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.

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.

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.

Barca e Porta

(Boat and Doorway) 

The magical city of Venice is like nowhere I have been before or since. The doorway featured in this shot demonstrates the quiet canals, vibrant color, and old world charm that typify a walk through the back streets of this storybook city.

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