The winter solstice is just around the corner and that means it is time for our 12th annual Year in Photos from wintry Colorado. You may notice that our virtual greeting cards start on snow and end on snow with a little summer and fall in the middle. That’s because we get outside as much as we can and because our collective arbitrary decision about where to mark the Earth’s completion of an orbit puts the New Year in the boreal winter. Neva is still a good bit puppy, a little bit adult dog, a lot of crazy, and all legs. But she is our girl, to be sure. Each day is an adventure of some sort, an opportunity for us to learn, to grow, to give thanks, to extend kindness to others. Each. Day. We hope you enjoy some of our photos from the year as we look ahead to 2017.
Feel free to leave comments at the bottom of this post and visit previous years listed in the sidebar.
Someone caught me zipping into 2016 down a fun and snowy run at our local hill. (January – Eldora)
Jeremy cruises the aspens after a storm dropped three feet of snow on Crested Butte. Twas the stuff of soft, powdery dreams. (February)
Non powder days are ideal for hitting the Nordic trails to skate ski. Jeremy climbs Paradise Park in the Colorado sun. (February – Crested Butte)
Crazy winds can result in crazy beautiful clouds at sunset. (February – Nederland)
We love the uphill policy at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, which allows dogs before and after regular hours of operation. Neva joined us a few times (on leash) this past season for training and exercise. She had fun and no one died. Jeremy skis out after taking Neva on her first uphill ski on the mountain. (March)
But the backcountry is where Neva really likes to let loose! The jaws of entropy open wide for the coveted orange (must be orange) tennis ball. (April – Indian Peaks Wilderness)
Hopping out for a backcountry ski after a spring snowstorm. (May – Roosevelt National Forest)
Jeremy gets his turns a few weeks after the local ski resort in the distance had closed for the season. (May – Roosevelt National Forest)
Our mountain streams are icy cold in May, but Neva was ecstatic to bound through water after seven months of ice and snow. (May – Roosevelt National Forest)
Another storm blanketed our local mountains with delicious marshmallow topping. (May – Nederland)
Neva enjoyed her first ski backpack in mid-spring. Despite being on a leash, she had heaps of fun and no one died! The view from our camp in the morning as we pack up and prepare to ski out. (May – Indian Peaks Wilderness)
Neva just may be our good luck charm when it comes to mushrooms. Last year she (inadvertently) led us to our first chanterelle patch. This year, while hiking her for exercise, I stumbled upon my first black morel. Make that, my first hundred black morels! This tiny black morel pokes through the forest litter amid new spring growth. (May – Crested Butte)
Other beautiful finds along the forest floor include calypso orchids. (June – Nederland)
Green is a short season in the Colorado high country, so we savor it as much as possible. Standing under summer aspens in late afternoon. (June – Crested Butte)
We resumed working with Neva on the stand up paddleboards (SUPs), increasing her time on the boards and distance from shore. Neva had a blast and no one died, although humans were thrown off balance into lakes. Here, Neva sports her personal flotation device in which she resembles a bee. (June – Gunnison National Forest)
Summer hikes and trail runs reward you with vibrant wildflowers, grand views, expansive blue skies, and mountain breezes that kiss your face. (July – Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness)
The mountains appreciate and rely on summer rains which may or may not be accompanied by lightning. A sunset strike across the valley from our house. (July – Nederland)
A fast-moving wildfire erupted a mile from our home in Nederland in early July. We were fortunate our house remained safe thanks to the incredible efforts of our local, state, and federal fire crews. Living in paradise comes with risks – it’s all part of the bargain we make with the mountains.
First ride in two years (or since we got a puppy)! (August – Crested Butte)
A dry summer did not bode well for mushroom foraging, but we still managed to rustle up beautiful chanterelles. Jeremy holds a handful of our haul as Neva contemplates mischief. (August – undisclosed location)
Hiking from Lost Lake Slough. Not lost, just very happy. (August – Gunnison National Forest)
A little pika harvests flowers and grasses for its hay pile to get through the long cold winter. (August – Indian Peaks Wilderness)
This handsome moose sauntered about nibbling on greenery for breakfast. (August – Indian Peaks Wilderness)
The start of autumn. (September – Roosevelt National Forest)
Fall gets the squeeze from summer and winter on both ends in the mountains, so we try to experience as much of the fall colors as possible before they get blown away. (September – Roosevelt National Forest)
We arrived in Crested Butte on my birthday in time for the start of mountain fall colors and an early season storm. A dusting of snow accentuates delicate aspen branches. (September)
Snowy Gothic Mountain rises behind a gold-clad arm of Snodgrass Mountain. (September – Crested Butte)
Surprise sunset under stormy skies overlooking miles of aspen stands. (September – Gunnison National Forest)
Storm and sun battled it out overhead all day, creating persistent rainbows from morning to afternoon. (October – Roosevelt National Forest)
A stunning start to the day, sunrise over the Front Range. [Pro-tip: Sunrise is worth waking up to see.] (November – Nederland)
Winter was late getting to Colorado, but eventually it received the memo around Thanksgiving. We happily donned our skis and hit the trails to slide, glide, and skate on snow. Jeremy ski tours the beautiful winter wonderland outside of Crested Butte. (November – Gunnison National Forest)
Neva, who is also delighted with the return of snow, likes to play hard outside and then curl up with soft blankets at home. Spoiled? Yes! Loved? Absolutely. Had fun? You bet. And no one died. (December – Nederland)
Wishing you good health and happiness for the new year.
Jen, Jeremy, and Neva
There’s more over on The 2016 Cutting Room Floor.