High country summer - Part I

Some of my favorite photos from the first few weeks of summer in the Rocky Mountains. 

Mammals

The fox family [Red Fox,  Vulpes vulpes ] was back, with five kits.

The fox family [Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes] was back, with five kits.

"Silver fox" - an uncommon color variation of the Red Fox.

"Silver fox" - an uncommon color variation of the Red Fox.

Young deer on the Black Canyon Trail. 

Young deer on the Black Canyon Trail. 

Tassel-Eared Squirrel  [ Abert's Squirrel , C iurus aberti ].  The  C. aberti ferreus  subspecies that lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is all black - all of the other subspecies have a white belly.

Tassel-Eared Squirrel [Abert's Squirrel, Ciurus aberti].  The C. aberti ferreus subspecies that lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains is all black - all of the other subspecies have a white belly.

American red squirrel  [ Tamiasciurus hudsonicus] .

American red squirrel [Tamiasciurus hudsonicus].

Chipmunk. 

Chipmunk. 

Elk  [ Cervus canadensis ] move through the neighborhood early in the summer before they head up to the higher elevations.

Elk [Cervus canadensis] move through the neighborhood early in the summer before they head up to the higher elevations.

Birds

  Pygmy Nuthatch

 Pygmy Nuthatch

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Wild Turkey  [ Meleagris gallopavo ].  This image was shot before dawn, and therefore the colors are very muted.

Wild Turkey [Meleagris gallopavo].  This image was shot before dawn, and therefore the colors are very muted.

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Plants and Flowers

Pasque flowers kicked it off as early Spring bloomers. 

Pasque flowers kicked it off as early Spring bloomers. 

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Sticky cinquefoil,  Potentilla glandulosa .

Sticky cinquefoil, Potentilla glandulosa.

Sticky cinquefoil,  Potentilla glandulosa .

Sticky cinquefoil, Potentilla glandulosa.

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Landscapes

Sticky Geranium,  Geranium viscosissimum

Sticky Geranium, Geranium viscosissimum

Trees grow in a crack in Button Rock.

Trees grow in a crack in Button Rock.

Looking west towards Mt. Meeker and Long's Peak from Button Rock.

Looking west towards Mt. Meeker and Long's Peak from Button Rock.

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Fern Lake.

Fern Lake.

Aspens at sunrise.

Aspens at sunrise.

The Loch, Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Loch, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Loch Vale, with Timberline Falls in the distance, right of center.

Loch Vale, with Timberline Falls in the distance, right of center.

Panorama with Lake of Glass at left, and The Loch down below at right.

Panorama with Lake of Glass at left, and The Loch down below at right.

Clouds over the Continental Divide from near the top of Twin Sisters.

Clouds over the Continental Divide from near the top of Twin Sisters.

A view of "The Keyhole" - on the route to the summit of Long's Peak -  from Estes Cone.

A view of "The Keyhole" - on the route to the summit of Long's Peak -  from Estes Cone.

Milner Pass towards Mount Ida

A hike along the Continental Divide. 

This route starts at Milner Pass on the Continental Divide.  It climbs from about 10,500 ft. MSL to well above the tree line, towards the summit of Mt. Ida, at 12,280 ft. 

Starting point - Poudre Lake at dawn.

Starting point - Poudre Lake at dawn.

The route.

The route.

Ptarmigan in summer colors.

Ptarmigan in summer colors.

Elk graze at dawn.  "Nice rack!"  "Thanks - you, too."

Elk graze at dawn.

"Nice rack!"

"Thanks - you, too."

Yellow-Bellied Marmot.

Yellow-Bellied Marmot.

Front porch with a view.

Front porch with a view.

Many paths in addition to the human trail.

Chipmunks at play.

Chipmunks at play.

Transient
"Small Apollo" butterfly.

"Small Apollo" butterfly.

Looking from the Continental Divide over a few unnamed lakes towards Forest Canyon, with Trail Ridge and Trail Ridge Road in the distance.

Looking from the Continental Divide over a few unnamed lakes towards Forest Canyon, with Trail Ridge and Trail Ridge Road in the distance.

Rocky Mountain panorama.

Rocky Mountain panorama.

A rock rabbit, or Pica.

A rock rabbit, or Pica.

Transient
Transient
Transient
Storing up for the winter?

Storing up for the winter?

Mule deer.

Mule deer.

A mushroom bursts forth.

A mushroom bursts forth.

Many mushrooms burst forth.

Many mushrooms burst forth.

Transient
Transient