Christmas at Hudson Gardens

December 25, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Hudson Gardens Purple Tree At Christmas

Hudson Gardens At Christmas

    Last night was Christmas Eve 2014 so I went to Hudson Gardens to check out their Christmas lights. After a few years photographing the lights at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, freezing my ass off taking photos of lights in Historic Downtown Littleton and in Downtown Denver, I am a connoisseur of Christmas lights.

Hudson Gardens Christmas Lights On The Lake

Christmas Lights On The Lake

    This is the part where I ensure that Hudson Gardens will never retweet me or pay me to take photos of their place. I rode my bike along the South Platte River Trail to get there, locked it up on the west side of the gardens and then found myself unable to enter. I had a preprinted ticket in my pocket but the only way in was through the east side of the gardens, where the cars park. I wasn’t going to walk all the way around, so I just hopped the fence and went on about my business. I’m not saying you should sneak into Hudson Gardens in this manner, I’m just saying that I entered in this manner; with an $11 ticket in hand. I’m also saying that they should make their Christmas light show more bike trail accessible.

Reindeer At Hudson Gardens At Christmas

Reindeer At Hudson Gardens

    After I made my semi illegal entry into a venue I legally paid to enter, I just started taking photos. I was just being myself, making one lap with my camera in hand and then doing a second lap with my camera on a tripod. I think I may have the show Californication on the brain because it seemed to me that is was being chatted up and flirted with by more than one woman whilst I was trying to do my business of taking photos.

Christmas Trees At Hudson Gardens

Christmas Trees At Hudson Gardens

    Before I get ahead of myself by saying that I was recognized from my website let me say one thing; I was recognized by people that know me from my website. That doesn’t happen all the time; usually it’s only colleagues that recognize me when I’m covering a convention or an event. On this night I was just walking around taking photos, trying to keep my hands from sticking to my aluminum tripod in the freezing cold so it was neat to be recognized by a few people.

Christmas Lake At Hudson Gardens

The Lake At Hudson Gardens

    After consorting with my fans and posing for a few pictures I turned my attention back to the lights and my freezing hands. My particular style of photography is very tactile; I need to be able to feel buttons and turn dials in an uninhibited way so I never wear gloves whilst shooting. This was much easier to do when I was living on the beach in San Diego.

Santa at Hudson Gardens At Christmas

Santa At Hudson Gardens

    Anyway, I did a few laps and then headed home. As I write this, I’m enjoying Christmas Day with my family, waiting for an epic storm that will give Denver a white Christmas. It should be a blast. Cheers!

Mary Carter Greenway

February 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Skull Tunnel on Lee Gulch Trail

Skull Tunnel

    This post was made with a stash of photos from November of last year. On that beautiful Denver day I took my bicycle and my camera out on the Mary Carter Greenway Bike Path for some fun in the sun. I really noticed and appreciated the ways that bike paths have been accommodated in the Denver metro area. Anyway as I approached and rode through the tunnel you see above, it struck me that it looks like a skull. The electrical tubing seemed to add to that effect as well, as if it was an ornament or a scar.

Bikers Over A Bridge On Mary Carter Greenway Bike Path

Bikers On A Bridge

    This bike path crosses the South Platte River many times and there is a sturdy bridge at each of the crossings. All the little things that made Denver great when I left 8 years ago have turned into big things that now make the mile high city absolutely awesome; I am so glad to be back.

Mineral Bridge Over Mary Carter Greenway Bike Path

Mineral Ave. Bridge

    The way Denver has made it possible to travel all over the metro area in a train, on a bicycle, on foot and by bus is very intelligent and since it is still growing will certainly be a model for other cities around the world. Above is the bridge on Mineral Ave. near Santa Fe Blvd.

Mary Carter Greenway Bike Path Roundabout

Roundabout On Mary Carter Greenway

    This is the trail I rode on a separate occasion when I posted some photos from Confluence Park a couple months ago. The roundabout pictured above is in Littleton, facing north. Anyway it’s been so cold recently that I went digging through the stash looking for some photos to remind me that soon I’ll be able to ride my back whenever I want. I am very excited to experience my first Denver spring and summer since 2005. Cheers!

Cupola Cam In Downtown Littleton

December 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Littleton Cupola Cam Greeting Site

Cupola Cam Greeting Site In Downtown Littleton

    I happened across something interesting the other day whilst preparing to take pictures of the Christmas lights in Downtown Littleton. I found a sign outside the Littleton Municipal Courthouse that said the spot I was standing at was the “Official Cupola Cam Greeting Site.” I was intrigued by the sign because it said it is a greeting site, not a meeting site and of course “cam” is the universal abbreviation for “camera.” What was I looking at and what did it mean? It turned out the answer was staring me right in the face. I have no idea why I know, but I know what a cupola is; it’s the small structure that you see on top of churches, clock towers and courthouses. I took a gander at the cupola on the courthouse in front of me and noticed there was a camera next to it. Without ready access to the internet and having the Christmas light photos on my agenda I snapped a few photos so I would be able to do some research later.

Official Cupola Cam Greeting Site In Littleton

Littleton Municipal Courthouse’s Cupola Cam

    The City of Littleton has indeed installed a camera on top of the courthouse and it is called, “Cupola Cam II.” It can be very easily accessed from the City Of Littleton’s Website and you can even control the camera by instructing it to point any one of 24 prepositioned places. You can’t maneuver the camera by hand but you can point it all around Littleton and then zoom in and out to your heart’s desire. If you select the “Official Cupola Cam Greeting Site” location, the camera will aim and zoom in on the spot where I took the photos for this post. So, you can take yourself down there, give a loved one a call and have them aim the camera at you as you wave or hold up a sign. It’s really neat to get a bird’s eye view of the entire front range so I very highly recommend that you check it out. Cheers!

Historic Downtown Littleton Christmas lights

December 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Downtown Littleton Main Street Christmas Lights

Main Street Christmas Lights In Littleton

    I have been away from Denver and Colorado for eight years so I am very anxious to see some familiar places. There really is no place like home and Denver in all its Mile High glory will always be my home, no matter how much time I spend away. Fortunately for me, it is the Christmas season so the entire metro area has decked their halls with decorations and their trees with lights. I grew up in Littleton, a suburb southwest of Denver, so heading to their Downtown Main Street District to see the Christmas cheer was at the top of my to-do list. It’s not a huge area but it is a very traditional American main street and all the businesses are local. I found out that there is a Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants Association (HDLM pronounced “Hoodlum”) that meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 8am in the Town Hall Arts Center. It always makes me happy to be in a community that retains its identity by supporting local businesses instead of replacing everything with a Wal-Mart. The photo above shows a westward view of Historic Downtown Littleton and the Christmas lights on Main Street.

Downtown Littleton Christmas Tree Main Street

Christmas Tree In Littleton

    On this particular day I was not in downtown Littleton to shop, I was there to see the Christmas lights. One of the best things about this area is that it is very pedestrian and bicycle friendly so I was able to ride my bike up the South Platte River Trail directly into downtown and lock my bike right on Main Street. There are bike racks all up and down the street as well as at the nearby light rail station so bike parking is not a problem. The Denver metro area has done a great job of ensuring that alternate forms of travel such as biking, skating, taking the bus or riding light rail have been able to grow and have kept pace with new roads for cars. As such, I am enjoying every sunny day I can out on the trails before winter finally drops the temperature too low to comfortably bike around. I rode and took the photos for this post yesterday, the first day of December and it was almost 60 degrees before the sun set!

Downtown Littleton Christmas Tree Plaza

Christmas Trees In Historic Downtown Littleton

    At the west end of Downtown Littleton is what I suppose you would call the official Christmas tree for the city. It is in a grassy area at the intersection of Main Street and Santa Fe Drive. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving there is a candlelight walk along Main Street that ends with Santa Claus and a contest winning child turning on the lights and officially starting the Christmas season. It is so good to be back in Denver, amongst evergreen trees and mountains; even the soon to come snow will add some joy to a season that I have not been able to properly enjoy for eight years. A California Christmas with decorated palm trees on the beach just isn’t the same as a Colorado blue spruce after a light dusting of snow. Cheers!