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Morning photo: Treeline!

‘Shroom hunting in Colorado

Evening vista in Mayflower Gulch, Summit County, Colorado.

Evening vista of the Tenmile Range, Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — Aug. 31 is a bit late for the peak of the mushroom season in Colorado, but after a stream of rainy days, we headed up high, near treeline, to search for fungi. In some of the moist, north-facing draws along the rough road into the Tenmile Range, we found a profusion of mushrooms, as many as 10 species in a square meter, including funky corals, puffballs and tasty wild agaricus, an edible variety closely related to grocery store mushrooms.

Seeing the mushrooms at peak season, bursting through a living tapestry of moss and lichen, makes me realize how big a part of the forest life force these humble fungi really are, locking carbon deep in the soil and helping the trees, old and young, absorb nutrients from the thin Rocky Mountain soil. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Mountain glow

Peak light

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An eclipese-tinged glow over the Rockies, photographed from Loveland Pass, Colorado.

FRISCO — There are times when the light in the mountains totally blows my mind, and when it’s easy to understand why mountains have long been considered sacred, and even dwelling places of the gods. It seems, sometimes, that if one could only gaze upon the peaks long enough, all the mysteries of the universe would be revealed. So there are times that, after taking a few photos, I set down the camera, hoping to gain a little more insight into this great wonderful world of ours. Continue reading

Morning photo: Cloudplay IV

Seasonal shift

I could feel this rainbow before it appeared as an intense afternoon thunderstorm moved from west to east across Summit County. Since it was mid-afternoon, the sun was relatively high, making for a low-slung rainbow.

I could feel this rainbow before it appeared as an intense afternoon thunderstorm moved from west to east across Summit County. Since it was mid-afternoon, the sun was relatively high, making for a low-slung rainbow.

FRISCO — It’s not even September yet, but the skies over the Colorado high country have taken on a definite tinge of autumn, even bringing a few early dustings of snow, or a snow and hail mix to the highest peaks. I’m not going to post any snow shots yet; there’s plenty of time for that in the months ahead, but you should be able to feel the transitioning seasons in some of these late summer shots. It’s an awesome month for rainbows, as long as the monsoon moisture continues to stream into Colorado, so keep your camera handy and send us your best rainbow shot. We’ll post it in one of our photo essays. Follow our Instagram fee for daily updates, and visit our online gallery to buy fine art Colorado landscape prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Sunshine Cafe Supper Club: Learn more about how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

ss2b&wflowers3Special Sept. 12 dinner at Sunshine Cafe supports local environmental journalism with a presentation on global warming in the Rockies

By Bob Berwyn

 FRISCO — We are following up on our grassroots fundraising campaign with a Sept. 12 dinner event at the Sunshine Cafe (6 p.m., 250 Summit Place shopping center, Silverthorne, CO)  that you don’t want to miss. First of all, the Sunshine Cafe — under new ownership — rarely opens for dinner, so it’s a chance for you to sample the great cooking that makes this a longtime favorite eatery for locals and visitors.

Proceeds from the dinner and a silent auction will benefit Summit Voice and the Beacon Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger environmental journalism project, which takes an in-depth look at how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains. The suggested donation for tickets is $50 per person for the dinner with a cash bar for beverages.

You can reserve dinner tickets now. Contact bberwyn@comcast.net or call (970) 331-5996.

We’re still in the middle of the reporting project but we’ll give a presentation covering alpine tundra research at Rocky Mountain National Park, and the growing impacts of Southwest dust storms that are tainting the high country snowpack. We also plan to have a special guest speaker talk about climate change and public lands.

We’ll also be asking what kind of local environmental stories you’d like to see covered right here in Summit County. If we reach our fundraising target from the dinner, we’ll dedicate a month to in-depth reporting right here at home.

Check out some of the early stories from the Climate Ranger project at their home on Beacon Reader.

Good environmental journalism isn’t free. I’ve dedicated years to tracking environmental issues in Summit County and the Rocky Mountains and with your support, I’ll continue to bring you new insights into important stories via Summit Voice and other platforms. Please consider buying tickets to our special dinner or just making a direct donation in support of unbiased, independent environmental journalism.

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Morning photo: Mountain magic

Find it!

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Dusk light in the Meadow Creek wetlands. The light was quite murky and the color images were tinged with scattered blue UV rays, but treating it in B&W helped make them more crisp.

FRISCO — An iPhone set, all images processed in-camera, shows the incredible range of light conditions that can be captured if you’re in the right place at the right time. My favorite shot in this set is the sandstone tower in Glenwood Canyon (third image) which I took standing up through the sunroof of the #climaterangers truck while stuck in traffic on I-70, but the shaft of light in the second image is a close second. Continue reading

Morning photo: ‘Shroom hunting!

Prime time for Colorado fungi

Colorado mushrooms

Clavaria purpurea, purple coral mushroom growing in the Tenmile Range near Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — For a couple of weeks every summer I need to set aside extra time every few days to search for wild mushrooms. It’s not just the eating — I’m totally fascinated by the role fungi have in forest ecosystems, with some recent studies suggesting that they may be the key drivers of the forest carbon carbon cycle because of how they interact with plants to sequester carbon deep in forest soils. This morning, during a short walk in the Tenmile Range, I found one decaying section of a log, about two square feet, home to at least six species of fungi (that I could see), along with many more types of moss and lichen, all woven into a living, organic mat on the forest floor. And, as icing on the cake, I did find a couple of Boletus edulis, delicious edibles sought after around the world under various names, including porcini and cep. Continue reading

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

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