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Mountains

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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)

Video: Landscape Top Shots 2016

Well, another year is just about in the books and for me, wow, it was quite an amazing one in terms of photography. I was able to capture beautiful scenes from right near home in Colorado to ones in the Canadian Rockies. I sat down last night and gathered up what I would call my landscape ‘top shots’ from the past year and compiled them into a video. I hope you enjoy it! Best viewed full screen. Feel free to share and be on the lookout for my wildlife top shots coming later today.

A postcard scene of the Colorado plains and snow-covered Rocky Mountains

Extreme cold and a healthy shot of snow were no deterrent to me venturing out to take pictures two Sundays ago. It is times like these that wildlife almost seems to become more active than normal and perhaps best of all, keeps many of the less dedicated humans at home and out of the way. 😉

As dawn began to cast its light across the scene, I had to stop and just take it all in – the beauty of this state can be awe-inspiring and therapeutic. Two deer does were grazing in the snow-covered grass, one seemed interested in the guy with the camera. Low fog draped across the foothills and towering above, those indomitable mountains in the distance. Just a gorgeous scene that I count myself privileged to have witnessed.

A deer doe stands on the Great Plains with the snow-covered Rocky Mountains in the background.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A deer doe stands on the Great Plains with the snow-covered Rocky Mountains in the background. (© Tony’s Takes)

Denver, Colorado: Queen City of the Plains

Many folks that have never been here before envision Denver as being in the mountains. That is certainly not true. The Rocky Mountains lie just to the west of the Mile High City with Denver itself actually residing on the Great Plains.

This image, taken back in November, gives a good view of the landscape. Looking toward the west from a spot about eight miles northeast of downtown, you can see the city with the mountains towering in the background.

As everyone knows however, the city’s official elevation is one mile above sea level, 5,280 feet, as measured from the steps of the state capitol. That of course is where the city gets its primary nickname but it has also been called the Queen City of the Plains and the Queen City of the West at different times in history.

The Mile High City in fall. Looking back toward Denver from the east. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Mile High City in fall. Looking back toward Denver from the east. (© Tony’s Takes)

Moonset over Mount Fairview

Here’s one from my trip to Banff National Park in Canada that I haven’t shared. We were at Lake Louise and while the scene of the lake itself was the main focus, I couldn’t help but train my camera on the setting moon.

The 9,003 foot high mountain was first summited in 1893 and towers prominently over the lake and the surrounding terrain. Despite it being late June, you can see there was still a good bit of snow up there.

A setting moon is seen through whispy clouds above Mount Fairview near Lake Louise, Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

A setting moon is seen through whispy clouds above Mount Fairview near Lake Louise, Alberta. (© Tony’s Takes)

Roots of the earth

Roots of the earth. Something quite a bit different from what I normally post. I took this image back in June as we hiked around Sunwapta Falls in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The randomness and texture of the exposed tree roots along the trail really caught my eye and while it looked okay in color, I thought the black and white was cooler. What do you think?

Black and white closeup of tree roots on the forest floor. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white closeup of tree roots on the forest floor. (© Tony’s Takes)

Avalanche creates a snowfall

Reaching back to June 30 when I was in Jasper National Park. We had taken a short hike to Mount Edith Cavell, a truly stunning location. As we took in the sights, we suddenly heard what could only be likened to a gun shot going off across the valley followed by a long, low rumbling. Straining to find the source of the noise, we discover that a small avalanche had been triggered and snow was cascading off of a cliff.

It was very cool to see and I still can’t believe how loud it was. As temperatures warmed that morning, we got to see two more avalanches as the early summer temperatures took their toll on the past winter’s snow.

An avalanche cascades off a cliff in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. (© Tony’s Takes)

An avalanche cascades off a cliff in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. (© Tony’s Takes)

An avalanche cascades off the side of a cliff in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. (© Tony’s Takes)

An avalanche cascades off the side of a cliff in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. (© Tony’s Takes)

Fresh snow and fall colors

Taken back at the end of September from Boreas Pass not far from Breckenridge, Colorado. With the arrival of autumn the aspen trees were aglow and a snow the night before had coated the mountain peaks in a blanket of white.

The mountain in the background is the 13,829-foot high Mount Silverheels. While not one of the Centennial State’s famous fourteeners, it is a gorgeous, dominating peak with a fascinating story. The mountain is named after a dance hall girl from the nearby mining town of Buckskin Joe. Her real name is unknown but she earned her nickname due to the shoes she wore when she danced.

Legend has it that during a smallpox outbreak in 1861 she used her money to bring in doctors to fight the epidemic. She remained at the foot of the mountain while most other women and children fled to Denver. While she survived the smallpox, her face was scarred by the disease and she chose to remain isolated at her home at the foot of the mountain.

Buckskin Joe is now a ghost town and every now and then people report seeing a black veiled woman at the town’s cemetery placing flowers on the graves of those who died during the smallpox epidemic.

A snow covered Mount Silverheels lies in the background while fall colors line the foreground.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A snow covered Mount Silverheels lies in the background while fall colors line the foreground. (© Tony’s Takes)

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