Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Pikes Peak As Seen From Our House

Friday, December 31, 2010

Active Socks & Happy New Year

I'm up with my family waiting for 2011 to roll around here in the U.S. mountain time zone, so I've got time to put up a quick blog post. Here are a few pictures of an active Socks for the Camera Critters meme. First he's getting ready to jump up to my lap, which is where he is while I'm typing this post.
Here he's in a playful mood on the floor.
And finally, this last shot was taken during our hike in Palmer Park this week. He's better at climbing up and down rocks than me.
I hope all my readers have a very happy New Year - all the best to you in 2011. Now it's time to get ready to toast with my family.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cold & Warm, Partly Cloudy Skies

For this week's Skywatch Friday post, I'm uploading photos from two different mornings in the last week. The first two are from early on a frosty morning, after a 24-hour freezing fog finally lifted. This is frost, not snow, in both these photos!
The last shot is from this morning, when I went to Palmer Park to hike with little Socks. It was fairly warm, with skies that were partly sunny, making for flat, colorless light. I've got more photos to post from this hike.
We've got some really cold weather on the way - on Friday our high temperature may be 1° F(-17° C) - but luckily these cold spells are usually very short. Enjoy lots more skyward photographs at the Skywatch Friday meme.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Lights

This time of year, a lot of people put up Christmas lights on their houses. So, along with lots of other bloggers, I'm putting up some photos of Christmas lights in my part of town, taken yesterday evening. The first house belongs to my friend Bill, the other ones I don't know.
All these photos were taken hand-held, and I didn't edit them except to reduce the sizes to fit on to the blog. I'm sure you can find lots more holiday photos at the My World Tuesday site.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yellowstone Dry Springs

Many of the hot springs at Yellowstone only flow intermittently, and here's what they look like when they're dry. The patterns made by the minerals are very interesting.
In places it can look like a moonscape. The shadows are me and my father.
Finally, here's an active hot spring near the Grand Prismatic Spring called Turquoise Pool.
I hope that all my readers who celebrate the holiday have a very merry Christmas. I'm not sure if the meme will be updated this weekend or not, but this post is for Scenic Sunday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Curtain Clouds

Reaching back to July for this photo, here's an example of a curtain of rain falling out of a cloud, a not-uncommon sight here in the summer.
Please excuse the white dots, those are hot pixels in my camera and I can't do much about them. For more cloudy and clear skies, visit the Skywatch Friday meme today.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Icy World

The weather here is extremely changeable, it can be absolutely frigid one day and gorgeous the next, and this weekend was a great example of that. Friday night we had a freezing fog all night, so I took these photos of the results once the sun came up Saturday morning.
By Sunday afternoon it was warm enough to take the dog for a walk in nothing more than jeans and a light sweatshirt. That's the nice thing about Colorado winters, despite the intermittent snow and cold, it's usually sunny and sometimes pleasantly warm. Because of our altitude, the sun has real warmth even in the depths of winter.

For other beautiful worlds, visit the My World Tuesday meme.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ladybug, Ladybug, Where Are You?

Apparently they're on top of Mount Herman, where they were in swarms this summer!
On the way down I ran into this heading up - I don't remember what it was.
And those are my Camera Critters for this week!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cloud To Cloud Lightning

For Skywatch Friday this week, I'm going back to August for a photo of cloud-to-cloud lightning.
For more skyward photographs, visit the Skywatch Friday meme. To see more of my lightning captures, click on the Lightning label below.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Western World

My city Colorado Springs has strong ties to the classic American West. For example, every year the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo is a major event in town. Although I've never seen the rodeo (I need to fix that next year), here's a downtown statue of Hank the Cowboy, who has promoted the rodeo for years.
The Pikes Peak Range Riders were founded in 1949 to promote the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, and they still have a range ride every year. Here's a photo of their memorial, also downtown.
There's a lot more Western culture here - the ProRodeo Hall of Fame is in town, and horses are a common sight in the suburbs. I frequently run into horses when I'm taking Socks for a walk in our local park, as I did yesterday. But that's enough of my world for today; to see other non-Western parts of the world visit the My World Tuesday web site.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cave of the Winds (Inside)

In last week's Scenic Sunday post, I showed the area surrounding the Cave of the Winds. This week we're heading inside. All these photos were taken hand-held with my old DSLR in a cave with no flash, using a fixed-length lens (no zoom), so they may not be perfect, but I think they get the cave's beauty across.

First the tour takes us through a tunnel directly into the cave.
Once inside, various areas are dimly lit, and it's a uniquely beautiful experience.
Now I want to see some of the more famous caves, such as Carlsbad Caverns. But to see more scenic sights, visit the Scenic Sunday meme.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spectacular Sunrise

A couple of weeks ago I got up to go to work, but before eating breakfast I looked outside and thought that the clouds might be set up for a great sunrise. I grabbed my camera and a few minutes later was rewarded with one of the most amazing sunrises I've ever seen.
Both photos were taken in my front yard, and are straight out of the camera, not edited or altered in any way. For more wonderful worldwide skies, visit the Skywatch Friday meme.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hoosier Pass

We have a number of fairly high mountain passes in our region that the main roads have to cross. The road over Hoosier Pass, on the way to Breckenridge from Colorado Springs, tops out at 11,539 feet above sea level (that's 3,517 m, or over 3 km above sea level). The last time I drove over it there was some snow coming down, so I couldn't get photos of the surrounding peaks, but here are a couple of gray shots at the top of the pass.
The photos aren't spectacular, but they may be of interest because I suspect that most of my readers don't often drive more than 3.5 km above sea level. (Our house is more than 2 km above sea level.) Visit My World Tuesday to get your breath back after breathing our thin air!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cave of the Winds (Outside)

One of the tourist attractions in the Colorado Springs area is the Cave of the Winds, a natural cave that allows visitors to go under the Rocky Mountains. Here are some photos of the area from the outside - it's in a canyon with fairly steep sides. This is right on the edge of the city, showing how the inhabited area goes right up against real wilderness.
In the next photo, you can see some caves.
Finally, here's a touristy thing just outside the cave, where you can pay to pan for gold.
Next week I'll show you some photos from inside the cave. And that's my Scenic Sunday entry for this week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Golden Linings

You know that expression "every cloud has a silver lining?" Well, these clouds had golden linings.
Taken back in late spring, on June 6 of this year. Visit Skywatch Friday for more clouds, blue skies, and other interesting photographs.
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