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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

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Morning photo: Sunday set

Oh, Colorado!

wetlands sunrise Colorado

Wetlands sunrise, Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — Our Sunday set is a grab-bag of shots from the last 10 days or so, starting with another spectacular sunrise scene at the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco. And since we’ve been on the road reporting for the crowfunded Climate Rangers environmental journalism project, we’re also featuring a few images from outside Summit County. Continue reading

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

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

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