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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Winter in the Colorado Mountains

Winter has finally taken hold, steadily and strongly. Each day, we awaken to at least a little new snow, over top of a solid base of snow that probably won't melt until spring. Most mornings, Shyla and I head out to make tracks. I won't lie - she usually leads the way, which helps my effort just a little bit.

You see, it's very hard breaking new trail in snow, especially when you're riding a bike. The slightest upward incline can force me off my bike to push instead of pedal.

I have goal of keeping at least a small trail loop open throughout the winter. It isn't easy. The wind loves to blow here, sending snow granules flying into the air. The wind-driven snow collects in the lowest spots, like the trails that I just made the day before.

This photo was from just before sunrise one day. I'd packed this trail to a nice solid consistency the day before. Mother Nature won - she blew 8" of snow into the trail overnight, making it impossible to ride. However, you can see from the pawprints that it was easy for a dog to run on it!

The snow next to the trails looks like cake frosting after the wind whips it into peaks and valleys.

The swirled snow amuses me endlessly, especially on days when pedaling my bike feels almost impossible.

The most amazing thing is how Shyla is not slowed by any of this. She seems mystified by why I ride so slowly when there's loose snow on the trail. Look at Shyla fly!
Winter is a harshly beautiful season. Getting out to explore the forest is much harder than in the summer partly because of all the layers and special gear that I need. Moreover, the forest no longer has the beautiful music of birds singing but instead emanates creaks and groans as trees sway in the wild winter winds. However, the stark beauty of white snow, green pine trees, and deep blue skies awes me. And, the amazing wintertime sunrise light helps me make photos that I adore.

As long as I can focus on those good things about winter, I don't unconsciously starting counting down the days until spring...


  1. Absolutely stunnng photos! Just beautiful! I can tell Shyla loves the snow!

  2. Thank you for sharing your winter with us!

  3. oh that is the white wonderland they mean in so much songs... beautiful photos!

  4. Wow your winter is so colorful and enticing compared to ours. Although I don't like the cold, I think I'd go outside a lot more if it wasn't so gray and dreary here (we've already had our only - probably- brief snowfall for the season). I love the abstract design Nature painted in the swirling snow.

  5. It sure is pretty but we would not like it here!

  6. Your trails remind me of a morning working in the woods, when after hiking in to a plot through fresh snow, on the way back out, a new row of tracks made it clear a moose had waited for those first human feet to break trail! A happy memory :)

  7. Spectacular scenery and even more spectacular photos. As I'm in the Mile High City, winter isn't quite so picturesque here, but you make winter look absolutely beautiful.

  8. Stunning photos, every one. Down here, still in summer time, but leaves are already turning gold. I dream of living where there is snow, it always is so magical when I see your photos and beautiful landscape scenes.

  9. Such gorgeous photos! We love the one of you flying along, Shyla!

  10. You're so right about winter - And dogs like your beautiful girl is truly made for it!

  11. Me and Stanley went for a walkie today and tried to show mom the beauty of winter too. Sometimes we doggies gotta do that. Fly Shyla fly!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  12. Good girl, Shyla, to be helping with that trail. Misty and Lightning got pizapped into a snow scene today, fanciful dreaming:)

  13. Go Shyla, Go!! I'd love to be in the cold...I think...

  14. Oh my gosh, what fantastic photos!


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