In this post I decided to combine two of the image sets I was collecting. Instead of having a separate post for what I was calling ‘Autumn Abstracts & Patterns’ I am combining them here with autumn landscapes for this third ‘Sampler’. I have always been drawn to pattern and repetition in art. When I worked as an illustrator and graphic designer using pattern and repetition was part of my style. And looking back through my photographic portfolio I think the work often reveals my interest in order, repetition & pattern. If interested, a collection of ‘Nature Abstracts & Patterns’ can be viewed HERE. Autumn foliage is harder to find in SW Colorado now, but I hope you aren’t getting tired of fall scenes … I still have more to come! As always thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment or let me know if you have a favorite.

A long lens picks up the beautiful warm light on a distant slope of aspens in deep orange and gold.

‘Warm Light On Distant Aspens’ © Denise Bush
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A delicate set of aspens show off  golden fall color below a ridge receiving the first light of day.

‘Young Aspens Below Ridge’ © Denise Bush

Some dry grasses strike a pleasing sihouette before an autumn pond reflection.

‘Pond Silhouettes’ © Denise Bush

Aspen trees have small round leaves which can remind one of Pointellism art.

‘Pointillistic Aspens’ © Denise Bush

Autumn oak brush makes a colorful statement in the mountains of Colorado.

‘Autumn On The Rocks’ © Denise Bush

Aspen Trees, Gambel Oaks and Spruce Trees create an ensemble that resembles a tapestry.

‘Slopeside Tapestry’ © Denise Bush

Colorful aspen trees circle around the base of and outcropping near Gunnison Gorge.

‘Ring Around The Rock’ © Denise Bush

Autumn Roads


‘Autumn Roads’ is an on-going theme that always attracts me. Some with this subject from the past are among my favorites. I never tire of meandering along a country road searching for scenes to capture. When I include the road in a scene it takes me back to that experience. Here are some from this year, to add to my growing collection.

An old-fashioned fence adds interest to this beautiful autumn scene along a country road.

‘Fence Along Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush
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An autumn road invites a investigation to look at the beautiful, colorful foliage.

‘Along An Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush

A red mountain peak lights up as the sun filters through holes in the clouds in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.

‘Mountain Peak Highlight’ © Denise Bush

A winding dirt road makes an inviting scene among the vibrant aspen trees.

‘My Favorite Autumn Road’ © Denise Bush

A back-country road takes a pleasant turn into an autumn aspen grove.

‘Passage Through Aspens’ © Denise Bush

Here are more images shot this fall with no particular theme other than ‘autumn’. Now, the leaves are falling and I won’t be out shooting as often. It’s time to get caught up with blogging … my own and others. I have several more images to come and plan on other themes including roads, structures and the moon! I hope you enjoy this selection. As always feel free to leave a comment. Let me know if you have a favorite!

A massive mountain towers above a row of autumn aspens, high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Massive Mountain & Aspen Row’ © Denise Bush
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Aspens beneath Mount Wilson are well on their way in a beautiful fall display.

‘Boundary On The Mesa’ © Denise Bush

A forest of aspens fill the slope with autumn gold below a knobby peak.

‘Above A Golden Forest’ © Denise Bush

A group of aspens catch the last light before the sun dips below the west facing ridge.

‘Aspens Catching Light’ © Denise Bush

Autumn colors look like an paint a beautiful reflection with ripples.

‘Ripples At Crystal Lake’ © Denise Bush

A river flows away from Sunshine Mountain near Telluride, Colorado.

‘Flowing From Sunshine’ © Denise Bush

The sky turns a pleasant blue and  pink gradient to the east at sunset.

‘Gradient Sky In Autumn’ © Denise Bush

A view from on top of Grand Mesa shows a contrast between forest and high desert.

‘View Through Aspens’ © Denise Bush

If you haven’t seen ‘Autumn Sampler ~ One’ check it out … just click the link above the title. You can also click Denise Bush’s Photo Blog to return home then scroll down through recent posts. 

I have been getting out more frequently to shoot the fleeting fall colors. The season is just too short, typically running between mid September through mid October. This year we’ve had a lot of smoke and haze from the wildfires in California and other places in The West. This has made landscape photography a little challenging. Some days are worse than others and some directions are better than others. And, sometimes it looks OK to have a little haze as it helps to show distance. Here is my first installment of images while working the scenery this fall … my 6th in Colorado! I’ve been so zealous about building my portfolio with fall images in past years, I’m feeling a little more relaxed about it now. It’s also harder to find local scenes I haven’t shot to my satisfaction in the past. But, if the light is different or I can make a different composition I’ll visit a spot again. Here are some images from the last few weeks and there will be several more coming. Thanks for looking and stop back if you can!

An opening in the autumn aspens reveals the Grenadier Mountains in the San Juans of Colorado.

‘Distant Twin Peaks’ © Denise Bush

The last bit of light illuminates a ridge above autumn aspen trees.

‘Last Light On Autumn Ridge’ © Denise Bush

Brilliant aspens light up this scene near Durango, Colorado.

Round Top Ridge & Aspens © Denise Bush

Sunset provides a little color behind this mountain peak in the San Juans.

‘Color Show At The Pass’ © Denise Bush

Backlighting brings out autumn colors in a brilliant display!

‘Autumn Backlight’ © Denise Bush

A pretty aspen group shows off autumn color among the rocks.

‘Aspens In The Rocks’ © Denise Bush

Aspens display autumn colors beautifully, across Crystal Lake in Ouray County, Colorado.

‘Across Crystal Lake’ © Denise Bush
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Following are some images from a semi-restored stamp mill, high in a mountain basin not far from my home. The hopes of striking it rich with gold and silver drew many west and as a result, Colorado’s mountains are ‘rich’ with mining history. Several nearby towns had larger populations back then, than today. Many others were abandoned altogether since it was not practical to live at such high elevations. Mining in this area started in 1898 and the mill was built between 1905-1906. It is an example of a ‘stamp mill’ named for the method of breaking the ore down using large machines that pound rather than crush. Attracted by the diagonal siding I worked my way around the building looking for compositions while imagining what it must have been like before it stopped operating in 1910.

A stamp mill has been partially restored to preserve mining history in Colorado.

‘Silent Stamp Mill’ © Denise Bush

Colorado miners had great views like this one … looking out an old mill window.

‘Window With Mountain View’ © Denise Bush

A stamp mill high in the mountains has been partially restored in order to preserve this piece of mining history.

‘The Back Side’ © Denise Bush

The interior of an old mining stamp mill contains few remnants of days gone by.

‘The Workroom’ © Denise Bush

Mount Sneffels is without a doubt the most popular mountain in Ouray County. It gets a lot of attention and rightfully so. At 14,158 feet it joins an elite club called the ‘Fourteeners’. Many very fit hikers/climbers have challenged themselves with the goal of climbing all 53 of the Fourteeners In Colorado. Mount Sneffels ranks 27th and is one of 10 in the southwest portion of the Rockies, known as the San Juans. Like a beacon, mighty Sneffels is visible from many locations in the area and therefore makes its way into a lot of my landscape photos. Some of the following are from shoots this year while others, never posted before are from my archives. Mount Sneffels inspires me … I hope you can see why!

Mighty Mount Sneffels is one of the 14ers in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Mighty Mount Sneffels’ © Denise Bush
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Storm Clouds hover above the Sneffels Range and the vibrant colors of fall.

‘Storm Clouds Over Sneffels Range’ © Denise Bush

Near the end of the day only the tallest mountains receive last light.

‘Sneffels & Tree Silhouettes’ © Denise Bush

This scene of the Sneffes Range, a subset of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains creates the quintessential winter landscape. The snow provides copy space for your message.

‘Loghill Mesa View’ © Denise Bush

The Dallas Creek flows from Mount Sneffels ans surrounding mountains as the snow melts. Most of the snow has melted and the river level has lowered in this summer scene.

‘Dallas Creek & Sneffels In Summer’ © Denise Bush

The last light of day peaks through the clouds above Mount Sneffels, spotlighting the lower slope.

‘Sneffels Side-light’ © Denise Bush

Harvested hay bales lay out in a field at the end o summer in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Valley Shadows With Hay Bales’ © Denise Bush

Shooting stars accompany the Milky Way over Mount Sneffels near Ridgway, Colorado.

‘Shooting Stars Over Sneffels’ © Denise Bush

I’ve enjoyed shooting flowers since the beginning of my photo journey. Living Back East, there were a lot of gardens nearby and I was a member of the renowned Longwood Gardens … an estate outside of Philadelphia, once owned by the DuPonts. I spent many hours photographing on the grounds as well as inside the conservatories. And on other days I might have enjoyed shooting the wildflowers of the South Jersey Pinelands. Then my usual lens of choice was a 100mm macro, to get up nice and close, making the flower and its bokeh background the subject. Now, living in Colorado and being so in love with the landscape I am much more interested in combining the flowers with the grand landscape, or at least part of the environment, for more intimate scenes. I’ve been using my 16-35mm, wide angle lens which allows me to focus close and achieve a greater depth of field. Finding accessible and worthy subjects with interesting backgrounds is challenging for me. And wouldn’t you know it … the best wildflowers often grow on the steepest slopes! Sturdy hiking boots and slow, careful foot placement is needed to avoid falling and damaging myself, my camera or the flowers. Forcing my tripod and myself into a steady position is a challenge as well … one that my muscles might feel the following day! Because it is often windy I compensate by adjusting my settings to quicken my shutter speed. Many of the wildflowers grow high in the alpine basins, requiring driving on narrow jeep roads. Encounters with those coming the opposite way are often sketchy! I am thankful to Brent for driving on roads I do not have the confidence to travel on by myself. I hope you enjoy what I have been able to do this year!

Fireweed grows beautifully on the steep slopes of a mountain lake in Colorado.

‘Lakeside Beauties’ © Denise Bush
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A meadow of Elephant Head wildflowers was too beautiful not to stop and photograph.

‘Elephant Head Meadow’ © Denise Bush

A beautiful cluster King’s Crown grows among other wildflowers in a high, alpine meadow near Silverton, Colorado.

‘King’s Crown Cluster’ © Denise Bush
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Sunny yellow flowers pose before a rock wall in the mountains.

‘Rock Wall Pretties’ © Denise Bush

Wildflowers often grow on rocky slopes which can put the photographer on unsteady ground.

‘On Rocky Ground’ © Denise Bush

Queen’s Crown, a relative of the more common King’s Crown grows in a pretty cluster showing varying blossom stages.

‘Queen’s Crown Cluster’ © Denise Bush

A daisy field below Red Mountain is a happy summer sight.

‘Daisies Below Red Mountain’ © Denise Bush

When venturing out on a shoot I usually have a particular destination in mind, wanting to add to an ongoing collection, or perhaps find something new. Whatever I’m after I stay tuned in to scenes and subjects along the way. I like to be open to everything Mother Nature presents to me! When it comes to inspiration and what is right with the world, she excels. Being with her brings a sense of awe, peace and hope … especially welcome during these trying times.

A vibrant rainbow apprears over the San Juan Mountains featuring Whitehouse Mountain and Teakettle Mountain.

‘San Juan Rainbow’ © Denise Bush

The sun breaks out through a hole in the clouds to illuminate this scene on a mesa near Telluride, Colorado.

‘God Beams On The Mesa’  © Denise Bush

Two Gambel Oaks create an arch and frame for the setting sun.

‘Sunburst Arch’ © Denise Bush
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Rain clouds light up pink at sunset over a golden field.

‘Alpenglow & Storm Clouds’ © Denise Bush

A rainbow surprise was waiting around the corner as a spring storm clears and the sun peeks out of the clouds.

‘Over The Rainbow’ © Denise Bush

The North End


This post pays tribute to the less photographed, north end of Cimarron Ridge. I’ve shown images of the more mountainous south end including, Chimney Rock, Courthouse, Coxcomb, Precipice and Redcliff in a number of previous posts. I can see and often photograph the Cimarron’s from our property as well as when I’m out and about. The forms are silhouetted at sunrise looking east and we enjoy tracking the sun as it changes position along the ridgeline from season to season. In late day and at sunset the Cimarron’s surprise us each evening by lighting up in unpredictable ways. The ridge and mountain faces can light up a bright gray to deep red and in between, often turning alpenglow pink in unison with the clouds. An added bonus is moonrise … often viewed from the comfort of our upstairs living area, when not obscured by clouds. We enjoy our Cimarron view and I hope you enjoy these views of the north end.

In this view we see the north end of Cimarron Ridge at sunset.

‘North Ridge View’ © Denise Bush

Bright green aspens are just one of the many beautiful sights of spring in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Aspen Accents, Cimarron Bluff’ © Denise Bush

Approaching shadows signal night's arrival as we witness last light of day on Cimarron Ridge.

‘Cimarron Ridge Finale’ © Denise Bush

Distant rain clouds releasse some ‘pink rain’ at sunset.

‘Pink Rain’ © Denise Bush

Light on the north end of Cimarron Ridge near Ridgway, The outcropping is known as the Castle Rock.

‘Ridge & Castle Rock’ © Denise Bush

The moon looks large the night before a full, supermoon as seen here on April 6, 2020.

‘Supermoon Prelude’ © Denise Bush

A supermoon rises over a portion of Cimarron Ridge near Ridgway Colorado on April 7, 2020.

‘Rising Over Ridge’ © Denise Bush

Friends and followers of this blog know I can’t go too long without posting images of old structures … shacks, cabins, barns and other mining and agriculture buildings. I just can’t resist these weathered characters! They seem to fit in with the land much more appropriately than new buildings while stirring the imagination of days gone by. Little details and often a sense of place adds to their stories. Just when I begin thinking I’ve found and photographed all the local characters, another finds and calls to me, and my camera!

An old barn looks on the brink of collapse under a spring sunset sky.

‘Old Ranch Sunset’ © Denise Bush
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A small hunting cabin appears even smaller in a wide, open landscape.

‘Hunting Cabin’ © Denise Bush

A tiny log cabin survives among some rusty ranch equipment in a canyon in Colorado.

‘Rustic & Rusty’ © Denise Bush

A lttle red shack, leaning and far beyond repair, has lost all hope.

‘Little Leaner’ © Denise Bush

An old miner’s cabin includes a front porch built on a rocky foundation.

‘Rocky Foundation’ © Denise Bush

An old cabin, missing a roof is a weathered reminder of those who lived below the mountain years ago.

‘Mountain Cabin Relic’ © Denise Bush
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