Monolithic hay bale structures, scattered across the landscape in the San Luis Valley, like medieval fortifications and moat-less castles standing defiant, besieged by an onslaught of snow. This was the first stop on our photo trip in and around Jaroso, Colorado. I’ll be heading back up there again tomorrow, on another photo tour, in search of more landscape images. We may encounter eagles, hawks, wild mustangs and who knows what other wonders we’ll find. Thanks for looking. G
Blanca Peak Massif, with lenticular clouds in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado. The day of the winter solstice yielded some incredible imagery over the six hours we toured around the valley on the border of New Mexico and Colorado. We spent ninety precent of the time on nothing but dirt roads. It’s amazing what one finds off the beaten path. Thanks for looking. G
Winter solstice moonrise over the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Colorado. Simple and subtle winter light. No great fanfare or flourish with a sunset, just the white spine of the southern Rocky Mountains highlighted by the almost full moon, that greeted us momentarily, before the clouds enveloped the rest of the sky. Happy solstice and thanks for looking. G
Grain elevator with hay bales, Jaroso, Colorado. We took a twilight drive on the snow melt and muddy back roads in the San Luis Valley. We traveled north to the Colorado state line with the setting sun in our rear view mirror. Shortly after crossing the state line in we came across this scene of hay bales with the grain elevator at Anderson’s farm. The blue hues of twilight and the warm tones of the hay bales made this abstract scene glow. Beyond, the snow packed peaks of the Rocky Mountains faded into the evening haze. Thanks for looking. G
Hillside Aspens, Cumbres Pass, Colorado. It was great to see this grove of aspens at it’s peak a week ago, splendid against our stunning southwest sky. We went back a couple of days later when the leaves were more sparse. Conditions in the mountains change rapidly from day to day. Below you’ll find some links I pulled up from previous trips over the Cumbres Pass. Thanks for looking. G
La Manga Creek, Highway 17, Colorado. Stopped at this spot two times this week on photo tours. Wasn’t sure I liked the dead trees on the left at first. I consider myself an environmental, as well as a landscape photographer and as such this scene depicts this location quite well. The forest in transition not only between seasons, but stages of growth and decay! Thanks for looking. G
Cumbres and Toltec steam locomotive, seconds before pulling out of the Antonito Depot in Colorado and heading to Chama with a full load of steam locomotive enthusiasts and tourists. I always love watching the engine build up steam and hearing the pulsating, throbbing sounds, whistles and bells. The people aboard wave and call out “hi!” and “bye!” as the train pulls out of the station and heads to the mountains and the Cumbres and Toltec Gorge. We take a more direct route on a photo tour to Chama NM. What a start to a day on the road in the aspens and mountain light. Thanks for looking. G
Red-tailed Hawk over the hedgerow. We made a quick drive a few nights ago to the southern edge of the San Luis Valley in Colorado just over the border from New Mexico. A gentle wind moved through the wheat fields stirring the crops. Raptors launched from power poles, as we drew close, gliding along the fence lines and hedgerows. The adult birds were screeching warnings to the fledglings who followed the parents, riding on warm, gentle thermals. We saw a number of fields being mowed as we criss-crossed the road grids in the area. The center pivot irrigator provided a perfect watch tower and launch pad for a number of raptors, crows and ravens eager to snatch an unsuspecting mouse or rabbit stirred up by the massive wheeled harvester. We were back home for a late dinner and a movie right before dark. This day, in it’s own way, was a cinematic experience in itself. Thanks for looking. G
Harold’s House, Jaroso, in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. The first time I saw this house there was a matching tree to the right of the building where the stump is now. There was a large Great Horned Owl flew out of it and through the scene. I didn’t spot it until I reviewed the images later. It was sitting in the tree the whole time that I was making images. Goes to show, you never know who, pardon the pun, maybe watching. Thanks for watching. G
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” ~Unknown
Ruins of America Trading Post, near Dove Creek. Colorado. A dollar for this photo, thanks Ron, and signs declaring, “Welcome come on in…” “Pull” ” Push” “Closed” and in the image below on the door is their motto. I’m not knocking it! It’s a fine motto. Even though the place was closed I think the chair and brooms were a nice homey touch. Oh… they also have maps and information, books, salvage, antiques, coffee and of course, BEANS! Thanks for looking, and understanding. G
Trading Post motto… “May our motto always be that our customers enter in anticipation and leave without regrets”
Dryland Beans, Ruins of America Trading Post sign. I always thought, the numerous times I’ve passed this place, that it was the “beans” that ruined America.
Tree grove and sky, Cumbres Pass, Highway 17, Colorado. Looking up, way up to find this charming little scene on a photo tour last week. A sun roof helps in spotting locations. Here’s another shot from last fall. Thanks for looking. G
The east tower at San Isidro Catholic Church, Las Mesitas, Colorado. Looking up inside the tower of this church, destroyed by fire in 1975, reminded me of all the times I’ve stared at the sky through the ancient ruins of abbeys and monasteries back in the U.K. Thanks for looking. G
An image pulled from the on site information plaque of the church of San Isidro in it’s former glory days.