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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)

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)

The Mile High City capped with clouds

While it does look kind of cool, thankfully this isn’t typical for Denver. Those of us that live here are used to seeing far more sun and warmth this time of year.

A late season storm brought cold, a lot of rain and a bit of snow to the Colorado Front Range this past week. Just to the west in the mountains they were measuring the snowfall in feet. It was a bit of a shock to the system of residents.

In reality, snow in May is not that unusual although this system was stronger that normal for this late in the season. Certainly I hope we are done with the white stuff for the season but Denver’s latest snowfall in history occurred on June 12, 1947 so you just never know.

Denver, Colorado sits under a layer of clouds after a late season snowstorm blanketed the area and the nearby Rocky Mountains in snow.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Denver, Colorado sits under a layer of clouds after a late season snowstorm blanketed the area and the nearby Rocky Mountains in snow. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fresh snow on the Colorado Front Range

Fresh snow on the Colorado Front Range. Our weather here can go from one extreme to the next. One week ago my photo excursion started quite chilly in the wake of a late spring snowfall. The white stuff blanketed the nearby Rocky Mountains and left smaller amounts down here at lower elevations. Here you see the Great Plains in the foreground and Mount Meeker and Longs Peak towering in the background. Today, one week later, we will see high temperatures reach well into the 80s and push toward record-setting territory.

Fresh snow blankets the Colorado Front Range mountains and adjacent plains.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Fresh snow blankets the Colorado Front Range mountains and adjacent plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

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)

High country Milky Way and a shooting star

Browsing through some pics from last year I came across this one that I haven’t shared. Taken on September 11 up at Brainard Lake Recreation Area. Above Mount Audubon lies the Milky Way. Toward the top right of the image you can see a meteor as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.

I don’t really have the photo gear needed to do high quality #astrophotography but I still love getting out there every now and then and giving it a shot. This particular location is at an altitude over 10,000 feet and away from most of the contaminating influence of city lights which provides for some amazing nighttime sky viewing opportunities.

The Milky Way is seen above Mount Audubon in the Brainard Lake area.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The Milky Way is seen above Mount Audubon in the Brainard Lake area. (© 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)

The indomitable Longs Peak

At 14,259 feet high, Longs Peak dominates the views on the Colorado Front Range. In this image, I was about 25 miles away. As the northern-most fourteener in the Rocky Mountains, when you look west, this mountain, probably more than any other, stands out.

Its sheer height coupled with its distinctive form make it easily recognizable and one that commands attention. It was photographed by Ansel Adams, painted by Albert Bierstadt and featured on the Colorado state quarter.

A snow-covered Longs Peak dwarfs the landscape of locations to its east. (© Tony’s Takes)

A snow-covered Longs Peak dwarfs the landscape of locations to its east. (© Tony’s Takes)

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