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Some videos & photos about living at Collins Lake Ranch

It's happening at the Ranch . . .

CLRMFCCanoeingAtTheDock
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LegoWorksAtTheRanch
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HarvestingTomatoes
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BrothersOnDock
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Canadian Geese
Canadian Geese

This pair have been returning to the lake for years. At times, dozens of them may stop at the lake during migration. Sometimes they stay for extended periods of time.

Ground Squirrel
Ground Squirrel

Unlike chipmunks, ground squirrels have no stripes on their face. They can become accustomed to people, even tamed if attracted with food, but it's best to leave them alone. They deserve their space and freedom as much as anyone else.

Mule Deer Buck
Mule Deer Buck

Mule deer are shy and rarely spotted out in the open during daytime. Photo Courtesy of USFWS Mountain-Prairie

~ Sphingidae ~
~ Sphingidae ~

Commonly know as hawk moths, sphinx moths, and hornworms, they tend to arrive late in summer to feed upon fresh bull nettle blossoms and other flowers. Easily taken to be hummingbirds from a distance, they are just as harmless and beautiful flyers.

~ Ursus americanus ~
~ Ursus americanus ~

Yes, there are black bear in the region, and this is one reason several Great Pyrenees live at the Ranch. Aware of approaching wildlife of all kinds, they keep watch for bears in the area and bark to both raise an alert for humans and livestock as well as warn away intruders.

American Wigeon
American Wigeon

~ Anas americana ~ A dabbling duck which prefers shallow lakes and marshy sloughs surrounded by dry sedge-lined meadows and contain submerged vegetation. Photo by Scott Vail

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

If lucky, these beautiful butterflies can be spotted during their migration.

Tiger Salamander
Tiger Salamander

A sharp-eyed resident spotted this large salamander after the arena pad had been scraped and leveled. It survived without a scratch.

Rocky Mountain Columbine
Rocky Mountain Columbine

Finding patches of this flower can be a little tricky. They like secluded, moderately shady spots. Sometimes, a low place along a fence line is a good place to look.

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird

~ Sialia currucoides ~ This photo-bombing bluebird flew up just as I was taking the final frame of a panorama shot of the lake in late spring 2016. When I snapped the final frame, it swooped down and hovered in place for a moment as if investigating what was going on with the crazy human standing on top of his pickup truck. We share this symbol of happiness in the header of the home page to reflect our commitment to help others find meaningful happiness in their lives.

Elk Migrating In Early Spring
Elk Migrating In Early Spring

When the elk stroll through, we know springtime is finally here.

Horned Lizard 2015
Horned Lizard 2015

Sharp eyes can often spot horned lizards around the Ranch. This one appears to be a Short Horned Lizard, A harmless protected species, it's best to leave them alone.

Mountain Cottontail
Mountain Cottontail

Mountain Cottontails are deceptively tolerant of people wandering up close to them. But in an instant, they can vanish into the bush.

Wandering Garter Snake
Wandering Garter Snake

This beauty was spotted moments after Mountain Friends campers left the boat dock area for lunch. It must have been hiding until all of the commotion moved on.

Blue Flax
Blue Flax

~ Linum lewisii ~ Discovered and noted by Lewis & Clark in 1806, native tribes used its tough stems to make rope and other useful items. A perennial tufted plant, with slender, leafy stems, bearing loose, much-branched clusters of large, delicate, sky blue flowers which bloom all summer. Funnel-shaped when they open in the morning, flowers flatten as the day progresses and are dropped the following day. Found on prairies; open, rocky woods; mesas; dry hillsides; coniferous forests; meadows.

Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Phoebe

The Phoebe hunts on the wing, catching its prey–gathering several clamped in its beak each flight–while flying at breakneck velocities and making incredibly abrupt vector changes.

Common Snapping Turtle
Common Snapping Turtle

~ Chelydra serpentina ~ This male turtle and possibly another female one live in the lake and every summer migrate across dry land to some unknown location. We only see it when it's crossing the road and this photo was taken at dusk during his annual migration.

Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly
Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly

These beautiful nectar feeders appear late in summer when the bull nettle bloom.

Collins Lake Ranch Museum Of Natural Science

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