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Morning photo: Spring greens

Aspens and meadows in Colorado


The Lower Blue Valley, north of Silverthorne, Colorado, is greening up nicely in this view from along Ute Pass Road.

FRISCO — A cool and foggy morning after a rainy night seemed like a good time to go out and chase down the first real greens of spring. Just a little way down the Blue River Valley, the aspens are already quite a bit farther along than in the higher elevations of Summit County and the runoff is sheeting down the valley in broad roadside flows and spilling out of every ditch. As always, it’s feast or famine in Colorado, and we’ve been wet for about a year now. It should be an incredible wildflower season! Continue reading

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Morning photo: Going with the flow …

Winter hangs on


No, it’s not cotton. It’s fresh snow piling up on aspen catkins.

FRISCO — Another day, another snowstorm in Summit County, but the good thing is, you don’t really hear anyone complaining about the snow. Well, maybe a few good-natured comments about flip-flops and bikes, but for the most part, people are quite aware that these April storms are the only thing standing between us and extreme summer drought. As far as photography, you just gotta go with the flow — or with snow, in this case. Continue reading

Morning photo: indoor, outdoor

Winter whimsy


Morning shadows in some of the majestic aspen groves along lower Straight Creek.

FRISCO — Big holiday ski weekends are a good time for locals to lay low, leaving plenty of room on the roads and in the grocery store aisles for the altitude-dazed flatlanders flocking to the high country in search of fresh snow. If you have to go out, do it early in the morning, for quiet walk along the Tenderfoot Trail and to soak up the morning light in the aspen groves along Straight Creek Road. That’s what I did today, taking the dog for an early morning jaunt in the powder, than returning home and hiding out for the rest of the day. These are all whimsical iPhone shots, but f you like the images in this post, please visit our online gallery at FineArt America for more hi-resolution Summit County images, available as prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Colorado: Research suggests last summer’s heat wave is likely to result in another wave of aspen mortality

‘It’s never just drought, and boom, you’re dead’


Is there more trouble ahead for Colorado’s aspen forests?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s aspens could take another big hit in the next few years as the after-effects of last summer’s heat wave take a toll on the state’s iconic trees. Recent research suggests that aspens damaged in previous droughts are more likely to die during subsequent heat waves.

Overall, Colorado reported one of its hottest summers on record in 2012, and even though researchers didn’t see excessive aspen mortality last year, it may take a few years before the full impact becomes apparent.

“We had a two or three year lag after the last drought,” said Forest Service aspen expert Jim Worrall, who helped analyze and describe the massive wave of aspen mortality that started in about 2005 and lasted for several years, leaving aspen ecologists puzzled and worried. Continue reading

Morning photo: One more burst of color

Aspen peaking …


By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — One more incredible weekend of fall colors in the high country, with some of the leaves already falling of in the wind, while other stands are just reaching a peak. Sunday morning’s somewhat gray skies were a challenge at first, especially since I wasn’t out and about at the crack of dawn, when the diffuse light might have been a benefit. But eventually, I came to see the blueish cast in the sky as my friend, acting as a foil to the bright yellows, oranges and even a few trees verging on pure red. I spotted one clump of red trees from the deck of our house in Frisco and then headed to the Meadow Creek trailhead to try and track it down. Thanks to Gary Giberson for allowing me to hike around on the Giberson ranch! Continue reading

Morning photo: Falling into fall

Colors peaking in Colorado high country

Some photo watercolor …

SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s almost as if, knowing that they’ll be clothed in drab winter grays for many months, the aspens decide to put on a fall fashion show, breaking out their finest and brightest wardrobe for a late summer dance — homecoming for leaves. It looks like the autumn color season will peak in the next week, so get out and enjoy while you can! Continue reading

Morning photo: Monsoon moisture


Early morning sunshine highlights dew drops on aspen leaves.

SUMMIT COUNTY —The rains came, at least for a few days, leaving the high country gloriously damp and sparkly in the early morning sunlight. Nuff said … Continue reading

Morning photo: More spring!

Greening up …

Greening up …

SUMMIT COUNTY — Fall aspen season, when the leaves turn, is rightly hailed as one of the most spectacular times of year in the high country, with splashy colors and crisp air. But the spring transition, when the trees go from bare bones to flickering green in just a few days, is equally stunning, although a bit more subtle. It’s a little harder to capture the tender green of emerging aspen leaves, since the display is not quite as showy. Continue reading

Morning photo: Fall

Some Friday photo fun

A classic fall scene — aspens in Frisco, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — With a big snowstorm approaching the Colorado mountains, this seemed like a good time to take one more look back at fall, because for the next four or five months, the ground will remain covered with snow. Regardless of whether the calendar says autumn, winter or spring, it will FEEL like winter around here. Plus, it’s time for another edition of #FriFotos, a social media chat on Twitter that involves posting pictures with the #FriFotos hashtag. And this week’s theme is fall, which is open to interpretations and should lead to an interesting selection of images. I’m sticking with the classic meaning of the word, partly because, for a photographer, it’s a time of year with dramatic light and with several hours at both the beginning and end of the day when the sun is at an optimal angle for shooting. Continue reading

Morning photo: Fresh snow!

On the cusp of winter

Snow on aspens, warmed by a flash exposure.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Woke up to streaming rain Monday morning, but before the kettle finished boiling, it had changed to snow, and by the time I dropped my son off at school, there was skiff of white on the ground. But there are still a few lingering clumps of golden aspens, and that made for some pleasant sights along the shore of Dillon Reservoir. Continue reading


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