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Morning photo: Frost flowers

In winter’s grasp …


Delicate crystals grow on stalks of dry grass near the shore of Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO — Despite the risk of slightly frostbitten fingers, I have a strange fascination with the frost formations that grace the Colorado high country during the winter. The best time to photograph them is during the middle to late part of fall, when daily temperature fluctuations are greatest and there’s still some moist air streaming off streams, ponds and lakes. That’s the combination that fuels the best growth. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Calendar time!

Some January shots …

january sky over Summit County

January sky over Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO —Last January may not have been the snowiest month, but it was definitely wintry, at least judging by the Summit Voice photo archives, which features some stellar shots of the always-groovy ice formations along the Snake River, along with some killer sunsets and stunning sunrise images of the Gore Range. It’s hard for me to narrow down the selection to a half-dozen, and if you have a favorite that you think should be included, leave a comment in the box at the end of the post. If you enjoy our daily snapshots at Summit Voice, visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images featuring the light of the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading

Morning photo: Eclectic

When water turns to ice …


Waterdance …

FRISCO —Sifting through my shots from the last few days, I noticed once again how drawn I am to waterside scenes. Sometimes I think that I really ought to try and get away from the streams, lakes and reservoirs and focus on dry land landscapes, just for a change of pace. But especially this time of the year, when water starts making that mystical change from liquid to solid, it’s just so tempting to try and capture that dynamic process — in color or, as in a few of the shots in this set, in black and white. Click on the images to see them full size, and visit our online gallery for more Summit County landscape magic. Continue reading

Morning photo: Along the river …

Ice hunting


Sometimes it’s fun to shoot into the sun. In this shot, I got an entirely new sunburst pattern that I’ve never seen before with this particular lens.

FRISCO — A quick Tuesday morning stroll along the river in search of ice was rewarded by a fine sunrise, and, sure enough, there are shady spots where the Big Freeze has already started. It’s a great time to get out and watch the transition of the season. It may not be as showy as the initial blaze of aspen color, but mid- to late-autumn has its own treasures if you look hard enough. Continue reading

Morning photo: Chilly mornings!

Inevitability …


Early morning along the shore of Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO —Indian summer suddenly gave way to winter, which in turn gave way to autumn in a topsy-turvy merry-go-round of seasons that’s not at all unusual in the Colorado high country. For all we know, we may still get some late summer temps, at least in the afternoons under a warm autumn sun. But with daylight waning, look for cold mornings to continue, bringing the season of frost and ice. We can hardly wait! Continue reading

Morning photo: More autumn-ness

Seasons of the Summit


Rosehips in the snow.

FRISCO — One of the best things about this time of year is the way things change rather quickly. The most recent snowstorm was a great example. Along with coating the peaks in a gleaming mantle of fresh white, the sudden cold changes masses of leaves overnight. Instead of bright golds, yellows and orange, many of the aspen groves turned brown. While that may disappoint some leaf-watchers who were hoping for another weekend, it helped create a whole new look for the mountains in just a few hours. There’s so much contrast and brightness in the fall landscape, and the changes are so dynamic that it’s almost hard to keep up! Continue reading

Morning photo: Late winter (early spring)

Felt — and looked — like January


A frosty scene along the Blue River at the inlet to Dillon Reservoir.

FRISCO —I didn’t really think I’d get another chance to shoot anymore frosty scenes this year, but our early spring storm definitely brought a flashback to January and February conditions with the added benefit of late March light. Deep snow, temps well below zero and bright sunshine — a great way to start the week in Summit County, offering some hope that the drought may be easing. Continue reading

Morning photo: Frost hunting

January treasures

frost crystals Colorado

A little depth-of-field magic and perfect morning light helped isolate this heavily frosted branch from the rest of the wintry landscape.

FRISCO — Even though it hasn’t snowed in a few days, there are still a few nooks and crannies where the snow hasn’t melted off the trees. You have to look in wind-sheltered spots on north-facing aspects, because even in January, the mid-day sun can quickly eat away at the powder. That’s not to say that old snow is bad. Any snow is good, but it’s fun tracking down places where it really looks like the deep winter it’s supposed to be.  Continue reading

Morning photo: Treescapes

The frost zone …

Diamond dust.

FRISCO — I set out for the Dillon side of the reservoir early, before sunrise, thinking it would be another fine day to shoot frost-coated trees, but the warm air advection during the night inhibited formation of the fog, limiting it to a thin coating near ground level. There was, however, one good frost zone; only problem, it was near a section of the Dam Road where there is no easy access. So I headed down the hill, turned left on Anemone Trail and walked up toward the face of the dam on the recpath, then veered off on to the hillside. The light was dazzling so I squeezed off a whole series of shots, all the while looking for the best vantage point. Eventually, I ended up on the prominent rocky ridge just above the Dam Road, and, of course, within about 30 seconds, a Dillon Dam security patrol pulled off the side of the road below me and hollered at me to get off the rocks — but not before I got a couple shots of the frost crystals flaking off the trees above me. Continue reading

Morning photo: Second look

Snake River revisited


Shadow and light.

FRISCO — Last night I went back to clean out a couple of weeks worth of pictures from the archive because if I don’t do it on a regular basis, it becomes a daunting chore. I knew I had a bunch of good shots from two recent early morning shooting sessions along the Snake River, but I also new that some of those images were candidates for deletion. A few others were in between, and those are the images I tried to “rescue” with a big of post-processing. Continue reading


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