Little Mountain


Once upon a time there was a mountain so small in comparison to its majestic neighbors, no one paid any attention to her. Everyone talked about the ‘Fourteeners’ … tall and mighty. Photographers came from near and far to photograph the taller mountains, never even noticing Little Mountain. No one even cared to know Little Mountain’s name and there were no pictures of her on the internet. Although lonely, the little mountain tried to be content … just to be a mountain in the San Juans of Colorado. One day, the little mountain spotted a lady on a cliff in the distance. She had a camera with a big, long lens and it was pointed right at her! From her lookout, the lady noticed the small and lonely mountain to the west, looking beautiful below the clouds and setting sun. Finally! … Little Mountain had been noticed. She started seeing the lady every so often. You see, the lady developed a fondness and appreciation for Little Mountain and the beautiful skies overhead.

‘Delicate Stripes Over Little Mountain’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Mountain In The Clouds’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Mountain Through Cottonwoods’ © Denise Bush

‘Fiery Clouds Over Little Mountain’ © Denise Bush

‘Snow Clouds Over Little Mountain’ © Denise Bush

‘Little Mountain Silhouette’ © Denise Bush

What I can gather from maps this little mountain is named West Baldy. From my lookout points I can see this looking down Pleasant Valley to the west, and the majestic Sneffels mountains looking south and the unique Cimarrons to the east.I have been shooting this mountain when something happens with the clouds or light. If you follow this blog chances are you’ve seen other shots posted here in the past.

In January I posted favorite photographs from 2018 on my website as I have been doing each year since 2003. It was bittersweet as I knew it was time to move away from my Dreamweaver created site and onto something new. Setting up a new computer and wanting to avoid renting more software helped to make the decision. I spent January and February testing and researching different website building companies and then building the new site using Format. I am very happy that it serves all of the same needs as the old site. My Favorites By Year galleries have been recreated and the site serves as a hub for all I do. There’s a link to this Blog and my Store, with so many choices from notecards to large metal prints. Another link takes you to my Graphic Design samples. By the way … I can work with clients anywhere in the country. With About, Contact and a few other pages I’m all set, and invite you to take a look at!

This collection is a sort of medley of winter stragglers. In processing this set I thought about some of the things I love about winter. I love how the snow completely changes the landscape, into something new & fresh. With winter comes a feeling of peacefulness and rest. Snow becomes its blanket. Land forms and contours take on new meaning. Bare limbs of exposed trees are made more beautiful, when coated with snow. That’s something magical when you’re a tree lover like me. In the mountains winter shows us the power of Mother Nature and the season, and we yield utmost respect. Out there and with camera in hand, I can’t help but feel alive … braving the cold air and slippery roads, with numb face, fingers and toes. It’s all very worth it!

‘Double RL Trees In Winter’ © Denise Bush

‘Forever View’ © Denise Bush

‘Sunset Over The Bluff’ © Denise Bush

‘Courthouse Undercover’ © Denise Bush

‘Winter Boundaries’ © Denise Bush

‘Snowmobiles Only’ © Denise Bush

‘Cabin With Two Doors’ © Denise Bush

‘House On The Hill’ © Denise Bush
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‘Pleasant Valley Sunset’ © Denise Bush

Being at the right place at the right time is something all landscape photographers hope for! I love being out there to see what the sky is going to do at sunrise and sunset. However, it’s quite often that I come home with nothing to be excited about. I always remind myself that it’s a matter of going out and being ready. Persistence is always rewarded … sooner or later! Here are some awesome skies I’ve had the privilege to witness in 2019.

‘Vibrant Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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‘Broad Strokes’ © Denise Bush

‘Pastel Sky Over The Ridge’ © Denise Bush

‘Pink Cloud Over White House’ © Denise Bush

‘Ridge Finale’ © Denise Bush

‘Wintry Mountain Sunset’ © Denise Bush

‘Round Top Trio’ © Denise Bush

… And Lessons In Traction Control

In my last post I wrote about some winter photography challenges here in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. We’ve been getting a good bit of snow this year and it has been just beautiful to look at. The morning after a good snow a few days ago, I decided to go out. It continued to snow lightly off and on, and I planned to stick to the county roads near home. The snow was clinging to branches and limbs, and it looked so pretty. I carefully pulled up along the snow plow pile on the side to look at a stream situated down an embankment. The road below the edge had a downward lip (invisible because of the snow) and my Forester slid down a bit into the 2 foot high, snow plow pile. (It sucked me in!) I tried to get out but with wheels spinning, not too hard. I took my ice scraper and began to dig the snow away from the front tire and called my husband for help. A man stopped and offered to push on the side when I tried to drive out. It slid in deeper! Brent came with shovels and we dug all around. When he tried to drive it out it ended up sliding in even deeper! Suddenly a nice man appeared in an F250! Like a knight in shining armor he easily pulled the car out from the rear using a strap hooked to his hitch and my frame. After that, I wondered if I should just call it quits for the day but decided … NOT! I did take a shovel and strap with me though! Later we saw a video that explained my exact situation. They recommended turning ‘traction control’ off if this happens. It is on by default every time the car starts. Lesson learned and still a good day of shooting. The images here are from that and another day of winter wandering.

‘Big & Frosty’  © Denise Bush

‘Rolling Hill In Winter’  © Denise Bush

‘Crooked Shack & Stream’  © Denise Bush

‘Retired Cabin & Tractor’  © Denise Bush

‘Ponderosa Guardian’  © Denise Bush

‘Double RL Tree’  © Denise Bush

‘Cottonwood Favorites’  © Denise Bush

‘Winter Rays’  © Denise Bush

See my previous post for more ‘Winter Wanderings‘!

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes, a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
— J.R.R. Tolkien —

Following are some winter images I’ve collected from several different local outings. Winter is a beautiful season here and I do love snowy landscapes. You might think it’s easy to take beautiful photos in a beautiful place, but, winter here presents its own photographic challenges. High country and forest roads are closed. Highways can be icy … and you don’t want to be on the Million Dollar Highway, one of the most dangerous roads in the country, when it’s slick! With snow piled on the sides of the roads it’s hard to find a place to pull over or park. During a snowstorm distant views and the mountains are not visible. The time to get out to work the landscape is just after the storm … before the sky becomes bald blue, the snow melts or blows from the tree limbs and before it gets tracked up by the abundance of deer, cattle, and other animals, including humans! It can be tricky and it puts me on high alert for weather forecasts and sky conditions. The good news is that there are at least 2 months (or more) of winter to come. I’ll continue to get out there, looking for interesting winter images. Here’s a start to another winter of wandering!

‘Little Tree In Winter’  © Denise Bush

‘Snowy Cottonwoods’  © Denise Bush

‘Along A Winter Stream’  © Denise Bush

‘Corbett & Friends’  © Denise Bush

‘Frosty Awakening’  © Denise Bush

‘Winter Along The Border’  © Denise Bush

‘Tree & Posts In Snow’  © Denise Bush

‘Designs Over Little Mountain’  © Denise Bush

‘Winter Companions’  © Denise Bush

‘Winter Hills’  © Denise Bush

‘Winter’s Gradient’  © Denise Bush
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This month marks my 10th year of blogging! Time flies by when you love what you’re doing. I do enjoy the journaling aspect of blogging which allows me to look back at what I’ve done and where I want to go with my photography. I love sharing what speaks to me with you. And I have been sharing with many of you for a long time now. I appreciate each and every visit! Other blogs, and comments on this blog have certainly helped to keep me inspired, in a big way over the years … thank YOU so very much!

‘Newspaper Rock’  © Denise Bush

I thought this photo of Native American petroglyphs would be a fun association and illustration to mark the milestone. Called ‘Newspaper Rock’ it is located in Utah.