A Sense of Place

When I first set eyes on our home here in Conifer it wasn't the house I fell in love with, it was the land--the view of snow capped peaks, the stately aspens, the colorful wildflowers, the rugged rock outcroppings, the abundant wildlife. . . The land is what fills my spiritual cup, what has always filled my spiritual cup. This sense of place, of belonging, of union and communion with the wild things around me, is what has inspired me since I was a small child wandering the dense New England forests. It is the spirit of a place--those sublime moments of nature, the beauty, the wildness, the wind blowing through the trees--that has always filled me with awe, and always brings me home.

Capturing those moments in a photograph is a way for me to hold on to that deep sense of wonder and awe and inspiration I felt at the time. For me, the quintessential nature photograph is one that evokes that same sense of wonder, that awakens all the senses to the place, the subject, the moment, in the photo. Of course, I have yet to take that photograph. I don't know that I ever will. It doesn't matter. It is enough for me just to explore these beautiful and wild places in the attempt, sharing some of that magic with others. Hopefully they, too, will come to feel one with the land, and seek out their own experiences in nature, while also recognizing the importance of protecting and preserving it.

Lisa Lakel


I've been using a camera to capture the wonders of nature for 50+ years, ever since I picked up my first Instamatic at the age of 7 and began photographing the world around me.

Some of my photographic credits include: The cover of the Denver Zoo calendar; “Best of Show” and "January" in the "Seasons of our Mountains" Calendar; exhibitions at the Ec-Lec-Tic Art gallery and the Ice House in Denver; and publication in The Nature Conservancy newsletter and The Denver Post.

I grew up in New Hampshire and first moved to Colorado in 1978 to attend the University of Denver, where I studied psychology and anthropology. I have worked in the editorial department of a New Hampshire daily newspaper; was a freelance writer; worked as an editor and graphic designer for a Denver publishing company; and have done commercial photography.

I have also served in many volunteer positions over the years including: control board operator and DJ for a public radio station; lobbyist for environmental issues; PTA and classroom volunteer; coordinator for the Jeffco school district's Mill Levy and Bond campaign; editor and web master of the Conifer High School newsletter; Conifer High Leadership Council member; and voter registration and data entry worker for the Obama campaign.

I have lived on the top of a 10,000 foot mountain in Conifer, Colorado, since 1990.

It is my hope that these photographs will help to increase public awareness of the importance of protecting valuable wilderness lands for wildlife and people alike.

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