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Tony's Takes Photography
518 followers -
Colorado-based extreme weather, landscape and wildlife photography.
Colorado-based extreme weather, landscape and wildlife photography.

518 followers
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Tony's Takes Photography's posts

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#Landscape frames the #sunrise. I was pretty focused (pun intended) on critter photography on the morning this image was taken. However, as I headed toward my target area, the unfolding scene to the east commanded my attention. It was clear it was going to be a typical gorgeous show on the plains of #Colorado so I quickly sought out a spot from which to capture it. This particular location is one of my favorites for sunrises as it gives a nice view to the east plus some interesting objects in the foreground. For this image, I used a wide angle capturing not only the #reflection on the water but also the trees to the sides and the grasses below. All of the elements created a nice, natural frame around that colorful view in the distance. 
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Barn #Owl owlet puts on a show. Such a ham. While its siblings remained hidden in the next within the tree cavity, this little one seemed to revel in the attention myself and a half dozen other photographers gave him a few weeks ago. Three times he scampered out of the nest, and then back in, climbing around and putting on a display each time. It was undoubtedly a bit cramped down in the home so this particular time it chose to stretch its wings above its head. It also spent some time flapping its wings, giving them a test, a sure sign it was getting ready to fledge. Indeed, just a few short days later, these cool guys were out of the nest and starting their new life on their own. Like most owls, they are nocturnal and during the day they usually hang out in tree cavities, dense stands of trees and of course barns and other spots well out of sight. These medium-sized owls can be found across most of the globe, including the contiguous United States. #BirdPhotography #BirdsGallery +HQSP Birds
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A very cute face to make your Monday a bit more tolerable. Hearkening back to the end of May when I spent some quality time with this little American #Badger cub, its two siblings and its mother. A very special treat to get to see an animal that normally does an extraordinary job of staying out of sight. The American Badger is a rarely seen creature found across the western and central United States, northern Mexico and southern Canada. Its preferred habitat includes grasslands where it can find it’s the prey it relies on to survive. Carnivorous, the badger is part of the same family that includes the wolverine, ferret and weasel. It is ferocious in its hunting ability choosing snakes, prairie dogs, mice and other residents of plains-like areas where it lives. It is considered an endangered species in parts of Canada and a threatened species in some locations in the United States.
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Bald Eagle takes a bow. When you know you are the center of attention, why not show your appreciation by taking a bow? That almost seemed like that is what this regal eagle was doing although in truth it was just stretching. In all the time I have spent with eagles, I have never seen one stretch this way. Owls commonly do this but this was for me the first time I have seen an eagle do it. Kind of fun. Also notice its eye. Bald Eagles (and many other birds) have an inner eyelid called a nictitating membrane. This membrane wipes front to back every few seconds, cleaning the cornea. It is translucent and the eagle can actually see through it. #Freedom #Friday! #TGIF!
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Erupting Great Fountain #Geyser. From my trip to Yellowstone National Park last month. The primary photo goal on this day was, as usual, wildlife however the day just didn't offer many worthwhile subjects so the landscape instead became the focus. Having been to the park many times, we bypassed the more popular and crowded spots and sought out less visited locations. One of them was the Lower Geyser Basin where we were lucky enough to time our visit with two different eruptions, including this one. This particular geyser erupts a couple of times a day with some of those events lasting more than an hour. It has been known to shoot water 200 feet in the air but that is a rarity with typical heights of less than 100 feet being seen (like this one). I loved the dramatic blue #skies punctuated by just enough #clouds to add interest. 
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Pronghorn buck pauses to have its picture taken. My, what a handsome fellow this guy was. He was out walking through a recently harvested wheat field and was kind enough to give me a few captures. Those horns of his are some of the biggest I have seen on one. #Pronghorn (often incorrectly called #antelope) are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere and second in the world only to the Cheetah. They can sprint at speeds up to 60mph and run for extraordinarily long distances at slower speeds. Before the arrival of western Europeans, it is believed as many as 40 million of them roamed the open rangelands of North America – possibly more than there were bison. Hunting and fragmentation of their habitat by fences and human settlements took its toll and as few as 20,000 remained at the start of the 20th century. Thankfully conservation and education saved them from extinction and they now number almost 1 million. #Wildlife #WildlifePhotography 
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Swift #Fox surprise. A chance encounter and my first time ever seeing one of these in person. This beautiful animal ran across the road ahead of me and thankfully, stopped just long enough for me to snag a few pictures. It was straight into the early morning sun so tough shooting conditions but I was ecstatic just to have seen it. These small foxes can be found across the grasslands of North America although they are not seen often. It was nearly extinct in the 1930s but due to #conservation efforts, education and reintroductions, their numbers have rebounded. #Wildlife
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A scene out of the Old West. One for #Tatanka Tuesday. There was a time when the American #Bison roamed the plains freely with numbers in the hundreds of thousands (millions?). Some of the pictures of the Old West show scenes of a landscape covered in these massive creatures. That of course is no longer the case but this small herd and some creative editing help to invoke those types of scenes I think. These impressive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. It used to be we called these buffalo but that actually was incorrect. While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old-World species. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull #buffalo.” In May 2016 the Bison became the official mammal of the United States, a fitting and long overdue honor. Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.
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Young #Grizzly #Bear answers an age old question. We have all heard the phrase, "Does a bear - well, you know - in the woods?" This image taken a few weeks ago when we were in Grand Teton National Park would seem to answer it. ;-) I tried hard to find Grizzly Bears while on my trip but this was the only encounter I had. Out early one morning, I spot this young bear and its mother as they wandered through a small meadow. It was very early and heavily overcast so the light was horrible. As a result, the pictures are not the best but just getting to see these intimidating creatures is a treat. 
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#Mountain #Goat soaks in the early morning sun. Even in the summer it is quite chilly at 14,000+ feet in altitude. In fact, it was 34 degrees when this image was snapped about an hour after sunrise. Of course these high country residents are quite able to handle the cold although even they seem to welcome the warmth of the sun’s rays. Mountain Goats are actually not native to #Colorado, having been brought here in the early 20th century as a tourist attraction. Unfortunately, they can carry diseases which are deadly to our state’s official animal, the Big Horn Sheep. When the goats roam into sheep territory, they are often killed to prevent them from infecting the sheep.
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