Jay Ryser

Lakewood, United States

I’m primarily a nature photographer, usually wildlife, and I have lots of access to wildlife in Colorado. My main goal is to capture some...

What a fun day

It started a little after 4 a.m. so that I could get to Summit Lake for the sunrise and magic light. I thought the place was my own little playground until I ran into a couple of climbers who got an earlier start than me. As it turns out, I arrived a little late, but fortunately the sun was blocked by a cloud layer until I got set up. I almost felt like the world was put temporarily on hold until I got the remote release connected, and then, BAM!!, the sun broke through and bathed the rock face and lake with golden light. I couldn’t find the ND grad, but it was a small price to pay for magic. The light lasted only a few minutes, but in that brief time the light was glorious.

As I continued uphill, I ran in to a pair of marmots snuggling with each other – almost like they were kissing & nuzzling (I felt a little guilty about watching and even photographing them – it was very sweet in an anthropomorphic kind of way).

Next was a small group of female & baby bighorn sheep. I stopped to take a few hand held shots until one of the females made it clear she didn’t like me hanging around so close to the babies. I can take a hint, and backed off pretty quickly, but she pursued and even circled me – climbing up the face of a steep section in the process – before she backed off. This is the same bighorn in the LOCKING HORNS photo. She was a little irritable today.

Close to the summit I ran into the same herd of bighorns along with my usual group of mountain goats. It’s a treat to watch both species together. The set of new mountain goat twins trotted over to chase away a yearling bighorn twice their size, and then trotted back to mom’s side. As they were walking by, the larger of the twins ran up to within a few feet of me and let out a bleat. This was the same kid who did the same thing a few weeks ago (and whose picture is also in my portfolio). I haven’t seen him do that with anyone else – I wonder if he recognizes me? I do spend plenty of time around them. He stayed close to me for a minute or so until mom came trotting up and retrieved him. Too close to take a picture.

That’s one of the reasons I like wildlife photography over landscapes. I enjoy the connection. Once you spend some time with them you recognize individuals and get to know each one’s personality – and they do have unique personalities!

Instead of hanging around at altitude longer, I decided this had been a productive enough day and headed home.The morning passed all too quickly, but the satisfaction lasts. I still have a big dopey grin on my face as I write this.

Journal Comments

  • Mundy Hackett
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  • Marvin Collins
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  • Deborah  Benoit
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