This post is about a quick trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, at the end of May. The park is about a 4.5 hours east of us and even though it was cloudy and raining off and on, I enjoyed seeing some new scenery. We got to the park late and scoped it out. It was busy and the campground was full (another sign of Colorado’s booming tourism). We discovered that to walk on the dunes you need to wade through an inlet and then follow the paths of other climbers. It seemed like it would be quite far to reach areas that had no tracks. For those reasons we decided to admire the dunes from afar. A nearby lake provided a view of some mountains and the dunes below a hazy, but colorful sunset sky. In the morning it was clearer, for a little while, before the smoky haze settled back in. The wet sand drying in the morning sun added a little texture to the close-up shots and it was fun to see people, like little ants, through my long lens. During the day, time was spent exploring and taking in the surrounding green scenery. I had been wanting to visit the Great Sand Dunes since moving to Colorado, and now I can say I have!

The Great Sand Dunes National Park is bathed in warm sunset light as viewed from across a distant San Luis Lake.

‘Dunes Across Water’ © Denise Bush

The Great Sand Dunes National Park make an unusual foreground to Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

‘Sand Dunes & Mountains’ © Denise Bush

The sand dunes start to dry out in the morning sun after yesterday's rain.D Bush_Making Tracks Climbers.jpgD Bush_Making Tracks Climbers.jpg

‘Sand Dune Curves’ © Denise Bush

Some people hiking below look tiny, giving scale to the dunes.

‘Making Tracks’ © Denise Bush

Some people hiking below look tiny, giving scale to the dunes.

‘Making Tracks Detail’ © Denise Bush
(Can you see them now?)

Soft light illuminates the dunes at The Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.

‘Morning Dunes’ © Denise Bush

A close look at the dunes at The Great Sand Dunes National Park reduces the scene to curves, shapes and shadows,

‘Morning Dunes Close-up’ © Denise Bush

The Great Sand Dunes National Park are visible across San Luis Lake and below the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado.

‘San Luis Sunset’ © Denise Bush

Vernal Views


Following are some random landscapes shot this May & June. These didn’t fit into other planned posts using spring images so I put them together below. Since summer is here, I thought I really ought to post them! I was eager to get out this year and have been enjoying the warm weather, nature and the landscape. I love to explore and when something catches my eye I’ll stop to check out possible compositions. Sometimes a stop is just for scouting purposes. If the light or sky aren’t nice I’ll study the location and add it to my ‘places to go back to’ list. Being out there, immersed in the landscape, capturing what calls to me and then processing my vision is what it’s all about for me.

A watering hole out in grazing land provides a fun place to create a reflection photograph.

‘Watering Hole Reflection’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

Late day backlight brings out the yellows in the young aspen leaves.

‘Spring Passage’ © Denise Bush

Bright sprintime willows accent this landscape in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Mountain View & Spring Willows’ © Denise Bush

A little lone ponderosa pine tree has a perfect view, perched upon a sunny hill!

‘Little Ponderosa In Morning’ © Denise Bush
notecards, unframed, framed, canvas, acrylic & metal prints available

A small Ponderosa Pine catches some warm light on a mountain morning in May.

‘Mountains Beyond’ © Denise Bush

The forest starts its annual spring tradition showing the first bright green aspen leaves.

‘Green Beginnings’ © Denise Bush

A little pond catches reflection of blue sky and distant mountains.

‘Blue Sky Reflection’ © Denise Bush

Backlit aspen trees make a stiking sight at sunset.

‘Through Backlit Aspens’ © Denise Bush

Gimme Shelter


I am grateful that interesting old structures keep finding me! They call to me to stop and put my camera to work. It’s a way of documenting them before they are gone forever. And it’s fun! Over the years many of the subjects of my ‘Remnants & Remains’ captures have disappeared. I am glad I had a chance to add them to my collection. Other times places that have interested me are changed in a way that makes them less attractive. I find myself wishing I had photographed them when I had the chance. The lesson … stop and shoot … don’t wait! The following are finds that go back to early spring as well as more recent.

A portion of an Old West settlement acts as a frame for the ominous sky and mountain beyond.

‘Rustic Framing’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

Remains from a small, abandoned settlement demonstrate building with materials readily available.

‘Rocky Shelters’ © Denise Bush

An old log cabin falls apart amid new aspen trees in spring.

‘Open Door’ © Denise Bush

A barn no longer strong enough collapses under years of harsh winters and strong summer sun.

‘Collapsed’ © Denise Bush

An small tin cabin takes on character as it weathers years of seasonal elements.

‘Little Tin Cabin’ © Denise Bush

Structures from a time gone by show the effects of time and weather.

‘Door Number Two’ © Denise Bush

An abandoned church strikes a dramatic scene with storm clouds hovering above.

‘Church Without A Steeple’ © Denise Bush

See my entire ‘Remnants & Remains’ Collections HERE!
notecards, unframed, framed, canvas, acrylic & metal prints available

I’ve been a bit slow adding to this blog lately but I can explain! My usual pattern is; shooting mode, processing mode and then blogging. With spring finally here I have been getting out and shooting more often. Like any other season it has its rewards and being outside in the warm sun feels so good! Adding to several different themes at the same time I hardly know where to start. So, I’ll begin with one of my favorite signs of spring … water in motion! Rivers, cascades and waterfalls I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with, are the theme for this post. Relax, breathe deeply, and imagine the sound of the rushing spring melt as it travels down from the mountains!

The San Miguel River merrily rushes along the spring green banks near Telluride.

‘Merrily Rushing Along’ © Denise Bush

A spring stream flows from the mountains near Silverton, Colorado. Kendall Mountain is featured in the distance.

‘Flowing To The Animas’ © Denise Bush

The greens are saturated and vibrant on a rainy spring day.

‘Rainy Day River’ © Denise Bush

A fast moving stream rushes water from the mountains near Silverton, Colorado to meet up with a river below.

‘Flowing Through A Forest’ © Denise Bush

Spring melt travels down the mountainside with tremendous volume.

‘From The Top’ © Denise Bush

A mountain waterfall flows in the spring, fed from snow melt above.

‘Springtime Plunge’ © Denise Bush

A brave little evergreen hangs on to the rugged cliff for dear life!

‘Waterfall Companion’ © Denise Bush

Rushing along in spring, a mountain river is a wonderful sound and sight of nature!

‘Raging River & Rocks’ © Denise Bush

A river rushes along due to the volume of water melting in the spring mountains.

‘In A Rush’ © Denise Bush

On one of this week’s photo adventures I found myself out in the open during an afternoon of scattered showers. Being able to witness (and feel a part of) the dynamic weather was exhilarating! I was not only excited by the visuals but relieved to get some rain in our drought-stricken part of Colorado. In addition to a lack of precipitation, spring has brought a lot of wind resulting in many ‘Red Flag Warning’ days. From where I’m sitting it’s way too early to start worrying about wildfires. People here are doing rain dances and praying for more! The storms on this afternoon entertained my camera and I, providing the opportunity for this little collection!

Rain clouds give way for some much needed precipitation in drought-stricken Southwest Colorado.

‘Let It Rain’ © Denise Bush

Scattered storms grace Southwest Colorado with some much needed moisture.

‘Over Wilson’ © Denise Bush

A not too far away isolated storm bestows some welcome spring rain.

‘Welcome Rain’ © Denise Bush

Rain clouds turn pink and puffy near sunset.

‘Clouds Over Mountains & Forest’ © Denise Bush

On a recent visit to nearby Silverton I decided to explore the train yard and back alleys with my camera. Among the mountain recreation opportunities like hiking, jeeping and camping, Silverton is known for its rich railroad and mining history. The quaint town is a midway point along the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray to the north, and Durango to the south. Many tourists come for a day trip back in time, to ride the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train through the scenic San Juan Mountains. On this visit I started in the train yard, walking along the tracks to photograph some of the stationary relics laid here to rest. Afterwards I explored the back alleys where shacks leftover from mining days still stand and are now used for storage. For this set I limited my selections to one of my ongoing themes … windows and doors. Combined with the wonderful textures of rusting metal and weathered wood I found some subjects I thought were interesting, and hope you think so too!

An old rail car with a window creates an image full of texture and nostalgia.

‘Number 04965’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A number of bent over nails assure a sturdy connection.

‘Bent Nails’ © Denise Bush

A rusty hinge accents weathered wood in this close-up of an abandoned building.

‘Hinged’ © Denise Bush

The side of an old rail car creates an image rich in texture and nostalgia.

‘Railroad Relic’ © Denise Bush

A weathered and contrasting in white shutter provides an image rich in geometry, texture and history.

‘Shuttered Portal’ © Denise Bush

To see more images in my growing ‘Windows & Doors’ collection, CLICK HERE!

Just Peachy


In need of a spring fix I recently headed north to Palisade Colorado, where they grow the biggest, juiciest and most delicious peaches in the world! Accompanied by my husband Brent, it was just a day trip, 2 hours there, 1 hour of looking and shooting and 2 hours back … give or take. I could have spent more time there but you know how it is when you are with a non-photographer … you have to compromise! We found the area to be quite charming with houses nestled among the orchards, and I got the dose of spring I needed. 

Here’s a little history: The first settler began raising fruit and vegetables here in 1882. Protection from the Palisade Cliffs, and morning winds from DeBeque Canyon, meant the orchards were better able to survive spring frosts. Diverting water from the Colorado River with a series of canals and dams transformed the dry desert into a bountiful land of orchards and vineyards.

Mount Garfield makes a striking background for a peach orchard in bloom in Palisade.

‘Palisade Peach Blossoms’ © Denise Bush

Rows of peach trees look beautiful with their bright spring blossoms.

‘Peach Blossom Row’ © Denise Bush

Peach blossoms against the sky create a striking design.

‘Blossoms & Blue Sky’ © Denise Bush

A peach orchard glows bright pink in spring.

‘Blossoms Below The Mesa’ © Denise Bush

Wintry Mix


This post is an assortment … an array, medley, potpourri, etcetera, of recent images I decided to process! It includes some that didn’t fit into previous post themes, and others that I found reviewing folders from the past 2 months. Spring arrived on the calendar but it doesn’t feel like it here in Colorado. March is typically our snowiest month and it’s no surprise to us if we get some in April. We’ve learned to hold off putting our shovels away until late May! It’s all good … we just need to be a little more patient and appreciate what the snow brings to our forests and rivers. It’s a gift that will slowly melt off the peaks now through summer. Although ready for a change, once gone I will undoubtedly miss the unique photo opportunities the snow creates.

A fresh coating of snow coats a mountain in Ouray County, Colorado.

‘Frozen Landscape’ © Denise Bush

Three gambel oaks are a frequent subject for this photographer ... in all kinds of seasons and at sunset and sunrise.

‘Tree Trio’ © Denise Bush

An old fashioned barn graces the mountainside in a nostalgic winter scene.

‘Picturesque Barn In Winter’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

In the mountains of Colorado one of the first signs of spring is the willows waking up with vibrant yellow, orange and red.

‘Vibrant Willows’ © Denise Bush

A stand of aspen trees stand out in in a winter scene of white

‘Aspen Row In Winter’ © Denise Bush

A line of bare aspen trees with only sky behind them creates a beautiful winter statement.

‘Wintry Row’ © Denise Bush

The day comes to a close with its last light upon the north end of Cimarron Ridge, near Ridgway Colorado.

‘Days End Over Ridge’ © Denise Bush

A barn in the mountains makes an idyllic winter scene.

‘Serene Scene’ © Denise Bush

The Turrets are a ridge of smaller pinnacles and spires in the Cimarron Range, a subset of the San Juan Mountains and Rocky Mountains.

‘Turrets To The East’ © Denise Bush

A line of trees on a distant hillside stand in mornings warm light while the mountains remain in cloudy shadow.

‘Morning Line-up’ © Denise Bush

A ranch gate acts as a frame for the distant mountain in this winter scene.

‘Gated Sunset’ © Denise Bush

Nothing too new here … just more mountain sunsets I’ve had the pleasure to witness this winter. With limited mobility this time of year my telephoto lens is a frequent choice. I can focus on the peaks where the snow is always fresh and pair them with interesting portions of the sky. For this kind of scene, the two ingredients together are what is important to me. Many outings fail to make the cut when either is lacking. But, I don’t let it disappoint me when it doesn’t work out, because it’s worth being out there no matter what. Breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the scenery as daylight fades is always a good experience. Now, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy!

High winds wispe clouds over the San Juan mountains creating what's known as horse tail clouds.

‘Sweeping San Juan Clouds’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

Sunset takes on a fiery look over Mount Wilson near Telluride, Colorado.

‘Light Show Over Wilson’ © Denise Bush

A light coat of snow  signals winter’s arrival in the mountains of Colorado

‘A Distant View’ © Denise Bush

A small mountain beside the grand San Juans of Colorado is crowned with a beautiful sunet sky.

‘Little Mountain Sunset’ © Denise Bush

Windswept clouds over the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado are a wonderous, winter sight.

‘Windswept Mountains’ © Denise Bush

A beautiful sky appears at sunset to complement this wintry mountain peak.

‘Painted Sky Above Peak’ © Denise Bush

The last light of day strikes a mountain ridge with warm light, coloring the clouds pink.

‘Snowy Ridge Highlights’ © Denise Bush

To see other recent posts you may have missed, click on Denise Bush’s Photo Blog at the top to return home, then scroll down. Thanks for visiting!

There’s no hope and no changing me now … I can’t stop … finding new stories in old relics that is! Always loving the country and tales of a simpler time in American History I recall being attracted to like treasures at an early age. When traveling I’m always looking, and scanning the views left and right. Discovering new relics, or having a successful photo shoot with one is my kind of fun! Usually more selective, I was surprised by how many I had for this set. Since my blog also serves as a way to document current work I decided to include all the candidates this time. Some of the images were shot in cloudy conditions and others when it was sunny or during the golden hour. In this larger set we can again see how much the temperature of the light affects the scene. In cloudy weather the mood is cold, serious and sometimes sullen. And it’s quite the opposite when sunny. That isn’t to say I think one is better than another … they just convey different moods. With snow scenes even more of a difference can be noticed in the hue of the snow reflecting the color of the sky, time of day and quality of the light. I hope you’ll have fun looking and using your imagination. I wonder, if these relics could talk about what they have seen, what would they say?

An old log farm building is a reminder of the past as it survives another snowstorm.

‘Where The Willows Grow’ © Denise Bush

Some aspen trees grow right up alongside and old cabin ... perhaps helping to hold it up!

‘Close Companions’ © Denise Bush

An old rusty car from the past isn't going anywhere soon, content to sit in the sun and snow.

‘Rusting In The Snow’ © Denise Bush

Chicken wire and a piece of metal are past attempts on discouraging rodents like marmots, opossums and squirels from entering this abandoned building.

‘Critters Keep Out!’ © Denise Bush

An old log barn displays a lot of character in warm, late day light!

‘Log Leaner’ © Denise Bush

Winter conjurs up the images of Courier & Ives in the snowy countryside.

‘Winter Ranch Nostalgia’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

A small house and barn remind of how it was on the ranch in the old days!

‘Ranch House & Barn’ © Denise Bush

A barn that was featured in the original True Grit movie, starring John Wayne still stands, surrounded by a new fence and snow.

‘Old Barn With New Fence’ © Denise Bush

An old shed leaning to the right has seen better days. We can only guess what is inside ... violaters will be prosecuted!

‘Posted Private Property’ © Denise Bush

An old cabin located on a Colorado ranch soaks up some warm winter sun.

‘Cowboy Cabin’ © Denise Bush

What this shed was used for in the past is unknown. Now it has become a place to pile used tires.

‘The Tire Shed’ © Denise Bush

Photos look sharpest when viewed within my actual site which features a black top bar and sidebar menu. For the best experience, click on ‘visit’ or ‘visit site’ in the blue reader and emails, or ‘view full site’ below the comments. Thanks!