This photo selection is mostly intended for photos which have not been included in the blog posts. They might be either from trips not covered on this blog or photos just not included in the posts … as I have way too many to be posting all the ones I like. I make no claim as to the artistic or technical merit of the photos, they are simply ones that I personally like for one reason or another.
Please note most photos can be viewed at larger size by opening in a new tab (right-click)
05.20.2022. Last week I was introduced to somewhere I've never been before, only about an hour's drive from me down on the flatlands near Erie, Colorado: St. Vrain State Park. It consists of a series of ponds, a creek, and camping pads, making for a nice little getaway. It's right next to a major interstate, I-25, so I can't claim that it's a *peaceful* getaway, but the birds certainly do not seem to mind the traffic hum, and it's a pretty location, you can fish on the ponds. I was happy to learn of it. It was a brooding overcast evening, so the Front Range mountains were largely obscured, but on a clear day, the view to the west will be outstanding. We saw several osprey and although I didn't see them, bald eagles nest here.
05.13.2022. I drive by this lovely church, "Chapel on the Rock," outside Allenspark, Colorado, fairly often and I almost never stop to take a photo in spite of how photogenic it is. Well the other day I stopped, as I liked the snow-patched peak lined up behind the center peak of the chapel and the side tower on the right lined up with the slope of the mountain as if the ridgeline would collide with the tower.
05.06.2022. Another bird species I saw nesting this year in the dense foliage of Popoyote Lagoon in Ixtapa was egrets. I'd never seen baby egrets before, and my goodness were they cute. I love their fuzzy coloring of white and gray. Here are a couple shots of busy egret parents and their demanding chicks!
04.15.2022. I noticed a yellow crowned night heron once before at the Popoyote Lagoon in Ixtapa, Mexico, several years ago. I was excited this year to see not only another one, but three other ones. I noticed a lone heron and then this couple who were building a nest some distance away from the main fray of spoonbill, egret and woodstork nests, in a very secluded nook in a tree. I watched them for a very long time on two different days waiting for them to look at me, but they never did! They looked to the sides, at each other, and away from me, showing me their butts. I felt like it was rather personal!
04.01.2022. As I mentioned last week, I hit the jackpot with baby birds. The first ones I saw were the roseate spoonbills; I've only seen babies one other time and my excitement was high over seeing a nest of them. Then another nest. Then another, and another. Then I realized all the nests of other species, too. But here are a few spoonbill chicks. The chicks in the various nests had hatched at different times, some chicks were still so tiny I could barely see their heads over the top of the nest and some were quite a bit older. The first one below I named Baby Baron because it was always spreading its wings and looking over the edge of the nest. The next one, I just love the expression on its face.
03.25.2022. After taking a year off last year due to COVID, I returned to Ixtapa to find my Popoyote Lagoon absolutely overflowing with nesting birds and squawking chicks of several difference species. This is later in the year than I have usually traveled there, and I hit the jackpot with baby season. Very difficult to photograph them through the dense foliage, but I certainly made heroic efforts, haha, and will share some in the coming weeks. This is a nesting couple of roseate spoonbills, looks like their babies have not hatched, and they were still busy constructing their nest.
02.11.2022. Another wild horse eye today. I find them captivating. On this horse, I like her white-brown-blonde colors — white star on her forehead and lovely blonde mane.
02.04.2022. Placitas, New Mexico, is home to several bands of free-roaming wild horses. It's a beautiful sight to see these animals who are otherwise so associated with humans, like they've become appendages to us, running free. As it is a time of severe drought in the area, humans do pitch in and put out hay and water for them, which they surely appreciate, but they are free to come and go wherever they choose. I don't think I've ever seen a truly wild horse, belonging to no one, until we saw these in New Mexico.
01.21.2022. Happy new year, dear readers, a little late. I spent the first half of the first month of 2022 dealing with an extremely painful tooth abscess! It was delightful. One thing I accomplished last year was to recreate my photography website that was lost in a server crash. It was a lot of work but in one way a bit of fun to have to go back through all my photos I've posted over the years and decide which ones to include and what categories to make. I made one gallery all about doors and locks, and ran across this photo in the process. I like it because of the textures. Taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera while in Tunisia.
12.17.2021. Another cemetery above Central City is for members of the order of the Knights of Pythias. I didn't even know there was such an organization! I looked it up; it was the first fraternal organization chartered by Congress in America, actually. Abraham Lincoln himself suggested the charter in 1864. This photo was just taken with the camera on my cell phone, but I liked how the ray of late-day sun beamed light over this headstone ... kind of an ethereal scene.
12.10.2021. Wait, how is it December 10? I have been really lax on the Friday Photo this year, it seems! I recently visited some local cemeteries established in the 19th century in the mining towns. They are rather lonely-feeling places, though peaceful and I would like to return to them in subsequent seasons. I love looking at the old tombstones. Mostly I just wonder who the people were, where they came from (white peeps didn't really live here before 1858 with the exception of maybe some fur trappers), what they did, if they struck it rich in mining. These are a couple from the Central City Cemetery, Colorado.
11.12.2021. OK, let's step back to this summer for the next few Fridays to some of the fun critters who let me take their photo. One pleasure I had was this momma moose and her baby in the forest beside our house. I knew there was a baby moose in the area because I'd seen teeny tiny poops beside big moose poops at the edge of our property and into the forest. After several weeks I'd just about given up being able to see it. One day I went into the woods to a spot with some special flowers I was going to show to a friend, but we couldn't get to them for the better part of an hour because guess what, the baby moose and mum were standing right in our path, and in no hurry to go anywhere! So I had to go looking for something else before I found the moose. I then had several more encounters with them.
I love the expressions on their faces below. I giggle every time I look at this photo.
11.05.2021. Slate Creek Bridge down CO Hwy 9 outside of Silverthorne, Colorado, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To me it looks just like a regular bridge, but in fact it is the only example of this type of bridge still standing in it's original location in Colorado. If you know your bridges ..... constructed by the American Bridge Company in 1924 over the Blue River, it consists of a rigid-connected, eight-panel steel Parker pony truss with buttresses. I saw this in the register and went out looking for it, but had I just driven over it randomly, I would have had no idea it had any significance! It looked nice, though, with the autumn foliage. And I guess you can see why it is called the "Blue" River!
10.29.2021. From a trip to Italy many years ago. I haven't chronicled that trip on the blog, but looking back over the photos recently, maybe I should make a post with some of the pics. I don't even remember now where exactly some were taken, but I realize my little point-and-shoot camera that I had at the time did not do a bad job, all things considered. Using what is by now an ancient version of LightRoom, I could take out a lot of the graininess in low-light photos, which was probably the primary weakness of the camera. The first pic is the ceiling in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. Under that is a digital collage I made at the time in Photoshop (a super-duper ancient version) using other images taken inside the Basilica.
10.22.2021. More autumn colors along Green Mountain Reservoir near Silverthorne, Colorado. The first pic is Heeney Road which flanks the reservoir, second pic on the dirt road -- which could be very narrow in places and I'm very glad I didn't run into oncoming traffic -- is Cataract Creek Road which heads up above the reservoir. Particularly rich colors for Colorado's aspen trees.
10.08.2021. The first pic from autumn colors in my home state of Colorado this year. It's an uncharacteristically late year for the aspens to still be in such good form (this photo snapped on October 7). This is on a road to a campground above Green Mountain Reservoir which is along Highway 9 between Silverthorne and Kremmling. The colors this year are electric!
09.17.2021. Reworking some images from Iran ... portions of the peacock ceiling in the Imam Mosque, Isfahan. I didn't own a wide angle lens at that time, so could only capture snippets of this incredible, expansive ceiling and the walls that extend down. One of the most remarkable pieces of architecture and interior design I've seen.
09.03.2021. The little American pika is one of my favorite critters, they live at high altitude (I typically see them above tree line) here in my home state of Colorado. They do not hibernate in winter but live in their network of underground corridors and tunnels they build beneath rock falls. So basically they spend their summer collecting food to store for the long winter. And they kick into overdrive in the fall. I watched this little guy run about manically, not stopping for a second, collecting grasses and bringing them to his caches -- he was alternating between three different spots. They so tiny but so spunky. Here are a few missions he ran (I watched him for about half an hour).
08.20.2021. Our trip to Leadville, Colorado, this year was taken with the primary activity in mind of exploring 4x4 roads and hoping to see lots of ruins from the 19th and 20th century gold and silver mines. But we were astounded by the wildflower fields we ran across near timberline -- I personally have not experienced such large and densely populated wildflower fields in Colorado (and I live near some pretty nice ones). It was a surprise, and ended up actually being the highlight of our trip. This is just one field near the bottom of Mosquito Pass.
07.30.2021. Long Lake, part of the Brainard Lake recreation area in northwestern Boulder County, has always been a place to head to on a whim, a nice day, a free moment. Now there are too many people on Colorado's Front Range, one needs to have a timed entry reservation. It's sad and frustrating, but I actually managed to get an early entry for this morning. Some flowers below the peaks ... paintbrush featured in the top photo, elephant heads in the bottom.
07.23.2021. One of the truly countless cabins and mining structures falling at last into ruins around Leadville, Colorado. By now most of these wooden buildings are mere piles of wood on the ground. Each year that goes by, sighting ones still standing becomes more notable and more special. Bright patch of red flowers in front, not sure what they are, we did not cross the ponds to find out.
07.16.2021. Wildflowers in full swing around my 'hood in the Rocky Mountains. This is our favorite field, in Gordon Gulch.
06.25.2021. In honor and memory of my mother-in-law who loved irises and is the person who made it possible for me to pursue photography ... she passed away in late May and we had her memorial service last weekend. She was an unbelievably prolific artist, and I mean that truly, the breadth of her talents and mediums was astonishing. My favorite series of paintings she did was called Iris Interludes. Anyway, these are some captures of wild iris that grow in the marsh near my house from early June of this year. The bright pink stars in some of the photos are shooting stars, one of my springtime favorites.
06.04.2021. Trail Ridge Road is now open in Rocky Mountain National Park. I went a few days after it opened for the season — my favorite time when the mountain range is snow-capped and the roadside is still lined with plowed-up snow.
05.28.2021. Probably my all-around favorite subject to photograph: kitty cats! My own kitties and kitties I meet while traveling. Here's a black and white conversion I did of a kitty in the village of Mesta on Chios Island, Greece. If you'd like to meet all the kitties I encountered on Chios, check 'em out HERE.
05.21.2021. Rocky Mountain National Park May 21 ... first time I've been since 2019. It was closed a lot in 2020, first for the pandemic and then because of forest fires. I'm so relieved that it survived the fires and looks as glorious as ever in spring with snow-capped peaks and greening meadows. As of today Trail Ridge Road wasn't open yet. The elk were out in large numbers in Moraine Park.
05.14.2021. Since I'm not currently traveling in the age of COVID, lots of blasts from the past in 2020 and 2021 Friday Photos! Here are some new ones I just processed from Yungang Grottoes near Datong, China. An absolutely amazing place where Buddhists about 1500 years ago carved extensively into a soft cliffside.
See more photos from this amazing place HERE.
05.07.2021. Going back through some of my penguin photos from our Antarctica trip ... every time I do this, I notice more funny things in the photos. I was disappointed in the fuzziness of the babies, I think the lighting was tough for the camera to pick them out against their parents' bodies and the similarly-colored rocks. I was pretty far away, these are all majorly cropped in. But here are a few new ones I found that make me smile. These gentoo penguins were in Yankee Harbor, South Shetland Islands. First a proud mama with her twins.
Baby: "Look, ma! I'm practicing flying!" Ma: "I've told you a hundred times, honey, you can't fly!" But hey, a penguin can dream, right?
One of these rocks is not like the other ones! Can you tell which one?
04.30.2021. I'm thinking of GREEN today! Remembering times when it was hot and colorful, and snow seemed like a wild fantasy. These are the rice fields in Longji, outside of Yangshuo, China. Green and lush, and everywhere the sound of water trickling down from one terrace to the next.
And why am I obsessed with green and warmth today? Well, I'm posting this Friday Photo a couple days late on Monday, May 3, instead of the slightly fibbed April 30 advertised. And today, May 3, this is what it's like at my house, below. We've had more significant snow storms this spring than I can remember. One just last week, which I thought was late enough. And now May 3. Bring on the summer, please! Nederland, Colorado.
04.23.2021. Say what? It appears to have been a month since I last posted a Friday Photo. Here's a blast from the past. Every once in awhile I get an unexplained urge to go back to old posts on my blog and redo the photos (and sometimes the text). By old posts, I mean before I either had or knew how to really use photo editing software. To be sure, I don't do a lot to photos, I'm not a fan of major manipulation. But often the lighting or exposure could be improved to more accurately reflect what I actually saw with my eyeballs. All photos from this era were shot with very simple cameras. I also like to despeckle low-light photos. Anyway ... here are few redos from the Great Wall of China. It was such an amazing place to be. If you want to see more, check out my blog post about my 9-kilometer hike along the wall HERE.
03.26.2021. I always snap pictures of domestic kitty cats wherever I'm traveling -- strays and pets -- I love running into them wandering around villages and cities. This kitty was crouching behind a pillar in Reykjavik, Iceland. Scanning through preview-size photos in image viewing software, I hadn't paid too much attention to this photo -- there wasn't much context to it and branches were in the way of the kitty. Just recently I realized what the black blob on the right-hand side is, and now it makes me laugh. Kitty had probably been hiding out in his little blind waiting for that bird he knew was there to come into view, with a big pounce in mind. He looks a little forlorn that the bumbling tourist heedlessly flushed the bird out and it was flying away completely not according to kitty's plan. Sorry little kitty!
03.12.2021. A giraffe periscope. Well camouflaged in the bushes, haha. Okavango Delta region, Botswana.
2.19.2021. Although I am happy for the much-needed moisture that recent snow has brought to the Rocky Mountains, I am not happy for the wind that is blowing it around like mad into drifts that I will have to shovel through. Such is my life when I am at home and not traveling. There are many things that make it worth suffering through the cold winters, though, like the critters who visit my yard. A pair of moose has been coming by several mornings in a row this last week.
2.12.2021. A few more shots from driving the Colorado River Road, which follows, as you might guess, the Colorado River through Eagle County, CO, often directly beside it, such as in these photos. I could probably count the number of cars I encountered in about 40 miles on my two hands. A very relaxing drive. There is also a passenger train line that follows the river for some distance. Just as I got out to take a pee break, it came around the corner (second pic down).
1.29.2021. Along the lovely Colorado River Road ... lonesome but beautiful. I'm told this cabin was actually a school house in its day.
11.27.2020. I recently took a week's vacation to Vail, Colorado, for personal productive time. But one day I went out for a drive and saw a small herd of bighorn sheep along the road. I snapped a picture with my phone (didn't have my camera) through the car window, but later I was actually able to get out of the car and stand nearish (not too near!), there was even a baby! I'd been wanting to see bighorn sheep up close for ages, and finally I scored.
11.06.2020. It started out as a small project to revamp one post in my Tunisia archive and I ended up redoing the whole thing, as I realized how lacking the articles were ... these were letters to a maillist that I just transferred to the blog after I started it. At the time of the trip I was having to send photos as attachments with email, so I didn't include very many. I realized recently how many photos I love from that trip -- i.e. how much cool stuff we saw! -- so I processed up a whole bunch. As of today, still working on one whole new post. But here's a preview of some of the new pics in the post, "Sweating It Out Among the Ksars." Check out the post for more. :-)
10.23.2020. Is there anybody left who doesn't know how much I love capturing an animal with its tongue out? My favorite big cat, the cheetah, with his tongue out: woo-hoo. In a cheetah pile of five males who have formed a coalition in the Masai Mara, Kenya.
10.16.2020. Earlier this summer, two days after the Cameron Peak Fire started, which has now become the largest wildfire in Colorado's history still raging two months later, we attended our second Gambler 500 rally. The fire started near the trails set for the rally and some of them had to be rerouted. Wildfires are something we live with every year in Colorado, some years more than others. Right now in the middle of a pretty severe drought, there are fires all throughout the mountains. Here the sun lights the hill a particularly golden color with a smokey blue sky as the backdrop.
10.9.2020. It's peak "leaf-peeping" season in my neck of the woods. We just have aspen trees and lots of different bushes and grasses that turn color. One of my very favorite places to go for a walk during this season is Caribou Ranch Open Space. Here are a few pics I took in the last few days. You can read a whole post I made about this trail, which follows the old Switzerland Railroad grade, and its historic features, HERE.
10.2.2020. Into the mine! 25 years ago we could still find mines in our area of Colorado that hadn't been closed in. (I hear tell, of course ... naturally I'm not so old as to have been exploring 25 years ago.) But in more recent years, most of them were purposefully blocked at the entrance by pulling rocks down -- basically a man-made cave-in. Some mines only have a grate across the entrance and it's fun to peer inside, but most of those no longer have cart tracks extending inside, just the dirt ground. So this was a pretty rare find for this day and age of a mine not caved in with tracks still in tact and perfect view inside ... way inside.
9.25.2020. Whew boy, I'm really slacking on the Friday Photo this year. But Erik and I just took a week vacation to another area of Colorado a couple hours away from us to do 4x4 routes. So ... I have a new batch of photos! But I'll start with just an autumn pic because, sadly, autumn is already here. It's beautiful but I don't appreciate it being the harbinger of winter. The area around Breckenridge, CO, is full of little valleys that have been all dammed up by beavers. For as many dams and beaver lodges as I saw over the week, I can't believe I never saw an actual beaver! Here's such a valley, filled with willow bushes, called Chihuahua Gulch. You definitely need a high-clearance vehicle to drive up this route.
7.24.2020. Summer at home is a blast exploring all the 4x4 roads around us -- forest service roads and innumerable old mining roads. It's hard to even fathom how many cabins and mines were lived in and operating during the century between mid 1800s and mid 1900s. When you look out at the area, it looks like just forested wilderness. But when you start exploring, you realize it was practically a metropolis around here. There's a huge map of all the old mining claims in the Nederland Mining Museum, and it looks like a Spirograph drawing gone wrong. Every year we think surely we've found just about everything there is to find. But in mid-July this year we've already found three new mining sites and one strange hoarder site. Anyway, here are a few photos from this month's outings.
7.3.2020. OK, so I've been chillin' at home whilst the COVID19 pandemic swirls around me and the world. But it is my immeasurably great fortune to have a home next to a gem of a little forest where wildflowers abound in the summer. Below is a little album of some of the local flowers blooming to date. So I didn't travel far as the crow flies to get these, but it really is another world as soon as I step into the forest even though my house is just over yonder. I'm putting them in the order in which they bloom. It's still early summer here, so more will be coming out by the day. The first photo is actually a little jaunt by vehicle from my house taken at the Caribou townsite (Colorado).
Wild iris just about to unfurl its petals (a couple hours later they were down), a little bug checking out the inside:
Shooting star with bumblebee guzzling some nectar:
Colorado's state flower, the blue columbine:
Spotted coral root, an extremely tiny, delicate orchid:
Wood lily waiting for some little insect feet to come spread its pollen:
Another columbine holding up its friend ... looks like its petals are wrapped around the little white flower as in a side hug.
4.17.2020. Who knew goats could fly?? They apparently can in Morocco! Or maybe they climbed on the camel's back to get up!? (ha) On the road between Marrakech and Essaouira.
4.3.2020. In the spectacular Bahia Palace in Marrakech, Morocco. A spot of colorful stained glass showing through a latticed gate behind two beautiful wooden doors. These layers of intricacy and beauty define the architectural style of the palace built in the late 1800s.
3.20.2020. Stunning and opulent Saadian Tombs in the middle of Marrakech's medina, Morocco. An unlikely sight, such open peaceful space surrounded by the crowded narrow alleys of the medina. Built in the late 1500s.
2.21.2020. Back to Ixtapa, Mexico! And my favorite little lagoon, Popoyote Lagoon at Playa Linda. Sadly, things changed a lot this year and it was much harder to get photographs of the wildlife. But this was a toothy morning at the inlet where the lagoon meets the beach.