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Landscapes

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A snow-covered Mount Meeker

Sometimes wildlife watching can get a bit boring but, one good thing about Colorado, when you are waiting for the critters to do something there are other things to look at. In this case, the 13,911 foot high Mount Meeker. From this angle, it does a good job of blocking its more famous and taller neighbor, Longs Peak. For climbers, Mount Meeker is actually considered a more difficult summit to attain than Longs.

Mount Meeker dominates the horizon to the west from the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mount Meeker dominates the horizon to the west from the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

High altitude respite

Conditions at 11,493 feet high can be challenging to say the least. Now imagine you are a railroad worker in the 1880s without any of the modern conveniences we take for granted.

The Section House was built atop Boreas Pass in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to house workers that built and maintained the Denver South Park & Pacific narrow gauge railroad. The line ran from Como in the South Park area to Breckenridge, Dillon and Frisco.

Today, the road over the pass retraces the path the tracks took and is an extraordinarily scenic drive and certainly far more comfortable today than what folks had to endure back when it was built. This image was taken back at the end of September when it was still relatively hospitable up there.

The Section House sits atop a snow-covered Boreas Pass in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Section House sits atop a snow-covered Boreas Pass in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Evening sky turns into a rainbow of colors

I was expecting a typically gorgeous Colorado sunset on this day not long ago but it was the pre-show about a half hour before that was the best part. Iridescent clouds appeared and turned the sky into a rainbow of colors. It was an awesome one seen from my backyard.

Cloud iridescence is caused by clouds (usually cirrus) that have small water droplets or ice crystals in them causing the light to be diffracted, or spread out. The phenomena is much like the rainbow colors seen with oil in water.

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Stunning iridescent clouds as the sun starts to set north of Denver, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Stunning iridescent clouds as the sun starts to set north of Denver, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sunset on the Colorado Front Range

Beautiful sunrises and sunsets are a pretty common occurrence on the Colorado Front Range. Every now and then though, Mother Nature gives the scene an extra ‘kick’ to make it that much more awesome. Such was the case on this evening last week when not only were the colors and formation stunning, there was a hint of iridescence at the edges. I do wish I had a clear view of the horizon but pics above look awesome anyway. Taken in Thornton, Colorado.

A late winter sunset lights up the Colorado sky in shades of orange and blue. (© Tony’s Takes)

A late winter sunset lights up the Colorado sky in shades of orange and blue. (© Tony’s Takes)

High contrast driftwood

What to do when you are sitting near a river waiting for the wildlife you are watching to do something interesting? Take pictures of driftwood! My patience was wearing thin and I was bored so I started pointing my camera at random things. The amount of detail in this piece of wood was somewhat compelling and made for an interesting subject. What do you think? Color or black and white?

Old driftwood along the South Platte River shows a variety of textures. (© Tony’s Takes)

Old driftwood along the South Platte River shows a variety of textures. (© Tony’s Takes)

Old driftwood along the South Platte River shows a variety of textures. (© Tony’s Takes)

Old driftwood along the South Platte River shows a variety of textures. (© Tony’s Takes)

A glorious view top to bottom

Boy, I could almost flip this image and you wouldn’t know. That sunrise reflection on the water is pretty darned close to a perfect mirror of what lies above. Last week I took a day off to go do some critter viewing. That part of the day did not go so well as once the sun rose it was overcast and animals were elusive.

However, the one saving grace was the way the day started – with this amazing scene on Colorado’s Great Plains. That was topped by the fact I was with my photo buddy, my son, who made sure to remind me when we were viewing this to put the camera down for a while and just take the scene in. A wise young man he is.

A fantastic sunrise above reflects on calm lake water below. (© Tony’s Takes)

A fantastic sunrise above reflects on calm lake water below. (© Tony’s Takes)

Stunning sunrise on the Great Plains

My photo excursion on this day didn’t pan out quite as I wanted with worthwhile targets proving to be elusive. The one saving grace was the way the day started – with this amazing scene as the sun began to creep over the horizon.

The brilliant yellows, oranges and reds above would have been cool enough but throw in the same thing reflected on the calm waters of a lake and it was pretty awesome. Here in Colorado the mountains get most of the press but I have seen far more stunning sunrises and sunsets at the lower altitudes to the east.

A stunning sunrise on the Colorado plains as seen from Jackson Lake State Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A stunning sunrise on the Colorado plains as seen from Jackson Lake State Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Reflections on Swiftcurrent Lake

Going back to last June and our road trip through the northern Rocky Mountains. On this particular morning the rest of my crew opted to sleep in so I went for a quick drive through the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park where I took in the amazing scenery. This image was taken on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake soon after sunrise.

The 8,855 foot high Mount Grinnell is the closest, most dominating peak in the image. It is named after George Bird Grinnell, an anthropologist and naturalist who fought hard to save the dwindling population of bison in Yellowstone and was instrumental in getting Glacier National Park formally established in 1910.

Swiftcurrent Lake and Mount Grinnell in Glacier National Park soon after sunrise.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Swiftcurrent Lake and Mount Grinnell in Glacier National Park soon after sunrise. (© Tony’s Takes)

Last day of January closes out the month in stunning fashion

Winter in Colorado brings some amazing sunsets and last night proved to be a case in point. Fast moving jet stream winds this time of year create mountain wave clouds and lenticular clouds that are in and of themselves fun to see. Throw in unearthly colors as the day comes to a close and you have the makeup for spectacular scenes.

Unfortunately, living in suburbia, I don’t have a good, clear shot of the western horizon and didn’t have time to run somewhere that provided a better view of the overall scene. However, tightly zoomed in pictures show the intricate details and the amazing forms and colors of the clouds.

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

An absolutely stunning sunset in the Denver, Colorado suburbs. (© Tony’s Takes)

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