Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park in Autumn




The 100th Anniversary celebrations of Rocky Mountain National Park began this year in September, with special events held each month until next September, and my husband and I felt that visiting the park again on our 40th wedding anniversary would be a fun thing to do! I want to thank everyone for all their well wishes on our anniversary and my husband's retirement on that post--you made our celebrations even happier with all your nice comments!

Autumn's full tree and shrub color begins early in the higher elevations of Colorado in September, but we hoped there would still be some color in early October......


....and, happily, we were not disappointed! 

There were still many aspen trees on the lower part of the park in full leaf.


They made a beautiful necklace around the lowest perimeter of the park leading towards Longs Peak


The spectacular Rocky Mountain vistas are breathtaking, but autumn colors along the way made this visit to the park an extra special treat.




We were fortunate that there had also been a snowfall on the high mountain peaks the week before, that made them also look even more defined and beautiful!


Everywhere we drove there were autumn trees to light our way.


The first day we entered the park, we stopped at one of the large meadows towards the late afternoon, as we knew the elk rut season was still in progress, and we hoped to see some elk herds gathered there. The first meadow we stopped at was in the Moraine Park section.  We saw a large elk heard in front of the Stanley Hotel the day before in Estes Park--click here to read that post and see a couple ghosts-- but seeing the elk in Rocky Mountain National Park is always a treat, as they are in a more natural environment.


Again, we were not disappointed!


We watched this herd from afar as the elk bull paid careful attention to his harem of females and young juveniles.  He also entertained us with quite a few bugle calls--click here if you'd like to see a youtube of an elk bugling!

The fencing in the backgrounds of some of the photos above is an effort by RMNP to conserve some of the trees and vegetation from the ever growing elk population. The entire report about this effort can be read here.


We were excited to see two young bulls practicing their dueling skills in the meadow. When they are mature adults they will be able to attract females by proving their superior physical strength as part of the mating ritual, by challenging other bucks and winning the duel.  Some bulls will even fight to the death!


Also delightful for us on our first day in the park, was taking a few strolls along aspen trails.  The wind rustling the quaking aspen tree leaves is such a beautiful sound!  Would you like to hear it? Then please go to my blog's facebook page at this link, and you will!  I posted a short video there. It was quite windy the first day we were in the park. I hope you will also look around at other things on my facebook wall as I always try to share uplifting and interesting things I find on facebook, as well as blog updates and personal things.  I also have an Instagram page which you can access on this link. I am amazed by all the wonderful photos I am finding on Instagram, and connecting with people through photography.

I have more to show you about our autumn visit to Rocky Mountain National Park on future posts. It's a big National Park!

If you'd like to read a more detailed trip we took through the park last year--we traveled the entire Trail Ridge Road through the park, which is the highest continuous paved road in the United States--you can click these links: RMNP Part One, RMNP Part Two, RMNP Part Three.

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47 comments:

bj said...

Oh my goodness...your photos of this beautiful country are awesome..you should work for Natl. Geo. Magazine....:)

Ola said...

These Amereican parks are really a place I would love to visit-miracles of nature!

eileeninmd said...

Pat, gorgeous photos of the park.. The trees are beautiful. And I love seeing the Elk.. Great post, have a happy day!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I am having major Autumn envy. Great photographs.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

It's absolutely gorgeous there in the fall. Your photos would make great post cards Pat. Your shots of the elks practicing their dueling skills is incredible timing. It's as if they are putting on a show especially for you guys.
Sam

ladyfi said...

Oh my - such a beautiful part of the world you live in.

damickey said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. The change of seasons is just gorgeous!

The Furry Gnome said...

Spectacular scenery!

Amy Burzese said...

Such a gorgeous place. Aren't we fortunate to live in the great USA. Congratulations on your 40th!

From the Kitchen said...

Autumn is lovely in your area! Here too but no mountains. I usually go back to my home in Virginia for the autumn colors in the valley and surrounding mountains. This year, I'll be staying in the midwest so will have to make do with photos. Thanks!

Best,
Bonnie

Betsy Adams said...

Awesome post... I love seeing the Aspens and your photos --with those snowy mountains in the background are TERRIFIC. Makes me wish I were there...

Don't think you have mentioned going up Old Falls River Road in RMNP... Maybe you have --but if not, do it... It's fantastic (but closed in the winter)... We like it better than Trail Ridge Road.

We saw elk there where you did --and we sat and watched them for a LONG time... Amazing...

Hugs,
Betsy

Pamela Gordon said...

Beautiful and stunning views! Reminds me of the Canadian Rockies as well. I like the golden trees against the backdrop of softwoods and the mountains.

happywonderer said...

So much beauty and amazing landscapes and animals to see in your new part of the world!

Margaret said...

Hi Pat, Breathtaking photos of Rocky Mountain National Park! I loved the beautiful memory photo of you and Vinny at the beginning of your post. The elk are amazing! My husband and I saw elk and moose in the Yukon five years ago. Coming back soon to revisit your detailed post of last year! Wishing you and Vinny a good weekend! I'm off tomorrow to join my friend to attend the opening of the Forbidden City exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Saturday our first Arts Club theatre show of the season at Granville Island. My daughter will be visiting the real Forbidden City in Beijing this week! Margaret from B.C.

Linda Kay said...

Pat, I so enjoyed your photos of the mountains...we love to travel where we can see them.

Barb said...

Now I really want to go there next fall! You visited at an portion time - love the elk herds in the meadow. Great photos, Pat.

Betty said...

I know this sounds crazy, but some of those pictures don't look real. They almost look like a painting. Too pretty to be real. (Guess I've lived at sea level for too long.)

Your husband retired? That's wonderful. Have fun and Happy Anniversary too!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Just so beautiful...especially in fall!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Your photos are beautiful Pat. Those animals are majestic, which matches the majesty of those mountains. I loved your short video of the quaking aspens, and got a chance to see them close up on my recent trip to the n'tl parks at Bryce and Zion.

Susan Anderson said...

Wonderful photo journey through one of our most beautiful national parks.

Thanks!

=)

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Gorgeous scenery Pat. Boy, the bull elk sure has a huge rack of antlers - imagine another having to duel with him!
Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

Snap said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. The elk is my totem animal ... love!

Cindy said...

These are pretty amazing pictures you have taken and captured the beauty of the land. The past few days have been amazing for picture taking. I like the colours as we drive the roads on our road trip across. Rut Season is now? hum I'd not want to meet up with one of those and the size of their rack.

Veronica Roth said...

That's beautiful country! Very much like the Rockies here in Canada. Lucky to see the beautiful herd. I was in Banff a couple of years ago and a really big elk was walking right thru town! Amazing sight.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

Wow! AMAZING shots, Pat. I love the scenery, but gee whiz, those elk photos floor me. I love that you're sharing so much of the state I love and adore... but have been unable to see much of this fall. Thank you!!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

You must have tried to link in the same time as others because you ended up linking in 3 times! Not to worry; I fixed it.

This is a gorgeous and informative post, and I'm glad you managed to get 'er done. Isn’t it fun finding blue?

Happy Blue Monday!

J said...

I really enjoyed this post because it brought back all the great memories of our week's time in CO. I got so used to the comforting presence of the mountains, that when I returned home to Michigan I had an uneasy feeling that "something" was missing for several weeks! Your beautiful scenes are exactly what I remember!

Joy H said...

Beautiful photos of an amazing park. I was there once when I was about 18 with my Mom and Dad. Memories! Have a great week!
Joy@ Books and Life

Lorrie said...

I like your description of the aspen trees as a necklace around the base of the mountain - very poetic. Gorgeous elk, too.

Donna said...

What a gorgeous spot...I will be in CO next year in October for a wedding so I have marked this spot down.

Anna-Karin Eriksson said...

Wow, so many beautiful photos! Looks like a place I would really like to visit!

//Scaniatjejen
http://www.scaniatjejen.se

Corinne Vail said...

Pat, I love this post. I love all the elk and the valleys and mountains and scenery. It looks like such a great place to celebrate your anniversary! Thanks also for linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration. Hope to see you again next week!

Laura said...

Beautiful scenes! Wishing you a very happy 40th Anniversary!

Kc W said...

Spectacular pictures and so different from the current scenery in California -- where we never have pretty colored leaves. Thank you for sharing Colorado with us.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Wonderful scenes.

Jan Robinson said...

Talk about change of life. NYC to Denver Wow. Both beautiful. We've only been to the Rocky Mountains in Canada but these photos show just how majestic they are all over. We love elks too. I saw a documentary about the elks and the forests.

Mary Cromer said...

Don't you just LOVE love the Rocky Mountains? I have been several times and the area just never lets one down from nature, wildlife, landscapes, all natural beauty at it's finest!

Bonnie said...

Your pics are gorgeous. You could publish a coffee table book. They are spectacular.

The autumn scenes are so beautiful. I know it was breath taking!

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Breathtaking....

Marie said...

Really incredible shots! I HAVE to go back in the fall some time! Beautiful color, and mountain views, and I love the elk photos! Happy belated anniversary, by the way. We celebrated 45 last May...spent a weekend at Madera Canyon in a b&b getting some great bird watching shots.

Sue/the view from great island said...

Oh Pat what a thrilling post --- I am so jealous of this trip, and of the lovely part of the country you are now living in...

Margaret Adamson said...

A a completely sunning post with fantastic scenery glorious fall colours and great Elk sightings and shots. Have a great week ahead.

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Gorgeous scenery. The elk are magnificent.

eileeninmd said...

Hello Pat, stopping back to say thanks for sharing your post with my critter party. Have a happy Sunday!

Claudia said...

I've never been out west in the autumn. Looks like it's a must-do - just beautiful. I imagine that every time you turn - there's a new view. Love the elk! That one buck has a spectacular set of antlers. So impressive and gorgeous!

Linda W. said...

Nice photos of the elk, and great fall colors.

thesegreenwoods said...

Such pretty views.