Tag Archives: aspen forest

Remembering Utah

With the limited time I’m faced with this season, autumn photography is mostly not happening.  We have had a great and long summer but this seems to have not been helpful to possible fall colors.  Bummed at first, I have turned to memories of great times on the road chasing color.  Included here are three compositions from a trip to Utah.

The first from Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness.  As I recollect:

“After many years since our last trip, we were able to return to Utah and revisit a few favorite locations. Although the colors were not as glorious as during our previous trips, this particular grove caught my attention. The soft sunlight was filtering through the canopy giving the leaves a beautiful glow…and I really liked how the branches appear to be reaching out from the glowing boles. I can still remember the sweet aspen aromas and the crisp autumn mountain air.”

Luminous aspens, Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness | Utah

Luminous aspens, Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness | Utah

The second photo is from the Fish Lake region.  A moment that stands out particularly vividly because as I was making this composition an older gentleman was walking by with his very old dog and we shared some good words.  He did reveal with sadness that this would probably be the last walk with his beloved pup….

“After departing from Capitol Reef National Park, Fish Lake was to be the last location to visit before heading back home. The area was mostly deserted and quiet. Although some color remained on a few of the numerous aspen groves, this leafless grove grabbed my attention. The brilliant white of the boles and electric clear blue sky made me actually think of the approaching winter, but I was pleased that the sun’s warmth could still be felt on this day.

I really like how the aspens on the left are almost mirrored on the right, with those on the right bathed in light but not those on the left….”

Aspen sky, Fish Lake | Utah

Aspen sky, Fish Lake | Utah

The final image was made late in the day in the Mt. Nebo Wilderness.  There was a warmth reflecting onto the landscape from the brilliant pink sunset clouds above.

Mt. Nebo aspen forest, early evening | Utah

Mt. Nebo aspen forest, early evening | Utah

I sure would love to be standing among these trees but since that isn’t possible at this point I will reflect on the time I did walk here and will hope to return someday.

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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