Lions, no tigers, but bears: Rick Spitzer presents wildlife photos in Gypsum
If you go ...
What: Wildlife of Eagle County presentation by Rick Spitzer.
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 12.
Where: Gypsum Public Library, 47 Lundgren Blvd., Gypsum.
More information: Call the library at 970-524-5080.
GYPSUM — An amateur photographer might shoot for his or her entire life and never capture one wildlife frame as amazing as anything in Rick Spitzer’s portfolio.
To call photography Rick Spitzer’s avocation doesn’t really communicate how much of his life has been devoted to peering through a lens.
To pay the bills, he has worked as a teacher, park ranger and director of technology for Eagle County Schools. Along the way, he has compiled a library of images that reflects an extensive inventory of wildlife that resides in Colorado.
“About the only things I don’t have are wolves and lynx,” said Spitzer, with a laugh.
He will be sharing his wildlife photos tonight during a special presentation at the Gypsum Public Library. The session will be part entertainment, part education in a multimedia format.
Spitzer captured many of the images in Eagle County and many others during the 15 years he worked as a seasonal ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. He has presented the program to many local groups.
“One of the things I hope to do with this program is to teach people about animals but also about safety and reality,” Spitzer said.
For example, he noted that since 1979, two people in Colorado have been killed by mountain lions. In contrast, last year 6,000 people died nationwide as a result of falling in their own homes.
“Your chances of being killed by a mountain lion really aren’t all the great,” he said.
Know where to look
Along with educating people about wildlife, Spitzer will offer some photography tips and advice.
“People say they don’t see wildlife when they go out. They need to be taught what to look for and where to look,” Spitzer said.
For some of the people who attend his sessions, the wildlife learning curve starts at ground zero.
“One time I had a woman ask me where she would find an ee-wee,” Spitzer said.
After some reflection, he realized she was looking for a ewe. He had a photo of one.
Paul Cuthbertson set out by himself around 3 p.m. Friday from the trailhead that leads up to the Polar Star Inn, according to his father, Mike, but never made it to the popular backcountry hut as a late-spring snowstorm moved in.