Landscape Layers at Sunset
This has been a busy week, as most weeks are. Yesterday evening, around 5:00pm I decided I had to take a break from my chores of the day, and for me, a really good break usually means trying to find something to photograph.
It had been one of those days where the weather couldn't decide what to do. Dark, heavy, moisture filled clouds moving across the sky, often opened for a brief, isolated downpour. Then, the sun would peak through to dry up the wet ground. Next, beautiful, 3D white, puffy clouds would sail past, surrounded by brilliant blue sky, and colored by a beautiful late afternoon sun. It was warm and windless and the sky was ever changing. A perfect evening for landscape photography!
So I grabbed my gear, and because I only had a short time before sunset, I quickly headed up the canyon behind my house. (As you know, this is my usual go to place when I have very little time, and need to be surrounded by mountains.) I was sure the aspen trees would be putting on their autumn show of bright yellows, deep goldens and rich rusts, but I was disappointed. I drove to some of my favorite locations desperate to find something worth shooting. But the trees were a faded, end of summer drab green and the sky had turned a dull, overcast gray. After roaming around for a couple of hours, the sky turned into a solid blanket of clouds, I could here thunder in the near distance, and it was getting dark very quickly. I was way up on the mountain top, traveling on a little used dirt road, and the thought of getting stranded up there alone, in the dark and rain, was not appealing. I was disappointed because I had nothing to show for my time and efforts, so I turned around and started heading down the mountain.
Just as I rounded a bend and passed an opening in the trees on the driver's side of the car, the storm clouds cleared enough to let a few sun rays shine through. I glanced over and saw this reflection on a small mountain lake. Beautiful! I stopped and took this shot out of my car window. After taking my photo, I sat admiring this peaceful, lovely scene, when something else caught my eye, spotlighted in the last few rays of the setting sun.
I parked the car, and started walking toward the lake to get a better view! I got as close as I could, quickly got my shot, then stood and watched him take his last drink of the evening, as the setting sun transformed the faded end of summer colors to beautiful golden hues. And then in a blink of an eye, the sun was gone, the mood was gone, and so was he.
A moment in time can change everything! I continued down the mountain reminding myself to always anticipate, expect, and be ready to enjoy the unexpected! (My next post will be unexpected photos from that moment in time.)