Tag Archives: aspens

2015 in Review: Of Aspens & Wildflowers

Looking back to April, we were headed to a somewhat remote cabin at the end of a canyon in the Lake Chelan region of Washington State. To our surprise things were blooming earlier than usual due to a general lack of winter precipitation and warmer than usual temperatures. I like surprises like that, especially in a new to me area.

As we were getting closer to our destination the sun dipped below the rim of the canyon and the landscape was in deep blue shade, but the opposite rim was lit with warm light, casting some of it onto the landscape below. As we found this young aspen grove I was immediately stopped by the delicate beauty of the boles with glowing spring growth. Note the blueness on the trees from the sky…I got very excited.

Glowing spring aspens, Lake Chelan | Washington

Glowing spring aspens, Lake Chelan | Washington

We arrived at the cabin with plenty of daylight remaining, of course to Stan’s incredible happiness: all the new smells to discover, all the space to romp around in and squirrels.  Did anyone say squirrels?!

The night was fantastic.  Crisp, with some crickets performing a little concert, and even an occasional owl call, all below a gorgeously vast sky sprinkled with an infinite multitude of stars….

There was much to explore over the next couple days, but at a relaxed pace. We walked the trails, listened to the birds, admired the wildflowers, felt the furrowed bark of pine trees, and of course filled our lungs with the sweetness of life. Stan gave a few squirrels a good run and just enjoyed himself to the fullest. Moments like these are unforgettable and will forever be cherished.

I leave you with a composition from our canyon of balsamroot wildflowers blooming among striking sage shrubs.

Balsamroot flowers among sage, Lake Chelan | Washington

Balsamroot flowers among sage, Lake Chelan | Washington

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Mt. Nebo Aspens

If I could live anywhere it would most likely be in a beautiful aspen forest.  There are few trees that take my breath away like aspens, and I love trees.  When they are in their autumn garment I could photograph them forever.

When my wife and I traveled to Utah’s Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness we were simply overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscapes and especially by the gorgeous and radiant aspens surrounding us.  It was like a candy store or an amusement park for a kid.  The conditions were sublime:  crisp, with storms rolling through the region but not to the point where we’d be just socked in, and the trees were in brilliant color.

It was difficult to leave but we were hungry for many more destinations we had planned.  As we were making our way to Mt. Nebo Wilderness a huge thunderstorm was building just to the west but its fingers were already reaching over us.  The sky was growing dark, there was an electric feel in the air, heavy rain was falling behind us, thunder was piercing the silence.

Then I saw it, a grove so beautiful it was like glimpsing a piece of heaven.  The trees so graceful, glowing with color, silent and sweetly fragrant, dark thunder clouds in the distance.  An occasional distant sound of massive thunder was the only sound breaking the silence.  I felt great joy descending on me as I began setting up my tripod and then my Pentax 67 film camera.

We witnessed many breathtaking moments and landscapes during this trip but to me this remains the most fantastic memory, and the fact that my wife Heather was standing next to me makes it infinitely more special.  And to this day, the image I was blessed with is one of my favorites of all time.

Mt. Nebo aspens at peak of autumn with distant thunderstorm | Utah

Mt. Nebo aspens at peak of autumn with distant thunderstorm | Utah