Thursday, January 14, 2010


(click on pictures to enlarge view)

Thursday, January 15, 2010, began cold and windless across Red Shin Standing Ground at John Martin Reservoir State Park.

Literally thousands of dark/Canada geese and many times more white/Snow geese littered the main lake of the reservoir as the sun broke through the horizon.

A white flurry of birds hover over the reservoir; a beautiful din of goose song is enjoyable, even at that distance from the shore.

As evidenced by the many signs posted throughout the park and wildlife areas, the shorelines are mostly off limits to everyone during waterfowl season.

Fire danger index registers only at medium today, probably due to the remaining splotches of snow left from our storm last week. But a lot of dry grasses and tall weeds in the area give heed to caution with any use of open flames. The quick, hard winds of the southeast Colorado high plains can kick up in a matter of minutes, creating potential disaster from even a small fire.

Though my little workhorse of a camera gives great shots in the near view, long-range shots are grainy and leave a lot to the imagination. Still, I thought these regal animals, silhouetted on the hill in the sunrise, were memorable and worth sharing. They wanted AWAY from me - even as far as this hill stood in relation to my parked car. This herd of sometimes up to 10 or more animals, call John Martin State Park their home.

At noon, January 15, 2010, water level at John Martin stood at 52,900 acre-feet. No water is being released; the stilling basin is quiet and frozen...mostly.

John Martin Dam stands tall on the high plains, keeping farmers supplied with water during the growing season and keeping southeast Colorado safe from flood-waters.

This reservoir and its surrounding lands offer beauty, recreation and a natural display unlike any other in the area. Nature abounds throughout the seasons offering water, wetlands, hiking trails, birding, boating, swimming, camping, fishing and picnicking, weather and park seasons permitting. Make a point to take your camera...and your spirit, for a treat; visit John Martin Dam, just south of Hasty, Colorado.

Nature prevails.

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