All posts by Robert Winslow

For some reason you have to double click on the photo in order to get the proper paragraph spacing. In 1971 Robert hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. By completing this 2000+-mile journey, he became just the 36th person to have walked the entire trail continuously in one year. Along the way, Robert carried an old Argus C-3 camera that he borrowed from his grandfather. It had no light meter so Robert wrote down all of his exposures in a notebook so that he could learn the best camera settings for different light conditions. Upon completion of the Trail, Rodale Press contacted Robert to contribute to a book called “Hiking the Appalachian Trail”. One of his photos appeared on the cover of the second volume along with thirteen other photos on the inside. While Robert was completing his graduate work in biology, he entered a photo contest run by Nikon and won a fourth place. Later, while teaching at Idaho State University, Robert took photography courses in the Art and Journalism departments. At this time, he also began teaching nature photography classes. Robert is an internationally known nature photographer with thousands of published images. He holds a master's degree in Biology and taught Outdoor Education and Wilderness Studies as a full time faculty member at Idaho State University for six years. Since moving to Durango in 1981, Robert has been a full time freelance photographer. His work has appeared in/on many books, magazines, gift items and in over 20 different calendars in one year. His photos have been used in national ad campaigns by such diverse entities as Adobe, Amtrak, The National Audubon Society, The National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy and Phillips Petroleum. Several of Robert’s photos are in a new video presentation produced by the WildEarth Guardians and narrated by Alan Arkin to facilitate efforts to protect and restore wolves. The 2011 International Wolf Center Calendar was exclusively Robert's photos. He has won numerous photo awards including Grand Prize winner in the National Wildlife Cover Photo Contest out of over 10,000 entries. He is also the First Place Winner in the Wildlife Category In Outdoor Photographer's Magical Adventures Photo Contest. Robert has run customized individual and private group photo tours to select locations around the world for over 20 years. He is semi-retired from leading these tours so please contact Robert directly if you are interested in traveling to Kenya or other locations. Robert is currently retired from teaching advanced photography programs for The Mountains and Plains Institute for Lifelong Learning and Service. Since 1981 Robert has lived in Durango, Colorado where for some unknown reason he is included in a list of Famous Faces of Durango at He has been married to the amazing Marilyn S. Leftwich, PhD since 1987. Contact information Robert Winslow Robert Winslow Photo, Inc. Mail: PO Box 334 Durango, CO 81302-0334 Courier: 235 Oak Road, Rafter J Durango, CO 81303-7655 Phone: 970-259-4143 Email: Robert's Facebook address: Bob and Marilyn's personal website:

Total Solar Eclipse ———— 21 August, 2017

Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Over two years ago, I contacted friends Milt and Kathleen May, living near Driggs, Idaho,  and informed them that the center line of a total solar eclipse of the sun was going to pass directly over their house on August 21, 2017 and could we please come and park our camper in their yard.  Milt and Kathleen were not aware of the event, but enthusiastically offered up their hospitality.  Since then, of course, the whole Teton Valley which is located on the western slope of the Teton Mountain Range – and indeed the whole country – eventually became abuzz with eclipse fever.

Marilyn, Duffy and I drove our camper up through Colorado, Utah and Wyoming with a brief stop in the Tetons. Eventually we ended up in Idaho where Milt and Kathleen were the most gracious and welcoming of hosts.  Friends soon arrived from Colorado, Oklahoma and California and a splendid festive time was had by all.

Two days before the eclipse Marilyn, Duffy and I hiked the Teton Canyon Overlook trail starting out from base of the Grand Targhee Ski Area and ended with a grand view of the Tetons to the East.

Mariliyn and Duffy with Grand Tetons in the Background 9872

To photograph the different phases of the eclipse, I bought a 92mm solar filter from Thousand Oaks Optical. This filter fit on my Kowa TSN 833N angled 88mm Prominar spotting scope with a 25-60x eyepiece.  I attached a Canon 70D to the scope using a special adapter.  In addition, I bought a step up ring so that the filter could also be used on my Canon 100-400mm with a Canon 7D camera.

Here’s first contact taken through the Kowa spotting scope:

Total Solar Eclipse 9891W1WM
First Contact, Total Solar Eclipse, Prior to Totality, August 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America

Here are a couple of more images as the eclipse progressed:

Total Solar Eclipse 9896W1WMTotal Solar Eclipse 9898W1WM


The following photos were taken with the Canon 100-400mm lens

Total Solar Eclipse 9002W1WMTotal Solar Eclipse 9021W1WMTotal Solar Eclipse 9030W1WM

And this one was taken seconds before totality:

Total Solar Eclipse 9046W1WM

For totality, Marilyn unscrewed the solar filter on the 100-400mm lens while I kept photographing.  Here’s a few images of the Diamond Ring Effect (also called Bailey’s Beads) as totality occurred.  This phenomena occurs when the moon covers the sun, but some sunlight streams through the craters and valleys of the moon’s surface.  You can also notice solar flares in the top right.

Total Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring 9062W1WM
Diamond Ring at beginning, Total Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America
Total Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring 9063W1WM
Diamond Ring at beginning, Total Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America
Total Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring 9064W1WM
Diamond Ring at beginning, Total Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America

Here are a few other exposures taken during totality with the 100-400mm lens

Total Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North AmericaTotal Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America

During totality I was also able to take photos with my Canon 500/f4 lens with a Canon 1.4 adapter with a Canon 70D camera.

Total Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North AmericaTotal Solar Eclipse, Auguat 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America

The last photo also shows another Diamond Ring Effect as totality ended:

Total Solar Eclipse Diamond Ring 9921W1WM


Here are a few photos taken after totality showing the moon moving off of the sun’s disc:

Total Solar Eclipse ending 9926W1WMTotal Solar Eclipse ending 9906W1WM

Ending of Total Solar Eclipse 9104W1WM
This one was taken with the Canon 100-400mm lens

And here is a final image showing the last little bit of the moon in front of the sun:

Last Contact Total Solar Eclipse 9949W1WM
Ending of Total Solar Eclipse, August 21, 2017, Driggs, Idaho, USA, North America

After a delicious lunch, we packed up and headed home since I was scheduled to fly to Africa on the 25th.  About 5 miles north of Idaho Falls we hit stop and go traffic.  We then became enmeshed in an epic exodus of eclipse viewers headed south on Interstate 15.  It took us about eight hours to go 80 miles.  We finally ended up staying in our camper at a truck stop south of Pocatello, Idaho.

Here are a few photos taken at a rest area south of Idaho Falls.  One photo shows the line of people for the restrooms and the other shows the line of cars on the Interstate.

Line for restrooms 9964bW1WM
Driving home after total eclipse, Line for the bathroom at rest area south of Idaho Falls, ID on Interstate 15
Traffic after total solar eclipse on Inerstate 15 south of Idaho Falls, Idaho
Traffic after total solar eclipse on Inerstate 15 south of Idaho Falls, Idaho


An Enjoyable day of Photography and Hiking (not only that it was my Birthday)

The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.  – Rachel Carson

Marilyn was out of town so in the morning I spent a bit of time watching and photographing a pair of House Wrens.  They are very common birds, but their behavior was really interesting.  The male prepares several preliminary sites with nests that are not completed. He sings, attracts a mate and then she goes around and checks out the nesting sites, chooses one and later finishes the nest with a softer lining.  Several days ago they were at one nesting box on my property, the next day a different one, and then back to the first nesting box.

What was really interesting was that one of them (I think the male) would bring sticks to the box to make the nest.  When it arrived at the hole in the nest box the stick was much too long to get in the hole.  To get the stick in the hole it would either turn its head sideways so that one end of the stick would pass into the hole or it would juggle the stick in its bill so that it was no longer holding the stick in the middle, but rather further down on one end which was now shorter. It could then pass the shorter end through the hole and into the box.

For some reason I found the whole (hole!!!) experience fascinating.  Each stick presented a new challenge and it was interesting to see how this most common of birds handled each new problem.

I nicknamed the female Sophia La Wren and the male Christopher Wren.
And then in the afternoon Duffy and I did our Tom and Atticus thing.
Duffy Running 9416W1WM
Duffy Feeling Frisky and Running
We hiked up on snow to Andrews Lake (elevation 10,744ft) and a bit beyond.
Duffy at Andrews Lake 9407W1WM
We had the mountains all to ourselves and didn’t see another person during the entire hike.

Are you ready to go home, my friend?” With that he turned from the river where he had been staring off into the distance, and he entered the shadowy path through the forest. He was headed for home and the bed by the open window. That’s where he always slept and where the night noises came and went until the light of a new day crept over the eastern mountains and slowly spread across the sky leaving the shadows one finds in the beginning, and not at the end. – Tom Ryan

Duffy Hike to Andrews Lake 9402W1WM

Elk in the ‘hood

The local community must understand itself finally as a community of interest – a common dependence on a common life and a common ground.  And because a community is, by definition, placed, its success cannot be divided from the success of its place, its natural setting and surroundings: it soils, forests, grasslands, plants and animals, water, light, and air.  The two economies, the natural and the human, support each other; each is the other’s hope of a durable and livable life.  – Wendell Berry

Every night, before going to bed, I always get up, turn off the heat and check the outside to see what the weather is doing and what animals might be hanging around.

Upon looking out the South windows, I noticed a series of tracks cutting across the meadow below the house.  It was then that I saw the rumps of six elk gathered under a pinyon pine to the Southeast.  They were there for only about 10 minutes before moving off.

We’ve seen much larger herds of elk from the house a number of times, but they are always “across the way” in the Bodo Wildlife Area, but this was the first time we’ve seen them here at the house – and the first recorded on the trail cam.

The trail cam photo shows that it is still set for Daylight Savings Time.  (My negligence).  The vertical streaks are caused by snow falling.


 The color photo was taken at ISO 10,000 through a  window and was lit by two floodlights to the South.

Elk, Cervus canadensis, La Plata County Colorado, USA, North America
Elk, Cervus canadensis, La Plata County Colorado, USA, North America

“Over days, years and generations, animals roam. They look for food, mates and new territories to inhabit. They roam seasonally as food sources change. They move to survive local disasters. They move to survive the winter and to find locations with enough food to fatten up for breeding and raising young. They roam over several generations, repopulating decimated habitat or settling new areas. Living things move out of necessity. In many cases they must migrate or they will perish. Migration and motion are the nature of nature; native species cannot survive over time in the islands of habitat we have allotted them. In the world of nature, it is essential that things flow.” – Susan Eirich

Happy New Year!!!

Our Active Ungulate Neighbors

Active ungulate interaction outside our windows on a Winter’s morn.  (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Audrey and the Invisible – a very short story

I just came across this in an old file folder.   Hand-written many years ago – probably sometime when I was in my 20s or 30s.

Climbing Gear

Somewhere out and about halfway past the security bolt, amidst the swirling storm, Audrey snuffed it out.  Brand new EBs and all. She lost it. She popped her pieces under a ragged roof and zippered the overhang.

 As I look back now, I can remember the kaleidoscope of thoughts that rushed through me then:  “Anchor’s good.  It should hold. But she’s way above it and it won’t make any difference.  Ever the risk-taker.  My belay is useless.”

 Cold snows and ancient spirits flew at me from different corners of the rock – opposite and distant.  I can remember shivering uncontrollably.  I couldn’t believe what had happened.

 Kennedy, King and Khrushchev were still alive, when we first met years ago.   We finally hooked up and spent our time in the mountains.  We loved to read books and cook food and go climbing together.  And coming home late at night we’d walk down the old path toward the cabin, chocks rhythmically chiming, and watch silently, like monks, our Vibrams in the dust.  “Does anyone know the Truth about anything?” we’d ask ourselves.  We never owned a television set.

 There was a large pine tree that was over 200 years-old outside the kitchen window.  “I wonder if it remembers the passenger pigeons,” she had whispered early one morning.




Note for those readers who don’t know what EBs are: 

EB stands for Edouard Bourdonneau , the french master boot maker , who , together with Pierre Allain , manufactured the first climbing shoe in 1947 .
During the fifties , he created the brand EB which became the “gold standards” of climbing rock shoes in the sixties and seventies .
The brand died in 1986 after the arrival of the spanish made”Firé ” and its sticky rubber which rendered the “old” EB obsolete .
But , in 1992 , with a new owner , EB started again to manufacture climbing shoes ( although very different from its ancestors…)up to this day …

   by Xavier Legendre, Sports Climber, Marseille – quoted from the internet


Sunday Morning

I spent Sunday morning with some new friends searching for American Dippers along the rushing snow-melted torrents of the upper Animas above Silverton.  We were doing research for the American Dipper Project locating nests and bird activity to help document healthy sections of the beleaguered river.  It was a good place to be following the news of the tragedy in Orlando.

American Dipper 2573W1WM
American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus, Animas River, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

John Muir wrote of the American Dipper that they “seem so completely part and parcel of the streams they inhabit, they scarce suggest any other origin than the streams themselves; and one might almost be pardoned in fancying they come direct from the living waters, like flowers from the ground.”

American Dipper 2566W1WM
American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus, Animas River, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

I have no answers for days like this when evil seems to overshadow kindness and innocent lives are violently killed by hatred and ignorance. I have no answers, but it seemed a good place to be Sunday morning in the mountains among friends and raging rivers and the diminutive dippers.

Dipper 2373W1WM
American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus, Animas River, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

Wendell Berry once wrote,

“I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief. I come into the presence of …water.  And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

American Dipper 8115W8WM



Strikingly Colorful Avian Neighbors Have been Very Active This Past Week

Black-headed Grosbeak and Western Tanager7978bW1WM
Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana, Male, Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus, Suet Feeder, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

This Spring there have been a number of strikingly colorful visitors to the suet feeders hanging outside the kitchen window.

Female Black-headed Grosbeak and 3 Male Western Tanagers 7852W1WM
Male Western Tanagers, Piranga ludoviciana, Female, Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus, Suet Feeders, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

The regulars include over a dozen Western Tanagers,

Western Tanager 8018W1WM
Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

several pairs of Black-headed Grosbeaks

Black-headed Grosbeak 7914W1WM
Male, Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus, Suet Feeder, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

and one first-year Bullock’s Oriole.

Bullock's Oriole7810W1WM
Bullock’s oriole, Icterus bullockii, First Year Male, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

When the Tanagers are grouped around the feeders they remind me of a flock of exotic parrots from some tropical forest.

Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeak 7958W1WM
Western Tanager, Piranga ludoviciana, Male, Black-headed Grosbeak, Pheucticus melanocephalus, Suet Feeders, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

All photos were taken through a closed double-pane window.

Six Western Tanagers 8001W1WM
Six Western Tanagesr, Piranga ludoviciana, at Suet Feeders, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

New Trees Planted at the White-headed Langur Protection Organization

April 22nd is Earth Day.  Some folks like to plant a tree for Earth Day.  Recently, two trees were planted in the White-headed Langur Protection Organization in Guangxi Province, China.

Robert Winslow tree bW8

One with my name on it (in recognition of a financial contribution that I made) and the other planted in the memory of my mother, Florence Winslow.  You can read all about this project that was established by my friend Dr. Katherine Feng in my April, 2015 blog posts.

Robert Winslow tree aW8

According to Wikipedia, White-headed Langurs are a critically endangered species and are among the rarest primates in the World.  They are possibly the rarest primate in Asia with a population estimated at less than 70 individuals.

Langurs in Red Cotton TreeW8


The trees that were planted were Red Cotton Trees which are famous in Guangxi Province. They are beautiful trees with large red flowers that appear before the leaves. The Langurs like to eat the petals of the flowers in the Spring and the leaves in the Summer.

Florence Winslow Tree b W8


It is interesting to note that my mother’s tree was planted during the Qingming Holiday. Qingming translates into the Tomb Sweeping Day and is a day that the people visit their ancestor’s/parents tomb to honor them and to clean their graves.  I believe that my mother would be very pleased and honored to have a tree planted during this holiday period.  She would also be very pleased to know that the flowers and leaves of her tree will help nourish a critically endangered species.

Florence Winslow Tree a W8

My wife, Marilyn Leftwich and my sisters Phyllis Winslow and Barbara Griffith have also helped to contribute money toward the planting of these trees.



Florence F. (Hennig) Winslow

Florence F. Winslow, 95, of Tucson, AZ passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016.

Florence Winslow
Florence Winslow

While growing up on Long Island in New York, she worked at a local library and graduated from  Adelphi College along with her sister, Gladys in 1941. This is a credit to her parents, Florence G. Hennig and William C. Hennig who made great financial sacrifices to send their two daughters to college during the Great Depression.

In September of 1941, she married Roger C. Winslow.  After dedicating many years to raising their three children, Florence went back to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University.

As the librarian for the Connecticut Institute for the Blind, Florence Winslow set up and organized a special school library for blind and otherwise handicapped children.  She also created a special multi-ply library for workers in the field.

In retirement Florence and Roger sponsored a family from Laos and assisted in bringing them to this country.  They helped the family find jobs and housing and to integrate into every aspect of life in the United States. At the same time, she was very involved with the Avon, Connecticut town Historical Society and was one of three women who organized from scratch a town museum in a renovated schoolhouse.

During retirement, she and her husband traveled the world after first checking out all corners of the United States and Canada. They then focused on enjoying much of the year in the Adirondack Mountains of New York –hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, canoeing, and swimming. Prior to retirement, the Winslow Family spent nearly every summer vacation on a lake outside of Tupper Lake, NY.

Florence also liked to garden wherever she lived – planting flowers and raising vegetables for eating.

Music also played an important role. For most of her life she loved singing in church choirs and choral societies.

She is survived by her three children, Phyllis, Tucson, AZ ; Robert, Durango, CO and Barbara, granddaughter, Amanda, and great-grandson, Evan Dias all living in Sand Springs, OK.

Florence Winslow was listed in Who’s Who in Connecticut and Who’s Who of American Women for 1974 -75.

A Very Rare Bird- at least in this area

There’s been a bit of excitement in the local birding community this past week. An Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) was spotted at Pastorius Lake. There has been only one other reported sighting of the bird in this area in 2007. The image of the range map from my Sibley Birds app shows how rare it is to be seen in SW Colorado (white area).

Eurasian Wigeon Range 7381


On Friday, a request went out to the local birding community for photos to better document the bird. Apparently a rather large portion of birds present in the US hybridize with American Wigeons and photographic evidence was needed to help document that it was a pure Eurasian Wigeon and not a hybirid.

Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America


My photos are the best ones taken so far of the bird and will be used to help confirm the sighting to the Colorado Bird Records Committee.

Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America


Equipment used: Canon EOS 70D camera (1.6x crop factor), Canon 500mm/f-4 lens, Canon 1.4x III extender, Gitzo Mountaineer tripod, Arca Swiss ball head, 4th Generation gimbal mount.

Eurasian Wigeon, Anas penelope, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America