Image No. 21
After coming down from snowy Owl Pass, our next destination was famed Dallas Divide (another shoulder to shoulder spot), but since all the information we had that the foliage was completely green, we decided to try another option. Denis remembered a nearby dirt road with a good-size beaver pond that was a good afternoon spot. It would reflect a side-lit Mt. Sneffels as the sun went down and would be great if there were clouds behind the peak to catch the warm light as the sun set. But just like in the morning at Silver Jack, there wasn’t a single cloud to be seen. Finding which dirt road it was turned out to be a bit of a problem. We went down several roads, asking folks if it was the one, and everybody had a different answer. We even went down one road, passed a Do Not Trespass sign and a Something-Something Ranch sign!! I thought we might be shot when we spun around in front of their barn, but we got away clean. We finally ended up on a road and came to a spot loaded with cars and photographers lined up shoulder to shoulder where we quickly stopped, grabbed a few shots and just as quickly continued further down the road to the end where indeed there was a beaver pond! We were the only ones there. Only thing was, by then the sunlight was quickly moving up toward the peak. Again I tried some shots with a foreground element, but quickly remembered my lesson from the Bells and switched to a longer (50mm) focal length to retain the power of the peak and since we were blessed with no wind, the mirror of the pond was perfect. If only there were clouds.
The next morning was frosty but the light was not anywhere near as good as it was in the afternoon, so nothing came of it, but as we were leaving, Denis stopped to take a shot and while I waited, I took out my camera and came across this single aspen leaf lying on some frost covered leaves that had long since fallen. The leaves were picking up some of the blue sky and had a bit of a purple tinge that really made the golden aspen leaf stand out. Denis came back to see what I was doing, and he said he would also take what he called a “JJ” photo!!
Image No. 21