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While out photographing the landscape the last few months the moon was my frequent and welcome companion. I love including it in my landscapes, no matter what phase, from crescent to full. And, the moon was especially helpful this autumn when skies were sometimes hazy with smoke and, at other times lacking in clouds and interest. As a ‘moon child’ I am a big fan of the moon and with a good view looking east I like to follow its cycle. Here in the San Juans I need to account for the mountains when timing the moon’s appearance. It depends upon the height of the ridge or mountain it is hiding behind. There could be up to a 30 minute difference … appearing later or disappearing sooner. The anticipation of moon rise and, also catching it as it sets, is a wondrous experience I am grateful for!

A lot is written about ‘moon children ‘ and here is some I can identify with and approve … A moon child is someone born under the astrological sign of Cancer. Moon children have strong intuition and should always pay attention to their hunches. Most of them have a very retentive memory recalling even small events from the past in great detail. They are very idealistic and always do the best job they can. The Cancerian imagination can bring them success in artistic work, writing, or anything creative.

A single aspen tree brightens the foreground of this autumn scene near Red Mountain Pass, Ouray, Colorado.

‘Half-Moon Over Autumn’ © Denise Bush
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A waxing half moon rises over a peak and forest in the San Juan Mountains.

‘Waxing Moon Over Mountain’ © Denise Bush

Last light and tthe appearance of the moon create a beautiful mountain scene.

‘Lunar Appearance’ © Denise Bush

A crescent moon rising above a mountain top makes a fun silhouette image

‘Crescent Moon Setting’ © Denise Bush

The moon is a welcome accent to the sky over Kendall Mountain, near Silverton Colorado.

‘Moon Over Kendall’ © Denise Bush

A full moon is setting in smoky skies as a result of wildfires in The West.

‘Full Moon Over Smoky Landscape’ © Denise Bush

A setting moon makes an nice accent to the beautiful fall colors.

‘Moon Over Colorful Aspens’ © Denise Bush


Most of the buildings in this post are familiar to me with only one being a new find. I’ve posted photos of some of them before and I’ve shot others, but perhaps not to my satisfaction. And, I have never shot some of them in the fall … all the more reason to go back and work with these subjects again. Whatever the case, these are new versions, shot with different angles or framed for fresh compositions. In most cases, my interest is in showing the scenery with the buildings to add a human story to the landscapes. 

WordPress Reader Users: please click ‘visit site’ for best viewing experience. If you love fall foliage and landscapes, click Denise Bush’s Photo Blog at the top, then scroll down to see other recent collections! 

A picture perfect barn and autumn colors make a wonderful rural scene.

‘Picturesque Barn In Fall’ © Denise Bush
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A rustic barn sits on a mesa below Mount Wilson, near Telluride Colorado.

‘Barn Below Wilson’ © Denise Bush

A tiny old cabin hides out in the autumn forest among the aspen and spruce trees.

‘Hidden Among Aspens’. © Denise Bush

A tiny cabin creates a quaint scene nestled in a forest of aspen and spruce trees.

‘Autumn Hideout’ © Denise Bush
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An old log building serves as storage with a workshop attached.

‘Log Shed With Tin Roof’ © Denise Bush

A weathered shack sits along a country road with a brillian autumn backdrop.

‘Shack At Crossroads’ © Denise Bush

The old blacksmith building of the Neosho Mine jokingly displays an Antiques sign and laundry left by hikers.  A 2.2 mile hike is the only way to get there.

‘Antiques On A Cliff’ © Denise Bush

An old barn, barely standing survives to lean another day!

‘Old Barn In Morning Sun’ © Denise Bush

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