July 12, 2021


When I first began putting photos on this website it was almost one year ago. As one can tell from the text below the recent pictures immediately following this note, my motivation at that time was trying to create something positive out of the myriad frustrations caused by the pandemic. 

On walks in the neighborhood, bike rides near home, or even just in our backyard, I concentrated on looking closer at scenes to focus on the beautiful or interesting aspects of what was visible. It kept me interested for many months and honestly helped me deal with the restrictions under which we needed to live.

As those restrictions thankfully began to be lifted, I frankly became less enthused about contributing monthly to this project. It was, of course, my own project. While some kind people have expressed appreciative thoughts about some of the photos, I didn't kid myself that I was letting anyone down by not adding pictures in May or June.

But I still love seeing our world and the countless amazing sights in it.

One of the restrictions that has been eased, of course, involves travel. Sandy and I were blessed to be able to reschedule our trip to Hawaii that was canceled in March of 2020. Of course, there are millions of spectacular sights everywhere you turn around in any of the islands! We were on Hawaii, the Big Island, for five days and on Oahu for six days. I've worked hard to narrow down my collection to 16 photos. 

If you have thoughts on any of these photos, I would love to hear from you. Please email me at saldern@c3-re.com.

Akaka Falls closer

This is Akaka Falls, which is on the Hilo side of Hawaii's Big Island.

Cliff jumping

This was at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park near Hilo. Based on what these kids were saying, it seems like this was a graduation party from high school. Leaping into life!

Colorful gecko

This little gecko  might have thought he was hiding from me, but the brilliant colors gave him away.

Laupahoehoe Point green black blue

I also love the colors in these shots above and below this caption.

Sandy at Laupahoehoe

Curly fern at Volcano

The sweeping vistas at Volcano National Park are stunning. So, too, I think are some of the up-close shots like this fern.

One of the sweeping vistas I mentioned is shown behind Miss Sassy Pants Sandy, who just decided she did NOT need to wear a mask in this great outdoors!

Kona sunset

This shot in Kona is just one of many incredible sunsets we saw.

Kailua Kayakers

I obviously didn't actually take this picture of Sandy and me kayaking at Kailua on Oahu, but I sure had fun visiting two islands and seeing turtles!

Sunset Point Beach Park

Sunset Point Beach Park was just so wonderful.

Plant lady

We went to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and saw so many gorgeous plants and flowers, including this very rare Sandy-Alocasia.

Wave crashing

I can just feel the thunderous BOOM of these waves crashing every time I look at this picture!

Walmando

This view of Waimanalo captured our full attention.

Parasailing

I obviously didn't take this picture of Sandy and me either, but had to include our parasailing fun.

Solo surfer

 This shot of a lone surfer at Sandy Beach was included because I am so struck by the patch of blue water at the bottom of the photo.

Sunset over Waikiki

This is the sunset over Waikiki on our first night there. Impressive!


THE PHOTOS BELOW STARTED IN AUGUST 2020


 The original photos, as well as the text immediately below this italicized message, were posted in August of 2020. I have added photos each month since. The most recent pictures are at the top of each category.

If you have thoughts on any of these photos, I would love to hear from you. Please email me at saldern@c3-re.com.


 AUGUST 2020

We've all had our respective worlds turned these last six months - if not upside-down, then at least significantly askew.

Of course, plans have changed for many of us. Traveling is likely not what we thought it would be. Basic activities we took for granted weren't possible for much of the time. Spending time with others has been limited.

There have, of course, been positives. (I'm NOT saying they outnumber the negatives!)

Sometimes I have been able to look more carefully at my surroundings and see details I might not have noticed a year ago. The colors in the flower and the butterfly in the photo above really stood out. And that was three feet out of our front door!

While some of these photos aren't in our yard, they all are within a few miles of home. I see things while Sandy and I are taking our dog for a walk, or when I'm riding one of my bikes, that I don't photograph but I'm able to enjoy anyway.

I don't kid myself that I'm a real PHOTOGRAPHER. 

But I do enjoy capturing images and sharing them. I hope you can also enjoy the pictures below. 


         SCENIC

APRIL 2021

Nana and Silas

This is an amazing scene I captured on our own deck!!

Troutman stream

Similar to other neighborhood scenes I've show on here, this transports me up to the mountains.

Horsetooth on a rainy day

Low clouds and some subtle early spring color give new perspective to a familiar view at Horsetooth Reservoir.

 

MARCH 2021

Deer

With the colors of the grass and bushes in their drab March tones, the white tails of these deer really stand out.

Sandy Izzie sunset

The variety of colors make for an interesting scene, as Sandy and I took Izzie for an evening walk.

Horsetooth after blizzard 

This was taken after the 20" snowfall in mid-March.

March sunset

While looking for the red-tailed hawks that we frequently see in this tree, the sunset gave Sandy and me a nice show.

FEBRUARY 2021

Tree man

Tree Man is ready for spring like the rest of us!

Horsetooth view from Troutman

I just really appreciate seeing such pretty views while walking Izzie in our neighborhood.

Snowy bear

This little bear looks coooold!

Glistening deck

Despite there being so much snow in the foreground, I find it interesting that my eye always gravitates toward the top of the photo.


JANUARY 2021

I really didn't intend to have this section of the photos focus on sunsets, but January put on a lot of displays!

Jan sunset 1

Jan sunset 2

Jan sunset 3

Jan sunset 4

DECEMBER 2020

river ice

I like how the circles of the river bubbles interact with the circular frozen parts at the bottom of the icicle. (Months after I added this photo, our oldest grandson, Ethan, was looking at my website. He saw this one and immediately said, "That's a gnome! The long hat is hanging from the stick, and it's got a big beard!" Every time I look at this picture now that gnome is exactly what I see!)

winter moon

This is from our deck, yet I feel like I'm up in the mountains.

winter spider

Spiders are hardy creatures to come out in the winter!

snow pig

Our purple pig seems to be doubly frustrated: he's stuck on the top rung, and he has snow on his back.


NOVEMBER 2020

Izzie reflection

I had to stop on my walk with Izzie to capture this scene.

lines

This is a busy shot to be sure, but I was interested in all the lines. It might be because I first saw the reflection of the birdfeeder in the top puddle, but my eye goes right there despite how little space it takes up in the photo.

moon

It's a pretty simple shot, but I like it.

skylight

The composition is what appeals to me here.

OCTOBER 2020

two fall horses

This peaceful scene from the Applewood neighborhood was definitely worth stopping my bike ride temporarily.


 flag and sunset

Those of us in Northern Colorado have experienced many sunsets that have been strongly influenced by smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire. The sad reason for the brilliant colors certainly tempers the enjoyment of such sights. The poignancy of seeing the orange glow with the flag prompted me to include this picture - while hoping for better days.

tree silhouette

 This look up at two of the many trees in our yard gives an almost eerie silhouette against the smoky sky. 

backyard window reflection

There are several things going on that I appreciate in this scene from our backyard.

Thoughts, anyone?

SEPTEMBER 2020

 First night of Cameron Peak Fire

This was taken the evening of August 13, 2020, which was the day the Cameron Peak Fire started.  At the time I was struck by the orange tint in the clouds. I included it because of the timing and despite the fact that other photos I took later have dramatically more color as the fire worsened.

smoky silo

 Many of us will remember September 7. It was hauntingly spooky because of the incredibly dark skies due to the smoke from the Cameron Peak Fire. In the middle of the day cars had their headlights on, and we all had to have lights on in our homes. This photo and the one that follows were taken from Arapahoe Bend Natural Area in east Fort Collins.

view looking west 9.7


 Scenic Knolls wagon and horse

 This pleasant scene is in the Scenic Knolls neighborhood in southwest Fort Collins. I kind of wondered about all the stories connected to that old wagon.

 mountain bikers

Of course I enjoy mountain biking. I also like the sense of movement in this picture from the two riders up in Lory State Park.


AUGUST 2020

Horses

This is Arthur's Rock. I took this with my iPhone while I was on a mountain bike ride. (Yes, I stopped riding to take the picture - though I still managed to lop off the top of Arthur's Rock!)


 Sunset from front yard

 This is a sunset from our front porch. The leaves of the Japanese chokecherry look like two birds silhouetted against the clouds.


Longs Peak

This is a view of Long's Peak from the Redtail Grove Natural Area in Fort Collins. It's hard to believe this spot is just a few hundred yards west of College Avenue.


Kingfisher

This is from another natural area in Fort Collins, Kingfisher Point. It feels like this picture could have been taken 40 years ago.


                               WATER

APRIL 2021

Bunny snow tracks

This bunny knew exactly where the pavers are underneath the spring snow - both coming and going!

iris and water drop

I think this photo captures the transition time that happens in April.

Paws paws paws

I just wonder what story a person would imagine if asked what led to this scene.

MARCH 2021

Blizzard through window screen

During the March blizzard, the wind blew the snow in such a way to provide this view out of one of our upstairs windows.

ice crystal

Ice crystal closer

The two photos above are of the same section of ice crystals, and the bottom one obviously is a close-up.

Snowy Izzie

This is Izzie as she "helps" me shovel the snow by biting the shovel.

FEBRUARY 2021

Ice wave

I love this "ice wave".

Ice surface

These patterns in the ice fascinate me.

Ice hole

Steady melting drops of water carved these holes in solid ice.


JANUARY 2021



squirrel and raccoon prints

Looks like both a squirrel and a raccoon were disappointed that Izzie's outdoor water bowl was frozen and they couldn't drink her water!

ice spots

I'm not sure what caused these round spots in the ice on our grass. (Maybe it's some extraterrestrial communication?!)

ice bowl

I knocked Izzie's water bowl on the ground to get the ice out so she could have some fresh water, and this is how it looked. 

DECEMBER 2020

ice one

This is the bucket at the bottom of our rain chain. I love the patterns in the ice combining with the light and shadows.

ice two

This is the same bucket on a different day.

ice three

Round three of the same bucket, but a different angle.

rain chain

This is the rain chain that leads to the bucket featured above.

NOVEMBER 2020

Frozen leaves

I like the colors and the varying depth at which these frozen leaves are suspended.

frozen rain chain

I never tire of seeing how the melting and re-freezing on our rain chain creates amazing sculptures.

stream

I appreciate scenes like this that are just a few blocks from home.

ice leaves

This is similar to the photo three above this one, but I love how different the ice is at the top of this one.

OCTOBER 2020

marigolds and snow

 These marigolds aren't giving up easily!

fall water leaves

Obviously, the colors are what stand out initially in this photo. I also like looking more closely to see the bit of water on these fall leaves, as well as the shadows from the plants in the foreground.

euonymus and water

I enjoy the layers of living leaves and already fallen, smaller ones - all seemingly blanketed by the water.

Hollyhock battling snow

The delicate petals of this hollyhock blossom managed to hang on, despite 14" of snow.


SEPTEMBER 2020

reflection 9.7.20

I was walking Izzie on September 7, and there was a lot of smoke and ash in the air. I noticed this reflection in the gutter, and coupled with the smoke and ash, it seemed a bit eerie. 

spider and staple

This spider showed real tenacity in protecting its web, even after the shower it received.

full web 

It looks like water is running, but the web kind of captured it in place.

 Rose petals from memory walk

Sandy and I participated in the 3 Hopeful Hearts memory walk at City Park in honor of our son Christopher. It was a beautiful and meaningful event for all who have suffered the death of a child. At one point, they had a container of rose petals for participants to use. Sandy gently tossed a handful into Sheldon Lake. The resulting photo gives me a sense of peace.


AUGUST 2020

 I liked the way the water stuck to the spider's web surrounding these holly berries. I'm amazed at how many different hues there are.


 Morning sun at Riverbend Ponds

Riverbend Ponds is a peaceful place. It's nice that we have wonderful spots right in town where we can just walk and enjoy the surroundings.


 Iris

Purple is a very significant color in our family. So I was thrilled that we had so many iris blossoms this spring. After a rain shower, this one especially stood out.


Troutman ponds

I was kind of grumpy on a walk one evening, and I looked up and saw this striking scene. This is one of the ponds at Troutman Park.

I wasn't as crusty after I saw this.

                                WINGS

APRIL 2021

big bee

This bee was not only busy, he was LOUD!

Cooper's hawk

This cooper's hawk stayed in our tree for at least 15 minutes. I noticed no little birds were near the birdfeeders just below this tree for those same 15 minutes....

jumper

It seems like this little guy may have been jumping to safety after he saw the hawk in the previous picture!

small bee

The bees waste no time!

MARCH 2021

Nesting great horned owl

This nesting great horned owl seems to be peacefully sleeping in the middle of the day.

March geese

I like the gentle movement in this shot.

Soaring red-tail

This red-tail is flying out of the cottonwood tree featured with the sunset in the March SCENIC section above.

House finch

This little house finch was not bothered at all by me being so close.

FEBRUARY 2021

Red-tailed hawk flying out of our cottonwood

I was walking Izzie a couple of blocks away from our house. I heard some squawking overhead, and I looked up to see a red-tailed hawk just above us being harrassed by two ravens. I watched it fly away - and it flew into one of our cottonwoods! So Izzie and I hurried home. I could see the hawk still in our tree, so I quickly grabbed the camera. I took two shots of it in the tree, and it definitely looked down at me (literally and figuratively, I suppose.) I was glad to be able to capture this beautiful sight.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl Two

I couldn't decide which of these two photos of a great horned owl to include, so I obviously added them both. The shot I was most excited about when I took it turned out too blurry. Dang!       A pair of these owls has been coming in and out of our cul-de-sac the last few weeks, so I'm hopeful that I can add a better photo in March.

Chickadee

This chickadee was posing very cooperatively for me.

JANUARY 2021

Snowy geese

This is a quintessential Fort Collins shot with the geese and Horsetooth.

overhead geese

Oh. It's more geese!

DECEMBER 2020

Red tail in tree

We were thrilled to see that this red-tailed hawk decided to land in one of our cottonwood trees.

red tail flying

This is the same red-tailed hawk flying toward us.

geese

I appreciate how the geese, clouds, and tree all create this scene.

ducks

Two pairs of ducks just peacefully paddling along.

NOVEMBER 2020

sunset ducks

Sandy said I should go out front and see the sunset. Just as I arrived these ducks appeared!

grebe

Though it's a bit gangly, this grebe actually had a very smooth landing.

geese landing

Unlike the silent grebe, these geese let everyone within a mile know they were arriving with their loud squawking!

lots of ducks

 Nothing amazing, just a peaceful sight on a morning dog walk.

OCTOBER 2020

fall ducks on pond

It's nice to live in a neighborhood where scenes like this are a short walk from our home.

sun wings

 OK - so this photo IS in the "Wings" category....  I did so because I see so many different wings coming out of various sources.

geese

 So there definitely ARE the kind of wings we typically think of in this picture. While geese are hardly a unique sight, this shot from Fossil Creek Reservoir just feels autumnal.

prairie dogs

No, these are not the rare winged prairie dogs you've (never) heard about. Let's pretend they were looking out for a winged raptor, instead of the gray-haired mountain biker that actually was there.


SEPTEMBER 2020

redtail pineridge

Did your eye go immediately to the red-tail hawk in the tree?

grasshopper

Yes, grasshoppers ARE kind of gross; however, I appreciate how all the patterns in its wings, body, and legs interact with the patterns on the hollyhock plant.

baby robin

It's fun to see a scene like this right off our own deck.

three goldfinches

In a photo of a goldfinch below that I posted in August, I wrote that I would use my camera to get a clearer picture of this bird. So this one isn't exactly a close-up, but I got three of them in the frame!


AUGUST 2020

bee

Bees love the Russian Sage that we have growing. The plant is very aromatic when it blooms, which lasts for many weeks. Thankfully, you don't have to get your nose super close to enjoy the smell, though the bees usually ignore us if we do. Rather than ignore them, I spent a couple of minutes watching all the bees doing their busy work.


Goldfinch

This goldfinch was having quite a meal of sunflower seeds. I took this picture with my iPhone, and I learned that cropping the photo in order to zoom in on the subject doesn't equate to having said subject stay in focus! I WILL get a clear photo with my camera!


 Moth thing

 I don't know if this is some kind of moth or something else. It's not an outstanding photo by any means, but I like seeing this insect up close and the light.


Black hooded chickadee

There is a nice story with this black-capped chickadee. (Say that three times in a row!) This fledgling had possibly fallen out of its nest and was in one of our garden areas behind a short fence we have. I knew our dog Izzie couldn't bother it, so I was going to just let it be. Sandy, however, obviously has a bigger heart than I do, so she called a friend who is knowledgeable about birds. She said to carefully take it out to the center of our yard, and it would start calling for its mama. It did start squawking - and we immediately heard several replies from nearby trees. This little bird hopped right back to where it had been, and as we watched, two other black-capped chickadees flew right down to it and began to feed it. Pretty cool!


                                PLANTS

APRIL 2021

pink flowers

The bright colors of spring are visually what I appreciate the most about the season.

Sally

We planted a new tree this April, a purple spire crabapple. We were fortunate that some of the pretty blossoms survived the move from the nursery to its new home.

ivy berries

To be honest, before I started this little photo project of mine, I haven't paid as much attention to these bright yellow berries from an ivy in our yard even though they probably pop out every spring.

spring succulents

While certainly not brilliant colors, these bright tones still caught my eye.

MARCH 2021

Hearty hyacinth

I love the tenacity of this blossom. The snow covers it up, but it still is seeking the light.

First allium

This is the first allium I saw of this coming season. I like the sunlight on the tip of the plant.

Hearty allium

The allium has grown a bit, and it is a very hearty plant with all of the snow that fell on it.

dried roses in snow

I really got some mileage out of these Valentine's Day roses! This was five weeks after I bought them, and they are the same flowers shown in February's photos below. I think this looks like they are floating in some heavenly clouds instead of being "planted" in the snow.

FEBRUARY 2021

Valentine rose 2

Clearly, I find roses to be amazing visually. (And they smell nice, too!) 

Valentine rose 1


Snow grass

This grass almost seems like some hairy beast.

Christmas cactus again

I do realize I've got other pictures of a Christmas cactus in here, but the pink at the end of this one is so brilliant. 

JANUARY 2021

Winter clematis one

Even in the dormant, dry winter, this clematis is interesting.

January daisies

Despite many cold days and nights, these daisies still want to grow.

curly

Hello, curly!

winter clematis 2

Another look at a January clematis.

DECEMBER 2020

flowers

One advantage to having Sandy's birthday in December is that we are often blessed with wonderful flowers from family and friends!

purple rose

I have mentioned before that purple is a color of great significance to us, and this purple rose is stunning.

Lily

Not only did this lily, and others in the same arrangement, look amazing - they added a wonderful aroma to our home for over a week.

two-toned rose

The tones in these roses really got my attention.

NOVEMBER 2020

Christmas cactus

Our Christmas cactus has been providing beautiful blossoms for a couple of months already.

cactus reflect

I was reviewing some of the pictures I had taken when I noticed the reflection in the window!

ivy leaves

 I always think of November and March has the most "colorless" months. So I was really pleased to see the hues and light on these ivy leaves. They seem so leathery.

living room window

There is just something about the yellow leaves in this photo that grabbed my attention.

OCTOBER 2020

 last zinnia blossom

This orange zinnia blossom was the last one of many, many blossoms. The dried leaves create a nice flow in this shot.

wild pink

I obviously noticed this little flower, but I didn't think much of the photo when I first glanced at it. Later, it just jumped out at me. 

fall plumbego

These vibrant colors are peppered with ash that has fallen periodically from the sky.

sunlit red sunflower

I found the colors and the light to be beautiful. 

 SEPTEMBER 2020

fall tomatos

 These tomatoes are in different stages of becoming ripe, and the colors are of interest to me.


fall columbine

Three of these Columbine petals have a tiny drop of dew in them and two do not. There is something about this that feels more like a painting than a photograph.


 mum

 Of course, the colors are enticing, and I also am intrigued by the patterns in the mum blossoms.


tulips

These tulips put on fresh lipstick to give you a big ol' kiss with their "two lips"!


AUGUST 2020

Hydrangea

The colors and the patterns in this hydrangea really got my attention.

 Rose

I took this picture and the one below about 10 days apart. It's the same rose, and in both photos there is a real beauty, I believe. 

older rose


 red orange yellow

Of course, the colors in these blossoms really stand out. They also literally stand out from the stems, as if to tell the bees and hummingbirds: "Look at me! I'm here for you!"