This photo selection is mostly intended for photos which have not been included in the blog posts. They might be either from trips not covered on this blog or photos just not included in the posts … as I have way too many to be posting all the ones I like. I make no claim as to the artistic or technical merit of the photos, they are simply ones that I personally like for one reason or another.
Please note most photos can be viewed at larger size by opening in a new tab (right-click)
02.03.2023. Recently someone contacted me about a blog post I made from Tunisia about a line of old WWII tanks and vehicles we saw out in the middle of nowhere driving between Djerba and Tataouine. He was in Tunisia and wondered if I could tell him how to find that. Well, there aren't that many routes to choose from. Erik and I got out our maps we used and Erik looked on Google Earth trying to find it. We arrived at an educated guess of where they were and relayed the coordinates to the guy. He wrote back awhile later to say he went to those coordinates but there was only a small pile of metal there, no tanks or full vehicles. So I'm guessing this is one (of many) sights we've seen on our travels that are no longer able to be seen. If anyone knows what happened to these vehicles or if they're still there (2023) and we misled the fellow, let me know!
01.27.2023. Magical winter morning in Colorado. I love when every branch and stick of the trees and bushes is encrusted with snow, untouched yet by the inevitable wind. That small slice of time between the utter new-fallen stillness and the incessant winter wind is a special time.
01.06.2023. Who's ready for a nice chalky mud bath? This elephant has excellent technique. You can see why some people call elephants "hose heads," haha. It really does look like a powerful stream of muddy water coming out of a fire hose. Mud can act as a sunscreen for elephants in the hot African sun. This fellow is in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Zebras loitering in the background.
12.16.2022. One of the delightful happy hour spots near Nederland, Colorado, along the FS505N. A route we have traveled often but has become more challenging with the deepening of an infamous mud pit on the south end of this valley.
12.09.2022. This was at a pretty cool botanical garden we stopped at near Tampa, FL, Bok Tower Gardens. The centerpiece is this "singing tower" that houses a carillon and is played every day (I think) for half an hour or so. The more worldly of you may know, but I had no idea what a carillon was until we were there. You can't watch the players in their "playing cabin," but there's a live stream video in the gardens you can watch. It's like playing a giant organ, but it's so huge you use your fists on the "keys" instead of fingers. Also pedals like on an organ. Each key and pedal is connected to a clappered stationary bell in the bell tower. The music rings out over the entire gardens.
12.02.2022. OK, so I'm not doing very well this year with the "a photo each Friday" in this section! But you get a lot of 2-fers. These are a couple old buildings from the ruins of gold and silver mines near Central City, Colorado, once known as "the richest square mile on earth." What I want to share in these photos is the interesting metal siding put over the original wooden structures. I don't know just how the buildings looked when the metal was first put up, but I love the variety and richness of colors that the metal has aged into.
10.28.2022. More from Caribou Ranch Open Space (see also pic on 10.7.2022). I've walked this area often, but I don't think I'd ever noticed the meager remains of this cabin before. They're not far off the trail, so I was quite surprised to notice this "new" thing. It just goes to show how much there is around us (or me, anyway) that, even when mindful of our present surroundings, we can miss. And there was an old tea kettle sitting serenely on a lichen-covered rock, waiting — who knows for how long — for someone to call tea time.
10.21.2022. Exploring the mining country around what has been called "the richest square mile on earth" is our primary summertime hobby. We seem to find new treasures each year, even though it is a small area in Colorado. There were just so many small-scale mines in the forests. We wish we had started this earnest exploration a few decades ago, as a lot of what we find by now is simply piles of wood from collapsed cabins, mills, shafthouses, etc. This is one of our favorite finds this year. By the looks of items left inside, I'd guess it was inhabited until the 1970s or so, which explains its relatively good condition.
10.7.2022. A couple photos of this year's autumn aspen colors at Caribou Ranch Open Space in Nederland, Colorado. This is one of my favorite haunts for its scenic and historic components. You can read more about this area, through which the old Switzerland Trail Railroad once passed, in my post about it HERE.
09.23.2022. The Theresa Mine headframe along the Vindicator Valley Trail just outside of Victor, Colorado. This gold mine operated from 1895 - 1961. I didn't have time to walk the 2-mile trail around a bunch of mining ruins, but there is no doubt I will be back soon to walk it. The old mines in this area of Colorado tend to be much larger and were begun much later in the 19th century than the old mines near me in Gilpin and Boulder counties. This one is pretty impressive, looming against the dusky sky.
09.02.2022. One way to date the old cabins and mining ruins around Colorado is by the items in the midden heaps. Particularly metal food cans. The heydey of the gold and silver mines was in the 19th century. The "hole-in-cap" cans, such as this one sitting in the window sill of an old cabin at a mine, with soldered tops and seams, date to the mid-to-late 19th century. It's harder to find these relatively in tact now, most of them left on the ground are disintegrating back into the soil. Even from 20 years ago, they have become harder to find. I think it's fun to discover them and know the site is a particularly early one. (See the light-colored ring on the top of the can and the dot in the middle — this is the soldering you can recognize to date the can by.)
08.26.2022. Wildflower season coincides with exploring season! When we take our 4WD vehicles out in the maze of roads around our area scouting for old ruins from the 19th and 20th century mining era. Scouting for new ones and revisiting old ones, charting the progress of their sad declines as time and the elements and the forest overtake them. We've seen this one from a main road for years but only this year stopped to explore it when we realized how easy it was to access. Gilpin County, Colorado. I need to do more research before I can tell you more about this mine. (and I have plenty more pics!)
08.05.2022. It's that time of year when I'm going bonkers posting wildflower photos from the fields near my home on Facebook. This year I bought myself a macro lens and have been having a blast with it. Here are a few insect travelers I captured traveling around their floral world. The flowers in order: paintbrush, bistort, blue columbine, unknown leaf, buckwheat ... lady bugs don't look quite so cute head on!
07.22.2022. We recently took Pinzy up on our annual pilgrimage up to Kingston Peak, a tough 4x4 route in our 'hood. Apparently, this was earlier in the year than we typically go, as we crested a hill and rounded a corner to find a sight we'd never before: this glorious field of yellow. The sun was lighting it up perfectly. 'Twas a rather magical moment. We seldom run into other vehicles up there, but this day a 4Runner came by and this adorable, frenetic dog came bounding through the flower field to me. The driver stopped to talk to Erik and the dog stopped to solicit some petting from me. I snapped a few photos of her in the flower field. I showed one to the guy on my camera and he thought it was really sweet. I told him that if he wanted to have me send him full size pics to look me up on Team Killer Rabbit's FB page (Erik's page for Pinzy). I posted the photos there, and Erik told me this morning that the guy did find the page and was happy to see the photos of his dog. These are a few pics of the field and the dog.
07.15.2022. Pretty much our backyard, west of Nederland, Colorado. You can hike or take a 4x4 above the old mining town of Caribou. The first view is looking southwest, the second view is looking east to the Front Range plains and you can see Pinzy down below, looking so small amid the grand landscape. The altitude here is above 10,000 feet. Our town Nederland was named by Dutch miners after their home country, the name means "Low Lands." Everyone wonders why Nederland, at 8,200 feet above sea level, is named Low Lands. It's because the mines were at Caribou at 10,000 feet and the mills were in Nederland, relatively low lands compared to Caribou.
07.01.2022. Hopefully I will soon have a new post up about the cemeteries at Central City, Colorado. There are four main ones that I know of and one small one containing I think it's 12 graves. Last fall and this spring I spent some time among them. As all cemeteries of the old mining towns do, these all have a disproportionately large number of child graves, often marked only with "baby." These are a couple more elaborate baby tombstones at the Nevadaville Cemetery above Central City.
06.10.2022. I guess she didn't want to get her feet wet! Funny, most of the other elk were wading through or standing in the water. Big Thompson River through Moraine Park, Rocky Mountain National Park.
06.03.2022. My favorite time of year along the Peak to Peak Highway (Colorado) and in Rocky Mountain National Park is the short spring when the mountains still have snow and the meadows are green and sprouting flowers. A day just like this day (taken June 1, 2022). This is my favorite view in the park no matter which season -- from Upper Beaver Meadows.
05.20.2022. Last week I was introduced to somewhere I've never been before, only about an hour's drive from me down on the flatlands near Erie, Colorado: St. Vrain State Park. It consists of a series of ponds, a creek, and camping pads, making for a nice little getaway. It's right next to a major interstate, I-25, so I can't claim that it's a *peaceful* getaway, but the birds certainly do not seem to mind the traffic hum, and it's a pretty location, you can fish on the ponds. I was happy to learn of it. It was a brooding overcast evening, so the Front Range mountains were largely obscured, but on a clear day, the view to the west will be outstanding. We saw several osprey and although I didn't see them, bald eagles nest here.
05.13.2022. I drive by this lovely church, "Chapel on the Rock," outside Allenspark, Colorado, fairly often and I almost never stop to take a photo in spite of how photogenic it is. Well the other day I stopped, as I liked the snow-patched peak lined up behind the center peak of the chapel and the side tower on the right lined up with the slope of the mountain as if the ridgeline would collide with the tower.
05.06.2022. Another bird species I saw nesting this year in the dense foliage of Popoyote Lagoon in Ixtapa was egrets. I'd never seen baby egrets before, and my goodness were they cute. I love their fuzzy coloring of white and gray. Here are a couple shots of busy egret parents and their demanding chicks!
04.15.2022. I noticed a yellow crowned night heron once before at the Popoyote Lagoon in Ixtapa, Mexico, several years ago. I was excited this year to see not only another one, but three other ones. I noticed a lone heron and then this couple who were building a nest some distance away from the main fray of spoonbill, egret and woodstork nests, in a very secluded nook in a tree. I watched them for a very long time on two different days waiting for them to look at me, but they never did! They looked to the sides, at each other, and away from me, showing me their butts. I felt like it was rather personal!
04.01.2022. As I mentioned last week, I hit the jackpot with baby birds. The first ones I saw were the roseate spoonbills; I've only seen babies one other time and my excitement was high over seeing a nest of them. Then another nest. Then another, and another. Then I realized all the nests of other species, too. But here are a few spoonbill chicks. The chicks in the various nests had hatched at different times, some chicks were still so tiny I could barely see their heads over the top of the nest and some were quite a bit older. The first one below I named Baby Baron because it was always spreading its wings and looking over the edge of the nest. The next one, I just love the expression on its face.
03.25.2022. After taking a year off last year due to COVID, I returned to Ixtapa to find my Popoyote Lagoon absolutely overflowing with nesting birds and squawking chicks of several difference species. This is later in the year than I have usually traveled there, and I hit the jackpot with baby season. Very difficult to photograph them through the dense foliage, but I certainly made heroic efforts, haha, and will share some in the coming weeks. This is a nesting couple of roseate spoonbills, looks like their babies have not hatched, and they were still busy constructing their nest.
02.11.2022. Another wild horse eye today. I find them captivating. On this horse, I like her white-brown-blonde colors — white star on her forehead and lovely blonde mane.
02.04.2022. Placitas, New Mexico, is home to several bands of free-roaming wild horses. It's a beautiful sight to see these animals who are otherwise so associated with humans, like they've become appendages to us, running free. As it is a time of severe drought in the area, humans do pitch in and put out hay and water for them, which they surely appreciate, but they are free to come and go wherever they choose. I don't think I've ever seen a truly wild horse, belonging to no one, until we saw these in New Mexico.
01.21.2022. Happy new year, dear readers, a little late. I spent the first half of the first month of 2022 dealing with an extremely painful tooth abscess! It was delightful. One thing I accomplished last year was to recreate my photography website that was lost in a server crash. It was a lot of work but in one way a bit of fun to have to go back through all my photos I've posted over the years and decide which ones to include and what categories to make. I made one gallery all about doors and locks, and ran across this photo in the process. I like it because of the textures. Taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera while in Tunisia.