Critter Collection


Although I’ve dabbled over the years, I don’t consider myself a wildlife photographer by any means. I do however like to take advantage when an opportunity presents itself, and always enjoy observing animals in their environment. I have great respect for those who shoot wildlife well! It takes a lot of patience, skill and the right equipment. My equipment is geared for landscape shooting but I do have a long lens (a Sigma 150-600mm) and it is plenty sharp. On my full-frame camera, the animals are very often, still too far away. Unlike behavior you might see in places where the animals are used to visitors, here they are wild and scare easily. I’m often not quick enough, especially when my camera is set for landscapes and all wrong for fleeing subjects. Following are some of the critters I’ve had the good fortune to observe, out in the landscape.

A red-tailed hawk is captured at take-off with spruce needles and feathers flying!

‘Red-tail Take-off’ © Denise Bush
(Note the spruce needles in the air)

A red-tailed hawk perches in a spring tree against an aspen forest background.

‘Ready & Waiting’ © Denise Bush
(The background looks like I converted it to sepia but, not the case.)

A mule deer buck shows off his rack against a wintry background.

‘Hello Big Boy’ © Denise Bush

A mule deer doe Is coated in snow, blending in with the brush.

‘Hidden In Winter’ © Denise Bush

Some horses perk up and ask, "are you going to feed us"?

‘Horses In Fog & Snow’ © Denise Bush
(Are you here to feed us?)

A bear wakes up from a long winter’s nap to find some dandelions as a tasty little snack.

‘The Scent Of Dandelions’ © Denise Bush
(A tasty little snack after sleeping all winter.)

A 10 point bull elk turns to bugle to his herd.

‘Bull Elk Bugling’ © Denise Bush

Today is the day an elk calf learns to jump fences as mama coaxes.

‘You Can Do It!’ © Denise Bush
(Today Mama teaches Baby to jump a fence!)

A porcupine peeks from behind a branch it’s been nibbling high up in a tree.

‘Porcupine In Tree’ © Denise Bush

A young big horn sheep is at home on the rocks near Gunnison, Colorado in March.

‘At Home On The Rocks’ © Denise Bush

Three young bighorn sheep observe with caution.

‘Three Young Amigos’ © Denise Bush

A bull moose is spotted in a wet area near Silverton, Colorado.

‘Bull Moose In Wetland’ © Denise Bush

A bull moss is in his habitat among some red autumn willows in a wet area.

‘Landscape With Bull Moose’ © Denise Bush
(A bull moose seems to complete this autumn scene.)

61 Responses to “Critter Collection”

  1. 1 Deb

    I’m SO jealous!!! Especially the moose!!
    Only thing, there are no donkeys!! Lol

    Awesome as always!!

  2. Love the Red-Tail takeoff and the Porcupine shots. And the horses in the snow. Super!

    • Thanks Rich! I was pleased with the red-tail shot when I saw I captured the motion and flying spruce needles. I had to get out of the car and walk around to figure out what the porcupine was! It was nibbling on the tree bark.

  3. Oh wow! You’ve seen some amazing critters!!

    I never seen a porcupine! How neat that you have.

  4. For someone who doesn’t specialize in animal pictures, you’ve still gotten your share of good ones. You show excellent timing in the first photograph.

  5. Nice collection of wildlife photos…well done. (Suzanne)

  6. 12 Elizabeth Jackson

    Love the landscapes with the Moose. Of course the herd of horses in the snow grabs my attention. A porcupine now that’s a find. Great collection.

  7. Nice series, Denise. Wild and free!

  8. Great shots, as usual, Denise. I especially liked the porcupine in the tree.

  9. What a wonderful series, Denise. Love especially the horses, the three amigos 😄, the bugling elk and the final bull moose with its spectacular layers of colors. All great.

    • Thank you for looking Jane. Glad you like. This is a subject I could work on but for photography, doesn’t interest me as much as landscapes and relics. Take care and be well!

  10. Great pictures of these wild animals. I tried to get few pictures with birds around but I do not have patient. I appreciate the efforts for those photographers who shoot wild life. Again, fantastic!

  11. Terrific series, Denise.
    I’d love to see a porcupine. 😊

    • Thanks Belinda! Many seem surprised by the porcupine. It was my first time … alive and in the wild anyway! I didn’t know they climbed trees and ate bark. I was told that if they are in trees it’s usually spruce or pine.

  12. It’s so fun to photograph those wild critters! Great images! Love the baby goats, they are so cute!

    • Thank you Angie! Baby bighorn sheep … guess we’d call them lambs. That was over by Blue Mesa Reservoir. Got some from Badlands too but edited out of this collection.

  13. All beautifully captured, Denise, love the bear sniffing the flowers! 🙂

    • Thanks Donna … thought you especially would enjoy seeing that I do try my hand at critters from time to time. That bear was eating the flowers too!

  14. A Wonderful Collection Denise! My favourite is “Hello Big Boy”

    • The mule deer on the mesa where I live are the one critter around here that are somewhat used to people. They are on our property daily. We’ve had elk herds come through and even stay overnight too! Thanks for visiting … will visit your blog soon!

  15. Wonderful and truly amazing collection of photos. I love them all.

  16. 33 Joe Perno

    Beautiful images Denise.

  17. It’s so much fun to try something new, isn’t it. These are lovely.

    • Well this is nothing new really. In the beginning I shot more wildlife but just don’t seek it out any longer since I prefer landscapes and Americana. I’ve accumulated these over the last couple of years. Thanks very much for visiting Ruth!

  18. These are GREAT shots Denise! You can still see some ‘needles’ with the Red-tail take-off, and the Porcupine in the tree, and my favorite is the bear smelling the flowers! Wonderful!

    • Thank you! I was pleased that I was able to capture that hawk and the spruce needles in mid air … I’m usually not very successful capturing action. That bear was eating the dandelions too!

  19. Nice collection, Denise. The “Three Young Amigos” is delightful.

  20. 41 Vickie R Bush

    So wonderful Denise! Love the landscape with Bull Moose and Hawk!

  21. You may not regard yourself as a wildlife photographer, but those are amazing captures. Stunning! In particularly, I was fascinated by the porcupine in the tree.

  22. I too admire the skill of wildlife photographers. What great patience you also must have practiced to acquire these stunning captures, especially the eagle and the porcupine!

    • Thank you. When you spot them it’s easy to have patience because just watching them is fascinating. It’s the patience it takes to find, watch, waiting and be ready that’s difficult … for me anyway. (I’ll stick with mostly landscapes!)

  23. Nice. Even if you don’t consider yourself a wildlife photographer you’ve already fulfilled the most important criteria – being there. More than I can say…

    • I’m always going out and about looking for photographs. When I spot wildlife I like to give it a go. There were many fails I did not include … too far away or not interesting enough. Thanks for the visit and comment! Stay safe!

  24. You really capture some awesome shots. Love them…..can I say “Wow”!! I’m with you on the equipment part….I’m geared to landscape.

  25. Despite your hardware difficulties, you’ve got some nice shots here. I love the fawn + elk, and the Mountain Sheep are great. But the porky in a tree! I’ve never seen that. I know they do go up trees, but I’ve just never encountered one there. Oh, and that bear looks pretty scrawny. It must have been spring when you sprang upon him.

    • I felt so sorry for that poor little elk calf trying to join its mom on the other side of the fence. She finally jumped back over and let it get a drink and then demonstrated how to jump over again. Poor thing still couldn’t do it. It must have been the day to teach because I saw this with 2 other pairs! Yes, the bear sighting was in spring.

      • Life is tough for baby prey animals. I’m always amazed at how quickly they get to their feet and learn to run. But jumping…that’s a pretty substantial fence for such a little guy.

  26. I understand every point you make in the text, and I relate to a lot of it. Yet, what fun it is when you’re able to make a good photo of wildlife. The Porcupine ina tree is fantastic – what a treat it must have been to see that. And the moose in the landscape images are very appealing. I like the placement of the horses, high in the frame, and the paleness in that image. So, how many of those millions of needles on the ground were actually dislodged by birds and beasts? Interesting thought, thanks for pointing the flying needles out!!

    • Hi Lynn … thanks for your comment. The paleness in the horse image was lingering fog after a wet snow. It is fun and I will continue to shoot wildlife as I come upon it but it is most often not my goal when I set out.

  27. 60 Amy

    These are magnificent captures, especially the ones in snow.

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