Gorgeous day in the City of Gold Mines

Victor, Colorado – the City of Gold Mines – is located at nearly 10,000 feet on the southwest side of Pikes Peak, in the Cripple Creek Victor Mining District. This well-preserved mining town sits on the side of Battle Mtn., a unique setting of 1890’s structures and turn-of-the-century architecture, with clean, cool mountain air and plenty of year-round sunshine.  http://www.victorcolorado.com/

Today was the perfect day for a visit.

A garden and a ghostly mine

I love driving around in Colorado!  This weekend was no exception.  After lunch on Saturday in Castle Rock, it was on to Garden of the Gods, an amazing geological park just outside Colorado Springs.  I would love to explain to you all the different rock formations and how they came to be, but I’m no geologist.  In fact, some who know me might even say I don’t know schists from Shinola!   But what I do know is how to point a camera at pretty rocks!

Garden of the Gods


Cathedral Spires


Garden of the Gods in black and white


Sunset buck


Today I happened upon an abandoned mine above Central City…the Coeur d’Alene mine.  When I left Denver, the weather was sunny and mild.  As I drove higher up into the mountains, the clouds started to flex their muscles and show off by spitting snowballs…little tiny ones. It got cold and windy, the sky turned a grayish white – not optimal photography conditions.  But the mine was striking in its imposing, rusty splendor.  I was drawn to quiet deserted corners.  I apprehensively peered into doorways and tried to jump up to see in windows.  I imagined the power of the now forgotten machinery as it may have once been: roaring and belching the smoke of productivity.  I watched, waited, listened…for the stories.  I heard them.

Tractor and shed


Wheat and bolts


Danger window

Rusty shingles

Rusty National

Rusty buckets

Rusty bolts

Nails in the wall

Big Bolt

Coeur d'Alene Mine




At what point do we acknowledge autumn’s arrival?

When is it each year that we relinquish the carefree days of summer?

When do we trade the universal perfume of freshly mown grass for the unmistakable scent of raked leaves?

Is there a specific moment when we no longer notice the smells of swimming pools and wet towels, but embrace the aroma of crackling fireplaces and baking pies?

Does autumn officially arrive only once we have donned our first sweatshirt, noted the earlier hour of twilight each day, or witnessed the first golden leaves of change on the trees?

Is there a specific moment in time when we are no longer aware of the rhythmic clacking of skateboards traveling past the house or admit to missing the hollow echos of nearby bouncing balls and the exuberant, joyful laugher of children?

Is autumn’s arrival evident only once we recognize a new quiet; a quiet hauntingly void of the sounds of chirping crickets and singing birds?

Do we hear autumn’s arrival in the thunderous sound of crowds cheering favored football teams to victory in the chill of the evening air?

Is this when autumn has truly arrived?

I believe autumn arrives the moment we notice.

Vignettes from a ghost town

On a wonderful summertime trip with two dear friends, we visited St. Elmo – one of Colorado’s best-preserved ghost towns. Legend has it the town is still haunted by its founding daughter, Annabelle Stark. Maybe you can see her peering through the grimy window of the old hotel? Or glimpse her reflection in the remnants of still-gleaming glass bottles long ago abandoned in the barnyard? And if you’re very still, perhaps you can even hear the sound of her clicking footsteps on the creaky old wooden boards of the sidewalk as she shuffles along keeping her ghostly watch on the town.

I’m pretty sure I saw her!


Today, during my tedious and seemingly endless commute to work, I inadvertently – I mean deliberately and safe-driver defensively –  checked my rearview mirror while coming to a (complete)stop for a red light  just to make sure I was not going to be rear ended, when I noticed the strangest thing about the car behind me.  The car was an older model, rusty, something-or-other with a bad paint job and a broken mirror.  Not that remarkable, you say?  Well, perhaps not…on a normal day.  This however seemed not to be a normal day.

I have been commuting to work now for over oh, let’s just say somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple deca…er…years, and have never seen anything comparable.  And I have seen some strange things during rush hour:  women putting on their makeup, drying their hair, and brushing and/or styling their hair; men shaving, women shaving; people reading newspapers or magazines behind the wheel (God’s honest truth); kids steering, passengers steering, and no one steering; people yawning, people laughing, people singing, and people in a trance; people showing off their manicures, their jewelry, their specific fingers and their true colors.  But today, I saw, in the car behind me…..hate-to-miss-breakfast-guy eating an entire corn on the cob, buttered, with both hands.  For reals. Both hands off the steering wheel; one hand on the left side of the cob, one on the right side of the cob…looking as satisfied and fulfilled as if he had just eaten a delectable  5-star-restaurant quality entree.  Mmmm. Mmmm. Good.

So what does hate-to-miss-breakfast guy have to do with my DISTRACTIONS post, you ask?  Well, nothing really.  I just wanted to report my observation from this morning and relate it to the following photographs that I have taken in the past.  These photographs all have a distraction in common: what I was trying to shoot and what I ended up shooting.  Can you tell the difference?