The Visual West -- Image 8

 

This male American Kestrel took off before I could take a decent shot -- but I love the blurred movement  anyway. It reminds me of how mercurial  a March day can be, when a sunny morning gives way to afternoon snow showers, which clears to a star-studded night. The birds and other wildlife are as restless as the weather. In recent days I've watched lusty golden eagles spiraling up until they look  no bigger than a sparrow, and then, wings folded, plummet like arrows toward the ground in a ritual mating game. The elk herds that have hung out in our valley all winter have vanished, moving to higher ground as the snows melt.  This bull, however, was in no hurry; he and a few of his buddies soaked up the last rays of an early March sun in a rancher's hayfield outside Hotchkiss, Colorado.

To see other images of wildlife and the changing seasons, or to post your own, go to our Flickr group.

Paul Larmer, the executive director of High Country News, lives in Western Colorado.