Status Quo

Bull Moose in the Colorado Rocky Mountains
Shiras Bull Moose – North Park, Colorado

I’ve been working off grid for a while now, but I’ve returned from Northern Colorado and my annual North American Nature, Wildlife & Landscape Photographers group moose photography trip. Another great year with excellent photographers.

As the moose photography season winds down, I’m not certain I’ll be back to the wilderness for more moose. I’ve been keeping a close eye on road closings in the moose area and if something changes in the next two weeks, I may make another run at the moose. As for the group trip, I made about 1,500 photos and have been able to glean about 35 good stock shots from the effort. There are probably another 5-10 shots on the hard drive, but I haven’t sifted through everything yet.

Despite the threat of flash flooding, and the effects of large portions of the moose habitat having been destroyed by last summer’s Cameron Peak Wildfire, we managed to find what we were looking for. The moose appear to be unaffected for the most part, having relocated their activity to areas of their choosing. Moose are tough and resilient animals.

Moose Cow, up close and personal
Shiras Moose Cow, Up Close And Personal

My kit this year consisted of two camera bodies and three lenses. I tried to keep it simple and it worked out fine. I used a Nikon D850 with the Nikkor 200-500mm VR attached, the Nikon D810 with a Nikkor 70-200mm VR lens and kept a Nikkor 24-70mm VR in the bag for wide angle shots. We moved out of moose camp at 5 am each morning and were generally back to camp by 9 pm each evening. 16 hour days that didn’t really feel like too much work, but we did get tired and managed a little mid-day downtime. I paid for it when I made it home though. The fatigue was evident and it required a few days of sleeping in and extra nap time to get fully recovered from the rigorous schedule.

For transportation during the trip, we managed to keep it to one vehicle for the most part, using my 2010 Ford Explorer. It held four people and gear with enough room to stay comfortable. Having been recently overhauled, the Explorer did well. It proved to be reliable and capable of handling the environment with no effort.

Photograph of a moose cow and calf
Mother And Calf Feeding The Willows in North Park, Colorado

On a side note, I have a little sadness over our Red Feather Lakes neighbors having sold their place next door. They were packing out while I was there, and they came to our home in Littleton to spend a little time before they were off on their new adventure of moving to Indiana. We had three good years as neighbors and lots of laughs together. I hope to see them again some day as they will be living not far from my home town of Louisville, Ky. God’s Speed, Lisa and Randy. Trudy and I have enjoyed your company and friendship.

My next adventure will be over Labor Day weekend when I’ll be chasing the Union Pacific “Big Boy” steam train across Southern Kansas and Eastern Colorado. Union Pacific steam has been fairly inactive since the pandemic began, but they have the “Big Boy” out on a grand tour of the Midwest this month. Since I love trains, I’ve scheduled a run across the prairie to photograph it.

So there you have it. The Status Quo.