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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

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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

Environment: Ongoing cleanup tackles toxic Peru Creek

July 30 site visit gives public a chance to see progress in $3 million remediation project at abandoned mine in Summit County

November snow and ice along the Snake River, in Summit County, Colorado.

Heavy metal pollution from upstream sources has killed most aquatic life in the Snake River, near Keystone, Colorado. bberwyn photo.

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.

Staff Report

FRISCO — With recent increases in levels of toxic metals in Peru Creek, the ongoing remediation work at the abandoned Pennsylvania Mine, near Keystone, Colo., takes on an even greater importance in the context of water quality in the Blue River Basin and the Upper Colorado.

The mine, which produced huge amounts of silver 100 years ago, has been pinpointed as one of the main sources of acid mine drainage. Water seeping through the rocky ground trickles into the old mine workings, picks up contaminants along the way, then percolates back into Peru Creek near the head of the beautiful alpine valley.

During the last couple of summers, scientists and engineers have been working to reduce the pollution, and this coming week (July 30) there will be a public field trip to the site, led by Jeff Graves of the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, as well as other members of the Snake River Task Force. Continue reading

Morning photo: Purple mountains, really!

A quick Summit set …

Lookin' like Kodachrome!

Lookin’ like Kodachrome!

.FRISCO — I really do dig the way iPhone sensors pick up colors in the sky, and especially in the clouds — just check out the last picture in this set! So in the course of wandering around Summit County the last couple of days, I did manage to stop and point my camera at various things, usually involving wildflowers, the sky, clouds and/or some distant peaks. I’ve recently started shooting a lot more images in vertical format, because they’re easier to crop for Instagram that way. It kind of reminds of the old square-film format, so sometimes I pretend I’m shooting with a Hasselblad.

If you enjoy our near-daily feed of high country images, please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America.

And if you want to keep those photos coming, along with our stellar environmental reporting, visit our Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger crowdfunding page at Beacon. We’re at 70 percent of our goal and really could use your help to help sustain world-class environmental reporting.

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

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