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Morning photo: Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me

Other times I can barely see …


Autumn light slants across the Continental Divide in Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO — Sometimes the autumn light in the Colorado Rockies is so intense, you can feel it, like when a shaft of sunrise light slants in from low on the horizon to fill distant valleys, or when snow-covered peaks glow with a life of their own. For the images in this set, I delved back in the archives about a year, to last October. That’s not because there hasn’t been any good light this year; there has. But it turns out that each year is different, spectacular in its own way, but different, and I was looking for scenes that really show the different qualities of light. 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

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Rocky Mountains facing serious global warming impacts

Agency releases draft versions of climate adaptation implementation plans for review and public comment

Looking for unusual tones in that first gleam of morning sunlight along Peru Creek.

The EPA says the Rocky Mountain region is particularly vulnerable to water supply issues as a result of global warming.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The climate in the Rocky Mountains is changing rapidly, outside  the   range  to  which  society  has  adapted  in  the  past, according to the EPA’s draft climate adaptation implementation plan for the agency’s Southwest Region, which covers western Colorado.

Most of the “cascading effects” of global climate change will be felt in the region, including increased air temperature, decreased precipitation in some areas, and more severe storms. Along the West Coast, oceans will become more acidic and warm and sea level will rise. Continue reading

Climate: October temperatures below average across lower 48 states, but Alaska readings reach all-time high

Year-to-date wetter and warmer than average


The western U.S. was cooler than average in October 2013, with a few pockets of record cold readings. Map courtesy NOAA National Climatic Data Center.

FRISCO — For the first time since last April, the average monthly temperature across the lower 48 states was below average for the month, with the coolest readings across the western U.S. It was the first month of the year with cooler than average readings for most of the West.

By contrast, Alaska reporting its warmest-ever October, breaking the old record by 1.1 degrees.

Across the contiguous states, the average October temperature was 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit, 0.6 degrees below the 20th century average, and the 37th-coldest October on record, according to the monthly update from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. Continue reading

Climate: Are you ready for the heat?

U.S. temps expected to climb 9 degrees by 2100

All around the globe, the land areas show a greater increase in temperature than the surrounding ocean waters. Evaporation of the water helps to keep the ocean surface cool and the deep depths of the ocean have a large capacity to absorb energy before heating up.

FRISCO — After last week’s release of a relatively short summary of global warming science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has now published a full report detailing the science. The report is available at the IPCC website.

It not easy reading, and it’s not easy to swallow the conclusions, but the report makes it clear that this is not the time for denial. The most pronounced warming will be in the northerh hemisphere, and areas like the Rocky Mountains and northern Canada could feel the heat sooner rather than later.

Without drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the average temperature across the contiguous 48 states is projected to increase by a life-changing 9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Globally, temperatures are expected to climb by 7 degrees.

That warmth will cause sea level to rise by anywhere from 10 to 35 inches by 2100 — and that’s a conservative estimate. Some other studies estimate a 40-inch rise in sea level by 2100.

One crucial area that isn’t comprehensively covered by the IPCC involves the carbon locked into the world’s icy permafrost region. The report estimates huge thawing in permafrost region, but downplays the additional warming effects resulting from the release of that carbon, which could amount to another couple of degrees of temperature increases by 2100.

IPCC atlas of projected changes:

Morning photo: Classic Rocky Mountains

In the canyons …


Sun seekers.

FRISCO —A set of highly filtered iPhone shots just for fun. It’s a blast being able to shoot straight into the sun, knowing that you’ll be able to mix and match in the Instagram palette to make something eye catching. If you enjoy our Colorado snapshots here on Summit Voice or on Twitter, be sure to visit our online gallery at FineArt America, with a full selection of fine art prints and groovy Colorado greeting cards. Continue reading

Morning photo: Just another Summit sunset

Actually, two sunsets …

Summit County photography

Cloudplay and raindrops.

FRISCO — A couple of brilliant sunsets on some of the longest days of the year, leading up to the summer solstice … Continue reading

Morning photo: May snow

Bonus powder

Fence line.

Fence line.

FRISCO —I never thought I’d be shooting snowscapes in early May, but then again, living at 9,000 feet in the Colorado high country, you just never know. At this point, it can’t even be billed as the last storm, with the National Weather Service forecasting a chance of more unsettled weather next week. Of course, cool conditions in late spring aren’t unprecedented. Old-timers will remember Cinco de Mayo powder days at A-Basin and even Breckenridge back in the 1980s. A wet spring often helps ease Colorado out one of its periodic droughts. In any case Frisco was sparkling Thursday morning. Here’s what it looked like. Continue reading

Morning photo: signs of spring

meltdown …

A stand of aspens is partially submerged by a spring snowmelt pond near the Meadow Creek trailhead in Frisco, Colorado.

A stand of aspens is partially submerged by a spring snowmelt pond near the Meadow Creek trailhead in Frisco, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY —At long last, the melt season has started in the Colorado high country, nearly a month later than last year. As it goes in the mountains, things change in a hurry once it warms up. Tender green sprouts shoot up at the edge of crusty snowbanks, sometimes growing an inch per day. There’s not a lot of time — at 10,000 feet, most plants have to reach flowering stage within just a couple of months. Springtime in the Rockies! Continue reading

Morning photo: By the light of the moon …

Rocky Mountain glow


Morning alpenglow on the Gore Range, Summit County, Colorado.

FRISCO —Friday brought a lovely April morning to go out and capture a few images of the full moon setting over the Gore Range. Sure, the snow is a bit crusty for hiking, but it’ll be melted soon enough — at least at lower elevations. But for now, it was one more wintry scene from the flanks of Tenderfoot Mountain, and a spectacular alpenglow to go along with the spectacle of the setting moon. If you like these images, please visit our online Summit County gallery at Imagekind, and also at FineArt America, featuring an amazing selection of Summit County landscapes. Continue reading

Morning photo: ‘Pink’ moon?

Clearing skies …


The almost-full moon rising over the snow-covered Rockies.

FRISCO —April’s full moon is sometimes called the pink moon for slightly obscure reasons, according to my sources, who say the name is related to pink flowers that start blooming this time of year. The April moon is sometimes also called the egg moon, the full sprouting-grass moon or the full fish moon. Regardless of what it’s called, it was nice to see clear skies once again after a spate of stormy April weather.
Continue reading


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