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.

Il Grande Canal

The Grande Canal

Venice is not a city that can be described but must be experienced. Boats crowd main canals as tight as cars on highways. Police boats, fire boats, ambulance boats, even delivery “truck” boats replace their 4 wheeled counterparts while the back “alleys” or smaller canals are littered with gondoliers or residents boats moored in the narrow waterways.

In the fall, Venice floods daily with the tides and the city doesn’t skip a beat. Elevated walkways are set out for the tourists to clamber onto while the citizens just pull on their galoshes and continue with their day as if nothing is happening.

Venice is a city of twisty narrow corridors and tiny shops. While the main squares and corridors have a bit of a tourist trap feel to them, the back alleys, tiny restaurants, and shops have an oddly safe feel to them and an authenticity that is pure Italy.

Excerpts From Wikipedia:  Venice (Italian: Venezia) is a city in northeast Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as a World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC.  The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the “La Dominante”, “Serenissima”, “Queen of the Adriatic”, “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals”. Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as “undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man”. Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe’s most romantic cities.

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

Vineyards In Autumn

Napa Fall
While driving through wine country in the fall, you often come across picturesque vistas such as this one. Stunning colors, low hanging clouds, various backdrops and historic buildings dotting the landscape making Napa a photographers and sightseers paradise.
The joy of experiencing Napa is one for all the senses. Enjoyed through the feel of being nestled an agricultural valley that ignited the American wine movement, the floral smells of the seasons lofting through the air, the taste of intricate cuisines and wines teasing your palate, and the sound of quiet country roads interrupted by the calls of local wildlife.
Excerpts taken from Wikipedia.org:
Napa County is a county located north of San Pablo Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is officially one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, and one of four North Bay counties. Napa County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county’s territory were given to Lake County in 1861. The word napa is of Native American origin and has been variously translated as “grizzly bear”, “house”, “motherland”, and “fish”. Of the many explanations of the name’s origin, the most plausible seems to be that it is derived from the Patwin word napo meaning house, although local residents will often cite an urban legend that gives the translation as “you will always return”.
Napa County, once the producer of many different crops, is known today for its wine industry, rising in the 1960s to the first rank of wine regions with France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Napa is warmer in the summer than Sonoma County to the west or Santa Barbara County, a wine-producing county in southern California. Thus, the Napa wineries favor varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa County is home to a variety of flora and fauna including numerous rare and endangered species such as Tiburon Indian paintbrush and Contra Costa goldfields.

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.

2011 Show

The 6th annual Expressions of Hope Art Show was a success!  I was really happy with my display and lighting this year.  Every year I learn so much more.

Thank you for viewing my 2011 on-line show presentation.  There are 20 images in this show so please be sure to click the “older posts” link at the bottom of the page.  I hope you enjoy the photographs and would love to hear what you think! (good…or bad as I am always learning).

Take care!

Pete

Fountain In Bloom

This fountain sits in the Italian promenade of the Butchart Gardens.  What I love about this image is the contrast of the stark black fountain surrounded by a sea of colors as well as the crystal clear drops of water frozen in time.

The gardens were originally a pet project of Jennie Butchart; the wife of prominent cement mogul Robert Butchart. Started in 1909, different areas of the gardens have different themes such as Japanese tea garden, Italian garden, and rose garden. This garden is still owned and managed by descendants of the Butchart family.  Now a national treasure, the gardens are a major tourist attraction and source of pride for the island of Victoria 

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.