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Morning photo: Fields

Pastoral beauty

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Fallow fields in Grand Junction, Colorado, with the Grand Mesa as a backdrop.

FRISCO — I haven’t joined in the #FriFotos Twitter chat for a few months, but when I saw this week’s topic, I did a quick scan of the Summit Voice archives to find some of my favorite pictures of fields around the world, starting right here at home in Colorado and ranging as far as Iceland and Antarctica. On a recent trip, Leigh and I had a chance to visit Iceland, and amidst the wondrous ice fields and stunning coastline, we were fascinated by the lava fields, some of which are carpeted with a squishy, thick layer of moss. Upload your field photos via Flickr, Twitter or Instagram, tag them with #FriFotos and then enjoy the global slide show! Continue reading

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Morning photo: Cityscapes

Euro-mania …

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Centuries-old castle walls serve as a backdrop for river runners in Český Krumlov.

FRISCO — I usually try to keep the intros for the daily photo essays pretty short and let the pictures speak for themselves, and that works pretty well for this short set with some of my favorite European city scenes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Far-flung

Travel dreams …

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The Burren, an extensive karst formation in northwest Ireland.

FRISCO — A quick spin to some far-flung corners of the globe for some armchair travel in today’s photo essay … from Europe to the Caribbean, back to the Balkans and finally Patagonia, which really is as close to the ends of the Earth that you can get. Hey, a vicarious trip is better than no trip at all, right? Check our online gallery at FineArt America for more landscape images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Along the Danube

“Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul … “

Sunrise over the Danube.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Danube River weaves together a rich and diverse tapestry of culture and scenery, and it’s also an important thread in my life. Both my parents grew up along its banks; my mom in Linz, Austria and my dad in Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic. As a young boy, I spent many weeks near the river at my grandmother’s home and since then, I’ve returned to visit as often as possible.

As they easily transcend national boundaries,  great rivers hold a fascination for travelers. This summer, I gathered once again with family and loved ones to complete a very special trip started by my dad long ago in another era.

Kayaking the Danube.

Rivers can connect cultures, but they often also form the borders between countries, or, in the case of the Cold War, between two completely irreconcilable ideologies. As a young man, my dad was on the wrong side of that boundary, trapped behind the Iron Curtain while his spirit longed to fly free. Eventually, he was faced with a tough choice; stay and give in to the ideology of fear, hate and cynicism, or flee, leaving behind his family and loved ones, knowing that it would quite a while, if ever, before they knew his fate. Continue reading

Traveling in a warming world

Global warming accepted as fact in Austria; mountain communities planning for year-round tourism

Storm clouds build over Salzburg, Austria.

Many of Austria’s alpine glaciers are melting quickly, leading to concerns about long-term water supplies. Photo courtesy The Canary Project. Please click on the photo for more information.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Leaving Colorado in the midst of one of the most brutal heatwaves and droughts on record, it was hard to not think about global warming and climate change, especially after driving past thousands of acres of withered and stunted corn around DIA, with smoke from wildfires near and far hanging over the Front Range.

We were hoping our family visit to Austria would offer some relief, and sure enough, temperatures stayed in the 70s and low 80s during much of the time, a far cry from our last couple of trips to area, including 2003, when much of Europe was gripped by extreme warmth that killed up to 15,000 people in France. Continue reading

Morning photo: Postcards to myself …

Note to self: Travel again — soon!

On the approach to Frankfurt we flow low over the Rhine River. The river figures big in Teutonic mythology, and the morning mist hugging the gorge was a nice touch for our arrival.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — I love taking pictures and telling stories, but ultimately, many of the images are really most valuable as personal mementos of journeys and adventures I’ve shared with my loved ones. This most recent trip was no exception. Many of the pictures will never be published anywhere, but cherished all the more for the personal moments they reflect. But others are fun and help interpret the places we visit, along with evoking emotions every time I look at them. To me, there’s almost nothing better than the anticipation, after a long flight, of setting foot in a new place, even if it’s a place where I lived for many years and where I have family history. The picture above brings back the tingly feeling of starting a new journey. Continue reading

Morning photo: A few more fungi

Mushrooms are popping!

Mid-day sun backlights the gill of this wild Colorado mushroom. In this iPhone shot, I also used an Instagram filter to enhance the colors.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Tis the season — for fungi, that is, as monsoon moisture has help spur a good crop of wild forest mushrooms. While some people see them as the equivalent of low-life slugs, mushrooms are actually a vital and little understood component of forest ecosystems. Along with helping to break down dead leaves, grass and branches, the underground part of the fungal organisms interact with the roots of trees and other plants, helping to foster a nutrient cycle and maintaining a chemical balance in the forest floor. Continue reading

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