That took a while

Marion and I hiked up Mt. Falcon Sunday. It took a little over 2 hours to reach the top, and a little less than 2 hours to get back down. Slower than we’ve hiked it before, but we’re both several years older since the last time, and we’ve suffered broken ankles (me) and broken feet (Marion) since then.

It was a beautiful day for a hike, and we both enjoyed it. I saw a fair number of birds, and got photos of a few. There were some Western Meadowlarks flying around near the parking lot, but they never settled down anywhere I could take a photo of them. There were several pairs of a brownish bird with a white band at the tip of their tales that were flying around the trail, or perhaps it was the same pair several times. They never perched anywhere in the open, and were more-or-less playing aerial tag like the meadowlarks. I presumed they were courting, and I don’t have enough information to identify them.

There were several pelicans flying high over the peak – at first, I thought they were balloons that someone had released at Red Rocks Amphitheater, which is just north of Mt. Falcon, but I noticed some slightly erratic motions and took a couple of photos. Out of focus, but fairly recognizable if you’ve seen American White Pelicans in flight before.

There were a few Rufous-Sided Towhees, one of which stayed in one location and sang, allowing me to get some good photos. I saw two hummingbirds, one of which stayed perched long enough for me to get a couple photos, a scrub jay, and a Scarlet Tanager that kept hopping around the interior of a couple trees, preventing me from getting any photos. I did get several photos of some Turkey Vultures that were flying around.

A good day, but I regretted the photos I missed. The title for the post references the fact that today is the first day my calves weren’t bothering me from overuse. The two hours of dance class I have tonight may bring a relapse, though. Gotta drive through the snow to get to class, though. It’s been snowing all day, and the forecast calls for snow though tomorrow. We had at least 4 inches of heavy, wet, snow at work, but it didn’t look like there was as much here at home.

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