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Morning photo: Sweet September!

Transformation

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Aspen tapestry.

FRISCO — As if knowing that there are a couple of drab months ahead, Colorado’s aspen trees burst into full color this week in a magical transformation that never fails to amaze. In some cases, entire hillsides change over in just a day or two; in other areas, the shift takes a little longer, but the end result is the same. And with relatively calm and sunny weather forecast for the next few days, the show should continue, at least until a big windstorm or the first real snowfall of autumn (at valley elevations) starts to sweep the leaves off the trees. Continue reading

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Morning Photo: Sunday set

Tis the season … for fall colors!

Fall colors Colorado

Fall colors unfolding along the Tenderfoot Trail in Dillon, Colorado.

FRISCO — One of the things I like best about autumn photography is the strong contrasts in light. That may not always be the best situation for capturing all the nuances in a scene, but it does help create drama and tension, some of the key ingredients to a captivating image. Don’t wait for the “peak” of the fall color season. Start your hunt now, because a sudden freeze after a hard rainstorm could put an end to the display. Follow our Instagram feed for daily updates and browse our selection of fine art prints and greeting cards at our online gallery. Continue reading

Morning photo: Spring greens

Aspens and meadows in Colorado

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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

Morning photo: Going with the flow …

Winter hangs on

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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

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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’

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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 …

Redness.

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

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