Napa Barn

Napa Barn

During fall, the grape leaves carpeting the vast vineyards of the Napa Valley change into a myriad of colors making fall in wine country a spectacular sight. I love the utilitarian nature of this barn, the faded paint, the rusted roof. It provides so much character to an otherwise non-descript country scene. It makes the imagination wonder if there is something more enchanting hiding inside other than probably just a few farm implements.

 

The Red Canoes – Lake Louise – Canada

The Red Canoes

In the Alberta Territory of Canada lies one of the most visually inspiring stretches of mountains in the world. Banff National Park features the jagged and majestic Canadian Rockies and is littered with lakes that are fed from glacial snow melt. These lakes are filled directly by glacial snow and the minerals in the water give it this surreal color that changes opacity depending on the light and how it’s showing on it. One of the most famous of these lakes is Lake Louise because of the historic Fairmont Hotel that resides at its’ side and that is the subject of this image. What I love about this image is the mountain setting and the contrast of the Red Canoe’s vs. the teal blue waters of the mountain lake. It just makes you want to get in and paddle.

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.

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.

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.

Spilled Gold

Surrounded by legendary Colorado Aspens, this abandoned wheelbarrow caught my eye as an interesting subject in the morning sun.  The Aspen leaves collecting in the barrow give the appearance of a spilled load of gold; an interesting metaphor in a part of the country largely populated by the gold rush of the late 1800’s.

  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.

Gold Rush

Feeding Twin Lakes on the west side of Independence Pass is Lake Creek.  Driving up the dirt roads that parallel the creek takes you into towering aspen groves as the road winds upwards.  We parked to take in the beauty of the aspens and break for a picnic. I was intrigued by the sound of rushing water I could hear well below the road.  Bush whacking my way down to the sound, I found this sheltered creek of black rock surrounded by towering golden aspens.  A beautiful site to behold.

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.

Vigneto di Chianti

(Vinyard of Chianti)

The picturesque rolling hillsides of Tuscany are a sight to behold.  Perfect rows of grape vines, quaint farmhouses, tall cypress trees and olive groves are captured perfectly here in the late day Tuscan sun.

 The wine of the Chianti Region is a specific blend of grapes devised in the mid 19th century (70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia Bianca). In order to use the black rooster logo synonymous with Chianti Classico, vintners must follow precise standards.

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.