", "Build the wall", "Trump" and many more individual efforts at crude wit and response baiting bravado made the atmosphere turn contentious quickly. Police kept the groups apart well.

This guy chose a "to the point" protest sign.

Pennsylvania Ave. with an army of cops lining the route to the White House. I got yelled at for taking this, that reminded me why I enjoy landscape photography. 

The crowd during Donald Trump's oath of office. Very few anti-Trump here. Enthusiastic crowd.  Barack Obama passing the Washington Monument on the way out of Washington DC on Marine One, but i guess it was no longer Marine One since he was a former President? 

After the Inauguration had concluded I caught this guy starring down the Mall towards the Capitol building with his scribbled prayer of "God help us" on his vest.

An empty National Mall, as twilight starts to arrive.

Washington DC mounted police patrol the National Mall.

Dusk descends on Inauguration Day, and your weary photographer starts to fear falling asleep on the Metro missing his stop like a common tourist.

The Women's March, the day after.

 I had planned to skip the Women's March rally and do tourist stuff, and then maybe catch some of the March, I was a bit ambivalent towards another day walking around a city. I had heard on the radio that the March was canceled because of high turnout so I decided to make my way over. As I arrived the streets were packed with people walking away towards the Capitol. I thought I had missed it! I walked down toward 3rd street and was stunned when I could see out over it all, unbeknownst to me they decided to march down Pennsylvania Avenue. I've never been around or seen that many people. 

 

All photos below are from the march down Pennsylvania Avenue,

Casper, a biker for Trump. Really nice guy, said "hi" and thanked me for a peaceful protest and agreed that's what we both wanted. Then I sang along to "Free Bird" playing over the speakers. I felt bad for these guys because they had a permit for this spot well away from the other end of the political spectrum, but the route change put them a mere hundred feet from the March.  An offshoot March from the main March. The entire city was filled with an electric energy. People filled the streets, signs, chants everywhere it was inescapable.  

An Offshoot of the main March. The entire city was electric. People filled streets, chanting, so many homemade signs, horn sections, anarchists showing solidarity at the courthouse, traffic, opportunistic vendors. Just an atmosphere I've never experienced before,

 Pulitzer please. :)


12 Favorite Photos of 2017

December 31, 2016  •  1 Comment

My favorite 9 photos of 2016.

It was a bit of an interesting year for me. I was pretty much done with all this photography coming into the year. I hadn't even taken a photo in about 8 months or so. Just completely burnt out with it all. Some things changed and for some reasons I don't even really know, I started taking photos again and these are my favorites. Thank you all for following along! Here's to a great New Year and all those other positive and hopeful words or resolutions that are said over the next few days.

 

Autumn's Last Stand. McClure Pass.

The Solitary One. Rocky Mountain National Park.

A few minutes of a Grand Valley sunset.

Fort Pickering Light in Salem Massachusetts.

Underneath those Colorado stars.

Lookout Rock. Blackstone Valley, Massachusetts.

Sunset over Lake San Cristobal. Lake City, Colorado

A young moose calf enjoying the last days of summer.

A fox in Crested Butte.

Splendid Isolation in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Processed with Snapseed.

Light through the snow covered forest. Blackstone Valley.

If you would like you can purchase my 2017 Lake City Calendar here-

www,michaelunderwoodphotography.com/lake-city-calendar

Only 7 left!!!


Presbyterians in the San Juan Mountains

August 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Darley MountainDarley MountainDarley Mountain from Oh Point on the Alpine Loop. This is Darley Mountain, viewed from Engineer Pass. 

In the 1870s, George Darley was a missionary who wanted to raise a Protestant (in this case, Presbyterian) church and evangelize in the San Juans, so he snowshoed back and forth over Engineer Pass in the middle of winter, Lake City to Ouray and vice versa, several times. Unlike another, who did this feat, he only had an appetite for the Lord. So once in town, he quickly formed, founded and built the first church on the Western Slope in Lake City in 1876. Once established, he went to the six month old Ouray and did the same, giving the first sermon in a saloon in the winter of 1877, and then built the church in the fall. After serving as the first pastor for his new church in Lake City for several years, he left and pastored churches in numerous Colorado towns. 

The church, along with Lake City nearly died with the mining decline and the Depression but bounced back around the 50s, as Lake City became a tourist destination and apparent Texan colony. The church still stands today; my dad was the pastor for several years. The church in Ouray disbanded and merged with Ridgway a few years ago though. 

Anyway that's why this mountain is called Darley Mountain, if you were  curious. Hope you enjoyed the history lesson of Presbyterians in the San Juans. 

Also if you like this kind of post, let me know by commenting or sharing, thanks!


2016 Lake City and Hinsdale County Calendar

June 25, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Announcing my 2016 Lake City and Hinsdale County Calendar. A 9x12 13-month wall calendar featuring my landscape and wildlife photography from the Lake City area.

Available on my website here
www.michaelunderwoodphotography.com/lake-city-calendar

Available now in these stores
 

Lake City-
The General Store, Slumgullion Gift Gallery, and The Highlander RV Resort.
Gunnison-
Rocky Mountain Frames
Grand Junction-
Silver Leaf Art Gallery, and OutWest Books.

(back)

 

New images from Michael Underwood, a photographer living in Lake City, Colorado.

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