Bill and I headed out on our most challenging hike yet - in Cheyenne Mountain State Park. We heard there was a nest of Golden Eagles at the far southwest corner of the park - a 3.5 mile hike with an elevation of over 1200 feet.
As we started out on the trail, we passed dozens of Prairie Dogs.
A little further along the way we saw this Pygmy Nuthatch skipping from branch to branch in a pine tree. These birds are tiny - just over 4 inches.
Almost as big as the nuthatch was this giant bumble bee.
Another tiny bird - a Black-chinned Humming-bird. At just over 3 inches, it is the smallest bird in Colorado. Please take note of the color of the sky in the background.
This picture shows the iridescent green on the back of the Black-chinned Humming-bird. His throat is black but looks violet blue in the sun.
Our hike was going well. We were getting tired, but wanted to see the Golden Eagles. This is a White-breasted Nuthatch we saw along the trail.
Western Spotted Towhees were everywhere.
Bill took this picture of a small variety - or baby - squirrel. Cute.
I think this is a Chipping Sparrow. We were having a great time!
Look at this beautiful view! I took this picture when we were almost to the top of the trail. We would be at the Eagle lookout point in about half an hour!
Once we reached the top all we needed to do was go around the bend. It was then that the thunder and lightening started. A huge black cloud was crossing the mountain. I think it was lightening strike that was too close for comfort - not to mention the hail - that convinced us we had better turn back and head down the mountain. Cameras went into the backpack, I put on the bright yellow rain poncho that I got at the Dollar Store and we scurried back to base - where the sun was shinning. Maybe we will see the Golden Eagles another day.