Autumn Splendor

It has been beautiful and warm in the Puget Sound with clear skies despite all the fires raging east of the mountains.  I love summers here.  If we had more days like these it would be an ideal place to stay forever.

As it gets too hot at times I begin to think about other seasons, particularly autumn.  As my favorite season nears, the days become shorter and soon enough we’ll see a cooling trend in the air.  I’m in no hurry, but I’m reflecting on past autumns.

Particularly I’m taken back to the year 2000.  Early that year I abandoned the 35mm film camera system and with much excitement switched to a medium format Pentax 67II and four lenses.  I was full of anticipation and energy to explore with a system much more capable of my vision.  For a few years I had the thought of going to Colorado’s San Juan Mountains during autumn’s glory.  I booked a budget flight for a quick four-day “vacation” to Albuquerque.  From there I would drive to Durango and begin my fairly quick loop drive around the San Juans.

Having never experienced aspen trees in autumn’s splendor, my eyes were feasting on the magnificent trees and mountain landscapes sprinkled with them.  I was simply blown away by God’s perfect artistry and to this day feel very blessed to have witnessed the San Juans even for such a brief time.

Quite a few memories from this trip are still vibrant after all these years, and some have become sepia tinted.  I made many compositions but one of my favorites to this day is the one I’m sharing here.  I was driving down a dirt road toward viewpoints of grand peaks when I noticed this arrangement, particularly the four trunks growing together.  And the mystery of what’s down the hill beyond this scene has kept me wondering to this day.  I wish I took a glimpse.

I wonder if this scene is still splendid or if the many winters have changed its face beyond recognition….

Aspen trees in autumn's splendor | San Juan Mountains, CO

Aspen trees in autumn’s splendor | San Juan Mountains, CO


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