Wednesday wanderings

Painted Mines Interpretive Park. Colorado. August 2010.

Today feels like a good day to wander around in the archives a little.  You never know where it might lead.

The "painted" version. Processed in Photoshop and Picnik.

For this post, my wanderings took me back to Colorado in August of 2010.  Specifically to Painted Mines Interpretive Park in Calhan, Colorado.  The Painted Mines are located on the Colorado eastern plain approximately 30 miles east of Colorado Springs.  I’ve mentioned Painted Mines in previous posts (and wanderings through the archives).

One of the things I loved most about the plains of Colorado was the spaciousness.  The sky is huge and seems to stretch out forever.

M and I were there on a day when storms were whipping through so the clouds give it more of a closed feeling than when the sky was clear and blue and wide open.

You have to hike the path shown above to get to the mines.  I’ll bring you some more photos of the trails and maybe the mines next week.  Or tomorrow if I’ve nothing new to show you.

We had a visitation here in the Bogs this morning.  Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of blackbirds were in the air, on the ground, and in the trees.  It looked like a scene out of Hitchcock’s film The Birds.

It is very difficult to capture such an event in a photograph.  Even video didn’t work out well.  I decided to go ahead and post some photos (all of them processed to some degree in Photoshop and Picnik) just so you can get a general idea of what it was like.

They didn’t seem to mind me standing on the balcony, struggling to get a good shot of them all.  At one point thousands of them took off and flew straight towards me which was, of course, about the time I had turned off the camera and decided to enjoy the show.

The sound of so many birds in flight is incredible.  The best way I can think of to describe it is as a quiet whooshing of millions of feathers.

Their chatter was pretty amazing too.

I would like more practice at trying to capture such a large number of birds.  I think my mistake was in going too wide.  I might have been better off zooming in and going for the patterns and abstract quality, something a little like the following photo which hasn’t had much processing done to it (resized for the web, sharpened a little, adjusted contrast a bit).

That’s it from the Bogs for today.  Thank you so much for dropping by and joining me (and the blackbirds) on my wanderings.  After the birds took off, the snow flurries arrived, but didn’t amount to more than a dusting.  If the trend from this winter continues, that means it will warm up again soon.

Happier of happy though I be, like them I cannot take possession of the sky, mount with a thoughtless impulse, and wheel there, one of a mighty multitude whose way and motion is a harmony and dance magnificent.

~ William Wordsworth

19 Comments on “Wednesday wanderings”

  1. Pat Bean says:

    It was an awesome wander. Thanks.

  2. Dana says:

    That’s amazing! Even though I can imagine how difficult it was to take even semi-decent photos of these birds, your pictures definitely give a sense of how many they were and how “in motion” they were, too! What an incredible experience– thanks for posting these! 🙂

  3. tedgriffith says:

    Wonderful, Robin! I think that the last 2 shots really cature the essence of the birds for me. 🙂

  4. jeanne says:

    Thanks for the warm summer breeze and the aerial show.

  5. wow. From wide open spaces to the air filled with blackbirds. Incredible wandering today. So glad I stopped in.

  6. Absolutely amazing photos, Robin! And I love your description of the what the birds sounded like–“whooshing of a million feathers.”

  7. milkayphoto says:

    Oh my – that’s ALOT of birds! It is difficult to capture such a sight, especially when you don’t know it is coming!

  8. WoW! I love the BIG sky in the first set! Breathtaking!

  9. aFrankAngle says:

    Interestingly, when people think of Colorado, mountains come to mind … although the state has a large area of plains.

  10. ladyfi says:

    Wow wow wow! I’m impressed with these incredible shots of the birds!

  11. Sallyann says:

    The painted version of the first shot has taken away the barbed wire, lovely.
    And I really like the shot of just the birds over the tree, especially through the looking glass at the end. 🙂

  12. Wow – these shots are so cool!! It must have been an amazing sight to see all those birds together. I love what you did with the last shot! 😉

  13. Kathy says:

    Isn’t it wonderful to wander among the archives? I can’t pick a favorite although–OK–maybe that last one wins. So many beautiful shots. Gosh, Robin, your photos are always so beautiful to pause beside.

  14. Carla says:

    Wow, wow, wow! Your own murmuration! So beautiful! Not to mention the beautiful photos at the beginning of the post – grasses and fences and wildflowers – lovely!

  15. Robin says:

    Thank you so much everyone. I’m glad you enjoyed the brief trip to Colorado as well as the birds. And thank you, Carla, for the word “murmuration.” I love it. 🙂

  16. Robin, I love the blackbird photos – how amazing that must have been! It made me think of a great video on YouTube of a “murmuration” of starlings. Here’s the link:

  17. […] started to show and tell about the Paint Mines in this post back in February, and then forgot about it.  I am hoping my memory will be good enough to allow me […]

  18. […] Wednesday wanderings ( […]

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