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Morning photo: Mountain glow

Peak light

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An eclipese-tinged glow over the Rockies, photographed from Loveland Pass, Colorado.

FRISCO — There are times when the light in the mountains totally blows my mind, and when it’s easy to understand why mountains have long been considered sacred, and even dwelling places of the gods. It seems, sometimes, that if one could only gaze upon the peaks long enough, all the mysteries of the universe would be revealed. So there are times that, after taking a few photos, I set down the camera, hoping to gain a little more insight into this great wonderful world of ours. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Cloudplay IV

Seasonal shift

I could feel this rainbow before it appeared as an intense afternoon thunderstorm moved from west to east across Summit County. Since it was mid-afternoon, the sun was relatively high, making for a low-slung rainbow.

I could feel this rainbow before it appeared as an intense afternoon thunderstorm moved from west to east across Summit County. Since it was mid-afternoon, the sun was relatively high, making for a low-slung rainbow.

FRISCO — It’s not even September yet, but the skies over the Colorado high country have taken on a definite tinge of autumn, even bringing a few early dustings of snow, or a snow and hail mix to the highest peaks. I’m not going to post any snow shots yet; there’s plenty of time for that in the months ahead, but you should be able to feel the transitioning seasons in some of these late summer shots. It’s an awesome month for rainbows, as long as the monsoon moisture continues to stream into Colorado, so keep your camera handy and send us your best rainbow shot. We’ll post it in one of our photo essays. Follow our Instagram fee for daily updates, and visit our online gallery to buy fine art Colorado landscape prints and greeting cards. Continue reading

Food: Fierce battle expected over Colorado GMO labeling ballot initiative

The best breakfast was this plate of biscuits and gravy at the pet-friendly Fountain Inn motel in Newcastle, Wyoming.

What’s in your food?

National consumer advocacy group joins fray

Staff Report

FRISCO — Coloradans this November will have a chance to decide whether they want to know if their food includes genetically manipulated foods via a ballot initiative (Proposition 105) that would require GMO labeling. Continue reading

Morning photo: Mountain magic

Find it!

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Dusk light in the Meadow Creek wetlands. The light was quite murky and the color images were tinged with scattered blue UV rays, but treating it in B&W helped make them more crisp.

FRISCO — An iPhone set, all images processed in-camera, shows the incredible range of light conditions that can be captured if you’re in the right place at the right time. My favorite shot in this set is the sandstone tower in Glenwood Canyon (third image) which I took standing up through the sunroof of the #climaterangers truck while stuck in traffic on I-70, but the shaft of light in the second image is a close second. Continue reading

Morning photo: Trough Road

Colorado River country

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River crossing.

FRISCO — A super-early start to the day turned into a photography paced drive back to Summit County via the Trough Road after our morning flight from the Eagle airport was canceled due to weather. Conservation Colorado had invited me to join them on overflight of the White River National Forest to check out, from above, some of the areas under consideration for wilderness designation in a bill pending before Congress. Instead, I headed north from Wolcott to historic State Bridge, then mostly east along the Trough Road, with incredible views of the Upper Colorado River Valley. Murky skies and low-hanging clouds prevailed, but the road, one of Colorado’s scenic byways, is always inviting. Continue reading

Biodiversity: Will the rain crow sing again?

Feds map critical habitat for yellow-billed cuckoo

Yellow-billed cuckoos have nearly been extirpated from the western U.S. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.

Yellow-billed cuckoos have nearly been extirpated from the western U.S. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.

Will yellow-billed cuckoos make a comeback in Colorado?

Will yellow-billed cuckoos make a comeback in Colorado?

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The long endangered species odyssey of the yellow-billed cuckoo may be one step closer to resolution, as federal wildlife officials this week proposed designating more than half a million acres of critical habitat for the birds, sometimes known as rain crows for their habit of singing before a storm.

The bird was once common along most rivers and streams in the West, but the decline of the species, eyed for protection since 1986, shows how much human activities have degraded riparian riverside habitat. Yellow-billed cuckoos are neotropical migrants that winter in South America and nest along rivers and streams in western North America. Continue reading

Morning photo: ‘Shroom hunting!

Prime time for Colorado fungi

Colorado mushrooms

Clavaria purpurea, purple coral mushroom growing in the Tenmile Range near Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — For a couple of weeks every summer I need to set aside extra time every few days to search for wild mushrooms. It’s not just the eating — I’m totally fascinated by the role fungi have in forest ecosystems, with some recent studies suggesting that they may be the key drivers of the forest carbon carbon cycle because of how they interact with plants to sequester carbon deep in forest soils. This morning, during a short walk in the Tenmile Range, I found one decaying section of a log, about two square feet, home to at least six species of fungi (that I could see), along with many more types of moss and lichen, all woven into a living, organic mat on the forest floor. And, as icing on the cake, I did find a couple of Boletus edulis, delicious edibles sought after around the world under various names, including porcini and cep. Continue reading

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