Sunday, November 6, 2016

Winter Closes In: San Juan Mountains

Trout Lake, Colorado, after the fall colors.
I was back at Lizard Head Pass in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado. Early November, and although rain and high elevation snow were about, it was rather warm for way up there at that time of year.

Sheep Mountain was lost in the clouds. My favorite peak was hiding.

Trout Lake was not. She was glassy, free of wind in the afternoon overcast light. The aspen leaves, with their vibrant fall colors, were long down.  But the the yellow dead grasses and forbs of the meadows had their own subtle glow.

New snow on Vermilion Peak, from Trout Lake, Colorado.
I stopped to photograph the last dangling golden leaves of a willow. In the wetness of the drizzling rain their color was that much more saturated.

Willow leaves in early November: last of the fall colors.
A cold front was moving in. I would have loved to have been there. But where would I stay? As many times as I've camped up there, the long winter nights seem even longer to me. I retreated to lower elevations. Like home.

Photo location: San Juan Mountains, southwest Colorado.

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