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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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Morning photo: Sunday set

Oh, Colorado!

wetlands sunrise Colorado

Wetlands sunrise, Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — Our Sunday set is a grab-bag of shots from the last 10 days or so, starting with another spectacular sunrise scene at the Meadow Creek wetlands in Frisco. And since we’ve been on the road reporting for the crowfunded Climate Rangers environmental journalism project, we’re also featuring a few images from outside Summit County. Continue reading

Morning Photo: San Juan wildflowers

The alpine tundra comes alive!

Colorado wildflowers

Wildflowers flourishing in the alpine tundra near Red Mountain Pass.

FRISCO — A short midweek roadtrip to the San Juans as part of the Rocky Mountain Climate Ranger reporting project yielded some fine images from Colorado’s rugged southwestern mountains — along with in-depth information about how global warming is affecting the Rocky Mountains. Shooting with three different cameras (the top image is an iPhone shot) may seem like a hassle (and it can be at times), but it enabled me to get a good variety of perspectives. The next couple of images were taken with an older Canon and a zoom lens that helped compress the vast fields of flowers, intensifying the color and adding some interesting depth-of-field effects. Continue reading

Morning photo: Monsoon season!

Misty mountains

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Early morning cloudscape pano near Frisco, Colorado.

FRISCO — For a few weeks every summer, Colorado’s weather pattern experiences a seasonal shift that gives us a taste of the tropics. As big high pressure areas move around, moisture often streams into our mountains from the south, keeping the air moist and temperatures relatively warm at night, since the clouds, or even just the moist air, act as a blanket and prevent the day’s warmth from radiating back into space at night. It may be hard to believe, given how much snow we get in the middle of winter, but our monsoon season is actually the wettest time of year in Colorado. And, of course, it’s one of the best times to snap pictures of dramatic cloudscapes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Four Corners magic

From the archives …

fghj

Somewhere in the desert …

FRISCO — If you’ve never wandered down across that strange and wonderful spot where Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all come together, it’s time to get on the road and check it out. Of course the Four Corners monument itself has bcome quite the tourist attraction, but the surrounding countryside is classic American desert, with vast swaths of sagebrush leading up to piñon and juniper dotted mesas. You won’t get any guarantees that the light will be good, but last time Leigh and I passed through the area (It’s been a while), it was pure magic. Continue reading

Morning photo: Best and brightest?

Kodachrome moments in Colorado

buff sunset

As Dillon Reservoir filled, it inundated shoreline meadows, creating a weird dynamic ecosystem at water’s edge. Rapid, cyclical fluctuations in water levels is part of what makes reservoirs big sources of greenhouse gases.

FRISCO — So many spots, so close to home! What a blessing, as a photographer, to live in an area with so many photo ops, from daisies bathed by the morning sun, to the warm alpenglow on Peak 1. The daisies, of course, are growing right outside our front door in a raised flowerbed in one of the most densely populated areas in Summit County. All the rest of the shots are taken within a few miles our Frisco home, Enjoy!

dew drops on daisies ...

dew drops on daisies …

Same sunset, different angle, different Instagram filter.

Same sunset, different angle, different Instagram filter.

Early morning Columbine along Swan Mountain Road.

Early morning Columbine along Swan Mountain Road.

cooling it off!

cooling it off!

 

Morning photo: desert dreams

Four Corners sojourn

You don't see this every day!

You don’t see this every day!

FRISCO — In today’s first post I reported on the ongoing environmental studies for operation of the Four Corners power plant, a giant coal-burning facility that has been spewing air pollution into the atmosphere for decades. Federal officials now propose re-authorizing the plant’s permits for another 25 years without accounting for the environmental toll of greenhouse gases and other pollutants that are directly toxic to people and animals. Obviously, we can’t simply shut down all our coal-burning activities immediately. But at some point, the federal government has to start taking significant steps toward reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases. The permitting process for the Four Corners plant offers a great opportunity to at least start down that path. Meanwhile, enjoy this set of Four Corners images from the Summit Voice archives, and check out our online gallery at Fine Art America for a great selection of Rocky Mountain nature and landscape images. Buying prints or greeting cards from the gallery is one of the best ways to support independent environmental journalism! Continue reading

Morning photo: Summer set

Short and sweet!

Solstice sunset in Colorado.

Solstice sunset in Colorado.

FRISCO —Summer is short and sweet in the Colorado high country, marked by the sudden emergence of wildflowers where there was snow just days before. So break out the bikes, flip-flops and camping gear and take advantage of the long days and the few nights of the year when temps don’t drop below the freezing mark. Continue reading

Morning photo: Vistas

 Lights, camera …

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Guyot and Baldy, under the glow.

FRISCO — Every now and then the evening sky lights up with a vengeance, often when (and where) you least expect it. It’s almost a kind of guessing game, at least in terms of photography and finding the right spot to be to take advantage of that fire in the sky. Having some reflective water or silhouetted tree branches in the foreground is always good, right? Enjoy the daily snapshots and visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Insta-gallery IV

Bring on summer!

FRISCO — It ain’t over til it’s over, but I do think the only place we’re going to see winter for a while is the rear view mirror. These Instagram-filtered shots were all taken in the past few weeks, showing the slow transition from winter to spring. Continue reading

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