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Life on 84 acres

Where hobbies are soaring to new heights

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April 30th, 2009
Karen Weerts has the ultimate backyard. For Weerts and more than 500 others who live at Wind Crest which backs up to the Highline Canal winding trails and dense foliage offer endless opportunities for shutterbugs and nature-lovers alike. Feast for the eyes Since choosing to live at Wind Crest nearly two years ago, Weerts has spotted dozens of bird species along the Highline Canal trails, including red-tailed hawks. "Wind Crest is a great place for bird-watchers," she says. And while she s more likely to carry a pair of binoculars, Weerts has also snapped shots of nature s local splendor with her camera. Among her subjects are great-horned owls, which can grow to be 25 inches with a 55-inch wingspan. "They re huge!" she says. Whooo goes there? Fellow Wind Crest resident Bob Taylor has seen the owls, too, and delights in one group that congregates around the old Plews farmhouse, which still stands on Wind Crest s northeast side. "The owls hang out on the eaves," says Taylor, who has recently begun transitioning from film to digital technology with encouragement from his son. "When they get tired of you watching them, they fly into the trees." Drawn to landscapes as well as wildlife, Taylor finds plenty of photo ops right in his backyard. For him, the ponds are a great place to capture nature incognito. And on occasion, he gets a front-row seat to a scene straight out of National Geographic. "On the north side of the golf course, one of the coyote families brings their little ones out and watches them as they romp and play," he says. "That s a lot of fun to see." A fresh perspective Dick Coan, who also lives at Wind Crest, has a knack for capturing Mother Nature s best side. (See his photos, above.) Over the years, he s developed quite a collection of favorite shots including a family of withered tree stumps at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, the woods in Wisconsin, and architecture in Europe. While he has always enjoyed photography, Coan says it s never been quite as rewarding as it is now that he s at Wind Crest. "I find that I have more time for this kind of hobby, primarily because we don t have all the concerns that we had living in a house, with yard work and other home maintenance chores," he says. Furthermore, having all those trails along the canal makes finding great shots more convenient than ever. "Before, I didn t have the time or the accessibility to get this much enjoyment out of it," he says. And now that he s free to spend more time doing the things he wants to do rather than the things he has to do Coan is able to hone his photographic talents in his big backyard and beyond.

"I have more time for this kind of hobby, primarily because we don t have all the concerns that we had living in a house." Dick Coan, photographer who lives at Wind Crest

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