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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
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Landscapes

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Little outhouse on the prairie

Taken at one of the most photographed spots in Grand Teton National Park. It is tough to come up with an original composition here as it has been seen and imaged so many times by photographers far beyond my humble capability. So, rather than focusing on the historical barns and houses, I chose to give a nice look at a less picturesque structure, but one that is extraordinarily important. 😉

An outhouse on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

An outhouse on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A sunrise that mandated attention

Out on my photo drive on Independence Day I was forced to stop looking for wildlife and instead take in this gorgeous scene unfolding as the sun began to rise. The deep orange of the rising sun coupled with the reflection on Lake Ladora below and the crepuscular rays in the sky above were amazing. Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.

Crepuscular rays emanate from the sunrise on the plains of Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Crepuscular rays emanate from the sunrise on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Pastel colored sunrise at the infamous Oxbow Bend

This is almost certainly the most photographed location in all of Grand Teton National Park – and for good reason. From this vantage point you have a view of the Tetons including the 12,605 foot high Mount Moran, the highest peak in the area. Below, the Snake River flows lazily, oftentimes providing picture perfect reflections of the scene above.

On our trip to the park a few weeks ago, only one morning saw weather conducive to picture taking at the spot but thankfully it turned out to be a pretty good one. The colors of sunrise were muted but still enough to color the clouds in pastels and the mountains, following a healthy winter, still had quite a lot of snow on them. Only a few ripples on the water caused by feeding fish disturbed the reflection in the water.

A paste colored sky at sunrise at Grand Teton National Park's Oxbow Bend.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A paste colored sky at sunrise at Grand Teton National Park’s Oxbow Bend. (© Tony’s Takes)

The golden road

Taken last weekend, the sun was extraordinarily orange, likely due to haze in the skies from wildfires burning to Colorado’s west. It was amazing how it lit up the sky above and the landscape below.

The sunrise paints the sky, landscape and road in blazing orange on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The sunrise paints the sky, landscape and road in blazing orange on the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wildflowers and the Tetons

The weather during my trip to Grand Teton National Park wasn’t ideal with quite a bit of rain and a good bit of cloud cover whether it was raining or not. Nevertheless, there were times those clouds really helped pictures and added drama. Such was the case with this image. The blooming wildflowers dominate the foreground with the snow-covered mountain peaks in the background. Above, the mostly cloudy skies added some drama.

Wildflowers bloom at the base of the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wildflowers bloom at the base of the Tetons in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Schwabacher’s Landing in Grand Teton National Park

I’m back after a week in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. The weather was a bit less than ideal – even some snow! – but it was a fantastic trip with lots of sights and of course pictures to share.

This image was taken a few days ago as the family and I visited this spot we had not been to before. It was gorgeous with a little creek stemming off of the Snake River moving through, the forest and of course the Tetons in the background.

We took a nice little three mile hike through the area enjoying one of the few periods of sun we had during our time up there. Next time I am up there I must visit this same spot at sunrise and / or sunset as I know it would be amazing.

A beautiful scene at Schwabacher's Landing in Grand Teton National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A beautiful scene at Schwabacher’s Landing in Grand Teton National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Lots of snow in the Colorado high country

This view is taken looking down on the Moraine Park area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Longs Peak is the dominating mountain to the left of center. While the lower altitudes were dry, up high, especially above timberline, there is still a lot of snow up there. Much of that is thanks to a late season snowstorm that hit a week and a half ago.

A panoramic view looking toward Longs Peak and the Moraine Park area. (© Tony’s Takes)

A panoramic view looking toward Longs Peak and the Moraine Park area. (© Tony’s Takes)

Honoring a local hero

I visit a few gravesites at Fort Logan National Cemetery when I go. Some people I knew, some are friends and family of people I knew. Yesterday, I stopped by and said hello to a shipmate, one you may have heard of.

Petty Officer Danny Dietz was a man that stood above others. Raised in Littleton, Colorado, he would go on to become a Navy SEAL and serve with distinction and honor. It was in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan on June 28, 2005 that Danny’s journey would come to an end.

In a battle immortalized in the movie, Lone Survivor, he was shot in the neck and yet he kept fighting – fighting for his teammates.  He would fall back with them, leap off a precipice and continue the fight, providing covering fire until he received a fatal shot.

A truly extraordinary man, one who fought and died for something greater than himself.  My visit was humbling and shook me. I thank God for men and women like him. For his valiant action, Gunner’s Mate Second Class Dietz received the Navy Cross.

The honored resting place of Petty Officer Danny Dietz, U.S. Navy SEAL. (© Tony’s Takes)

The honored resting place of Petty Officer Danny Dietz, U.S. Navy SEAL. (© Tony’s Takes)

Remembering the real reason for the Memorial Day holiday

As I do a few times a year, I paid a visit to Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver this weekend. My father is buried there, along with thousands of others of our nation’s heroes. Brave men and women who answered the call of the nation, some in peacetime, some in war.

Today, however, is not for all of them. It is for those that made the ultimate sacrifice – a price paid out of love for country, for God and for their countrymen. Those of us left behind are charged with carrying forward and ensuring that they are never forgotten, that their sacrifices shall not have been in vain.

We would do well to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”

Were it not for those heroes, we and our nation would not be here. Let us remember.

Honoring our nation's heroes on Memorial Day 2017.  Fort Logan National Cemetery in black and white. (© Tony’s Takes)

Honoring our nation’s heroes on Memorial Day 2017. Fort Logan National Cemetery in black and white. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hot air balloon above the Rocky Mountains

What a difference a couple of days make in Colorado. Just two days before this image was taken we received a late season snowstorm that shocked the residents of the Front Range. It definitely had us wondering what happened to our spring.

As is typical here though, it didn’t last long and soon we were returned to our typically beautiful weather. The morning temperatures were still crisp when I took this image but the gorgeous view of the snow-capped peaks to the west were more than enough to warm my heart.

It was a bonus that this balloon rose high in the sky, seeming to sail above those massive mountains in the background. The scene certainly served as a reminder why I love this state.

Image available for purchase here.

A hot air balloon rises above the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A hot air balloon rises above the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

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