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Mountains

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)

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)

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)

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)