“New Year’s Dawn January 1, 2013, Flatirons” Boulder, CO
How fast was 2013? Four seasons, that’s it, that’s what we get. We plan our adventures for each season and I approach my story-telling photography by nature’s rhythms. Something amazing happens every day and the timing is set – we just have to be there to see it unfold. The Sage Spirit project continues to be my main conservation focus and we found time to walk in the Maroon Bells, Peru’s Huayhuash Mountains and elsewhere. Looking back on long walks, a few epic trips, and ongoing conservation work for the Sage Spirit project, 2013 was a good year. The images that follow aren’t a
best of – just a quick glance back before looking ahead to a great Oh-14
“Cochetopa Tracks” Jackrabbit tracks in sagebrush lead to wintry Cochetopa Dome, shrouded in clouds. Gunnison National Forest, CO.
Ice Crystals On The Gunnison River – 10 below zero. Gunnison Basin, Colorado
A band of pronghorn stands in golden light backed by pyramid-shaped Stewart Peak (13,989'). Pronghorn were wiped out in the Gunnison Basin by the heavy snows during the winter of 2007. They simply had nowhere to go to find food as snow piled up in feet.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reintroduced pronghorn and they've recovered well, particularly in the Cochetopa Hills region where I photographed this group.
“Owl Prowl” Our
Zapata Sandhil Crane workshop calls for owls with local naturalist John Rawinski. The 2014 class is scheduled for March 9-14 and we have a few spots available.
Climbing a granite crack to reach a view of the Lost Creek drainage, I exclaimed Wow! when I saw this perfect granite ball sitting on the granite bench. Lost Creek, home to the Tarryall, Kenosha, and Platte River Ranges, is a Colorado anomaly, the granite spires, domes, and twisted rock are the 'Yosemite of Colorado' and unique in the Rockies. This area is accessed via the Goose Creek trail.
The Yampa River winds through Castle Park to its confluence with the Green River in Echo Park. The Yampa is Colorado's second largest body of water and runs wild, apart from a few small dams and diversions. The Green River starts high in Wyoming's Wind River Range and is the chief tributary of the Colorado - the most endangered river in America. Dinosaur is fascinating for it's geography, cultural and ecological significance, and diversity. It was also the scene of a major conservation battle over the proposed damming of Echo Park, with the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society leading the fight to keep the rivers running free. Photographer Philip Hyde was commissioned by Sierra Club president David Brower for the book This Is Dinosaur in 1955 - he became the Sierra Club's primary conservation photographer. Thank you to LightHawk for providing the aerial support to fly this mission.
Clouds chased by winds aloft are lit by a bright half moon as night falls the week before summer solstice. The Boar's Tusk in silhouette is a geologic marvel and sacred place in the northern Red Desert. The Boar's Tusk is a volcanic monolith that rises 400 vertical feet above the sagebrush desert in the Killpecker Sand Dunes WSA area. Sweetwater County, Wyoming.
With a backdrop of Snowmass Mountain (14,092') and Capitol Peak (14,130'), Marla digs for the top of Buckskin Pass. Buckskin is one of the four passes over 12,000 feet that circumnavigate the Maroon Bells Massif. The Four-Pass Loop is widely considered one of the top backpacking trips in North America.
Lingering snow patterns on green alpine tundra point to North Maroon Peak (14,014') from Willow Pass. The sun broke through storm clouds to light the base of North Maroon just after sunrise.
Early morning light breaks through layers of clouds to reveal Yerupaja (6634m) and Yerupaja Chico (6121m) from Carhuacocha camp on the Huayhuash Trek in Peru. This ephemeral moment was one of the most interesting light shows I've witnessed, a sudden transition from steely gray to light.
We met sheepherder Hermes while watching his herd of 500 sheep pass along the Huayhuash Trek in Peru. This vibrant soul is 70 years old and lives in the highlands above 14,000 feet.
Marla is led by our guide Marco on the last pitch of Diablo Mudo's (5223m) 'penitente' studded glacier. Considered an easy peak in the Cordillera Huayhuash, the 'mute devil' was tough enough for us.
American Bison graze on Antelope Flats in Grand Teton National Park. The iconic Grand Teton backdrop is partially obscured in layers of morning clouds that are typical in Jackson Hole.
A great gray owl hunts from a ranch fence in Jackson Hole. Although considered uncommon, great grays can be spotted anytime of year in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. They are North America's largest owl, reaching 27' in length. Great grays are easily recognized by their white 'bow tie'.
“Big Thompson Road After The Flood” Aerial photo with the support of LightHawk two weeks after the September flood. Remarkably, the canyon is now open again.
A pair of sandhill cranes return to roost in evening light that belies the chilly December air. Bosque is important winter refuge for sandhill cranes of the Rocky Mountain Population and many waterfowl species. These cranes will migrate north to Greater Yellowstone in spring, making a few stops in Colorado to rest and refuel. They'll return with juveniles in fall, just like the last few million years.