While most people picture majestic, glacier-clad crags when they think of the Alps, the great European mountain range has a softer side at its far eastern edge, where the mountains gradually taper off toward the Danube Valley, just west of Vienna. The temperate climate in these foothills is perfect for apple and pear trees, growing so prolifically that there’s and entire district dedicated to the production of tasty cider. And in the famed Wienerwald (Vienna Woods), thick silver-barked beech trees dominate the forests. Just a bit farther south and west, the first high peaks of the Alps rise up to the summit of the Ötscher, a landmark peak surrounded by deeply carved valleys where crystal-clear aquamarine streams flow through protected landscapes like the Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park. In the last few weeks, the soft greens of spring burst forth in abundance in these landscapes near Austria’s first city, and we’re looking forward to more explorations this summer.
Raindrops gather on a patch of green leaves in downtown Vienna.
A painting decorates the exterior of the Green Party headquarters in Vienna.
The bark of an old cottonwood tree in a Vienna open space is covered with moss.
A roadside meadow comes to life with wildflowers in Tulln, Austria.
A dried leaf curls in a bed of moss in Thayatal National Park, Austria.
Old fruit trees.
It’s always fun to watch the world come out of winter hibernation and nothing says spring like lush green. Add a sprinkle of raindrops and a few flowers — not to mention a colorful mural, and let the good time roll. It’s a time and hope, both of which are needed in these troubled times. If the Earth can renew itself, so can we!
FRISCO — A cool and foggy morning after a rainy night seemed like a good time to go out and chase down the first real greens of spring. Just a little way down the Blue River Valley, the aspens are already quite a bit farther along than in the higher elevations of Summit County and the runoff is sheeting down the valley in broad roadside flows and spilling out of every ditch. As always, it’s feast or famine in Colorado, and we’ve been wet for about a year now. It should be an incredible wildflower season! Continue reading “Morning photo: Spring greens”→
FRISCO — Sure, hot pink and vivid orange are eye-popping, but there’s something to be said for the soothing blues and greens of forests and streams. These colors on the cooler end of the spectrum have always been my favorites. Starting way back, when time came to pick out a flannel shirt, I invariably went in that direction over the flashy reds. Photographing the darker blue and green shadows and crevices can be a little tricky. Too much shade and the blue takes over completely. And even though the iPhone does well in the shade in many situations, when there’s snow in the picture, the sensor really wants to tilt toward the blue end, and even high-end DSLRs may need some adjustment of the white balance to capture what the eyes sees rather than what the sensor wants to capture. Continue reading “Morning photo: Deep greens and blues …”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — A few green-themed photos in honor of St. Patrick’s Day in today’s photo post — and please don’t call it St. Patty’s Day. Patty is a girl’s name, and has absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick. If anything, St. Paddy’s day might be borderline acceptable. In any case, green is quite the color, perhaps not as eye-catching as red, or royal as purple, or soothing as blue, but it certainly stands as a color of worth, especially in scenes of nature. Continue reading “Morning photo: Goin’ green!”→
SUMMIT COUNTY — With St. Patrick’s Day just last week, and today being the official first full day of spring, I was yearning for some green, so I browsed the Summit Voice photo archives for most verdant pictures I could find. And since we tilt toward a green world view anyway, it all seemed to fit together. Continue reading “Morning photo: Green!”→