Peak Worship – Ute Valley Park – Colorado Springs, CO

Peak Worship

On a remote cliff band in Ute Valley City Park life struggles against the elements and rocky soil. I love photographing trees as I feel they have so much personality that is created by their environment. In this picture, I envision the tree taking in the sunset in awe of the “purple mountain majesty” that is Pikes Peak.

Ute Valley Park is a popular city park and a favorite recreation spot for locals in Colorado Springs. The land was originally donated in 1969 to be protected and kept open to the public. At 330 acres it isn’t the largest park in the city but in the peaceful central valley you feel a world away from the city. In 2015 an agreement was reached purchase 200 additional acres from HP snatching it out of the hands of awaiting developers. The resulting 530 acre park will make it one of the larger parks in the City and keep the open spaces for the public to enjoy for years to come.

 

Garden Of The Gods Sunset – Garden Of The Gods – Colorado Springs, CO

Garden Of The Gods Sunset

As a 20+ year resident of Colorado Springs it becomes easy to take your surroundings and local attractions for granted. With that in mind, I had become accustomed to putting away my camera every time we returned home from our travels to go back into “work” mode. Recently, I have spent more time trying to rediscover the natural beauty that surrounds me daily and capture it through the eye of my lens.

Garden Of The Gods is a 480 acre city park that received its name in 1859 while 2 surveyors were scouting the area for a new town site that is Old Colorado City today. The area was purchased by Charles Elliot Perkins with the intent to be a summer home that was never realized and Perkins decided it needed to be a public park for all to enjoy. It was officially donated to the city of Colorado Springs by Perkins’ next of kin in 1909. It has been named one of the most visually inspiring places in the United States and is a main attraction for locals and tourists alike in Colorado Springs.

 

Hoo Doo’s At Sunset – Garden of The Gods – Colorado Springs, CO

Hoo Doo Sunset

This location is an off trail location in the center of Garden Of The Gods. With so many interesting sandstone rock formations all around the park, it’s easy to find a subject to stand in for one of our gorgeous Colorado sunsets.

Garden Of The Gods is a 480 acre city park that received its name in 1859 while 2 surveyors were scouting the area for a new town site that is Old Colorado City today. The area was purchased by Charles Elliot Perkins with the intent to be a summer home that was never realized and Perkins decided it needed to be a public park for all to enjoy. It was officially donated to the city of Colorado Springs by Perkins’ next of kin in 1909. It has been named one of the most visually inspiring places in the United States and is a main attraction for locals and tourists alike in Colorado Springs.

 

Aspen Window

Aspens are regaled for their shimmering leaves in breezes of summer, vibrant golds and oranges in fall, and branch-less trunks (ideal to ski through) making them as much a symbol of Colorado as the Rockies themselves. As I  hike through the mountains in the fall, I’m often struck when looking into a grove of aspens: From the interesting designs on the tree trunks, to the depths of the uniformity of the trunks.

From Wikipedia: (Aspens) typically grow in large clonal colonies derived from a single seedling, and spreading by means of root suckers; new stems in the colony may appear at up to 30–40 metres from the previous trees. Each individual tree can live for 40–150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is long-lived, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground, spreading about a metre per year, sometimes eventually covering many hectares. They are able to survive forest fires because the roots are below the heat of the fire, and new sprouts can grow from the roots. One such colony of American aspen (P. tremuloides) in Utah, given the nickname of “Pando”, is estimated to be 80,000 years old, making it possibly the oldest living colony of aspens.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of ordering a print, please contact me for details.

Notes: These are low resolution images and I apologize for the watermark signature on my photographs as I feel it detracts from enjoying the image. However, with the ease of image piracy on-line they are necessary evils. You may also want to read my color post as images can be very different from what you see on the monitor.

Ashcroft Fall

Ghost Town Fall

Ghost Town Fall

This image was taken in the ghost town of Ashcroft just outside Aspen CO in September 2012.

From http://www.heritageaspen.org/ac.html

In the spring of 1880, prospectors Charles B. Culver and W. F. Coxhead left the boomtown of Leadville to search for silver deposits in the Castle Creek Valley. After vigorously promoting their findings back in Leadville, Coxhead returned to find 23 more prospectors had joined “Crazy Culver” in the camp they named Castle Forks City.
They formed a Miner’s Protective Association, built a court house, and laid out the streets in only two weeks. Each of the Association’s 97 members paid $5—or one day’s work and $1—to draw for building lots. By 1883, the camp, now called Ashcroft, was a town with a population of perhaps 2,000 with two newspapers, a school, sawmills, a small smelter, and 20 saloons—bigger than Aspen and closer to the railroad in Crested Butte.
As quickly as it boomed, Ashcroft went bust. The mines, which initially produced an amazing 14,000 ounces of silver to the ton, were just shallow deposits. Promised rail links to Crested Butte never materialized. Major strikes in Aspen, already the county seat, lured away investors and workers.
By 1885 there were just 100 summer residents and $5.60 in the town’s coffers. Only a handful of aging, single men made Ashcroft their home by the turn of the century. They all owned mining claims, but spent their time hunting, fishing, reading and drinking in Dan McArthur’s bar. They told stories in exchange for drinks and served as an informal employment service, matching sporadic work at the remaining mines above Ashcroft with an unstable work force.
Every four years they elected municipal officers from among themselves. “Judge” Jack Leahy—who died in 1939—was the last of the original citizens. He cultivated a reputation as a scholar and legal expert and wrote long, melodramatic poetry. Historian Jon Coleman calls these men “prospectors with dismal prospects, boosters with nothing to promote, and town fathers with no children.”
In the 1930s there was a new flurry of interest in Ashcroft, this time by international sportsman Ted Ryan and his partner Billy Fiske, captain of America’s gold medal Olympic bobsled team. They built the Highland-Bavarian Lodge (north of Ashcroft on Castle Creek Road) and planned a European-style ski resort in Ashcroft with an aerial tramway up Mount Hayden.
World War II put an end to their plans. Fiske died in combat and Ryan leased Ashcroft to the army for $1 a year. The 10th Mountain Division, America’s soldiers on skis, used Ashcroft for mountaineering training in the summer of 1942. After the war, ski area development moved to Aspen, and Ryan later deeded the site to the United States Forest Service.
In 1948, Stuart Mace, a veteran of W.W.II and commander of a canine division, brought his family and dog sled operation to Ashcroft. Mace and his Toklat huskies were featured in the popular 1950s TV series Sgt. Preston of the Yukon. The ghost town was fitted with false fronts to create a Canadian set.
Given use of five acres in exchange for caretaking on behalf of the Highland-Bavarian’s remaining holdings, Mace devoted the rest of his life to protecting the area from development and restoring the ecology. In 1974, he was joined in that effort by the Aspen Historical Society. Under the direction of Ramona Markalunas, Ashcroft became a National Register Historic Site, and the Aspen Historical Society received the first U.S.F.S. permit ever granted to a historical society to preserve and interpret a ghost town.

Colorado Springs Rainbow

One of many beautiful afternoon rainbows that adorn our city.

One of the beautiful by-products of afternoon storms in Colorado Springs are the frequent and vibrant rainbows we see on a relatively regular basis.  I happened to be in the right place at the right time yesterday (8/5/11) to catch this stunner that situated itself directly over our downtown.

Here’s a closeup shot of the same scene.

Air Force Graduation

These shost were taken 5/25/2011 at the commencement of the Air Force Graduation.  It’s a series of shots that I feel capture the Air Force fly over show pretty well.  These are the days it’s really fun to live in Colorado Springs.

Twisted Bristlecone

Up in the high mountain passes of the continential divide stand some of the oldest living creatures on earth…bristlecone pines.  These trees can live thousands of years and endure some of the harshest climate changes possible. Their tortured bodies twisted by the weather, winds and fires of time make for very interesting subject matter.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of ordering a print, please contact me for details. All photographs are limited to 500 reproductions.

Notes: These are low resolution images and I apologize for the watermark signature on my photographs as I feel it detracts from enjoying the image. However, with the ease of image piracy on-line they are necessary evils. You may also want to read my color post as images can be very different from what you see on the monitor.

Looming Storm

Storms on the high desert landscapes of Colorado come in fast and furious. These storm clouds were photographed just outside Southpark, Colorado on a cool fall evening in 2010. The body and color of the clouds create a palpable sensation as they envelope the landscape.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of ordering a print, please contact me for details. All photographs are limited to 500 reproductions.

Notes: These are low resolution images and I apologize for the watermark signature on my photographs as I feel it detracts from enjoying the image. However, with the ease of image piracy on-line they are necessary evils. You may also want to read my color post as images can be very different from what you see on the monitor.

Towering Aspens

This photograph was taken in Aspen CO; the namesake for the tree synonymous with Colorado in early fall. Hiking during this time of year, your senses are over saturated with awe inspiring landscapes, trees, and skies.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of ordering a print, please contact me for details. All photographs are limited to 500 reproductions.

Notes: These are low resolution images and I apologize for the watermark signature on my photographs as I feel it detracts from enjoying the image. However, with the ease of image piracy on-line they are necessary evils. You may also want to read my color post as images can be very different from what you see on the monitor.