Morning photo: Weekend whimsy

Camera play

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Sunday morning, down at the end of our street.

FRISCO — A few shots and edits from the weekend … Continue reading

Morning photo: Meadow Creek

A mountain stream

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In the autumn, Meadow Creek dwindles to a mellow trickle.

FRISCO — Meadow Creek is my hometown’s little stream. Tenmile Creek may be a little bigger and more famous — if a creek can be famous — but Meadow Creek runs right through the busy guts of our little town, down from the Gore Range, under I-70 and right through center of Frisco’s busy commercial thoroughfare, past the bus depot (or transfer station, if you want to use the genteel name for that facility), past Walmart, underneath busy Summit Boulevard, then past a place called Meadow Creek Tires, through a culvert near our local bank branch and then, well, right into our backyard, where it forms a lovely pond before making its final run into Dillon Reservoir. Continue reading

Morning photo: Lagoon

Local landscape

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Full sunlight on the Meadow Creek lagoon in Frisco, Colorado.

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The pond where most of the photos in this post were taken is visible near the center of this Google Maps iPhone screen grab.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — I think they named our townhome complex Lagoon because of the small pond that was built as part of the development, right behind our house, where Meadow Creek comes out of a concrete culvert from beneath Frisco’s commercial/light industrial zone.

To me, the “real” lagoon is just a little farther downstream, where our residential neighborhood ends and the the stream flows into the flatlands on the edge of Dillon Reservoir. It’s only about a five minute walk from our house, but it seems like a world apart.After passing through this highly altered environment (highways, shopping malls, parking lots and dense townhomes), the little creek that starts high in the Gore Range suddenly gets a chance to find its true nature again, spreading out into the willow wetlands in a complex swirl of channels. I’ve taken scores, if not hundreds of pictures right down at the end of our little lane, including the images in this post. Continue reading

Morning photo: Meadow Creek

Beneath the ice …

Looking upstream under an ice shelf in Meadow Creek.

FRISCO — A have an affinity for this little stream, since it flows right through our Frisco neighborhood before merging with Dillon Reservoir. Many of the wetlands pics that I post on a regular basis are from the wetlands on Denver Water land, just downstream of our home, but Monday afternoon I wandered up a little higher, to were Meadow Creek spills down out of the Eagles Nest Wilderness. In a groovy wonderland of ice formations, I tried to compose a few micro landscapes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Ponds

At water’s edge

Sunrise at Officers Gulch pond.

SUMMIT COUNTY —One of my favorite spots to visit for short walk is Officers Gulch Pond, just a stone’s throw from I-70. I don’t really understand the hydrology of the area very well, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the construction of I-70. Regardless, it’s a little roadside gem, and Tuesday morning, as the sun came up over the peaks of the Tenmile Range, the pond was at its best. Continue reading

Morning photo: Water!

Keep it clean …

Peru Creek, Keystone Colorado

A partially frozen wetlands pond along lower Peru Creek, near Keystone, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Earth, air, fire and water are the four classic basic elements — the way people divided and explained the things they saw around them before we started to break everything down into molecules, atoms, and, finally, subatomic parcticles like quarks.

What got me to post this photo essay was the news that Congress is at it once again, with a Republican-led House Committee taking aim at EPA regulations intended to protect your water, and my water, from the excesses of industry. Read the story here. Continue reading

Morning photo: Wetlands

October moods

Meadow Creek wetlands, Frisco, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Even once the bright aspen leaves are gone, the autumn season reveals a rich palette of warm hues. One of my favorite places to watch the changing seasons and changing light is just a five minute walk from my home, along the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco. A couple of nights ago, Leigh and strolled there with the dogs, thinking that we’d missed the brightest colors of the evening, but at low-light settings the Nikon managed to capture some exquisite shadings and tones. Continue reading

Morning photo: Tenmile twilight

Changing seasons …

Evening light paints the Ten Mile Range at Officers Gulch.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The showy display of aspen trees around Summit County is the most obvious sign of the changing seasons, but there are more subtle signs, as well. I drink my first cup of coffee and start fixing breakfast before the sun comes up, and even though daytime temperatures have been above normal, morning are marked by gentle touches of frost at ground level. It’s fun to fully savor the gradual changes and well worth getting out for a morning walk if you get the chance. I don’t have a choice because our two dogs anxiously await their morning excursion each day. All the images you see here are available as prints and you can also check out our online galleries at RedBubble and Imagekind. Continue reading

Morning photo: Water!

Smoothies!

Meadow Creek, Frisco, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The first few pictures in this series were taken by my son, Dylan, during a hike last autumn along Meadow Creek. He’s been on photojournalism assignments with me since before he could walk, when I toted him in a backpack, and his interest in photography emerged from that early exposure. Right now, he’s 13, and acts like he’s not interested in anything I do, but when he saw some pictures I took with cottony water, he wanted to know how I did that. Rather than explain it, I said, “I’ll show you,” so we headed out, set up the tripod and experimented with different apertures and shutter speeds. Continue reading

Morning photo: A year of wetlands

12 months in the Meadow Creek wetlands, Frisco, Colorado

The Meadow Creek wetlands in between seasons on May 15, 2010.

SUMMIT COUNTY — I live on Lagoon Drive in Frisco, Colorado, right along the banks of Meadow Creek, one of the smaller local tributaries that flows down out of the Eagles Nest Wilderness. If you’ve ever hiked the Lily Pad Lake trail, then you’ve seen the little stream as it wends through quiet aspen groves and tumbles down over boulders in the dense lodgepole pine stands on the lower flanks of the Gore Range. Meadow Creek may be small, but it’s more or less an intact stream, with no major diversions that I’ve able to find. There are definitely some historic agricultural diversions, though they seem to be inactive most of the year. I’m pretty sure there may be a diversion that leads over to the Giberson Ranch, but most of the water ends up flowing through Frisco and into the pond that’s part of the Lagoon townhome complex before it nourishes a broad swath of wetlands along the shore of Dillon Reservoir.

What has always amazed me is how well the stream functions, despite the fact that it’s almost completely channelized along it’s passage through town. The channelization starts quite near the Lily Pad Lake trailhead, where it flows into a pipe to go beneath I-70. Then it spreads out again to irrigate the big patch of willows behind Safeway and Wal-Mart before it’s captured again to create park area around Meadow Creek Pond (right behind Wal-mart). From there, it flows through a series of aqueducts through (or beneath) the commercial/light industrial zone along Ten Mile Boulevard, near Meadow Creek Tires and Alpine Bank before it finally flows out on to Denver Water land just below the Lagoon neighborhood, filling several acres of marshes and ponds that provide rich habitat for birds, small mammals and young fish. View the slideshow after the break to see the wetlands change throughout the year. Continue reading

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