Sunday, February 05, 2006

Tracking Moose

Our stay at Breckenridge ended and we took three days to visit the western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Mostly it was an opportunity for Mary Ann to take more winter pictures, but I enjoyed the white landscape, the stillness, and the tracks in the snow.

One thing about living with a photographer is understanding that lighting is important. It that means waking up an hour before dawn day after day so that she could be out in front of the mountains, tripod already set up, when the sun comes up -- then that's what we have to do. Of course, the weather didn't co-operate any of the days we were there, but that didn't stop us.

There is another advantage that comes from pre-dawn excursions into the park as well. We were there before the snow plows. The night's snows had covered the landscape and smoothed out all tracks the human activity. But the animals had been there before us, and we could see clear evidence of where the moose, and the showshoe hares, the coyotes, and the weasels had been. At least the moose were large and dark, and we could see them in person. The others left their little stories in ways we had to interpret.

It was great fun tracking the wildlife, and collecting evidence of their hidden lives. If we'd stayed longer, soon enough we would have been able to predict where to find them live and in person. But, time was short, and we were off to Mary Ann's event in Denver.

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