Time revisit a couple of favorite mountains scenes in the Summit Voice archives, and time to remember that global warming is going alter some mountain landscapes irrevocably, not it the far distant future, but within a few decades. For example, a new study shows how warming will alter basic soil chemistry by speeding up microbial activity and shifting the balance of key nutrients. This will displace some plants and probably eliminate others. And as much as we appreciate forested landscapes, climate change is driving the spread of tree-killing insects, as shown by the latest aerial survey of Colorado forests. Check out more environmental and nature photography from Summit Voice at our online gallery, or visit the Sunday Set archives.
Most of my photography focuses on natural landscapes, and I often try to set up and compose images to avoid human intrusion. That’s because I figure the human species has pretty much become a destructive parasite on the Earth, for the most part only taking, without giving anything back. But there are places where people live in harmony with their surroundings; where structures are built on a scale that doesn’t suggest dominance. I found a few places like that this summer while touring around Austria doing research for the Global Warming in the Alps project, for example the roadside farmhouse nestled into the hillside in the first image, or the Almtalerhaus, a mountain refuge and restaurant in the Salzkammergut lakes region of Upper Austria. As well, the Dachstein Lodge am Krippenstein is a rebuilt shelter that fits well on its mountaintop perch, rather than looming ostentatiously over the slopes like so many other new mountain lodges. We’re all going to have to try and live on a more human scale if we’re going to get serious about creating a sustainable future for our kids.
A few days in the Salzkammergut, in search of cheese produced on juicy alpine pastures, yielded this set of shots, showing that cloudy days are good days for mountain photography — as long as you can keep your camera dry. Visit our online gallery for more landscape and nature photography, where you can buy prints, postcards and more, all while supporting independent environmental journalism. More info on climate change in the Austrian mountains at our Global Warming in the Alps blog.
A low-lying puffy cloud deck over Dillon Reservoir near Frisco, Colorado.
Sky drama in Colorado.
A winter storm breaks up over the Tenmile Range near Dillon, Colorado.
The break of day in Colorado.
When there’s a crack in the sky between the horizon and the clouds, and the sun comes up and fills that crack with pure light, it’s magic. And there’s other kinds of mountain magic too — the clearing of a winter storm, when the cloud veil parts to reveal a frosted world, or the light of an afternoon thunderstorm, all dark and ominous, while the foreground is bathed in bright sunshine. Check out more mountain light in the online Summit Voice gallery, where you can but prints, postcards and more and support online journalism!
Sometime around late March, when late-winter blizzards roar, a summer fever can set it. We can’t speed up the seasons, but through the lens, we can recapture a sense months gone by. This set highlights a few scenes from July and August 2015 and offers a promise of another summer ahead. Visit our online gallery to see more fine art landscape photography from Colorado and around the world.
329 million mountain people face hunger in the world’s developing countries
The world’s mountain people are among the hardest hit by hunger and malnutrition, experts said in a new study released on International Mountain Day 2015 (Dec. 11).
Even though there has been some progress in addressing food security on a global scale, that hasn’t been the case in mountain regions, where the number of people facing hunger and malnutrition grew by 30 percent between 2000 and 2012.
The northern Alps in Austria mirrored in a mountain lake that may very well disappear as the Earth’s climate warms.
Snow-dusted Gore Range in Colorado, photographed from the air.
Iceland’s mountains form a stunning backdrop to the country’s countless waterfalls.
Mayflower Gulch, Colorado.
At Traunsee, Austria.
The Colorado Rockies.
People around the world today are celebrating International Mountain Day as a way of recognizing the importance of mountains to the environment, culture and spirituality. High peaks have been sacred places for wisdom seekers since the dawn of humanity, but like the rest of the Earth, they’ve been exploited for economic gain the past few centuries. It’s time to stop the plunder, like mining and clearcutting, and time to start respecting mountains for what they give us. And the world’s mountain regions ‚ including the Rockies — also face serious threats from global warming. Share some mountain love today and check out more on social media channels under the #mountainsmatter and #IMD2015 hashtags on Twitter. #FriFotos also has a mountain theme today.