Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Welcome to the Rocky Mountains National Park~

In order to get beyond our long journey images and posts, I am going to log in 2 posts with Mosaic Monday and Wildbird Wednesday this week.
I hope that no one will mind. I just have so many images that I had wanted to share and this was the best way that I could think of to do it.

Have a wonderful day and a blessed week~

When you first arrive in Estes Park, Colorado, the first thing that you will see is the famous Stanley Hotel,
which is well known for it's beautiful architecture.
F.O. Stanley had to move west due to poor health in 1903. 
He purchased 160 acres of land in Estes Park and built the main building of the hotel. 
Many of the 11 original buildings are still used today.
It is located near the entrance to the gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park. 
The Stanley Hotel also became famous when it was used on the setting for the now famous movie made from Stephen King's novel...

"The Shining"

Happy Monday, happy week, be safe and take care~

I am linking up with Mary for:

"Mosaic Monday" 



I am linking up with Stewart at:

Wild Bird Wednesday


This was our fourth journey to Estes Park in 6 years...we love it!
The weekend when we arrived, was during Elk Festival.
The Elk were in rut and they were roaming everywhere in town, as well as the Rocky Mountains National Park.
As we entered the park early one morning, I saw dozens of people all set up along the road with cameras and tripods. I thought to myself... why are they standing so far away... they need to be at least a little bit closer to the action and so... I lead the way, out into the meadow lands, and it seemed I was the Pied Piper, for others followed me, and we got some amazing images to bring home. 
At one time their were 5 and then 7 bulls all trying to gain the attention of one harem of cows.
If you have never heard a bull Elk bugeling, just go to this site and you will hear the awesomeness ;')~

The bulls bugle all day and all night long and I love the sound...the husby...not so much~

The beauty of this special place for us, is always changing, always glorious~

The pallet of colours was also really beautiful. 
The Aspen trees were ready to drop their colour for the winter~

If I am not mistaken...I do believe this bull is smiling at me!  OK well... maybe not~

Below is a Chickaree, and, or Pine Squirrel and they seem to be on constant guard, barking orders off and on all day long~

The quaking Aspen trees sound like whispers coming from heaven, their leaves sound like tissue paper rustling together as the wind calls their name and beckons them to the ground this time of year~

The Least Chipmunk is an adorable chap, with much personality~

By early afternoon, the bulls were still at it, trying to gain the attention of all of the ladies in the crowd~

I had walked up into an area with boulders to try and get close to a Mule Deer buck, when I saw the little Least Chipmunk with something in it's mouth.  The more that I have examined this image, instead of food, I do believe that it was a female, moving a young one to a new area~

I actually did not get very many images this season of the Black-billed Magpies...this one was strutting it's stuff for me~

Now this was a Big Surprise!
I had told the husby that I was going to take a walk and left the cabin in search of an Albert's Squirrel. 
I was standing in the lane, observing a Mule Deer doe, and something ran past the left side of me.
In less than a minute, there it was, really, really very close to me!
It was an American Badger just my direction.
My next thought was, oh my, do I need to be afraid, but I just kept taking photographs.  
If I was in danger, it was going to be saved forever in images...
Mary Howell Cromer, taken down by an American Badger in Estes Park, Colorado, 
the newsprint would say ;'(  
OK enough of the dramatics...
It then began to cross the lane warily and went about digging around a tree trunk, for something other than me...whew, and so I continued on with the photo shoot;') 
It was beginning to get dark, and so I was thrilled that I got any nice images~

Since I did not get to see, or photograph an Albert's Squirrel the first day of our stay, I went looking for one the second afternoon of our stay.

I had just about given up, with there it was and it was running! 
Unlike the Gray Squirrels here, that will take off and run immediately up a tree, these guys just keep running across land and they are so difficult to catch. 
I just kept walking in the direction this little cutie was going and it finally gave up the chase and went up a pine tree, for which I was very thankful.

The thinner air and higher altitude were not working in my favor~

The last time we visited, I could only find one Albert's Squirrel too...hmm, wonder if this is the same one from 2 years could be.  
I just think they are about the cutest squirrels going with those tall tuffs of fur on their ears.
My 9 year old grandson Thomas said "It looks like a Ninga Squirrel" ;')~

The Stanley Hotel as we saw it upon our arrival and then 3 others, as the sun was coming up on our last day there~

Steller's Jay...these are such a deep blue in colour, very lovely birds~

The husby happened to see this little Downey Woodpecker as I was getting back into the car.  
I am thinking it is a Downy, rather than a Hairy, but then again, these little guys
are difficult to call sometimes~

A Mule Deer buck and a yearling buck with his first nubs growing in~

And this ends your visit with me to the Rocky Mountains National Park in Estes Park, Colorado.  
If you have never been, you simply must go one day~


  1. What a great place to visit. I love all the birds and wildlife shots. The badger is cool, I heard they could be mean critters. Great photos!

  2. the elk shots were SO beautiful. but those badger photos are IMPRESSIVE! wonderful post!

  3. Mary, your photography is amazing! What wonderful photos of the scenery and wildlife. Thanks for taking us along. I hope you have a great week. Blessings, Pamela

  4. the magpie looks a lot like ours. :)

  5. I'm impressed that you saw a Badger, they're shy things. these photos are all spectacular Mary. our family vacations took place every July - we piled into the car and drove to Estes Park and spent the week there. I have many fond memories of those days so thanks for stirring them. happy week to you Mary, take good care now.

  6. Amazing captures Mary, so glad you lead the way for closer photos.
    Both the scenery and animals are a pleasure to view and I like the bugling sound too, although I've not heard it in person.

  7. That was a fabulous visit, I felt like I was there! I love the photos of the beautiful black squirrel. I've never seen a picture of a badger, only seen them on TV nature specials. Your photo shows how pretty they are, but, boy, those claws look mean! I can't wait to see more!

  8. What a richness of photos - too, too beautiful! Yes, I think that bull was smiling at you...
    I've always wanted to visit Estes and that gorgeous hotel.

  9. Wow! I see so many animals and birds that we don't see here in the East. I have never seen anything like the black cute is he! All dressed up for Halloween! Enjoy your week! Hugs!

  10. My hubby looked at these photos too...he liked the Ninja squirrel! heehee!

  11. What gorgeous images! I need to get to the other side of the country! So beautiful!

  12. I enjoyed this post very much variety ! I think the badger was my favorite because that is so uncommon but I loved them all.

  13. What an amazing post. I could comment on all the photos but I especially love the aspen trees. We don't have them or birch here in the south.

  14. BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, OH SO BEAUTIFUL! Lovin them all, but those mountain captures are truly gorgeous! I don't know how anyone out there can get anything done w/ views like that... I'd sit & stare & drool all day if I lived there! LoL! =)

  15. Thank you, Mary! I feel like I just went on vacation, just gazing on all this beauty. Your mountain shots are gorgeous, and I love the menagerie of unfamiliar animals, and even a chipmunk transporting her young.
    Wonderful photography!

  16. Mary, Your photos are amazing! We also love Estes Park and were there in September. I would love to move there!

  17. Oh my, these photos are just amazing!! So many animals you saw on your trip. The american badger looks different to ours...and the black squirrel is so lovely. Great post!

  18. My goodness! These are splendid photos!

  19. Brilliant catch, there are so many pictures, I can't try to put up my favourites. Beautiful Mary.

  20. Well, I don't know where to start Mary with all those fabulous images and memories of the scenery, the birds and the animals. I am really impresed by those pictures of the American Badger - it looks huge and just a little scary but I imagine it was more scared of a human than you scared of it? Did you get to stay at that wonderful hotel? I bet the views from thewre were just mind blowing.

  21. Wow wow wow and wow!!!! MAGNIFICENT post Mary. I love the Chipmunk pictures (or portrait) and the one with stuff in his mouth, but that Steller's jay, my, that's a winner! A wonderful bird and you got fantastic pictures of it... I kind of understand why you love this area, it seems to be a nature paradise and I guess I could stay many days there just like you probably!

  22. I'm not even sure how to comment! I had a hard time getting past the elk photos! Those are fantastic! Very majestic bulls! But the badger and ninja squirrel were awesome, too! And that's not to mention the gorgeous scenery! This post may have been more than I could reasonably handle. :-)

  23. Growing up in Colorado, raising my family there before retiring...I have spent nearly 50 years in the state. I knew right away where this hotel was. Estes Park used to be a favorite of mine.

    Stunning images.

    Fantastic images of a great bird...the jay!!!

  24. Such a beautiful place and so much to enjoy. The Jay has amazing colours.

  25. Wow! That Elk is an awesome beast.

  26. You have some amazing wildlife... many thanks for sharing your stunning images.

  27. We love that place.. RMNP and Estes ..we have kids who live near there. You were def. there at the perfect time of year..for the elk plus everything else. Thanks for the memories and beautiful pictures.

  28. What a cute squirrel! We have albino ones here. Lovely pics!

  29. That magpie looks like the ones I grew up with - do you know if it is the same species as the one they have in the UK.

    And while the badger is not a bird its a great thing to see!

    Thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M - Australia

  30. Love your wildlife photos!
    Thanks for your visit
    Have a nice day

  31. What an amazing experience you had - so many wonderful things to see - your photos are just stunning. I was so interested to see your Badger photos - he's very different to our Badgers facially, but looks just as powerful. The little Alberts Squirrel is just adorable - and so different to any squirrel I've ever seen - I learn something new everytime I visit you!
    Thanks for sharing these wonderful images.

  32. Fantastic photos of everything you saw! The magpie is the same as we have here in Sweden. Beautiful that blue Jay!
    Greetings Pia

  33. Well, "overwhelming" is all I can think of to say about all of your images! I'm about to get a cup of coffee and settle in to browse for awhile.
    Thank you for a wonderful site!

  34. What a wonderful post ! Thank you for sharing your pictures and story from the Rocky Mountains National Park ! If i one day travel over the atlantic Ocean i have to visit this place :-) Thank you also for your wonderful comment and for loving the waxwings too ;-) Greetings from Liva in Northern Norway :-)

  35. Great place with such lovely animals and birds.

  36. Wow! There are so many wonderful things to see in this post! I would love to see and hear the elk.
    I like that Ninja squirrel too!

  37. What a beautiful place to visit and all your photo's are amazing. So much bautiful wildlife there

  38. Beautiful series. So many animal and a wonderful natur.
    Wonderful present in photos and collage.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Wish you a great week.
    From hilda

  39. Wow! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Such a beautiful place to visit. We have a lot of squirrels, but none like that around here. Also a lot of birds and animals we don't have also.
    Enjoyed seeing your great photos.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  40. What a beautiful post and gorgeous photos of critters! They are all adorable!

  41. Very beautiful series ;-)
    Céline & Philippe

  42. That's a LOT of pictures! I have never been there and didn't know that the black squirrels existed, wow! That trip must have been very satisfying, photographically.

  43. Amazing images.. thank you for sharing.. a fellow nature enthusiast.

  44. So many gorgeous photos! Love that magpie with that l-o-ng tail!


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