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Morning photo: RMNP!

A little taste of high country heaven

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Trail Ridge Road view.

FRISCO — Dylan and I had a chance to visit Rocky Mountain National Park as part of the crowdfunded Climate Ranger project, meeting with a team of scientists who are monitoring conditions in the park’s alpine tundra as part of the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. The monitoring is part of a global program aimed at trying to track climate-induced changes with long-term data, because we won’t know what climate change is doing unless we study it closely. We’ll do more reporting on this topic in the next few days, but for now, a few pics from the Park. Click on the panos to see the full-size versions. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Wetlands morning

(Mostly) unfiltered

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Vertical landscape, to emphasize the deep reflections in the pond. This is an unfiltered, unedited shot straight out of the iPhone.

FRISCO — It’s probably no secret, but not all the images in this ongoing series are morning shots (although many are). But today’s sunrise was so cool that I just decided to post a set showing some different flavors of the same scene, with all the shots taken within a half hour and all within a mile of Summit Voice headquarters in Frisco. If the rest of the day is as good as the sunrise, well, it should be pretty spectacular! Continue reading

Morning photo: Moon dance

Another super moon?

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That rhythm of the setting sun and rising moon …

FRISCO — My timing has been a bit off for lunar photography later – I think I need to download an app or something! But I did get out early Monday morning to one of my favorite (albeit trashed out by gun “enthusiasts”) Gore Range overlook spots to catch the supermoon setting behind the Gore Range, realizing as soon as I arrived that I was a day late, at least in terms of catching just the right balance, with the moon close to the horizon, sinking into the deep, rich colors of dawn. Next month! Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Got pano?

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I had to underexpose the foreground to try and capture some of the detail and color in the clouds, which collapsed almost completely a few minutes after this shot.

FRISCO — Since I don’t have a super wide-angle lens, I sometimes use my iPhone to try and capture the broad sweep of our Rocky Mountain landscapes. It’s not ideal, because you have to be darn sure you maintain a level camera while scanning across the scene, but sometimes it’s worth it. Other times, you can take a slice of a landscape shot by cropping horizontally, like the first shot in this set, but your eyes will almost instinctively know that it’s not a true panorama, but just an edit of a “normal” image. Either way, it’s fun to play around with this format. Continue reading

Morning Photo: San Juan wildflowers

The alpine tundra comes alive!

Colorado wildflowers

Wildflowers flourishing in the alpine tundra near Red Mountain Pass.

FRISCO — A short midweek roadtrip to the San Juans as part of the Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger reporting project yielded some fine images from Colorado’s rugged southwestern mountains — along with in-depth information about how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains. Shooting with three different cameras (the top image is an iPhone shot) may seem like a hassle (and it can be at times), but it enabled me to get a good variety of perspectives. The next couple of images were taken with an older Canon and a zoom lens that helped compress the vast fields of flowers, intensifying the color and adding some interesting depth-of-field effects. Continue reading

Morning photo: Monsoon season!

Misty mountains

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Early morning cloudscape pano near Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — For a few weeks every summer, Colorado’s weather pattern experiences a seasonal shift that gives us a taste of the tropics. As big high pressure areas move around, moisture often streams into our mountains from the south, keeping the air moist and temperatures relatively warm at night, since the clouds, or even just the moist air, act as a blanket and prevent the day’s warmth from radiating back into space at night. It may be hard to believe, given how much snow we get in the middle of winter, but our monsoon season is actually the wettest time of year in Colorado. And, of course, it’s one of the best times to snap pictures of dramatic cloudscapes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday Insta-set

Rocky Mountain high …

FRISCO — Magical, mystical skies over the Rocky Mountains this summer, including this pre-thunderstorm scene along Mt. Evans Road.

A hazy sunset through the trees along the Tenderfoot Trail in Dillon , Colorado.

Asian garden poppy, waiting to bloom.

Eyecandy at sunrise near Shrine Pass, Colorado.

Fireweed blooming along the Tenderfoot Trail, Dillon, Colorado.

Morning photo: Cloudplay

An early one …

Layers ... captured with iPhone HDR imaging.

Layers … captured with iPhone HDR imaging.

FRISCO — I’d describe this morning’s sky as surreal except that I’ve seen similar displays almost every month of the year here in the Colorado high country. I know that its very real, and today, with clouds roiling and frothing over the ridgelines of the various ranges, you could feel the atmosphere literally writhe with monsoon moisture, more liquid than air. Check out our online gallery, support independent journalism by purchasing a print or some greeting cards! Continue reading

Morning photo: High Rockies

The alpine zone

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How will furry denizens of the high alpine zone in the Rocky Mountains fare as the climate warms? Find out by following the Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger project.

FRISCO — Had a chance to visit Mt. Evans with my family over the weekend! We got a good look at some classic Colorado wildlife, enjoyed the tundra in full bloom and just narrowly escaped a wicked hailstorm, although we did see the aftermath, with quarter-size hail whitening the ground. It was also fun to see the normally white trunks of the bristlecone pines stained reddish-brown by a heavy rain. And, finally, we’re happy to report that the wild mushrooms are starting to pop. Also happy to report that our Climate Ranger project has reached it’s initial funding goal: http://www.beaconreader.com/projects/rocky-mountain-climate-rangers

Donate to the Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger project

mtnYour contribution to this independent journalism project will be matched dollar for dollar by Beacon. Click to learn more and make a donation. Continue reading

Morning photo: Sunday set

Stomping grounds

Colorado wildflowers

Penstemon, two-foot tall, along the shore of Dillon Reservoir near Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — Yes, it’s fun to visit foreign locales, sample exotic food and take photos of new and different subjects. But you don’t always have to venture far to get a good shot. All the images in this set were taking in places where we walk our dogs on a daily basis, in some cases, right in our neighborhood, or more accurately where our neighborhood edges against the open space at the edge of Dillon Reservoir. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding a new perspective in a familiar place. Check out my Instagram feed for daily updates and visit my online Fine Art America gallery to buy fine art prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

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