When we owned our place high in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado, one of our great joys was watching the incredible sunsets. This was one of them, taken about midway up our property line. Our former gold mining claim – which actually had three old and safely sealed gold mining shafts on it (that’s the tailings pile for one of them in the middle of the image) – started at 11,300-feet (3,444 m) in elevation and topped out above the timberline at just over 12,000-feet (3,657 m). In recent days, Cindy and I have been fondly reminiscing about our times spent there tent camping on our plot, without a soul around us for as far as the eye could see.
Photo info: Sunset over Red Mountain From our property Silverton, Colorado July 2004 Canon PowerShot G3 digicam
Eighteen years ago to this day, my family and I were all piled into the car, driving north from southern Los Angeles toward San Jose, to see my sister graduate from her first alma mater. As we hustled along on the interstate, I noticed something odd alongside the road up ahead – color! Normally, this section of California is just an undulating mix of ochres, umbers, and siennas — with maybe a little bit of dusty green mixed in for variety. But not this time. No, this time there were shimmering purples and violets, bright cadmium yellows, and luminous oranges.
It was a superbloom! I hesitate to call a superbloom rare – because that term is so overused these days – but this was the first time I’d ever seen it in over four decades, and I was completely blown away by just how much the bright colors were exploding in the hills above us.
Because we were on a tight schedule, we only stopped long enough for a few shots before hurrying on to our final destination, but it was enough. And later this image was entered into a competition and printed in a small publication with a circulation of 58 thousand subscribers. A brief stop that was well worth the effort!
Photo info: Springtime superblooms Gorman Hills Flower Fields Gorman, California May 2003 Canon PowerShot G3 digicam
Springtime in the Rockies is truly something that has to be experienced in person because photos and videos simply don’t do it justice. Why? Because there are aromatic scents drifting and lingering about, and crisp clean air, and depth! Depth is so incredibly important for experiencing the American West – without it, everything looks like a flat picture perfect postcard and doesn’t begin to give one a sense of immense scale.
Photo info: San Juan Mountains Silverton, Colorado July 2004 Canon PowerShot G3 digicam