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Bird photography, baby hippos, and shooting stars

Happy (almost) New Year!  

Hey City Casters,

Peyton here again! Can you believe it’s nearly 2022?! We can’t wait for another year of building community and growing City Cast Denver with you all. And don’t forget — we will be back in your inboxes and your podcast feeds on a regular schedule with new content beginning Monday, January 3.

Until then, enjoy this roundup of my top 5 favorite moments from the newsletter in 2021.

See on the other side!

— Peyton Garcia, City Cast Denver Newsletter Writer

📷 This incredible video of a hawk

Screenshot from Bryant’s video.

Bill Bryant, a wildlife photographer from Golden, won the first-ever video award from the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards with his incredible 19-second footage of a Red-tailed Hawk riding the wind, appearing to hover in midair, while scanning the fields below for prey. “[It] floated almost level with my lens. His head stayed still while his body moved, his wings and tail steadying him and his dangling feet acting as ballast,” Bryant described. Watch the vide — it’s seriously cool. 

🦛 The arrival of Omo

Photo courtesy of: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Meet Omo, an 80-pound bundle of joy born to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo over the summer. Mom Zambezi helped debut the name earlier this year over a special breakfast of carrots, oranges, and hay arranged in the shape of the new calf’s name. And Dad Biko revealed the gender by smashing a watermelon dyed blue on the inside (with animal-safe food coloring, of course). Zookeepers allowed the calf and mother nine weeks to bond before conducting an examination to determine the sex and pick out a name. Find ALL the adorable baby hippo pics on the zoo’s Facebook page

🌳 When this YouTube star made a trip to Denver

Screen grab: Texas BUSHMAN Denver video

Denver had a YouTube celebrity drop by over the summer, and you probably didn’t notice him. The Texas BUSHMAN has nearly 100,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, where he shares hidden-camera videos of himself dressed as a potted bush and hilariously (though good-naturedly) startling people on crowded walkways. The Texas BUSHMAN uploaded a video of himself inconspicuously stationed on the 16th Street Mall from what appears to be earlier this summer. The 15-minute video is entertaining enough to sit through in its entirety, but if you fast forward to 11 minutes you can see our own Mayor Michael Hancock get startled! 😂👏

☄️ The most epic shooting star I’ve ever seen

Screengrab from the video compilation provided by space.com

In the wee hours of a recent October morning, dozens of people across the Front Range reported seeing a massive fireball streak across the sky. A few people even claim to have heard an accompanying boom. What I would have assumed was the apocalypse was in fact a really bright meteor that strayed extra close to earth — like 10 to 20 miles from the ground close, according to what Chris Peterson from Cloudbait Observatory told CBS4. The “shooting stars” we are used to seeing are typically 60-70 miles high, Peterson went on to say. Check out this video compilation from space.com featuring snippets of the fireball caught on security cameras and Ring doorbells across Colorado — it’s pretty damn neat. 

🥳 When we were named Best Denver Podcast by Westword

Image: Westword Best of Denver

Remember when City Cast Denver was crowned Denver’s best podcast by Westword and we were only a month old? Yeah, that was pretty awesome.