Saturday, April 18, 2015

Echo Lake ~ A Beautiful Pearl

Echo Lake, Colorado

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.” ~ Christopher McCandless

Positioned in an area known for its precious metal, Echo Lake is a beautiful pearl set below a string of snow-capped peaks. It’s nestled just beyond Squaw Pass at the base of the Mount Evans massif. Known for its turbulent nature, the passive reservoir was rendered mute during our visit.

We encountered the place during calm weather and experienced an unusual sense of peace and tranquility. Still sleepy beneath a blanket of deep snow, the placid lake was a circle of serenity. From atop a steep overlook, we could see the white wilderness gradually rise above a black forest.

Long shadows were cast quietly across the surface of the frozen pond. The alluring landscape was a perfect place to recapture an adventurous spirit. Trudging through that ghostly forest, there was something mysterious about its appearance that invoked a stoic soul to passionately search for more.

Echo Lake is a beautiful pearl

A string of snow-capped peaks

Nestled below the Mount Evans massif

A passive reservoir

A placid circle of serenity

A rocky overlook

A white wilderness

Rises above the forest

A quiet, frozen pond

An alluring landscape

A ghostly forest

Search for more

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Snow Over the Rockies - A Picturesque Storm

Storm over the Rockies

"The sun'll come out tomorrow bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun." ~ Annie Bennett

During a peaceful day in the Front Range foothills, the big peaks became embroiled in a picturesque snowstorm. Unwilling to yield, rays of rebellious light continued to stream through the wild blue yonder.

Full of obvious indifference, great gray clouds descended onto the scene. The outlook turned ominous almost instantly as the gradual process of image disintegration occurred before my very eyes.

As the turbulent weather continued, mountains melted into the tempestuous firmament. The beautiful beginning forecasted a picture-perfect future but after the promising start, just like that, the sun was gone.

A peaceful day in the foothills

Mount Evans

The big peaks

Embroiled in a picturesque storm

Rebellious light

Clouds began to gather

Dark clouds descend

The outlook turned ominous

Mountains melted into the firmament

The sun will come out tomorrow

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Gore Range Twilight - A Heavenly Glow

The impressive Gore Range

North out of Silverthorne on a late fall evening, I made a desperate rush up Ute Pass Road to beat the fading light. Backlit by the setting sun, the blue mountains were outlined with a heavenly glow.

From an elevated plateau on the other side of the valley, the steepness of the rugged range appeared exaggerated. Positioned at such a high vantage point, the horizon looked like shark's teeth.

The jagged Gore Range had shattered the Colorado sky. Shooting across the panorama of pretty peaks, I was able to snap several pictures but as darkness devoured the landscape, a shaky hand forced me back down the hill.

Below on the Blue River, the silvery summits had disappeared. Stretched out across the contours of undulating hills, only dark shadows betrayed the mysterious behemoths looming above.

Blue mountains were backlit

A heavenly glow

An elevated plateau

Other side of the valley

The peaks are extremely steep

Shark's teeth

The rugged Gore Range

The sky was shattered

Darkness began to devour the landscape

Silvery summits

Mysterious behemoths

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Wasatch Mountains - Colored Pencil Drawing

"Wasatch Mountains" Colored Pencil

This drawing depicts a sweeping view of Utah's Wasatch Mountains on a sparkling, summer day. Bordered by great, salt flats, the gorgeous range rises inexplicably out of the dry, desert sand. Here, the Lower Bells Canyon is a lofty oasis providing respite from the lively lowlands.

The foreground is filled with grasses of green and gold while stair-stepped through the rubble of smooth rocks, a shallow stream is a turquoise outlet. It's a place positioned at the mouth of a steep gorge where a murky reservoir is concealed by fresh greenery.

The entire scene is backlit by mid-morning sun as demonstrated by the dark shadows defining the wavy, white clouds. The background features rugged peaks that descend into the distance while a row of blue brush forms a boundary between the forest and high plateau.

A variety of lush vegetation occupies the wet valley where verdant shades of color are too numerous to decipher. Preceded by a remarkable reputation, it's an Eden where the visitor is reminded that the natural beauty of the American, western landscape will always ring true.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Clear Creek - A Transparent Torrent

Clear Creek at Golden, Colorado

On a gorgeous evening in Golden, Colorado, Clear Creek is undeniably liberated from winter's icy grasp. As the cold season draws to a close, we are challenged to emerge from our dark den.

The great thaw continues and soon this silent stream will be transformed into a transparent torrent, flowing below a series of rustic bridges. Off towards the setting sun, a deep gorge was hewn by this wonderful waterway.

Rushing down out of the foothills, a deluge of glacial water causes the snowy banks to collapse. Bordering the rock-filled river, bare trees are unable to divert the air of changing seasons.

Packed with deep snow, the canyon trail is mired in an eternal shadow. Backlit beneath billowy clouds, the blue mountains remain anything but glum. A cheerful spirit permeates the entire landscape.

It's on a special night just like this that I'm reminded. When an extraordinary light shines down from above, it reveals a certain truth and beauty hidden deep inside us all.

A gorgeous evening in Golden

Rushing out of the foothills

Snowy banks have collapsed

Bare trees border the creek

The blue mountains are backlit

A cheerful spirit permeates the landscape

An extraordinary light

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Western Nebraska - A Winter Walk

Silent Shadows at Dugout Creek

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." ~ John Muir

This past winter, western Nebraska was a wonderland. Wandering around in bad weather, I wasn't expecting to find much during my nature walk. Surprisingly, the normally stark Sandhills sparkled with a glow not usually seen.

The wide, blue sky was a dramatic backdrop enhancing the deep, white snow. The abandoned Northport school was eerily concealed by a congregation of old cottonwoods. Down the way, strange, dark shadows stretched quietly across Dugout Creek.

Where the river ran high, a persistent heron hunted along the mighty North Platte. Flitting swiftly through a yellow thicket, resident sparrows searched for corn while perched on a high snag, a striking kestrel kept an eye out for unsuspecting prey.

South of the settlement where whiteout conditions existed, Courthouse and Jail were mere apparitions barely visible above the creekside campground. There, jackrabbits burst out of hiding and accelerated across the open prairie, leaving canine pursuers in their dust.

After time spent visiting hills, rivers, the Rocks, creeks and cornfields, it was back to Bridgeport. The town where trails converge. During the holiday season, I always feel thankful but on that day, I was especially grateful for nature's unexpected generosity.

The Sandhills sparked

Dramatic, blue skies

Abandoned Northport School

The river ran high

The mighty North Platte

Great Blue Heron

Sparrows in a yellow thicket

A striking kestrel

Courthouse and Jail were ghosts

Gray cornfield

Bridgeport, Nebraska