Beneath an expansive big sky view and shimmering light, a small shore line offers adventures in cracking through the freeze, sending little islands of ice sheets and bubbles into the open water, and tracking wandering birds.
In each collection of photos, I try to capture some of the details I observe and the overall feeling of the day. The motif of austere snow, shadow and plants continues as the gift of sunny winter days return. And remaining Dr. Seuss-like pines remain in otherwise clearcut areas.
Part of my intent is to simply document some of the different details on the landscape that I see when slowing down. The snow provides a perfect setting for seeing animal tracks and signs: an elk trail and droppings, a rabbit run, a small rodent darting between two areas of cover, and a fox crossing a winter stream.
Trees with a snowy backdrop, even on a very grey day, keep catching my attention and appreciation this winter: layers of detail, shape, and color. I also wonder what’s occasionally afflicting some trees.
The large cottonwood featured in these images is a sentinel looking over our neighborhood park. I am interested in different angles of photographing the great tree as it changes throughout the seasons.
Getting to spend a week in the mountains, wandering with the Continental Divide always in view, playing in the snow, and enjoying the details of the season, is certainly a privilege and a welcome reprieve from urbanity. Photos help document the gratitude of the day.
Return to St. Louis Creek — Fraser, CO 12/29/20
Wander Out The Back Door — Fraser, CO 12/30/21
Photos that look like dugout holes in the snow are tracks of a fox carrying some type of insect and running through the snow (I think).
Sometimes I feel that maybe we are living out the fear of that song, you know, the one about the tree museum … nature and wildness locked up in small urban preserves, tucked against settling ponds, rock quarries, and prisons. But thank goodness these important places exist at all. Where would the urban psyche be without these landscape reprieves? We need much more habitat. And I am also grateful for the open spaces others have worked hard to protect.
This area has long been a favorite place of mine to wander. The start to the winter season, particularly stunning on this sunny day, offered some fun opportunity to explore the shore. Though the water level is a bit higher than earlier this fall, the beach provided excellent views of a massive flock of geese. And Brennan thoroughly enjoyed tromping along, breaking up the ice on the edge, getting her boots stuck in the mud.