Saturday, September 30, 2006

hidden areas

Saturday morning brings a little more flexibility into the sunrise routine. I slept in a little so I needed a close-by location. Near me is a complex of large multi-story office buildings. They sit on a hillside (the lower slopes of Green Mountain) and are surrounded by walking trails, lakes and trees.

Although far from pristine, there is a little wilderness here.

I had the park to myself this early but as soon as the sun rose, I met the ever-present dogs and their handlers. This is a pleasant way to meet dogs – they are so happy to be out and usually their handlers are too! I talked to one man this morning who was curious about my photography. He told me to be sure and photograph the red trees across the road. In addition to the offices, this park is surrounded by hundreds of condos and apartments.

I have a much different feeling for these little hidden areas now from the one I see in my car as I drive by!

Friday, September 29, 2006


I keep my eyes open for the sunset; photographing it is not on my everyday agenda.
Tonight I peeked out and realized the clouds were already fading at 10 minutes before official sunset time. I got busy doing something else. When I glanced out again 20 minutes later, the sky was awash in pink.
I grabbed the camera.
The pink lingered just long enough for me to capture some beauty.

sunrise flirt

wishing you a better day today

Thursday, September 28, 2006

trying to make sense of it

There is a mantle of sadness in the air this morning after the death yesterday of a nearby high school girl. There is a chill in the air from the reality that some would value life so little.

Life is so fragile.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The trees of Top of World Park

I know them all; I have my favorites.
I think of them standing up there through all the hours of the day and seasons of the year.
They watch all that walk the earth beneath their branches.
When I watch the sun rise, I feel we are watching together.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

frosty morning

Down at the lake, the grass was covered with a heavy frost (but not a hard frost!). The soccer fields were tinted white in a light glaze of snow. Colorful scattered leaves adorned the ground. Fall is here and winter is not far behind. Of course in Colorado, Indian summer will bring us warm sunny days from now through October and sometimes beyond!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


After a night of cold rain, it is surprisingly calm and warm. Thankfully, the sprinklers are dormant. I reach Top of the World to find dark cloudy skies with a narrow intense band of color. As the sky lightens toward sunrise, patches of blue compliment the gray and pink with silhouettes of the trees bearing witness.

Friday, September 22, 2006

don't look away!

I almost gave up this morning because it was so dark when I got started photographing the sunrise.   That and the fact that I had to dodge the big automatic sprinklers.  I walked around and then noticed a bit of pink in the thick cloud just above the horizon.  The sprinklers finished their time cycle and I got to see a beautiful sunrise after all.  It is amazing to see how quickly the color changes.  If you were to go away for about 13 minutes you would have missed it all and if gone for 8 minutes you would have missed the most intense colors!  Hard to believe.  This particular color lasted for about one minute!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cloud Show Tonight!

Tonight the sky was exceptional.

Even though it was near sunset, the clouds stayed white until long after the sun had dipped behind Green Mountain. There was virtually no traditional sunset color but what it lacked in color it made up for in complexity!! I have mentioned that I sometimes have a hard time selecting which photos to post here. I take multiple shots of most of what you see. Sometimes there are only subtle differences between them. In the end, I found 16 photos that I saved to show you. Check them out!

We started the day with rain. Overcast skies dominated the day. Then it cleared and a cold front moved through at sunset bringing with it these beautiful clouds.
Now look at the forecast:

p.s. tomorrow is the first day of fall!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

chokecherry against the blue Colorado sky

emerging from the shadows

Monday, September 18, 2006

Millennium Bridge & city lights at sunrise

This morning, I wanted to go on a photography adventure. I am torn by the fact that I haven’t gotten up to the mountains to photograph the changing aspen leaves. Time is running out for that. I halfway planned to get up at 4 a.m. and drive up for a quick shot over an hours drive from home. But my sensible side snagged me back to reality. There is no way that I could head up there for a QUICK trip and still have the rest of the day to do the things that I must.

Instead, I headed downtown, a 15-minute drive, and walked along Speer Boulevard from Confluence Park towards Wewatta Street.

Confluence Park

This is a different world from mine yet the imposing skyscrapers, lights and bridges fascinate me. Oddly enough, it was the many loft-style condos lining the urban landscape that caught my attention. I walked along a couple old-style arched bridges and crossed the railroad corridor.

Speer Boulevard bridge

At first it was so dark that I didn’t realize I was over the railroad until the light rail sped by and then a freight train powered up with horns blasting just as I was taking a photograph of the Millennium Bridge.

Millennium Bridge viewed from where Speer Boulevard crosses over the railroad.

The wall of lofts looked dark and vacant although I am sure they were full of sleeping city dwellers. My eye was drawn to the flicker of a large flat screen TV. This one loft had lights blazing and since it faced the world in glass, I could see someone walking around with the light from the TV dominating the room.

As the day became light, I turned around and caught a view of the lavender-colored continental divide, seen as a backdrop to all of the signs of man and development. Back home, I found a map that showed I had been walking at the very location where the city of Denver was founded 148 years ago. I guess my photography adventure turned into a history lesson.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

beyond the sunrise

Sometimes it is the sweet details of life that nourish my soul.

Friday, September 15, 2006

daily dose of beauty

I have a friend who looks at my photography and says he doesn’t particularly like any signs of man that show up in them.
I have met other photographers who feel the same way.
Me, well I embrace whatever is there before my eyes.
My favorite Top of the World Park is full to the brim with signs of man.
In real life this ‘park’ is part of my local high school. It has a baseball field, tennis courts, a track and football field, a soccer & lacrosse field and last but not least, a softball field. Even though much of the trappings are hidden in the dark silhouettes of the predawn, you can still see the chain link fences of all heights, the various nets and cages and equipment sheds right up there against the beautiful sunrises, sunsets or cloud-filled skies.
Does it ever bother me? Other than trying to frame my photos so that these signs of man are not dominant, I just take them in stride.
Beauty is a gift that does not require perfection.

I got up a little late and was thinking of skipping the sunrise this morning. As usual, the many clouds in the morning sky out my kitchen window alerted me to a potentially spectacular sunrise. As I skipped up the steps to Top of the World, one of the regular walkers was coming down and he commented:
beautiful sunrise….ahead!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

city fishing

I was out early this morning, foolishly without a jacket (temperatures in the low 40’s)! I got to the lake before the geese woke up! There is actually a time before sunrise when they float silently on the water. I took a few shots before it got too light for my liking and started to head home.
I couldn’t resist stopping at a nearby reservoir to capture a fishermen and a couple of walkers in the distance as they enjoy their special morning routine. It beats sitting in the drive-up window line at the Starbucks, which sits just off to the southeast of this photo. I was tempted to pull into that line to capture ‘sunrise from the Starbucks drive-up’ but then I thought better!

Monday, September 11, 2006


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Morning in the city

I took off this morning to explore the city. It was cloudy with a little fog and morning mist. I started at Barnum Park, where I photographed last weekend and then drove from that park to Sloan's Lake that I photographed on Wednesday. I love the old city neighborhoods. The houses are so interesting, especially compared to where I live in the suburbs where all of the houses are divided into about 5 models with a few variations of each.

Just off of the shore at Sloan’s Lake there were a series of moss-covered posts that formed resting pads for a group of cormorants. The birds stand on these posts and slowly flap their wings. Biologists disagree on the reason for this but theories include drying their feathers, regulating their body temperature or announcing how successful their fishing has been! Apparently, cormorants don't have very much oil on their feathers and this allows them to be less buoyant which enhances their ability to dive. There were at least a dozen of these perches but only about 5 of them were prized. Each new cormorant that swam near fought off a bird already sitting on one rather than simply going to an empty one.

This lake is a popular water skiing attraction but no boats were out this early. Then off in the distance I could see a kayak heading in my direction. I got my camera set up and waited patiently for it to get close. It passed right by me and the person in the kayak made a funny face as if to say, "sorry to get in the way of your cormorant photo". I just said a hearty good morning as the camera clicked her photo with the cormorants in the background. That would be a very peaceful hobby - early morning jaunt around the lake before any of the powerboats and crowds filled up the park. She only had to share the lake with the birds!

For a few more photos (with descriptions)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sloan's Lake, Denver

sunrise on Sept062006
looking east
looking west

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunrise at Barnum Park

On the road at 6:00 a.m. Where to go? Just drive.

Pulled off 6th Avenue at Federal Blvd. – IN the city but found a little wetland lake called Barnum Park. It is a little oasis right along side a busy, limited access highway. I have sped by there at 65 mph many a time. The lake is below the highway, making it not as much of a visual distraction as you would guess. Mist rose off of the lake but it was in too much shadow to photograph well. The variety of older trees and hillside view of the Denver skyline
made for a beautiful sunrise.

I watched two white pelicans and a great blue heron as they just stood there in the lake. (notice the beaver lurking in the background!)

I think we were all waiting for the sun to warm us up!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

back on the trail

Finally, I got back to the top of my mountain. I have told myself many a time over the last few months that I wanted to start hiking Green Mountain again. But there always seemed to be some excuse or even occasionally a real reason not to! Yesterday, I repeated it to myself enough times to make it stick. I got up a little after five, fed the cats and drove to the parking lot. My one concession is that I didn’t want to over-stress my out-of-shape self too much by adding that extra mile walking to the parking lot from home. It was dark and cloudy. Even though I knew there would be no beautiful sunrise, foggy weather is quite captivating up on the mountain.

The parking lot was empty except for the silver Ford that has always been there for as long as I have hiked the mountain regularly. Otherwise, I saw no one and had no problems. It was quiet, calm and damp. I took a few photos and felt thankful to be back on the trail. When I left the house, the streets were dry but by the time I got close to the tower, mist filled the air. I kept going to the top because I have always set that as a goal; to reach the top.

Someone has been active building simple rock cairns scattered across the summit, like foggy sentinels.

The top was enveloped in light mist adding to the mystery. After photographing the cairns, I put all of my warm clothes on and packed my camera away and headed down the trail.
Total time at the end was 2 hours and 15 minutes.