Quaking aspens

Colorado turns to fall

September 20, 2017

The aspens high in the San Juans are turning gold and we are enjoying the display immensely.  The temps have been cool and winds blustering to +30 mph for the last 3 days.

A ride up Ridgway County Rd 7 was disappointing for aspen color but a view of Mt. Sneffels is always a joy.  I believe it is the highest peak in San Juan Mountains.

The Joker Mine high in the Red Mountains was just starting to show some color and a surprise fresh coating of snow on Red Mountain.

The aspens near Ironton Park and Red Mountain where dazzling in the morning sun.  A black tailed deer came out of this aspen grove just as I moved away.

Always looking for the classic aspen grove and found this clump near Ironton Park.

The colors near Silverton where just turning neon in the sunlight.

Yes, fall is my favorite season and Colorado has it best.

 

 

 

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August in Colorado

Montrose, Colorado

We have been enjoying summer in Montrose, Colorado.  There are so many things to see and do.

Olathe, CO is an agricultural community famous for it’s amazing sweet corn (which we have eaten our share of) but the sunflower fields were hard to resist.

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is an awesome place to experience.  This is a shot of the Painted Wall.  If you look closely, you can see the Gunnison River carving it’s way through the canyon.  Dropping an average of 95 feet per mile in the national park, the Gunnison River is indeed carving a steep canyon.

Geologist Wallace R Hansen said “…no other North American canyon combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness, and somber countenance of the Black Canyon.”

Another of our favorites is Yankee Boy Basin.  The jeep ride takes you up over 11,000 feet elevation.  The twin falls that run down the basin are an amazing sight.  It is famous for it’s fields of wildflowers.

A few of the beautiful Indian paintbrushes found along the water.

Ridgway, Colorado has the famous Last Dollar Road.  It is a wonderful jeep ride that ends near Teluride.  Here is the entrance to the large Last Dollar Ranch.  I love to shoot the fence lines here with the San Juan Mountains in the background.

Another famous ranch in Ridgway is the Double RL Ranch (owned by Ralph Lauren).  This hay field was shot near the West Dallas Road with the Cimmaron Mountains in the far background.

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Crested Butte Wildflower Festival

Crested Butte, Colorado

July 20, 2017

The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival had many energetic offerings of guided hikes, professional photographer field led workshops and many more programs.  I had the pleasure of participating in 4 professional photographer led workshops.

The “5am sunrise” workshop took us high above Gothic to watch the sun rise over the headwaters of the East River.

The “Wildflower Landscape” workshop explored the Gothic Road area with a view up the East River Basin.

 

Perfecting Close-Ups” was a challenging but great learning experience.  Recently blossomed columbines were my subjects.

An Evening of Wildflowers began with a heavy thunderstorm passing over the mountain.  The skies did clear enough for the group to explore the Keebler Pass area.  The wildflowers were a little wet but still colorful in this aspen grove.

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Hot Air Balloon Festival

Gunnison, Colorado

July 4, 2017

The Gunnison Hot Air Balloon Festival was a 3 day event and most entertaining to watch.  The crowds appreciated the show.

This colorful balloon was dropping the streamers into the crowd.  The kids loved to chase them.

Always a challenge to get more than one into a shot.

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Black Hills

Custer, South Dakota

June 28, 2017

While we enjoyed our time in the Black Hills, we were distracted by hunting for a summer home.  No luck this time but we will keep our eyes open.  I thoroughly enjoyed car pooling to Evan’s Plunge with a great group of local ladies.  The swimming and the company were  the best.  The hot springs stays a constant 87 degrees and is out of this world.  With all this fun, I did not take my usual portfolio of images but here are a few.

Sylvan Lake is one of my favorites with it’s granite monoliths.  Located in Custer State Park it is located at the start of Needles Highway.

The buffalo calves are growing fast but always close to mom.

Spotted a burrowing owl along the fence line in Wind Cave National Park.

A burrow and calf enjoying the prairie grasses.

A curious pronghorn portrait

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Custer

Custer State Park

Custer, SD

May 27, 2017

Custer State Park is one of the few places in the world where you can see an abundance of wildlife  in their natural habitat.  We have been exploring the park’s 71,000 acres and continually losing count of the wildlife we have seen on each trip into the park.  Bison, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes (hunting the prairie dog fields), white-tailed deer, wild burros and many birds including wild turkeys.

Here is a large female that I spotted walking a ridge line overlooking the grazing herd.

This is how a young bison looks after its first winter.  Growing those horns and shedding that winter coat.

The young bison are always under the cow’s watchful eyes.

After the gold rush in the Black Hills, miners abandoned the burros they used.  The burros still prosper in the park.  Here is a mother with new born.

 

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