Al's Photography Blog

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Looking Back to Summer

Looking back a ways, here are some photos I've been meaning to post for a long time.
It's a frequent nearby hike for me, the Palmer Reservoirs.
I like how quickly it's possible to get into the mountains from my city.
Towering rock formations are abundant.
And of course the namesake reservoirs show their magical reflections.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Another Tree

I never get tired of looking up at trees. They make great Skywatch Friday subjects!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine (3)

This is the last of my mining-related posts for now, and in it I'll show you some of the equipment in the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine. All of these are operational and were demonstrated to us; all were very loud as they use compressed air for power. First is a machine used to move rocks quickly.
Next is a drill used to bore into the rock. After the holes were drilled they would have been filled with explosives.
Here's a hoist used to raise ore from lower levels.
And finally, an underground ride that took us from one section of mine to another.
I hope you've enjoyed my extended series on gold mining in the local area, I've certainly had fun posting these photos. Next week I'll find something else to post about for Our World Tuesday.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Luckily this one was behind glass at the Denver Aquarium. I thought it would make a good post for the Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters memes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nashville Skyline (3)

Here is the last of my shots of the Nashville skyline, this one taken at night.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine (2)

Here are a few photos taken down in the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine - all photos are handheld with no flash. The tunnels seem to go on for miles, but they're well lit up for tourists.
Some of the old mine carts are still in place.
It's hard to tell from the photo but this is looking up a near-vertical shaft.
Can you imagine working up one of those ladders, handling the heavy equipment used to drill the rock?
Just like a modern office there's a room for the miners to have lunch.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Trees and Trucks

We spent Christmas in California, so these were the trees we kept seeing. I've never lived anywhere warm enough for palm trees so they're always exotic to me.
And since the Skywatch Friday meme seems weather-related, we had some 100 mph (161 kph) winds in my city this week blowing off the mountains. Driving home on Monday I saw two big tractor-trailers that had been blown over on the highway - here's a zoomed-in capture from my dash-cam of one. I could start a Youtube channel of all the bad driving I capture on this thing...

Monday, January 9, 2017

Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine (1)

It seems that a lot of readers are enjoying my series on local mining history, so I'll answer a couple of questions about the huge open-pit mine I've been showing you.

  • Some chemicals are used to leech the gold from the crushed rock, but I'm not sure which ones; it's much more regulated these days than in the past.
  • I was not using a telephoto for most of the photos, I was right there next to the crusher and the trucks, and down in the pit.
  • The mine is not open to the public, but with advance reservations and a small fee a few people are given a tour several days a week. That's how I was able to see it all, and I think it's one of the best sightseeing bargains in the area.

On to my next mining post, about the Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine. This is a former vertical-shaft gold mine, operating from 1891 to 1961, and now open for public tours. The only way down is in the two-level cage the miners used to ride; if you're claustrophobic or afraid of being suspended by nothing more than a single cable I don't recommend it, although the mine itself is surprisingly spacious. All photos are hand-held without flash.
Here's the sign when you get out of the cage at the bottom.
It's a multi-level mine, and this shows the bell system used to indicate how to raise and lower the cage. Yes, it's still run by a person, and the tour guide will ring the bells appropriately.
Here's a close-up of some growths on the mine walls. Next week I'll show you some of the tunnels.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Monday, January 2, 2017

Pit Mine Rock Crusher

Happy New Year to all my readers! I'm going to finish my series on the huge open pit mine near Cripple Creek, Colorado - the mining is for gold. All the rock is fed into this huge crusher, and then into various processes to extract the gold.
The massive trucks dump their loads...
...and it all feeds through this rotating blade, which is far larger than it appears in the photo.
Conveyor belts move all the rock around.
It's at the bottom of one of the pits.
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