I didn't make any rules for the photos I'll share this year. I'll group them by month, so I'll at least have that much structure. As always, I would welcome ANY thoughts you have about any photo in this page. That includes new ones from 2023, as well as any that appeared from as far back as August 2020 when I began this project. I invite your feedback via email email@example.com or text 970 567-2357.
The crabapple blossoms have been stunning this year!
Do you see the ducks?
I love the raindrops on these lilac petals.
At the start of this 2023 section of My Photos I wrote that I really didn't have any "rules" about the photos I would post. An unwritten rule that I've followed since I started this in 2020 is that any photo was one that was taken during the referenced time period. The picture above was taken in May. Buuuut it was May of 2018! I added it to the most recent email I sent out. Please email, text, or call me if you are reading this and you noticed the duplication of this pic. I'd love to know if anyone reads these messages! :)
As you no doubt have heard often, April is typically the second snowiest month in Colorado. The photo above shows two sets of tracks in an early-April snow. I'm not entirely sure what happened when the tracks merged - but let's just think positively and assume the animals danced a little early spring jig together!
I like this shot because the purple of the grape hyacinth jumps out against the white of the snow. I also like that it's a typical winter-to-spring transition image.
Doesn't it appear that the plant is eating the shell?? Of course, this seedling actually grew from the very seed it seems to be devouring.
In the photo immediately below the rabbit seems to be somewhat hidden.
With the power of zooming in, the same bunny in the same position is much easier to see.
Sandy and I discovered that this rabbit had dug out a burrow right in our front garden. We didn't know if there were already bunnies in there, or if there were soon going to be. As we talked about our options, the rabbit took care of the issue by quickly kicking dirt up and covering the hole!
I took this picture on a recent mountain bike ride up to Lory State Park. Just like these two hikers, I was very glad to be outside on a sunny, early spring day.
As I write this in early April, there is again snow on the ground. March seemed to have plenty of cold with enough warm days to be a bit of a teeter-totter. I think that kind of summarizes the them in the photos I've chosen for this month.
These top two photos were sent in an email some of you received. No one has determined where these shots were taken yet, though there have been some good guesses. THOUGHTS???
There was a LOT of freezing this January, and not much melting, so this is kind of a rare photo!
For 2022 I have decided to post just one photo for each month. I don't have an overall theme; whichever photo is determined to be the most preferred will be selected.
Obviously, the subject of this photo - versus other qualities like color or light - is why I am sharing it. We had to have another cottonwood taken down. Because of the size and location of this particular tree, a crane was needed. This man's job was to hang in the air until he could get positioned to tie the top of a huge trunk so the crane could lift that trunk once it was cut. After tying the top, this guy would repel down to the base of the same huge trunk and then hand off the cutting duties to a fellow worker who would chainsaw the base from his spot on the cherry picker. Once cut, the crane would hoist the entire trunk over our house and drop it (reasonably gently) into the cul-de-sac, where other workers would in turn cut it into pieces that could then be put into the chipper. This process was repeated multiple times. It was an amazing operation that took less than four hours!
OK - so my wife Sandy took this picture. But I was driving! We were on our way to having Thanksgiving with family, and it was a beautiful view heading to Denver from Fort Collins.
Our first little touch of snow combined with fall colors to make this pretty scene.
I was captivated by the swirly flow of the colors in this iris.
To me, this photo is interesting for a couple of reasons. One, it captures a bit of the "in-between season" that is spring in Colorado, with the abundant snow still on the higher peaks and the trees in town that have almost become fully leafed. Also, this picture shows majestic Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker, but was taken just west of busy College Avenue in the Red Tail Grove Nature Area..
April brings vibrant colors back to our world after the typically limited hues of winter.
There actually was a tie with all three photos getting the same number of votes (33 million or something like that...). This picture was chosen through the tie-breaking process because of this description that a respondent added, "We both like the 1st pic because the melting snow reminds us that winter is waning and spring is just ahead with warmer weather and the beautiful colors of various flowers."
Thanks to everyone who offered their perspectives!
My thanks go out to those of you who took the time to help narrow down the selection for January. In case anyone is curious (somebody might be!), all three photos I shared via email received votes. Obviously, the one below was preferred by the largest number of respondents.
If you have thoughts about this photo, or any others on this page, I would love to hear from you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My last contribution of photos for this calendar year will be monthly highlights of our newest, and obviously youngest, grandson, Silas Samuel Aldern. This little guy is so wonderful! Of course, there is never enough time to be with him as much as we would like, but we feel very blessed that we have been able to spend as much time with Silas as we have. He was born on March 26, 2021. I worked REALLY hard to limit the photos below to just one for each month.
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 email@example.com.
This is Akaka Falls, which is on the Hilo side of Hawaii's Big Island.
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!
This little gecko might have thought he was hiding from me, but the brilliant colors gave him away.
I also love the colors in these shots above and below this caption.
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!
This shot in Kona is just one of many incredible sunsets we saw.
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 was just so wonderful.
We went to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden and saw so many gorgeous plants and flowers, including this very rare Sandy-Alocasia.
I can just feel the thunderous BOOM of these waves crashing every time I look at this picture!
This view of Waimanalo captured our full attention.
I obviously didn't take this picture of Sandy and me either, but had to include our parasailing fun.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
This is an amazing scene I captured on our own deck!!
Similar to other neighborhood scenes I've show on here, this transports me up to the mountains.
Low clouds and some subtle early spring color give new perspective to a familiar view at Horsetooth Reservoir.
With the colors of the grass and bushes in their drab March tones, the white tails of these deer really stand out.
The variety of colors make for an interesting scene, as Sandy and I took Izzie for an evening walk.
This was taken after the 20" snowfall in mid-March.
While looking for the red-tailed hawks that we frequently see in this tree, the sunset gave Sandy and me a nice show.
Tree Man is ready for spring like the rest of us!
I just really appreciate seeing such pretty views while walking Izzie in our neighborhood.
This little bear looks coooold!
Despite there being so much snow in the foreground, I find it interesting that my eye always gravitates toward the top of the photo.
I really didn't intend to have this section of the photos focus on sunsets, but January put on a lot of displays!
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!)
This is from our deck, yet I feel like I'm up in the mountains.
Spiders are hardy creatures to come out in the winter!
Our purple pig seems to be doubly frustrated: he's stuck on the top rung, and he has snow on his back.
I had to stop on my walk with Izzie to capture this scene.
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.
It's a pretty simple shot, but I like it.
The composition is what appeals to me here.
This peaceful scene from the Applewood neighborhood was definitely worth stopping my bike ride temporarily.
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.
This look up at two of the many trees in our yard gives an almost eerie silhouette against the smoky sky.
There are several things going on that I appreciate in this scene from our backyard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
This is a sunset from our front porch. The leaves of the Japanese chokecherry look like two birds silhouetted against the clouds.
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.
This is from another natural area in Fort Collins, Kingfisher Point. It feels like this picture could have been taken 40 years ago.
This bunny knew exactly where the pavers are underneath the spring snow - both coming and going!
I think this photo captures the transition time that happens in April.
I just wonder what story a person would imagine if asked what led to this scene.
During the March blizzard, the wind blew the snow in such a way to provide this view out of one of our upstairs windows.
The two photos above are of the same section of ice crystals, and the bottom one obviously is a close-up.
This is Izzie as she "helps" me shovel the snow by biting the shovel.
I love this "ice wave".
These patterns in the ice fascinate me.
Steady melting drops of water carved these holes in solid ice.
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!
I'm not sure what caused these round spots in the ice on our grass. (Maybe it's some extraterrestrial communication?!)
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.
This is the bucket at the bottom of our rain chain. I love the patterns in the ice combining with the light and shadows.
This is the same bucket on a different day.
Round three of the same bucket, but a different angle.
This is the rain chain that leads to the bucket featured above.
I like the colors and the varying depth at which these frozen leaves are suspended.
I never tire of seeing how the melting and re-freezing on our rain chain creates amazing sculptures.
I appreciate scenes like this that are just a few blocks from home.
This is similar to the photo three above this one, but I love how different the ice is at the top of this one.
These marigolds aren't giving up easily!
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.
I enjoy the layers of living leaves and already fallen, smaller ones - all seemingly blanketed by the water.
The delicate petals of this hollyhock blossom managed to hang on, despite 14" of snow.
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.
This spider showed real tenacity in protecting its web, even after the shower it received.
It looks like water is running, but the web kind of captured it in place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This bee was not only busy, he was LOUD!
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....
It seems like this little guy may have been jumping to safety after he saw the hawk in the previous picture!
The bees waste no time!
This nesting great horned owl seems to be peacefully sleeping in the middle of the day.
I like the gentle movement in this shot.
This red-tail is flying out of the cottonwood tree featured with the sunset in the March SCENIC section above.
This little house finch was not bothered at all by me being so close.
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.
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.
This chickadee was posing very cooperatively for me.
This is a quintessential Fort Collins shot with the geese and Horsetooth.
Oh. It's more geese!
We were thrilled to see that this red-tailed hawk decided to land in one of our cottonwood trees.
This is the same red-tailed hawk flying toward us.
I appreciate how the geese, clouds, and tree all create this scene.
Two pairs of ducks just peacefully paddling along.
Sandy said I should go out front and see the sunset. Just as I arrived these ducks appeared!
Though it's a bit gangly, this grebe actually had a very smooth landing.
Unlike the silent grebe, these geese let everyone within a mile know they were arriving with their loud squawking!
Nothing amazing, just a peaceful sight on a morning dog walk.
It's nice to live in a neighborhood where scenes like this are a short walk from our home.
OK - so this photo IS in the "Wings" category.... I did so because I see so many different wings coming out of various sources.
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.
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.
Did your eye go immediately to the red-tail hawk in the tree?
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.
It's fun to see a scene like this right off our own deck.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
The bright colors of spring are visually what I appreciate the most about the season.
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.
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.
While certainly not brilliant colors, these bright tones still caught my eye.
I love the tenacity of this blossom. The snow covers it up, but it still is seeking the light.
This is the first allium I saw of this coming season. I like the sunlight on the tip of the plant.
The allium has grown a bit, and it is a very hearty plant with all of the snow that fell on it.
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.
Clearly, I find roses to be amazing visually. (And they smell nice, too!)
This grass almost seems like some hairy beast.
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.
Even in the dormant, dry winter, this clematis is interesting.
Despite many cold days and nights, these daisies still want to grow.
Another look at a January clematis.
One advantage to having Sandy's birthday in December is that we are often blessed with wonderful flowers from family and friends!
I have mentioned before that purple is a color of great significance to us, and this purple rose is stunning.
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.
The tones in these roses really got my attention.
Our Christmas cactus has been providing beautiful blossoms for a couple of months already.
I was reviewing some of the pictures I had taken when I noticed the reflection in the window!
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.
There is just something about the yellow leaves in this photo that grabbed my attention.
This orange zinnia blossom was the last one of many, many blossoms. The dried leaves create a nice flow in this shot.
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.
These vibrant colors are peppered with ash that has fallen periodically from the sky.
I found the colors and the light to be beautiful.
These tomatoes are in different stages of becoming ripe, and the colors are of interest to me.
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.
Of course, the colors are enticing, and I also am intrigued by the patterns in the mum blossoms.
These tulips put on fresh lipstick to give you a big ol' kiss with their "two lips"!
The colors and the patterns in this hydrangea really got my attention.
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.
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!"