High Desert Highlights

09Jan16

Among the things to love about my new home in Western Colorado is the diversity of its terrain. Here, the high desert offers unique photo opportunities that are quite different from the ever-popular alpine scenes. Recently a new friend was kind enough to share this desert spot with me. Located on the Colorado Plateau the area ranges in elevations between 5,000 and 8,000 feet which of course, is why we call it the ‘high desert’. My first impression was that it seemed otherworldly! I liked the way the snow added contrast and accentuated the contours of the not so distant mounds and mesas. I enjoyed choosing compositions that included the dry sage brush and volcanic rocks as foreground elements. And, I wondered whose tracks were left behind in the snow. Perhaps a badger, fox or coyote after its next meal? Here are a few favorites from the shoot.

'Winter Tracks' © Denise Bush

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

'Winter Light In The Desert' © Denise Bush

‘Winter Light In The Desert’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

'High Desert Winter Landscape' © Denise Bush

‘High Desert Winter Landscape’ © Denise Bush



43 Responses to “High Desert Highlights”

  1. Very nice.

  2. Beautiful scenes, De. You must suffer constantly from the anxiety of too many, and too demanding, opportunities.

  3. 5 Russ Hunt

    Beautiful as always.

  4. Nice, indeed. That last one looks like the rocks in the foreground delineate a path. I’m sure they’re random, but that makes it an interesting photo.

  5. 9 Deb

    Otherworldly describes it perfectly! It’s very beautiful and unique!

  6. I think Winter Light in the Desert is my favorite. However I do so want to follow those tracks and see who left them.

  7. A real beauty of a place (and image) for sure…

    • Thanks Robert! We had the place to ourselves and it was very quiet. I didn’t see any other human tracks. (BTW – there are 3 images.)

  8. Reminds me of the Shetland Islands – not much there but oh so much! Looks like an area to really investigate when the snow clears.

    • The snow wasn’t real deep there so we could walk around without any problems. My friend tells me there will be some nice wildflowers there in the spring. I really like it with the snow. Nice to hear from you and hope you are feeling better.

  9. Awesome landscapes, Denise. Love the snowy patterns against the rocks. My favorite is ‘Winter Light in the Desert” – so beautiful!

  10. Desert + mountains… what’s not to love. Easterners sometimes can’t embrace the lack of forests in the west. But I really like the way the land is laid out bare here, showing off all of its contours, layers and individual rocks. In California we also get mountains with our desert, but more along the lines of random small mountain ranges, buttes and cinder cones sticking up here and there. I like Winter Tracks the best.

  11. Gorgeous landscapes, Denise. Love how the brush leads my eye in the second image. Happy New Year!

  12. 24 Chuck Aitken

    Very nice Denise. Love Winter Light and how the bushes lead you into the landscape. What is the white stuff on the ground ?🙂

    • Great to hear from you Chuck. Thought you Easterners might like seeing a bit of the white stuff… you haven’t gotten any yet, have you? We have certainly gotten more than our share already!

  13. I do love that high desert and it’s great to see it in the snow. Your images really show that vastness so beautifully. By the way, I just love those repeating ridges in the vertical photograph.

    • Thanks Rich! These were taken late morning but the clouds helped to diffuse the light and every once in a while a hole acted a bit like a spotlight, as in the repeating ridges in the vertical shot. On my way to check your blog out now!

  14. Denise,

    Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing such wonderful images.

  15. 30 Virginia Rice

    Love winter light, so glad you’re enjoying the new landscape.

  16. 32 Cathie

    Gorgeous! Your photography really shows the true character of Colorado. Its so beautiful. I wouldnt be surprised if their tourism rate goes up because of you. (Im serious!)

  17. The first photo makes me think of chocolate chip ice cream! Nice…

  18. That landscape looks surreal! Beautiful shot.

  19. Wow, your pictures are amazing! You’re right, the landscape does look otherwordly. The high desert is so beautiful.

  20. Wow, absolutely stunning! A desert covered in snow, it definitely looks like it could be on another planet!

  21. Realy nice! I also like the last one ;)! Congrats!


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