Posts Tagged With: photography

It Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This

 

Late Summer Eve – West Spanish Peak and The Devils Stairstep

Summer has reached maturity in the Colorado high country and as we anticipate the annual explosion of colors that will soon take place, there is also a realization that the warm days and nights are slipping away, giving many of us incentive to get outdoors to enjoy them while we can.  Getting out might mean golfing, hiking, fishing,  taking a four-wheel adventure or simply having lunch on your favorite deck or patio.  The next time you are in Cuchara on a Saturday, drop in and experience the Cuchara Produce Market.  Jon and Ruth Ann Brandt of La Junta have been bringing the harvest of the plains to the high country each Summer Saturday for the past few years.  Melons, fruits, vegetables and other tasty Colorado products are set out along the boardwalk in front of the Cuchara Inn and it’s a great place to meet folks.  The Cuchara Produce Market is open Saturdays through mid-October.

                                           The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard.

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The Greatest Adventures Really Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard

A glance up from the kitchen window this week and Tammy spotted our local Bobcat friend in broad daylight, sitting on the walkway and steps that we commonly refer to as the “Catwalk”.  Great Shot Tam!

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Inspired Wood Art By Annie Enke

We are fortunate to live in the midst of one of Colorado’s richest art colonies, giving us the opportunity to be inspired by some incredibly creative people.  We recently completed a profile video for gifted woodworking artist Annie Enke and hope that you will take a minute and a half to be inspired as well.  Her work absolutely defines originality.   Also, visit  Annie’s website at http://www.AnnieEnke.com and see her work in person at the La Veta Fine Art Gallery.

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Stars Over Cuchara And The Stonewall Century Ride

The summit of Cuchara Pass is one of those spots that makes you feel like you are on top of the world.  At 10,000 feet in elevation and far from the lights  of Colorado’s more populated front range centers, this is absolutely one of the best spots to view the night sky over the southern part of the state as well as northern New Mexico.

Last week, around 400 hearty souls departed La Veta under the power of their own muscle and spirit to conquer a 102 mile, 7200 vertical foot bike ride over this lofty pass.  This was the ninth running of the grueling Stonewall Century Ride and we were there to capture the smiles of the event volunteers, and the bigger smiles of a few of the participants as they approached the final uphill revolutions of their aching thighs.  Congratulations Stonewall Century Riders!  Check out the event website at http://www.spcycling.org/archive.php

pictured in no particular order, Anne, H.E., Kathy, Mark, Flip, Susan and Carl

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Free Energy Along The Purgatoire River

“The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude.  No big laboratory is needed in which to think.  Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind.  Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.”  ~ Nikola Tesla

I’ve been learning a bit lately about a pretty bright man who spent some time here in Colorado in the early 1900’s.  It’s odd that I never learned about him in school, given the fact that he worked along side Thomas Edison and had some very original ideas that have shaped the world we live in, many more that will shape the world that is to come.  Anyway, Nikola Tesla was all about energy and it was his dream that energy would someday be free to all.  The energy that he envisioned would be completely self sustaining and independent from any requirement to deplete our natural resources.  I thought this quote was particularly fitting for this post.to put into context the power that we can derive from quiet afternoon in the great outdoors.

The Purgatoire River runs off of the Sangre De Cristo range just a few short miles from our home and the North Fork Trail has become one of our favorite hikes.  To get there, leave the pavement of State Hwy. 12 at Purgatoire Creek and follow the dirt road for three miles to the campground, which sets at about 8500 feet.  The hiking trail is best described as easy to moderate with a gentle but steady incline for about three miles up to timberline.  This is one of those hikes where there is so much to see that if feels more like a stroll in the park than a workout.

If you live nearby, or if you happen to be visiting this beautiful part of Colorado, grab the family and the camera and check out the Upper Purgatoire River, you won’t be disappointed.  Also keep in mind that this valley is absolutely drop dead gorgeous in the fall.  In any event, thanks for tagging along and don’t forget that The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!

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Local Tourist Colorado – Louden-Henritze Archaeology Museum

On a recent visit to Trinidad to gather material for the Highway of Legends Video, we had the good fortune of discovering a great little Archaeology and Geology Museum on the campus of Trinidad State Junior College.  Thanks to the museum director Loretta Martin and Geology Instructor Debra Krumm for rolling out the red carpet and giving us the tour.  TSJC is the oldest Junior College in the state and the immaculate grounds and the ornate historic architecture is worth seeing of its own merit.  The museum is open to the public Monday through Thursday, 10am until 3pm and admission is free.  Check out the museum website for more information and plan on spending an hour or two looking over the beautiful campus and visiting the museum the next time you visit Trinidad.

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Let Freedom Ring In Cuchara, Colorado


The tiny and remote village of Vail, Colorado sat at the base of a deep valley and along side a twisting and turning U.S. Hwy. 6 back in the early 1970’s.  At that time, the four lanes of asphalt known as I-70 were only a twinkle in the eyes of the engineers and Vail had a character, unique and different from just about anywhere else in the world.  Growing up that special time and place provided me with some great memories, none being warmer or more vivid than the colorful, informal, perhaps even counter-cultural Fourth of July Parades on Bridge Street.

That was indeed a L-O-N-G time ago and I haven’t been back to a Vail Independence Day Celebration since.  Yesterday, Tammy and I attended the parade and celebration in the tiny Village of Cuchara, which as most of you know is right in our own backyard.  We have lived in this valley for seven years now but have always been too busy to witness the spectacle.  I suppose there was a crowd of about two or three thousand folks in attendance, many of them the same age that I was back in the old Vail days.  Without a doubt, some will carry the memories of Cuchara’s 4th of July Main Street Celebration with them for a lifetime.

The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!

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And Then There Was A One Horned Goat

High Plains Desert Beauty – Silver Mountain and Dikes

Tammy and I were heading out the other day to do a photo shoot.  As we coasted down the hill into the Village of Cuchara we caught a glimpse of a couple of pedestrians walking down the road with what appeared to be a couple of the oddest looking great danes we had ever seen.  We drove slowly by, peering out of the passenger window like the curious, nosy locals that I suppose we have become.  We had it all wrong, these folks weren’t walking their dogs they were walking their Goats.  We felt compelled to investigate and we whipped around into a parking spot in front of Dakota Dukes General Store.

Things have always been a little bit different here in Cuchara.  You expect to see the unexpected, like cattle drives through town, bears on front porches and dogs out to dinner with their families.  But people out strolling about with their Goats!  That’s News.

(L-R) Cuzco, Nan, Nibbles and Phil on a Cuchara Goat Vacation

As it turns out, Nan and Phil Hassey of Rye were visiting Cuchara for the first time along with Cuzco (10 years old) and Nibbles (3 months old).  Nan and Phil prefer to take the goats with them everywhere they go, Goat Vacations they call them.  On this outing, they found goat friendly lodging at the Cuchara Inn and a great eight-mile hike up the Dike Trail.  In his prime, Cuzco carried his own pack, up to 50 or 60 pounds.

Goat Hand Shake

Nan and Phil have to keep a tight leash on Cuzco when dogs are around. When he was younger, Cuzco had a bad experience where he was chased right over the edge of a cliff.  That’s where he lost his left horn.  Yep, when you head out for the day around here, you never quite know what to expect.   The Greatest Adventures Are not only the places you go, but the people you meet along the way.

Categories: Photography, Travel, Uncategorized, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Two Ducks, Six Bears And The Misadventures Of A Landscape Photographer

Mr. and Mrs. Duck

First there is a warning quack, then a resounding quack-quack followed by the fluttering of wings.  “There goes Mr. and Mrs. Duck” Tammy will say and we watch the pair skim over the water in the same easterly direction.  And so the chain of events repeats itself, day in and day out as we take our daily walks.  Ahhh, summer in the mountains of Southern Colorado.

When I was a kid, I’d take an old shoe box, poke a hole in the end of it and tape a piece of black and white photo paper inside.  It always amazed me how I could miraculously produce a photograph using such simple tools.  Today, it amazes me that with all of the fancy equipment I can’t seem to get a wildlife image that looks much different from those pinhole camera pictures.  Shooting photographs or video of wildlife is an art form that neither one of us has mastered.  We are persistent however and we have the desire, a combination that will eventually unlock the door to success.

So, back to that elusive pair of Ducks and the comical scene that unfolds each time I try to photograph them.  I’ve done everything shy of dressing in camouflage and building a duck blind to capture their image.  I have indeed, crawled through the grass on my belly and hidden behind a nearby shack a number of times.  Holding my camera in shooting position, I peer around the corner as if I’m an FBI agent on a drug raid.  “Quack…Quack Quack….Flutter Flutter”, they’re gone before I can take command of my focus ring.

Quack……Quack Quack…….Flutter Flutter

It seems as though the same scenario plays itself out no matter what the subject matter is.  Tammy and I drive everywhere with cameras ready and tripods extended for when and not if we see a heard of Elk, a Bear or a Mountain Lion.  The way it really seems to work is quite different from what we anticipate though.  In the past 7 days, we have seen a Blonde Male Bear, a Black Male Bear and a Momma Bear with three darling little Cubs.  When we see something really great there is an adrenaline rush and a very confusing attempt to communicate with one another that could easily lead to disaster.  “Stop” “Go” “Roll Down the Window” “ Move out of my way” “We need a new windshild” are the types of things you might hear in that moment.  It’s not uncommon for me to lose my mind and attempt to take pictures from a moving vehicle, while I am driving.  And then there are the times when we are whispering and moving very slowly to get into position.  I open the door with the key still in the ignition and the “ding-ding-ding” announces to the whole forest that we are there, larger than life.

So go easy on us when you judge these pictures.  They aren’t as easy to get as you might think.  And remember The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard!

Categories: Colorado, Photography, Tourism, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Reflections Of The Past Week

Mid-May Twilight Over North Lake

As usual, we have been incredibly busy and we’ve been shooting a ton of photographs and video.  The real estate market is really buzzing right now and we have been fortunate to have the opportunity to capture some really spectacular properties.  People don’t realize that for every hour of shooting we spend three, four, five or more hours editing which can make for some really long days and nights in front of a computer.

The cool thing about living here is that when you need a break, just looking out a window or stepping out the door into nature can bring you back to center in no time.  So much is happening in the outdoors now as we race for the Summer Solstice, which is only a short month away.  Have the Flora and the Fauna been hitting the Red Bull?

Hillside Below North Lake Dam

We have seen so much wildlife in the past week and everything seems bigger than we remember from past years.  Our first Bear sighting of the year came to us the other day just up the road.  We watched and filmed a Cinnamon Blond who had come down to the stream for an evening drink.  At one point he sat down like a puppy and stared quizzically at us before he meandered off into the woods.  Our big black resident Bear returned and we had a chance to watch him for a good fifteen minutes.  Finally when we popped off the screen and opened the kitchen window, he caught wind of our scent and took off.  As for the Elk, They are big and healthy and as numerous as the humming birds this year.

For all the cursing and gnashing of teeth that takes place in the long winter months, so much more abundant is our appreciation of the richness of life here in the summer.  When we say that The Greatest Adventures Are Waiting In Your Own Backyard, we mean it

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