Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Eleven Mile Reservoir

The morning after Elizabeth's wedding there was a  lovely brunch.  We were able  to visit at length with several old friends for a few hours and got all caught up.
Bernie had made plans for us for the afternoon: getting "all caught up" with some Colorado trout!
We drove west of Colorado Springs to a place called Eleven Mile Reservoir.
It took us about an hour to get there; we had stopped by a fly fishing shop the day before and were advised that it would be just the place for fishing with a one day Colorado fishing license.
Some how we missed a turn off and wound up driving to the reservoir via a back road!
It was so pretty of a drive we really didn't mind.

When Bernie stop the car to... ahem... check the back wheel, as polite people used to say, I got out to stretch and we both spotted this mushroom at the same time.
Isn't it cool?
And how was it that we were able to spot this particular mushroom so quickly?

I wear a size nine shoe folks. 
That is one humongous mushroom!
It was the only one in the area, so even if we had known for a fact that it would be good eating we still would have left it there instead of picking it.

Once we got the river, Bernie took off to fish and I took off to hunt and shoot...with my camera that is.
There was a lot of bird song all around me. I tuned in and followed one particularly lovely song, and spotted this bird near by.

It had the prettiest song:

"swee-eet, swee-eet, swee-eet, peachy, peachy, peachy"

Once I got home I looked it up.
It was a MacGillivray's Warbler.
You can hear the bird's song on the link.
(For added fun: Be sure to have your cat nearby when you listen!)

I get the biggest kick out of photographing birds.

I wandered over to a marshy area next.

The dragonflies were guarding the area closely.

The air was filled with the scent of the wild roses that were blooming everywhere, even amongst the horsetail fern.

There were several kinds of dragonflies about; I really wanted a picture of the blue ones but they just would not land long enough for me to snap a picture.

I also wanted a picture of the redwing black birds that I could hear calling, but never got a clear shot of them either.

There is just something about marshlands that makes me feel like I am someplace almost holy. 
The light play amidst the cat tails, old and new, rival stained glass window glow to me.

One spent cat tail, I think it had somehow overwintered and appeared wizened against the new growth.

If you can, imagine the sound of:

frog croaking
blackbirds calling "cher-ree-ONK"
warblers warbling
dragonflies zinging
hummingbird wing whistles
river burble and chuckles.

Add the scent of wild roses, pine, and cedar and you will have in your mind a closer rendering of what I was experiencing as I took this picture.

See the wild roses?

The cottonwood was in its downy state above the river bed.

Bits of cottonwood fluff floated lazily about me as I walked and stalked.

Oh, a better view of where the river was in regards to the marsh.

(That's not Bernie....another fisherman was fishing in this shot. Bernie was fishing around the bend.)

I've learned a little bit about photographing butterflies now.
 The secret is to not let your shadow fall on the butterfly.

I think I might need a butterfly identification guide...anyone know what the name of this kind of butterfly?

Bernie was quite pleased with the fact that the Colorado stream was a lot warmer than the snow fed Utah streams.
I took his word on that....didn't even stick my finger into the water to verify.

Awww...baby pine cones.
I have to say it is much nicer walking around pine trees in the spring time; the new growth is quite tender, unlike in the autumn when the needles can really jab me as I walk about.

I couldn't believe how clear the water was.

That's Bernie wishing he had his waders so he could have gone farther out into the water.

Kind of tricky wading back through the grassy stream side.
Amazingly, while there was a heavy hatch of a flying insect, they buzzed about in the brush and didn't bother us unless we walked right up against the brush.
And unbelievably...NO mosquitoes!

The area map showed "Railroad Tunnels" along the riverside.
The tracks were long gone, but I could still see black smoke stain inside each of the tunnels.

Blooming grass, with each yellow flower smaller than a grain of rice.

It must have been a really scenic train trip long ago.

Since wild roses only bloom for about two weeks each year, I was especially thankful for the chance to wander about here while they were in full bloom.

Wasps like flowers too...

These flowers were blooming up against the park service provided rest rooms.
Seeing that many wasps nestled into the flowers was both beautiful and creepy.

Chip and Dale, of course.
(Thanks Vicki!)

Hikers had told Bernie that a rattlesnake had been spotted near where the chipmunks were exploring.
I walked over to the area, gingerly and carefully looking for the snake.
Didn't see it...and Bernie called me back, reminding me of the warning.
Five years ago if someone had told me I would go looking for a snake to photograph, I would have told them they were nuts.
of course!

What ho!
Bernie did catch a fish!

The reservoir area was "catch and release" only, so this fish lived to swim for another day.

What a great day.  It was around seven at night when we finally left to drive back to the hotel.  The insect hatches were getting pretty intense and we wanted to get back to Colorado Springs while it was still light.
(It remained light the whole drive back. I still am not used to the sun still being bright at nearly ten o'clock at night up here in the northern states.)


Sara at Come Away With Me said...

Wow, what a great little side trip! First, I want to say I recognize those aspen trunks but the trees look funny to me as I've only ever seen them ablaze with color in the autumn! They are sort of anticlimactic in their green clothing.

Second, what fantastic close ups you are getting of the flying critters around there.

Third...I forget! But I do love visiting the countryside with you in your photos (and it was great fun in person too...was that really 8 months ago!)...

Vee said...

Always a scenic delight visiting you. I enjoyed listening to the warblers song. It sounds similar to the warblers here. I always think "my" warblers sound as if a child was swinging a bit of plastic tubing very fast like a lasso. Cute chipmunks and for goodness sake, stay away from the snake.

ellen b. said...

Beautiful side trip for sure! Love those gorgeous reflection shots!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love Colorado (my second home) and all its scenic spots! Glad you didn'd find that snake..too dangerous!

PS: The borough ofi Brooklyn contains 2.5 million people ...I think most of them were in Coney Island for the 4th! :)

Vicki said...

I enjoyed this little outing with you and Bernie, as usual! Definitely stay away from the rattlesnake...a Texan tourist was bit by one yesterday here in Florida - imagine spending your vacation week in the hospital (his docs aren't allowing him to travel any sooner than Friday).

I'm working on that butterfly ID...do you realize how many different butterflies there are? I am amazed!!!

Lovella ♥ said...

Beautiful photos. ..I wonder if it is lighter yet here at 10 than where you were. We had a hard time convincing our grands it was bedtime since we have no black out blinds in the trailer.
It is always like nearly experiencing it myself when I see your photos.