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Morning Photo: Aspen magic

Peak colors

Piercing evening light helped ensure good sharpness in this iPhone pano.

Piercing evening light helped ensure good sharpness in this iPhone pano. Click on the image to view it full size.

FRISCO — It’s hard not to take photos when Colorado’s aspen groves explode into a riot of fall colors each year. The past couple of days, we’ve had quick-building thunderclouds appear late in the day. Friday evening even brought a few lightning bolts. But the clouds are not the same as the thick summer monsoon layer that dampens the light. These high-based storm clouds allow plenty of sunlight to creep in from beneath, giving some of these traditional foliage shots some extra drama. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Morning, noon & night …

Friday fotos

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Summit County sunrise.

FRISCO —A lot of times, the morning photo set is compiled from different sessions on different days, but today’s all are from a single day. Before dawn on Friday morning, I could see a wave cloud setting up over the Divide, a little higher and farther west than usual, but it still looked like it could catch that morning sunrise glow, so I headed down to the Meadow Creek wetlands to take it in, and to let the dogs romp. In the middle of the day, the same peaks were bathed in bright sunshine — almost too bright for a good picture, and later in the afternoon, I set out to try and get a waterfall shot with a little more light, to try and avoid that blue glow (which can be nice, but it gets old). And the sunset? It was out of this world! Please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscapes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Insta-groovy

More monsoon skies …

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Evening view of Frisco, with Buffalo Mountain as a backdrop.

FRISCO — I’m still learning about my iPhone camera, and one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s really quite good at picking up color and highlights in an otherwise shaded foreground, like the top image in this set. The difference between the light and dark areas helps give images a pleasing (to my eyes) depth, and using the built-in HDR means less post-processing, which I needed in the next image in the set to balance out a shot taken with a DSLR. Most of all, the clouds the last few days have been fabulous!

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Dillon Reservoir, still in the evening light.

Continue reading

Morning photo: Independence Day!

Red, white & blue …

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A shower of red, white and blue sparks in a classic July 4th fireworks display over the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

FRISCO —Get out and enjoy our national holiday! Continue reading

Colorado craft brewers join fracking fight

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Good beer needs clean water.

Letter to Gov. Hickenlooper calls for better balance between energy development and resource protection

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Colorado’s brewers — including two Summit County based operations — are flexing a little political muscle and calling on Gov. John Hickenlooper to strike a better balance between energy development and conservation.

Rick Tork, manager of Frisco’s Backcountry Brewery, and Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse and Brewery owner Annie Holton, signed on to represent Summit County.

In a letter to Hickenlooper, the brewers, 26 in all, cited the importance of Colorado’s image and marketability for craft brewing and the important economic impact of keeping Colorado’s skies and waters clear and clean, saying that the state’s brand and high quality of life “attracts new residents, businesses, entrepreneurs and millions of tourists annually.”

A spokesman at the governor’s office said Hickenlooper recognizes the value of the craft-brewing industry.

“The craft brewing industry is a great economic driver for Colorado and we value our relationship with brewers across the state. We will review the letter and respond appropriately,” said communications director Eric Brown. Continue reading

Morning photo: Morning, noon and night …

Just another day (in paradise)

Suday morning moon set — early!

Sunday morning moon set — early!

FRISCO — Got up early to try and catch a few good shots of the setting moon, but the light ended up being a bit murky first thing — you just never know. But we hiked up to the top of Lake Hill anyway, finding that the expanded Old Dillon Reservoir has not event started to fill. Too bad — it’s peak runoff right now and it could be filled in a few weeks if there were water going into it. But there’s still a bunch of construction equipment around the edges, so it seems like they haven’t quite finished it yet. Building thunderstorms in the afternoon were impressive over the Continental Divide, and the subsequent collapse of those clouds in the evening helped create some divine evening lighting, with the alpenglow reflecting off the bottom of the clouds. And on top of all that, I got to hear a great evening concert of chorus frogs as the light waned. Just another day in Summit County … Continue reading

Outdoors: Forest Service adds ‘new’ trails in Summit County

Some of the "new" trails on national forest lands in Summit County lead to hidden coves along the shore of Dillon Reservoir.

Some of the “new” trails on national forest lands in Summit County lead to hidden coves along the shore of Dillon Reservoir.

Travel management plan update results in some user-created trails becoming an official part of the trail network

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — If you’ve never heard of the Hippo Trail or the Bodhi Trail, don’t feel too bad. Both are newly named trail segments in Summit County that have just recently been formally added to the national forest trail system managed by the U.S. Forest Service’s Dillon Ranger District.

Many of the user-created have been popular with locals for years, but now they’re officially on the map, said Ken Waugh, recreation staff officer for the district.

“Many of these have never been maintained and have not been on District maps,” Waugh said, adding that the Forest Service is making an outreach effort to let hikers and cyclists know about the new trails.

As part of that effort, the Dillon District is preparing Recreation Opportunity Guides for these new trails. The one-page sheets  have a map on one side and information about the trails on the other. When they’re done, they’ll be posted online at this White River National Forest website. Some of the guides are already posted at www.dillonrangerdistrict.com. The guides include directions to the trailhead, mileage, range in elevation, difficulty, and trail highlights. They’re also avaiable at the USFS visitor center in Silverthorne. Continue reading

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