Bighorn Sheep

Three female and one juvenile Bighorn Sheep grazing against a backdrop eroded hills and valley.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021

One of the interesting sites at Badlands National Park were the Bighorn sheep. It was especially fun to watch because they had babies.

Bighorn sheep are not native to Badlands National Park. Twenty-two were introduced in 1964 from the Pike’s Peak area in Colorado. The population is now estimated to be over 250. There are no natural predators to the Bighorn at Badlands National Park.

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Three female and 2 juvenile bighorn sheep traversing a rugged trail.
Bighorn Sheep on the Trail
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Ram (Male) Bighorn Sheep descending a cliff side.
Bighorn Sheep Ram
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Two female and 3 juvenile Bighorn Sheep resting on a grassy hillside.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Juvenile Bighorn Sheep nursing from mother.
Bighorn Sheep Nursing
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Two female and one juvenile Bighorn Sheep resting on rocky hillside.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021
Closeup view of the ears from a group of juvenile bighorn sheep grazing alongside each other.
Bighorn Sheep
Badlands National Park, SD; JUL 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Devils Tower

Image of Devils Tower at sunset. From Devils Tower National Monument. Devils Tower was orange from the light of the sun. It was surrounded by green trees and grass. The sky transitioned from blue to orange as it merged with the horizon line of trees.
Sun Setting on Devil’s Tower
Joyner Ridge Trailhead, Devils Tower National Monument, SD; JUN 2021

We just returned home from a very long road trip; a trip that took us from California to Maine and back. One of the places we visited was Devils Tower National Monument. I wanted to visit because it is an iconic feature and I hoped to capture a sunrise and night sky shots. Like most of our trip we were in big sky country where the skies are not cloudy all day. That was unfortunate because high clouds would have set the sky ablaze with color at sunrise and sunset. So, I did my best with that I had.

Devils Tower is a small park. The visitors center sits at the end of the only road, and it is a short ride. There is a trail around the monument from the visitor’s center, but it was closed for construction.

Devils Tower is not a solid wall cliff face. It is a beautiful example of columnar joining; something that is typical of volcanic magma that has cooled slowly. In the case of Devils Tower, geologists believe it is an intrusion; i.e. magma pushed up and intruded between other rock. It cooled underground and formed the beautiful columns that make up its rock face. At the bottom of the tower is a boulder field made up of broken pieces from the columns above.

As we explored, we found the dirt road to the Joyner Ridge Trailhead and followed it. There we took a short hike up a knoll and sat on a bench to watch the sun set. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of calm and spirituality I felt up there. I am always awed by the beauty of nature but this was different and more. I often find peace hiking on trails but, again, this was more. Many Native American tribal groups hold Devils Tower as a sacred place for prayer and communing with the spirits. It was a blessing to be there.

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A close up of the rock columns that form Devils Tower.
Some of the Devils Tower Columns
Joyner Ridge Trailhead, Devil’s Tower National Monument, SD; JUN 2021
A close up of the rock face of Devils Tower. The Tower shown predominantly yellow. A small plant was growing to the bottom left of the image while a raven crossed the in front of the Tower in the upper right of the image.
Life at Devil’s Tower; Joyner Ridge Trailhead
Devil’s Tower National Monument, SD; JUN 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Acorn Woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

Acorn Woodpeckers are the most common woodpecker species that we see in the Sacramento, CA area. They are very active, industrious, and highly social birds. They live in family groups in a single nesting cavity, they manage a large acorn granary stored in holes they drill in dead trees, and they are very territorial.

One of the California Naturalists at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, wrote a short, interesting article about them. The article was published in “The Acorn” summer newsletter from Effie Yeaw Nature Center. (2021acornsummer.pdf (capitoltechsolutions.com)). It is a fascinating read sure to increase your appreciation of the interesting birds.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Acorn Woodpeckers
Female is on left, Male on Right. Note the white band above the male’s beak.
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Acorn Woodpecker and European Starling; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
The cavity is a Starling nest. The Acorn Woodpecker came to investigate the nest. It was chased away by the Starling.
Images and discussion of the Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpeckers
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Young Birds

Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

I am sharing pictures of some of this year’s crop of baby birds.

Please note that the young Mallards from several weeks apart may be the same family. The images were all taken in the vicinity of the nest site where I first found them.

Also, concerning the image of the Female Mallard Duck with Ducklings: Common Mergansers are diving ducks; they swim fully submerged when foraging for food. This mother was watching 2 ducklings. One was swimming with its head submerged. I watched the mother push this duckling’s head under the water. I wonder if I observed a foraging lesson.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution.

Female Common Merganser with Duckling
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021
Common Merganser Duckling
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021
Male and Female Mallard with Ducklings
Common Merganser; Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Horned Owls; River Bend Park
American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Horned Owls
River Bend Park, American River Parkway, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Great Blue Herons Grow Up

Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

I am fortunate that a pair of Great Blue Herons chose to nest near one of my favorite walking/photography trails. I was only able to visit them 3 times this spring. So, this series of images consists of 3 sets taken approximately a month apart. In the second set, one of the adults is on the nest and the other is behind the tree branches. In the third set, the chicks are too big and the adult can’t get on the nest with them so it is behind the tree branches.

There are 2 chicks. In the second set of images, the second chick was apparently napping and never lifted its head despite my waiting for nearly an hour.

Please click on caption to see images at higher resolution!

Great Blue Heron on Nest
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
Adult and Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Adult and Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Adult and Juvenile Great Blue Heron
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; APR 2021
Juvenile Great Blue Herons
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAY 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

The Nerd Jumps Into Action

Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

When I saw this Red-tailed Hawk I immediately thought of a stodgy, nerdy, middle-aged human male just hanging around. It made me chuckle. But, very quickly, it showed me its true nature as it jumped into action.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd Jumps Into Action)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021
Red-tailed Hawk (The Nerd Jumps Into Action)
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

Some Birds from Red Rock Canyon State Park

Sagebrush Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021

Last week I shared some scenes from Red Rock Canon State Park near Cantil, CA. Today, I am sharing images of birds that I saw while hiking along the Red Cliffs Trail.

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House Finch on a Joshua Tree
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Brewer’s Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Brewer’s Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Common Raven
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

 

 

 

A Visit to Red Rock Canyon State Park

Sunrise on Red Cliffs Trail
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021

On our trip a few weeks ago, we made our first visit to Red Rock Canyon State Park on Rt 14 near Cantil, CA. We only spent one morning there so we limited ourselves to the Red Cliffs section of the park. We hiked out to the park boundary along the Red Cliffs trail during a cloudless sunrise. The temps were cool, the walk was easy and the red in the cliffs were true to their name.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Stand of Joshua Trees
Red Cliffs Trail, Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Coyote
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Welcoming the Morning
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Red Cliffs
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021
Black-tailed Jackrabbit
Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA; APR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

Some Random Birds

Oak Titmouse Near Nest Cavity
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

Here are a few bird images that I haven’t collected into a theme. Regardless, they are beautiful in their own right. I hope you enjoy them.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Female Bushtit Collecting Nesting Materials from Spider Web
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021
Lark Sparrow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; JAN 2021
Great-tailed Grackle
Mather Lake Regional Park, Sacramento, CA; JUN 2020
Female Great-tailed Grackle
Furnace Creek, Death Valley National Park; OCT 2019

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

At the River’s Edge

Snowy Egret
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; FEB 2021

Here are a few shots taken along the American River this spring.

Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

American Crow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
Double-crested Cormorant with Crest Displayed
Willow Creek State Recreation Area, American River Parkway, Folsom, CA; FEB 2021
Greater Yellowlegs, Snowy Egret
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
American Crow
Sailor Bar, American River Parkway, Fair Oaks, CA; MAR 2021
Snowy Egret
Effie Yeaw Nature Center, Sacramento, CA; MAR 2021

If anyone would like a copy of almost any picture in my library, for educational or research use, please contact me and I will happily share a digital copy with you.

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.