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Morning photo: Warmup!

Summer scenes

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A blazing sunset of the coast of Negril, Jamaica.

FRISCO — After posting several sets featuring the incredibly beautiful snows we’ve been experiencing here in Colorado, I decided it was time for a warmup, so I searched the Summit Voice photo archives for some summer scenes. It’s just a reminder that winter won’t last forever, so enjoy it while it’s here! Continue reading

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Morning photo: Alleys

Come for a stroll …

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An inviting alleyway in the old town of Corfu, designated as a world heritage district.

FRISCO — While yesterday’s photo essay offered a bird’s eye view of city rooftops, today’s edition is at ground level, taking a look at some alleys around the world. By definition, an alley, or alleyway, is a narrow lane, path, or passage way, often for pedestrians only, which usually runs between or behind buildings, often in the older parts of towns and cities. For a traveler or explorer, that’s a pretty prosaic point of view. We prefer to see alleys as a pathway to adventures in unknown destinations. After all, what could be more inviting than a narrow, winding cobblestone path, beckoning to the unknown. Continue reading

Climate: July global temps 6th-warmest on record

Year-to-date readings also rank as 6th-warmest

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A NASA global temperature map for July shows the widespread pattern of above-average land and sea surface temperatures.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The global temperature for July 2013 was 1.10 degrees (all temperatures in Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average, making it the sixth-warmest July on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

Nearly every part of Earth reported temperatures well above average with the exception of a few pockets, notably the southeastern and central U.S. and parts of India.

The year to date (January-July) is also ranked as the sixth-warmest on record, with the global land surface temperatures running 1.73 degrees above the 20th century average. Continue reading

Morning photo: Take a hike!

Foot power!

Hiking in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Summit County, Colorado.

Hiking in the Eagles Nest Wilderness, Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — It’s summer time, so what are you waiting for? Turn off your computer, get outside and take a hike, wherever you are! Here are some of our favorite hiking trails both far and near, compiled for the #FriFotos Twitter chat.

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Two hikers etched against a brilliant high latitude sky on Deception Island.

Continue reading

Global warming: Austria’s famed lakes heating up quickly

Key lakes expected to warm by up to degrees 3 degrees Celsius by mid-century

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Global warming is projected to fundamentally alter the waters of famed Austrian lakes like the Mondsee, near Salzburg. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Austria’s famed alpine lakes are facing fundamental change as global temperatures continue warm — and recent warming in the Alpine region (between 1980 and 1999) has increased three times as fast as the global average.

Projected increases in water temperatures will likely alter basic structure, function and water quality in famed lakes like the Mondsee, near Salzburg, according to Dr. Martin Dokulil, a retired researcher from the Institute for Limnology at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Dokulil analyzed long-term data records for air temperature and surface water temperatures dating back to the mid-1960s from the Austrian Hydrological Yearbooks. He projected temperature trends for nine large lakes, finding that  lake surface temperatures are likely to rise by up to 3 degrees Celsius by 2050 as a direct result of climate change. Continue reading

Morning photo: Architecture

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All of Old Town Corfu nas been designated as a world heritage site in large part for its architecture.

All of Old Town Corfu nas been designated as a world heritage site in large part for its architecture.

FRISCO — Another fun theme for my favorite Twitter chat this week, as travelers and photographers from around the world are sharing images focusing on architecture. Starting off my #FriFotos post with a couple of pictures of arches seems appropriate, since arches have been, well, a keystone of architecture ever since people started laying one stone atop another. Join in the fun by uploading some pics with the #FriFotos hashtag — it should be a good one!

An arched opening in a thick stone wall in Hallstatt, Austria provides cover from a summer thunderstorm.

An arched opening in a thick stone wall in Hallstatt, Austria provides cover from a summer thunderstorm.

Continue reading

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: Dishin’

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Nothing like a little deep-dish apple pie!

Nothing like a little deep-dish apple pie!

FRISCO — It’s been a few weeks since I joined in the #FriFotos Twitter chat, but when I saw that this week’s them was “dishes,” I couldn’t resist. I’m just one of those annoying people who likes to take pictures of food and share them. It bugs my family a little bit, but for me, it adds one final touch to the creative process of cooking, and it also helps me decide what to make for dinner sometimes, as in when I’m scrolling through my iPhone camera roll and I suddenly see something yummy and say to myself, “It’s about time to try that again!” To join in, upload you own favorite “dish” pictures, tag them with #FriFotos, then sit back and enjoy the show. 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

Essay: A mountain town Christmas

“It’s Christmas. Build community and invite your guests to be part of it. Be real. Hold on to your culture. Don’t be afraid to let your spiritual values shine through. Celebrate the mountains for the joy and comfort they give. Protect the forests and the streams. Nurture your children and give them hope.”

“Kohlmaisbahn” in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (Austria), background:The village and the Schattberg and Zwoelferkogel, the dominant ski peaks in the valley. Image via Wikipedia Creative Commons, Share-Alike attribution.

By Bob Berwyn

Christmas and skiing have been inextricably linked for me ever since I was an “army brat” growing up in Frankfurt, Germany. The classroom Christmas party on the last day of school (yes, we called it that back on the pre-politically correct days) wasn’t nearly as exciting as the thought that we’d soon be on starting our annual two-week ski vacation to Austria.

Sometimes there was snow on the ground; slushy, dirty city snow that splattered as the cars passed by. But more often than not, it was just gray and dreary, and my heart always skipped a beat when that finned, white 1960 Chevy Impala rolled up. Everything fit in the trunk of our classic American car, even our two-meter-plus skis, so there was plenty of room for my brother and I to sprawl in the back seat. No fast food stops for us — there was no McDonalds or Burger King along the way, so we ate well; cold schnitzels  my mom had made earlier that day, or open-faced sausage sandwiches with tangy pickles, carrot sticks and wedges of green bell peppers.

Sometimes we dozed, but more often than not, we were still awake when we slowed to a stop at the border, where customs officials in long, thick wool coats decorated with epaulets scanned our green U.S. passports, then waved us through with a friendly smile and a “Merry Christmas.”

The mountainous frontier south of Munich was the gateway to snow country.  By the glow of the headlights, we gauged the depth of the berm alongside the road to get an idea of how the skiing would be. Here the road narrowed and twisted through a river-carved canyon, mysterious and new each time we made the trip. Our destination was Saalbach, then a small, up and coming ski village that has since succumbed to the same development pressures that have afflicted so many mountain communities during the past few decades. Continue reading

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