Thursday, December 24, 2009

Solstice


Winter Solstice 2009 was a couple of days ago. I was unable to make it out for sunset like I had in prior years but when out in the afternoon I did get a chance to see some of the last of our local fall color.

Fall color the week of Christmas? Yep. Unlike many other states where fall color is a brief 2-3 weeks ours is a long slow change here in north Texas. Our trees start yellowing in late October and then we get changes all through November, peak color of our best local trees is at Thanksgiving and then we get our last lingering color through the week of Solstice.

So on a pleasant December afternoon I saw this red oak that still had some nice color and grabbed this one.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peaks of RMNP


The peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park.
I arrived on what was really a rather clear but windy day in RMNP. The fall color was gone. There were clouds clinging to the peaks and that drew my interest.

There was a foreboding to the wind and the clouds among the high peaks. Something that made them exceptionally wild that day.

I can only imagine the conditions for any alpinist that had dared the high country. The wind and the chill in the air had to make it a very difficult ascent. Despite my desire to walk among the high peaks,

I stayed in the low valleys and walked, photographed, and occasionally thought just maybe.....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Across the Plains


After several days of being in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, camping in a couple of blizzards, and taking quite a few images, I headed for the plains and the drive toward Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Snowy Range ends abruptly and then you are on the plains. As I drove I watched rain in the distance. Then the clouds started to breakup and I caught a rainbow. In this big open country I caught the full rainbow. I made images of the entire 'bow but it was when I saw a windmill that the image idea fully got formed. Call it an homage to Galen Rowell. This might not be the Potola Palace, but in a way having a ranch in Wyoming is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Another image from that drive of some horses on the plains.

I headed for town and a warm meal with thoughts of getting to Rocky Mountain NP.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Snow in the Sierra Madre


I awoke to snow falling in the mountains. What had been a mostly clear afternoon had gotten thick clouds in the evening and that heavy overcast was now snowing!

By all means it was time to get further up the mountain.

I had passed some locations that I thought would be perfect with snow falling. Along the way the snow kept getting thicker and heavier the further up the mountain I went.

I made it to an overlook with a lake in the predawn dark. There were no stars and only snow billowing in. It was very quiet and the view was spectacular.

When the light came up I was able to make some images that captured the cold and the snow. See the second image.
At the same time I noticed that the snow was getting thicker and I still had to cross Battle Pass. Discretion is sometimes the better part of valor, so I decided to get over the pass before they closed it. Especially since they had closed the Snowy Range just a few days before.

When I crossed the pass the snow was flying in sideways and it was windy. I tried to get out of the vehicle to make a few images but it was pretty much impossible from the wind and blowing snow.

The top image is from below the pass where the snow was still in a moderate wind, but you can get the idea.

Finally the last image shows the road and how quick the snow was piling up. I just might have been the last person across Battle Pass this year.

Like I said in my last post, I cannot recall seeing many, if any, images of the Sierra Madre. I think it gets overshadowed by Colorado to the south and by Yellowstone in Wyoming. And that is fine with me! This way I can be one of the few people to seek it out.

No question, I am going back.


But you would not like it, so stay away :-)