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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: Weekend warmup

Hot stuff!

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Nothing says hot summer day like a dragonfly.

FRISCO —After a chilly start, it ended up being a rather nice week, with some balmy afternoons, considering it’s mid-January. But I still decided it was time for a little break from all the snow, ice and frost pics, so I went back through the archives for warm weather scenes for this weekend warmup photo essay.
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Morning photo: Views

From St. Louis to Antarctica …

Gateway Arch

View from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

FRISCO —This week’s edition of the popular Twitter chat #FriFotos is all about views, so I combed the archives for some my favorites, both near and far. As a photographer, I’m always looking for views, or for an opportunity to make a view. Sometimes, all it takes is a few steps in one direction or another; other times, it requires a total reset, unless you don’t mind a bunch of powerlines interfering with the vista. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing views from around the world. Join in the fun by picking your own favorite views, tagging them with the #FriFotos hashtag and uploading to Twitter via your favorite channel.

Grand Mesa Colorado.

A grand view of the Grand Mesa from the Grand Valley, near Grand Junction, Colorado.

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New study paints manatees as ecosystem sentinels

A Florida manatee, Photo courtesy USFWS.

Researchers assessed changes as human activity grew in a remote Belize coastal area

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Results of a long-term manatee study in Belize suggest the gentle marine mammals are a true sentinel species, indicating overall ecosystem health of coastal areas.

The research will help strengthen manatee conservation plans, showing the importance of protecting habitat and migratory paths, and working with local populations as well as tourists to educate them about conservation activities.

“Manatees are the proverbial ‘canaries in the mineshaft,’ as they serve as indicators of their environment and may reflect the overall health of marine ecosystems,” said co-author Alonso Aguirre, executive director of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. Continue reading

Morning photo: Virtual vacay …

A few family favorites

One of our favorite beaches is nowhere near the ocean, but at the alpine Mondsee, not far from Salzburg, Austria. A laid-back recreation area includes killer water slides for the kids and a shady beergarden for the grownups.

SUMMIT COUNTY — If you’re a last minute vacation planner, check out a few of our favorite spots. They may not be the most famous on the tourist agenda, but we can vouch for good scenery, food and genuine experiences in all these locations. Check out our travel section for more. Continue reading

Shifting trade routes may have led to Maya decline

Study focuses on delivery of obsidian to solve a Mesoamerican mystery

The Maya city of Altun Ha, near Belize City, thrived late in the Maya era, as trade of valuable goods shifted away from inland rivers to coastal routes. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with climate change, University of Illinois archaeologists say shifting trade patterns may have been a big factor in the decline of inland Maya cities about 1,000 years ago.

Other studies have suggested that even small declines in rainfall may have caused the Maya to abandon key cities.

“Our research strongly suggests that changing patterns of trade were instrumental in prompting the ‘Maya collapse,’” said Gary Feinman, curator of anthropology at The Field Museum, which collaborated with the University of Illinois at Chicago on the study. Continue reading

Morning photo: Paradise

Heaven on Earth

Wilderness vista of the Grand Canyon from Saddle Mountain. PHOTO BY @COTRAVGIRL.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Today’s #FriFotos Twitter chat asks the intriguing question, what is paradise? After a long day of reporting environmental stories yesterday, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend on creating a photo essay for the theme, but luckily I didn’t need it! A quick two-finger scroll through my archives revealed paradise at nearly every stop, from the wildlands of Arizona and Utah, to the beaches of the Caribbean and right here in my own backyard. As a photographer and traveler, I feel like I see a little bit of paradise each day. Share your own version by uploading pics to the Twitter stream and giving them the #FriFotos hashtag. See you there! Continue reading

Food: Craving the beach — and some fresh fish

Craving a beach vibe? Try baking or grilling a nice piece of fish as part of a healthy meal.

The Mobile Chef finds inspiration in Belize

By Tom Castrigno

One of the reasons I love going to the beach so much is the chance to eat really fresh fish. Traveling in Belize, we ate fish every day during the first part of our trip. We stayed in Placencia, a small fishing village on a peninsula toward the south end of the country. The town is noted for its 500-yard long sidewalk the villagers built to cart the daily catch from the marina back home.

After landing in Belmopan, we took a 30 minute flight to Placencia in an eight-passenger plane. It was a real treat to get an aerial view of the coast line and the interior of the country.

Once we arrived, we went through the usual ritual of choosing a place to stay. Comparison shopping can be difficult when carrying a large backpack in the tropical heat. After looking at three different places, we settled on a brightly colored cabana on the beach. The owner was hanging sheets on the line as we walked up. This was a good sign of cleanliness, in our opinion.

Most of the food available in Belize is fried. I am not sure exactly why this is. Nonetheless, it is tasty for the first few days until cravings for something cooked differently begin. At home, I generally either cook fish on the grill or by baking it in the oven. Continue reading

Morning photo: Oceans

Broken trail of conservation promises …

The Ksamil Islands in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Southern Albania.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Reporting a story about a new report on ocean sustainability made me realize how privileged I’ve been the past few years to be able to travel with Leigh and Dylan to many of the world’s oceans in recent years, and how I sometimes take these vast bodies of water for granted. Reading through the report reinforced how important it is to treat our entire planet with respect. That starts in the kitchen, with what you put in the drain, and extends to the grocery store, when you choose a piece of fish for dinner. Now, I’ll hop off the soapbox and share a few pictures as a reminder of what’s at stake. Continue reading

Hurricane Rina strengthens, aims for Yucatan

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A NASA satellite show Rina forming over the western Caribbean.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Rina quickly strengthened from tropical storm to hurricane force late Sunday and into Monday, with sustained winds of 85 mph. Rina could become a major hurricane by Wednesday, as more intensification is forecast for the next 48 hours, with winds forecast to reach 115 mph by late Wednesday when the predicted track brings it near northern Belize, according to the National Hurricane Center. Continue reading

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