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User / Bill Bowman
Bill Bowman / 996 items

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Wings held high, feathers fluffed, beaks pointed, crane cackling… clearly there’s an interesting interaction going on here between the two Sandhill Cranes, probably a unison call by a mated pair. My attraction to this shot included both the interaction between the cranes as well as the unusual symmetry in the positioning of multiple birds and their body positions. The rusty brown color in some of the wing feathers is derived from rubbing iron rich mud onto them.

Tags:   Sandhill Cranes Grus canadensis Bosque del Apache Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge unison call behavior New Mexico

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Commemorating one of the first trained Euro-American naturalists to visit the area, James Peak is bathed in the first warm rays of light with a coat of new snow. Edwin James accompanied the Stephen Long expedition to the southern Rockies in 1820 as the company's botanist, geologist, and physician. He is credited with the first recorded ascents of Pikes Peak and James Peak, although it is fairly certain they had been climbed by Native Americans prior to this time. James also made extensive collections during the expedition, including some of the first plants from the alpine zone above treeline, and several taxa bear his name.

Just peaking up to the right of James Peak's rounded summit is Parry Peak, also named for another 19th century botanist, Charles Parry, who described many species of Rocky Mountain plants, and whose name is also attached to many taxa (e.g. Parry primrose, Primula parryi).

The slopes of Eldora ski area are visible on the right, as are fire scars from the Cold Springs burn of 2016 on the top of one of the ridges between the lens and the summit of James Peak.

Tags:   James Peak Parry Peak southern Rocky Mountains snow sunrise Front Range Colorado

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I was lucky to catch these rare Transylvanian geese migrating during the latest super moon. This species (Branta transylvaniana) show a unique feeding strategy, with rather large protrusions along the sides of their beaks which they use to rip open the flesh of other animals, often bipeds while they sleep. The geese then feast on the blood oozing from the wounds.

Evolutionary biologists use this as an example of convergent evolution, although a new theory, based purely on intuition, posits that these geese are very closely related to vampire bats.

Science in the age of alternative facts...

technical note- no funny business with the photography, no superimposed geese- they really did fly across the moon (but have no reflection in a mirror)

Tags:   alternative facts Branta transylvaniana supermoon rise vampire geese

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A Sandhill Crane and its reflection successfully land with a dance exceeding anything performed by NFL players in their end zones. Also no ducks were concussed during this landing.

Tags:   Sandhill Cranes Grus Bosque del Apache Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge reflection landing Mallard couple

N 226 B 2.8K C 37 E Dec 2, 2017 F Dec 2, 2017
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The only super moon of 2017, the December moon is called, for obvious reasons, the "Cold Moon" or the "Moon before Yule" or the "Full Long Nights Moon." A few wispy clouds picked up the sunset color giving a little extra joy with the moonrise.

I chose to photograph the moon the night before it was full, as the sky was going to be lighter than the following moonrise when it was slightly fuller (99.3 versus 99.8%) but rose later.

Tags:   Cold Moon moonrise supermoon supermoon 2017 Boulder Colorado


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