Beginning with a rare sighting of Ute wild horses, last week’s trip to Mesa Verde was the most beautiful and captivating yet. We took our time over several days, did our own self-guided tours with no real plan and had gobs of wildlife sightings. The weather was just beginning to cool into the mid-70s, with autumn right around the corner. Gorgeous crisp blue sky days. Maybe because we dawdled, just got lucky or both, here is a photo essay of the animals we encountered, and natural beauty of the park …
The horses like to eat flowers and nudge each other in a dash to get to the daisies first. We photographed them from our car after a ranger reminded us that they are wild and they will charge at you. Good to know!
Shiprock on the Navajo Nation.
Thankfully we brought the zoom lens to take close-up photos without disturbing the animals. This little guy’s cheeks were full of seeds and nuts to hide away for winter.
This squirrel was perched atop a twenty foot tree … the trusty lookout of Morefield Campground.
“Nothing to see here. I am a rock.”
Sunset first night of our visit.
Hunting for pinion nuts.
Vulture by Spruce Tree House.
Buck eating flowers.
Indian Rice Grass.
Prickly pear cactus.
Mama mule deer hiding …
… and baby hiding in the distance.
This beautiful painting by Larry Eifert is on display at Chapin Museum (located on the lower east side of the park by Spruce Tree House) and has a key to identify plants and wildlife. The rangers and guides are also well educated and can answer virtually any question you may have.
Mesa Verde is a bucket list item we’ll be revisiting and checking off year after year. How lucky we are that it’s in our own back yard.
Amy & Mr.D
For information on park hours here is their website.
Far View Lodge information here.
Mesa Verde Notice on Observing Wildlife:
Remember that these are wild animals roaming freely in their natural habitat. Feeding these creatures is not only illegal, it is also harmful to their health. Use your binoculars and take pictures when you can, but keep your distance from them. At night one of these animals might scurry across the road in front of your car, so drive slowly and carefully.