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Morning photo: Saturday set

Where the frost flowers bloom

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Frost garden.

FRISCO — Just like good wildflower years seem to come and go in cycles, the frost flowers don’t always bloom in great profusion in Summit County. Frost flowers, which have their own Wikipedia page, tend to grow on fresh, thin sea of lake ice, where there’s a high temperature contrast between the air and the ice. In the Arctic, the crystalline blooms help dispel salts and other seawater chemicals into the atmosphere; along the Snake River, they likely do the same with the high levels of metals in the water. Some years, the entire surface of Dillon Reservoir has been covered by these delicate and ephemeral crystals, but this year, I had to scour the Snake River to find a few small clusters Saturday morning. Check out our online gallery at Fine Art America for a full selection of Summit County landscape and nature shots. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Freezing up

Ice, everywhere …

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Evening light on the blue ice of Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO —The shortest days and longest nights of the year are upon us and everywhere you look, there’s ice. Some will say, “It’s about time,” while others yearn for spring. I just go with the flow and look for beauty in the moment. I think, ultimately, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy my photo excursions. They really do keep me in the here and now, focused on what’s right in front of me at that moment in time.

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Remnants of a puddle or pond, frozen and shattered, like pieces of the sky.

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Morning photo: Icy bliss

High country

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I really wanted to shoot this Snake River scene in the shadows to emphasize the cool blue winter light. In this version, an Instagram filter helped me get the look I was after.

FRISCO —Cool blues, frosty whites and silvers and a bit of green dominate this set of images, the colors of winter. The past few days were as cold as it’s been for about nine or 10 months here in Summit County, the first real taste of winter, and hopefully just the start of a long snow season. I revisited a favorite spot along the Snake River to try and shoot some familiar scenes in a little bit different light, and since these are the shortest days of the year, the sun slants through some pretty unusual spots in the craggy skyline. I also inserted a few shots of last winter’s crop of frost flowers, mainly to remind myself not to miss these ephemeral formations when they appear the first few days after Dillon Reservoir freezes over. Continue reading

Morning photo: Crystalline magic

From the vault …

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Smooth, round ripples and jagged frost crystals contrast along the Snake River.

FRISCO — To celebrate the start of the season of snow and ice I dug back into the archives from about a year ago, finding that — surprise — Dillon Reservoir was already frozen over by this date in 2011. By mid-December, the ice-sailing season was in full swing, as local afficionados of the sport took advantage of a few weeks of clear ice. Just like this year, I was scouring the banks of local streams and creeks, sometimes getting lost in the magical world of frost crystals growing from the water vapor above the streams. Continue reading

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