Monthly Archives: May 2012

And Then There Was A One Horned Goat

High Plains Desert Beauty – Silver Mountain and Dikes

Tammy and I were heading out the other day to do a photo shoot.  As we coasted down the hill into the Village of Cuchara we caught a glimpse of a couple of pedestrians walking down the road with what appeared to be a couple of the oddest looking great danes we had ever seen.  We drove slowly by, peering out of the passenger window like the curious, nosy locals that I suppose we have become.  We had it all wrong, these folks weren’t walking their dogs they were walking their Goats.  We felt compelled to investigate and we whipped around into a parking spot in front of Dakota Dukes General Store.

Things have always been a little bit different here in Cuchara.  You expect to see the unexpected, like cattle drives through town, bears on front porches and dogs out to dinner with their families.  But people out strolling about with their Goats!  That’s News.

(L-R) Cuzco, Nan, Nibbles and Phil on a Cuchara Goat Vacation

As it turns out, Nan and Phil Hassey of Rye were visiting Cuchara for the first time along with Cuzco (10 years old) and Nibbles (3 months old).  Nan and Phil prefer to take the goats with them everywhere they go, Goat Vacations they call them.  On this outing, they found goat friendly lodging at the Cuchara Inn and a great eight-mile hike up the Dike Trail.  In his prime, Cuzco carried his own pack, up to 50 or 60 pounds.

Goat Hand Shake

Nan and Phil have to keep a tight leash on Cuzco when dogs are around. When he was younger, Cuzco had a bad experience where he was chased right over the edge of a cliff.  That’s where he lost his left horn.  Yep, when you head out for the day around here, you never quite know what to expect.   The Greatest Adventures Are not only the places you go, but the people you meet along the way.

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Categories: Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Ducks, Six Bears And The Misadventures Of A Landscape Photographer

Mr. and Mrs. Duck

First there is a warning quack, then a resounding quack-quack followed by the fluttering of wings.  “There goes Mr. and Mrs. Duck” Tammy will say and we watch the pair skim over the water in the same easterly direction.  And so the chain of events repeats itself, day in and day out as we take our daily walks.  Ahhh, summer in the mountains of Southern Colorado.

When I was a kid, I’d take an old shoe box, poke a hole in the end of it and tape a piece of black and white photo paper inside.  It always amazed me how I could miraculously produce a photograph using such simple tools.  Today, it amazes me that with all of the fancy equipment I can’t seem to get a wildlife image that looks much different from those pinhole camera pictures.  Shooting photographs or video of wildlife is an art form that neither one of us has mastered.  We are persistent however and we have the desire, a combination that will eventually unlock the door to success.

So, back to that elusive pair of Ducks and the comical scene that unfolds each time I try to photograph them.  I’ve done everything shy of dressing in camouflage and building a duck blind to capture their image.  I have indeed, crawled through the grass on my belly and hidden behind a nearby shack a number of times.  Holding my camera in shooting position, I peer around the corner as if I’m an FBI agent on a drug raid.  “Quack…Quack Quack….Flutter Flutter”, they’re gone before I can take command of my focus ring.

Quack……Quack Quack…….Flutter Flutter

It seems as though the same scenario plays itself out no matter what the subject matter is.  Tammy and I drive everywhere with cameras ready and tripods extended for when and not if we see a heard of Elk, a Bear or a Mountain Lion.  The way it really seems to work is quite different from what we anticipate though.  In the past 7 days, we have seen a Blonde Male Bear, a Black Male Bear and a Momma Bear with three darling little Cubs.  When we see something really great there is an adrenaline rush and a very confusing attempt to communicate with one another that could easily lead to disaster.  “Stop” “Go” “Roll Down the Window” “ Move out of my way” “We need a new windshild” are the types of things you might hear in that moment.  It’s not uncommon for me to lose my mind and attempt to take pictures from a moving vehicle, while I am driving.  And then there are the times when we are whispering and moving very slowly to get into position.  I open the door with the key still in the ignition and the “ding-ding-ding” announces to the whole forest that we are there, larger than life.

So go easy on us when you judge these pictures.  They aren’t as easy to get as you might think.  And remember The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!

Categories: Colorado, Photography, Tourism, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Reflections Of The Past Week

Mid-May Twilight Over North Lake

As usual, we have been incredibly busy and we’ve been shooting a ton of photographs and video.  The real estate market is really buzzing right now and we have been fortunate to have the opportunity to capture some really spectacular properties.  People don’t realize that for every hour of shooting we spend three, four, five or more hours editing which can make for some really long days and nights in front of a computer.

The cool thing about living here is that when you need a break, just looking out a window or stepping out the door into nature can bring you back to center in no time.  So much is happening in the outdoors now as we race for the Summer Solstice, which is only a short month away.  Have the Flora and the Fauna been hitting the Red Bull?

Hillside Below North Lake Dam

We have seen so much wildlife in the past week and everything seems bigger than we remember from past years.  Our first Bear sighting of the year came to us the other day just up the road.  We watched and filmed a Cinnamon Blond who had come down to the stream for an evening drink.  At one point he sat down like a puppy and stared quizzically at us before he meandered off into the woods.  Our big black resident Bear returned and we had a chance to watch him for a good fifteen minutes.  Finally when we popped off the screen and opened the kitchen window, he caught wind of our scent and took off.  As for the Elk, They are big and healthy and as numerous as the humming birds this year.

For all the cursing and gnashing of teeth that takes place in the long winter months, so much more abundant is our appreciation of the richness of life here in the summer.  When we say that The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard, we mean it

Categories: Colorado, Photography, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Ancient City On The Hill

Pecos Mission Ruins on Glorieta Pass, N.M.

On the way home from a weekend getaway in Santa Fe, we deviated just far and long enough from I-25 to find some really interesting attractions that we will visit more deliberately sometime soon.  After hearing a bit about the Civil War Battle on Glorieta Pass, I hoped to scout the area, learn a little bit more about what is considered to be the “Gettysburg of the West”.  We only had about an hour or so to spare and rather than learning about the battle, we stumbled upon the very impressive Pecos Pueblo Ruins.

In a nutshell, the Pecos Indians began inhabiting the area as long ago as the 800’s and by the 1300’s had established a five-story Pueblo that housed as many as 2000 people.  This was apparently a major trading destination for the Plains Indians and the Spaniards and the Pecos people were known as the middlemen.  Ultimately, The Spaniards built a huge mission at the Pueblo with the intent of converting the Indians to Christianity.  This explains the odd combination of culture and architecture.  Basically, I learned just enough to be in danger of saying something really ignorant so that is where I’ll stop.  Tammy and I will definitely be going back soon so that we can learn more and share what we learn in our video series.

This is an interesting thought.  Just as we took an exit from I-25 to catch a glimpse of something really cool, so too did the travelers of the Santa Fe Trail take time out from their journeys to catch a glimpse of these ruins and learn about those who came before.

To learn more about the Pecos Ruins, visit the National Park Service website or our friends at Sangres.com.  It is such a great thing to live in a place where The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Back Yard.

Categories: Colorado, New Mexico, Photography, Tourism, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Shoot The Moon

“From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It’s not a miracle; we just decided to go” ~ Tom Hanks

Super Moon Rising Over East Spanish Peak

Our thanks to Joe Edens, Broker Associate at Bachman & Associates for letting us “shoot the moon” from his spectacular property

The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!

Moonrise over Colorado Hwy. 12, The Scenic Highway of Legends

Categories: Colorado, Photography, Tourism, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Exotic Beauty In Huerfano County

Working on a business profile video for the Bachman & Associates website and a tourism video featuring the scenic Highway of Legends simultaneously   has been a blast.  These projects have given us the opportunity to spend time out filming and photographing some of the most beautiful places in all of Colorado.  The landscapes in this region are exotically unique and ever changing with the seasons and the mood of the big wide open sky.

Categories: Colorado, Photography, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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