Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Alpine Loop

 Aspen & Red Berries

Still dark outside, the alarm on my phone coaxed me out of sleep with the mellow sounds of ..."it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, and I'm feeeeeling good"  by Michael Buble.  At the moment I wasn't sure if any of that was true, but I crawled out of bed anyway, rounded up my camera gear and headed out.  

The Alpine Loop is a beautifully scenic, twisty drive on a narrow road up American Fork canyon, winding over the top of the mountains, past Robert Redford's Sundance Ski Resort and ending up in Provo canyon.  It is part of the Wasatch mountain range, which is part of the great Rocky Mountains, (commonly called the Rockies),  that stretch north and south over 3,000 miles in western North America.  

Spring and Fall are spectacularly beautiful here, with lush alpine scenes dominated by beautiful aspens trees with their white trunks and shimmering leaves flashing neon green in spring, and shades of bright yellow, and deep golden reds in autumn, and are set against craggy mountain peaks and the backside of Mount Timpanogas.  With wildflowers in the spring, waterfalls and natural springs along the way, it is certainly a mecca for landscape photographers shooting in this area. 

Since this drive begins only 10 minutes from my home, I try to take a morning off to enjoy this peaceful, beautiful place at least once during spring and fall.  Since I missed spring this year, I decided to see if I could find some inspiring scenes in the middle of a very hot summer, even though down in the valley the scorching sun has dulled spring greens, wild grasses have turned brown, and flowers struggle to survive in this dry desert climate.

After dodging runners, bikers and deer who were all sharing the narrow winding road in the pre-dawn darkness, I pulled off to the side and took a short walk though the woods where I found this lovely, lush scene.  I found my composition,  set my camera on a tripod and was ready to shoot just as the sun peeked over the mountain and cast a beautiful golden glow highlighting the bright red berries that were the focal point of my picture.  

The previous post of bees and butterflies was taken this same morning, as were the photos of waterfalls I'll post next.  I was well rewarded for listening to my alarm, and it was indeed, a new dawn, a new day, and I did feel great after my morning commune with nature!