Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to One and All!

(Click on Photo for Larger View)
New Year's Eve Fireworks at "Skate The Lake" in Evergreen, Colorado

Many thanks to all my visitors for stopping by my blog and commenting on my photos. I've really enjoyed getting to know all of you this year and am looking forward to seeing what's in store for all of us in 2010!

May the New Year bring all of you all good things!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Fascination

"When we recall Christmas past, we usually find
that the simplest things -not the great occasions -
give off the greatest glow of happiness." ~ Bob Hope

(Click on Photo for Larger View)

As a toddler, my daughter was fascinated by all things Holiday.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Caroling, Caroling

Holiday Magic #1

Don we now our gay apparel,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

(Click on Photo for Larger View)

Joyful souls donned in gay apparel troll the ancient
Yuletide carol in Denver's festive Larimer Square. 

I've been busily preparing for the Holidays here at home but thought I should bring a little Holiday Spirit to my little corner of cyberspace as well. This was taken several years ago when my daughter was little. She was enthralled with the carolers but too shy to join them in song. Ah, those were the days. . .

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winter Peak

Mountain Light #2

“Mountains are earth's undecaying monuments.”
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Winter Peak"
(Click on Photo for Larger View)
A snow covered peak looms over Colorado's
Eisenhower Tunnel near the Continental Divide.

I thought a wintery shot would be nice for the 1st of December.

I snapped this photo as we were coming back from skiing last spring. Traffic was at a standstill, as it often is during the ski season, so I was afforded many opportunities to take photos from the car. It's not so bad being stuck in traffic when views like this are available.

Near as I can tell from the map, this mountain seems to be about 12,200 feet high.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Autumn Reflection

Autumn Splendor #4

November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

"Autumn Reflection"
(click on photo for larger view)
Bright orange foliage is reflected in a quiet pool of water.
Bear Brook State Park, Allenstown, NH 

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.

~ Clyde Watson

For me, despite what the calendar shows, autumn is over when November is over:  "Earth sinks to rest," as the above poem, says. And as I relish these last few quiet days of fall before the hectic holiday seasons begins, I reflect on autumns past and remember a place I loved to hike in my youth. One glorious fall day in New Hampshire, as I walked along one of my favorite trails, I came across this beautiful tree in full foliage reflected in a pool in the stream that follows the trail. My camera always at the ready, I was able to capture the moment.

The light patch about a third of the way down on the left is a rock just under the water. The shot I took was of the tree upside down from the opposite bank but I thought the tree looked better upright.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We Give Thanks

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. " ~ Melody Beattie

May you be blessed with many reasons
to be thankful, this Thanksgiving and always. 


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Buy Nothing Day

"Think Green Thursday"

Bobbie from Almost There participates in "Think Green Thursday" from Are You Think(ing) Green? each week. I always enjoy all the thought-provoking posts on the environment so I thought I would try my hand at one this week. Since next Thursday is Thanksgiving, and next Friday is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, I thought the following topic would be appropriate.

"There are two roads to affluence.
One is to have many things.
The other is to have few wants."

Loving the natural world as I do, I've always tried to be active in the "environmental" movement. In addition to trying to do my own part by "reducing, reusing and recycling," I was part of the Clamshell Alliance against nuclear energy, protested the manufacture of triggers for nuclear bombs, volunteered for the Nature Conservancy, and have regularly lobbied my representatives for improved environmental legislation on a number of topics over the years. One of the most serious threats to our global environment is rampant consumerism and, to bring attention to that issue, I like to promote "Buy Nothing Day" each year.

What began 20 years ago as a call not to contribute to the wasteful, mindless spending machine that drives our consumer-oriented economy on what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year has now been ramped up for 2009 to a call for a "Wildcat Strike."

"This November 27th, we’re calling for a Wildcat General Strike. We’re asking tens of millions of people around the world to bring the capitalist consumption machine to a grinding – if only momentary – halt.

"We want you to not only stop buying for 24 hours, but to shut off your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for the day.

"From sunrise to sunset we’ll abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles."

Doing all of the above might be a bit radical for most but perhaps you can choose to do three of the above for the day. Most of all, though, don't buy a thing all day. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not even online. :)

For more information visit the Buy Nothing Day campaign at Adbusters online.

Added 11/22/09 -- One more reason not to shop on Black Friday:

Dirty secrets of Black Friday 'doorbusters

And visit Are You Think(ing) Green? for some great ideas on living the Green Life. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Curious Fox

A Walk on the Wild Side #2

"The field has eyes,
the wood has ears;
I will look, be silent,
and listen."
- Hieronymus Bosch

"Curious Fox"

(click on photo for larger view)

We have shared this mountain with the foxes for close to 20 years now and I never cease to be enthralled by their beauty, grace, curiosity and friendliness.  They will often sit or lay by us as we work around the house or property. Whether they are looking for companionship--or a handout--I can't say. Today this lady or fellow was highly interested in what my husband was doing on the deck.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Autumn Foliage

Autumn Splendor #3

"Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."  
~ George Eliot

"Autumn Foliage"
(click on photo for a larger view)

Shorter days signal the remarkable
transformation of fall in the Rockies.

Reynolds Park. Conifer, Colorado

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

October Snow

Mountain Living #3

We had a big snow storm last week that dumped nearly four feet of snow (45 inches) on our mountain--and a lot of other places along Colorado's front range. This is not extremely unusual for Colorado (6' in March of 1990; 4' in October 1997; 8' in March 2003) but it's not exactly welcome this early.

(Click on photos for larger view.)

Cars are buried.

 Camper is buried.

Daughter is buried. Well, almost. 

Deck is buried.

Roof is buried.


House is nearly buried.

Thank goodness for husbands!

We've had beautiful weather this week though--it's been sunny and warm and the snow is actually melting quite a bit. You've got to love Colorado!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

"When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween."

 I've been too busy of late to post much but I did want to wish everyone a very Happy Halloween!

Hopefully I'll be able to catch up soon and post some photos of the recent blizzard that dumped 45" of snow on us. We're still digging out. . . We normally get about a foot of snow here on Halloween but nearly four feet? That was quite the Halloween trick.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Light and Shadow on The Sawtooth

Mountain Light #1

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves" ~ John Muir

"Light and Shadow on the Sawtooth"
 (click on photo for a larger view)

Late afternoon shadows move across the
face of The Sawtooth. Guanella Pass, Colorado

Before the creeping crud hit our household this fall I was able to make a trip to nearby Guanella Pass to do some shooting. I may not have captured the spectacular foliage shots I was looking for but it was a perfect fall day and I can almost always find something worth aiming my camera toward. The light and shadow on the side of this mountain is a perfect example.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Aspen Leaf on Glass

Autumn Splendor #2

While fall Aspens are normally bright yellow, they can on occasion be a brilliant orange or red, which makes the trees bearing such leaves truly stand out in the crowd.

Aspen Leaf on Glass
(click on photo for a larger view)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bull Elk

A Walk on the Wild Side #1

I had to stop for a beautiful bull elk and his girls as they crossed the road in front of me last night. Being the perfect gentleman, he let them cross first (he probably wanted to see whether or not it was safe for him) then, when they were all safely on the other side, he ran full speed to catch up with them tossing his head and kicking up his heels like a playful horse. I imagine he wanted to make sure he didn't lose any of his harem. It is rutting season, after all, when males compete for females (isn't that all the time, though?). You don't often see them running like that; he was magnificent.

It was too dark to get a shot last night but I have this photo of a young bull taken from my deck early one summer morning:

"Morning Walk"
(click on photo for a larger view)

Young Bull Elk on a Morning Walk

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mesa Verde and The Ancient Ones

The National Parks #2

"Cliff Palace"
(click on photo for a larger view)

The Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park

I feel a strong affinity with Native cultures and ancient peoples and there is pure magic in the lands where they lived and worked, laughed and cried, hunted, cooked, tended children and created art, for so many thousands of years. To walk through their homes, sit quietly in their places of worship, gaze upon their rock paintings, and hike their trails, fosters a deep sense of connection to these people, to the earth, to time itself. . .

One such magical place is  Mesa Verde National Park. The ancient homes of a vanished people are located there as well as at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, and other sites throughout the Southwest. These cliff dwellings, nestled deep into the canyon walls, far below the mesa tops, are hidden from view and difficult to get to.

About 1,400 years ago, from 550 A.D. to 1300 A.D., ancestral Puebloans (sometimes known as Anasazi, or "Ancient Ones") inhabited the area's mesas. However, it wasn't until the last 100 years or so of this occupation that they constructed elaborate structures below the mesa tops. And, toward the late 1200s, they disappeared from the place altogether.

What happened to them? What forced them to build their homes into the side of steep cliffs to begin with? These are mysteries that archeologists have yet to solve. But you can still learn a great deal about the culture of these people at Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon and other archaeological sites in the Southwest.

I found this video on YouTube and thought it was interesting and fairly well done:

Related posts:

The National Parks: America's Best Idea

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Aspen Gold

Autumn Splendor # 1

Autumn is by far my favorite time of year and unfortunately, due to illnesses running through our household this year, I missed it. And it missed me. Even here on the mountain, which is normally glorious, there was a dismal show of color. I imagine the foot of snow we received earlier in the season had something to do with the aspens simply going from green to brown.

But, thanks to the magic of photography, I have more than memories to go by.

Aspen Gold
(click on photo for a larger view)

Aspens from a previous fall near my home in Conifer, Colorado.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The National Parks -- America's Best Idea Indeed

The National Parks #1

Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan have done it again with another magnificent documentary series titled, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," airing this week on PBS. And what a wonderful idea this was for a documentary. The film is all at once beautiful and informative, moving and inspiring. I was uplifted by the incredible scenery and the unfaltering commitment of  those who fought to preserve our public lands and brought to tears by those seeking to destroy them (the flooding of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite comes to mind).  I could go on and on about the series but I'll defer to those who can express themselves much better than I.

Purchase the DVD and book.

As a nature lover and a landscape photographer I owe a debt of gratitude to our National Parks and all our public lands. They have sustained me through good times and bad and have done much to feed my soul. Many thanks to Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan for creating such a beautiful and meaningful film about our most precious national treasures.

Part 2: National Parks Photos #1

Like millions of my fellow Americans, I, too, have found true inspiration in our National Parks and Monuments.

"Sunset Geyser"
(click on photo for a larger view)

Pink Cone Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Summer of Ladybugs

Mountain Living #2

(click on photos for a larger view)

This past summer we saw an infestation of ladybugs. They were everywhere. The air was thick with them. I couldn't walk from the house to the car without having to pick several out of my hair.

At first it was awe-inspiring--I had never
seen so many ladybugs in one place.

They would congregate together in huge bunches (apparently mating) when the sun was in and then take to the air en masse, filling the sky, when the sun came out.

The local news did a report on the phenomenon and said they would disperse in a few weeks.

They didn't.

The nights started to get cooler on the mountain and I was sure they would depart for greener (and warmer) pastures.

They didn't.

We got a foot of snow last week and endured many cold, snowy days. Surely that would take care of them.

Au contraire. They are as numerous (if not more so) than ever and are still at it, eager to reproduce.

Now that the sun is out again, they are still filling the air!

I wonder if they will be around all winter??

A few videos from the summer

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Winter Comes Early in the Mountains

Mountain Living #1

(click on photo for a larger view)
        First Day of Fall: September 22, 2009

Winter has come early to the mountain. Our first real snowfall dropped more than a foot of snow--and it's still coming down. It's lovely to watch--but I admit that I'm not quite ready for winter yet. The aspens haven't even started to turn here at the house.

And it's always strange to see snow clinging to green leaves. . .
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