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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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First look at the fall colors in Colorado’s high country

Taken along Old Fall River Road about half way between the base and top. In this particular area, it was a bit hit or miss (more miss really) as to finding fall foliage this past weekend. However, the higher you went, the better your chances.

Many locations, particularly those above 9,000 feet, in the state’s high country will peak this coming weekend. If you’re planning to view the show, this will be the primary weekend to do it – I know I will be up there!

If you are in the Centennial State and not sure where to go, I offer up some thoughts on my weather website here.

Fall colors make an appearance on Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fall colors make an appearance on Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A sign of the change of seasons

Quite a day yesterday in Rocky Mountain National Park… Not long after I took this I was wanting to head back down to the east side of the park where we were camped but they closed Trail Ridge Road literally 30 seconds before I was there.

With the rest of my family down below and the rangers being unsure as to when the road would open, I ended up taking the long way around – a three and a half hour diversion. Ugh!

I reckon on the plus side for my readers is that I do have some cool pics to share this week. 😉

Smooth flowing waters of Chicago Creek

This is a spot that a lot of folks go by as they head up to Mount Evans, Colorado. I suspect many just blow right by and never even notice it but it is worth a quick stop. The waters of the creek flow down toward the road and early in the morning the thick forest provides for some nice lighting. Using a neutral density filter allowed me to use a very slow shutterspeed to blur the waters and give them their smooth appearance.

The waters of Chicago Creek work their way through the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

The waters of Chicago Creek work their way through the forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

High country mountain lake sunrise

Well, my photography this weekend didn’t work quite as planned. I had expected to have a healthy dose of moose but as it turns out, they were nowhere to be found. However, I did arrive at my destination yesterday morning in time to catch this glorious beginning to the day.

The colors were awesome, the sun’s crepuscular rays draw attention to the show and the reflection looked quite nice. Now if only there had been a moose walking in that water I would have been much happier with the capture. 😉

A glorious sunrise over Brainard Lake in Colorado's Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

A glorious sunrise over Brainard Lake in Colorado’s Roosevelt National Forest. (© Tony’s Takes)

Low clouds and fog at Shadow Mountain Lake

Heading into the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park a couple of weeks ago I was forced to make a fast stop as I saw this scene start to unfold. There had been a good bit of rain the previous evening so it was very moist which helped fog and low clouds develop at sunrise. That moisture in the atmosphere helped diffuse the light from the sun as it climbed over the mountains to the east. The golden orb shed its light on the landscape below creating this very beautiful, peaceful scene.

A golden sunrise over Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A golden sunrise over Shadow Mountain Lake in Grand County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Famous barn in the shadows of the Tetons

It is tough to get an original shot of the oft-photographed barns on Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. Flickr says that this particular one is the most photographed barn in America and given the amazing landscape surrounding it, you can see why.

On the day I visited, I missed the best light of the morning and was too early for the evening but some dramatic skies helped liven (and soften) things up.

Built by T.A. Moulton in the early part of the 20th century, the barn is one of two and took Thomas Alma nearly 30 years to build. The area was settled in the late 1890s by Mormon homesteaders creating the community called Grovont.

The T.A. Moulton barn in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The T.A. Moulton barn in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moody reflections of the forest

With overcast skies and light rain falling, it was tough to find photo opportunities on this morning in Colorado’s high country. While standing on the shores of a pond scanning for wildlife, I looked down and saw this scene and kind of liked it. Different but kind of neat I think.

A downed, bare tree is reflected in a pond's water in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A downed, bare tree is reflected in a pond’s water in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Happy birthday to the Centennial State

It was on this date in 1876 that Colorado was admitted to the union as the 38th state. A lot certainly has changed in the 141 years since then but, despite all of the progress, much of the natural beauty for which the state is known for remains.

In 1893, Katharine Lee Bates visited the state and soon after penned “America the Beautiful”. It is well known that the amber waves of grain and purple mountain majesties she wrote about were a direct reflection of her time here.

In fact, it is said that a visit to the summit of Pikes Peak was indeed her primary inspiration. From the lower elevations of the Great Plains that cover the eastern half of this state to the rugged mountains in the west, this truly is an amazing place and I am blessed to have been born here.

This image taken back in April seems to me to do a nice job capturing this state.

The great state of Colorado in one picture - from the Great Plains to the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

The great state of Colorado in one picture – from the Great Plains to the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Sparkling high country waters in black and white

Taken last weekend in Lake County, Colorado. I was out for an early drive while the rest of my camping crew slept in and came across this very pretty and picturesque creek. Using a slow shutter speed allowed me to make the waters blur as they rushed past the rocks.

Black and white image of waters rushing across a creek in Colorado's high country. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white image of waters rushing across a creek in Colorado’s high country. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison graze at ease along the Madison River

This beautiful scene kickstarted our visit to Yellowstone National Park last month. Winter had been harsh up there with a great deal of snowfall and the spring was a wet one. However, all that moisture made for a lush, green landscape and rivers flowing full and quick.

Soon after arrival we set out for a quick exploration trip and found a herd of bison grazing along the banks of the river. Above, a cloud-dotted sky with spots of bright blue peering through. Truly a scene showing nature at its finest and a scene I will never forget.

An American Bison herd grazes along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison herd grazes along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

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