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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Valley View Landscape & Wildlife

Katie and I went up to Valley View Hot Springs for a two-night trip to relax. While we were up there, I did a ton of photography, so I've created a few different albums to share those photos, even though some of the photos in this album were taken throughout the multi-day trip.

Throughout the course of the trip, we saw quite a bit of animals. Everything from birds (including hawks and owls), snakes (nothing poisonous), mule deer, bunnies, squirrels. There was even a bear sighting by one of the staff members of the property. We were hoping to see it (from a distance, preferably from our cabin), but we never got to see it.

Pealing PaintMulti-EyedTopless ElfSpider WebsWild FlowersAutumnMeadow PondTwistedInto the ValleyIn FlightBaby and MotherGrazing TogetherBabySpotted MeBunnyOn the Highest BranchFlying AwaySleeping OwlAngry

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Orient Mine Hike

This is the second time I've hiked to the top of the Orient mine this year. Katie and I came up to the hot springs in early January and I hike this on a cold morning on the fourth. This hike was quite a bit easier this time for a number of reasons, but mostly because it wasn't freezing cold since it was September. However, it did drop into the 40's at night, and since we did this as a sunset hike to see the bats, we were up there until the sun went down and it got really cold.

The hike ended up taking an hour to get up and a half hour to get down, and we stayed at the top for an hour while we waited for the bats to come out. The 4 mile hike was only 761 verticle feet in ascent, but we went on this hike to see the bats, not necessarily get in a difficult hike.

EruptingSix DeadChanging TreesOrient MineSetting SunHolding the SunBehind the Smoky MountainsOrange SunBatsFollowing the RidgeThousands in the SkyFlying Far

Friday, September 18, 2020

Star Photography

Valley View is a great place for night photography since it's located pretty far away from any major city. Unfortunately because of all the forest fire smoke, the valley was pretty hazy, but luckily the sky was still pretty clear, that is everywhere except for the West. The smoke did make the sun look pretty cool, allowing me to take photos of it before it went behind the mountains.

Milky WayOver the RidgeDark Blue SKyThe Cabin in the Woods

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Leaf Peeping at Guanella Pass

It's that time of the year where the colors start changing. The colors in Colorado don't really stick around, so you have to be prepared the last couple of weekends in September and the first weekend in October to go hunt for fall colors. Since it's still a little early, we knew we had to get up high in elevation to see some color, so we started doing some searching in local newspapers to figure out where is recommended for this year this weekend. We found one article with a recent photo that specifically showed some gorgeous colors at the Silver Dale Interpretive Site just outside of Georgetown on the Guanella Pass scenic highway. Because we weren't guessing where to go and what elevation the colors would be at, we found an amazing site packed with tons of turning aspens. The weather was cooperative being in the 50s but partially cloudy which gave us a lot of different lighting, everything from cloudy, to sunny and even some soft lighting in between. The trees were perfect and the lighting was perfect, so I don't think it could have gotten much better. The Guanella Pass area surpassed our expectations and will definitely be on our shortlist for leaf-peeping in future years.

I am considering this a hike since it was up in the mountains, had some elevation gain (over 500ft), and was over 3 miles round trip. Even though it took us over 2 hours, this was a very slow moving hike that we had lots of fun stopping and shooting along the way.

Colorful MountainsideThe Girl At the End of the BridgeThe Girl on the BridgeBridge to ColorLittered With LeavesUp the BarkDeadClouds Rolling InBent OverScarredRock in the PathShooting the MountainSparse AspensStarting to BrownStarting to OrangeTwo Bent TrunksDeadGoldenDarker CouldsSun Through the TreesOrange TintedThrough the ValleyCurvyStill GreenFallThe Man in the HatFloatingGreen, Yellow, and BrownFlowing WaterOrange Trees

September 2020

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