Monday, November 03, 2014

Late Fall in the Rockies

"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence." (Thomas Hood)

If you have known me for a while, you know I fight the fall! I fight it for a while. Especially since I moved in The Rockies. I try to tell myself it’s not fall yet till my turkey comes out of the oven on Thanksgiving. I have loved fall, all my life, but here, where I live now, fall is short lived and it’s only the entrance door for the winter – which I hate!

Well, I don’t hate winter. I just hate the length of it. A couple of months won’t hurt. But 4-5-6 sometimes more months in a row … no, thank you! I need my toes exposed!

We made plans for weeks to venture out to shoot some of the colors of this season, but life has been getting in the way, and we have been procrastinating. But we have been lucky to have this beautiful Indian summer of sorts, where we’ve enjoyed warm, bright days with lazy sunlight resting on the still ripening tomatoes. We’ve had timidly chilled nights, with barely a drop of dew on the browning grass in the mornings. But this past weekend, we realized: we must go out and see what there is left to see, because winter is just barely in the air.

We got snow on the peaks this weekend, and it smells like frost! We drove around our house and we captured the tiring season, going to bed for a while. It was probably the last weekend where we could still capture some yellow and red still on the branches. But not very much. But as you can tell, the browns are beautiful too – and so diverse!

Every time I shoot the mountains, in any season, one deep and gnawing feeling pricks my heart: the mountains are where my heart, my brain, my soul, my whole being is! Their gentle or sharp slopes, their majesty, their height, their smells, their aspen and berries, and pines, their trails … leave deep, sharp marks inside my brain and my heart. And I cannot peel away from them! Wherever they are, for the rest of my life, I’ll try to be …

Here are some shots from our short (less than an hour, maybe) drive. 

 Our grass is almost always yellow, but it's muted in the summer. It was fresh and vibrant after this weekend's rains.

The Spanish Fork river, snaking lazily through the canyons - can you see the richness of the browns?! My sister calls brown "the most boring color" - but not in this context!

The long, country driveways and roads look longer and lonelier when they are lines by bright yellow poplars. 

A drive in the country: these sheep were something else: the herd dog had rounded them up in a perfect circle and not one of them was outside of it! Sheep at the mountain heals spells winter prologue to me.  

An open gate, a split rail fence, along the mountainside - the loneliness of the farmland in the big, wide open - you can almost hear life just slowly passing with the swing of that gate in the wind.

What would fall be without the steam coming off of the mountain? It's like the last breath - visible, touchable, real ... 

This is what Utah mountains look like to me: rock, bushes, pines and aspen - all coming together in the most perfect unison of color, texture, shape and height. All singing fall's hymns in all their contrast and harmony.

Aspen are my favorite trees in the fall, but maples are a close second: not so much in the majesty of aspens, as much as in the detail of every leaf: from various shades of red, to various shapes and sizes, they are the blood stream of the season ...

Red berries always spell Christmas to me! And cold - very much cold!  

I am ever the small town girl, very much unlike my big city sister! A small church, a two lane road, and tree lined lonely and empty streets, framed by mountains - that's it! Happiness cannot exist elsewhere, and I am convinced of this! 

On our way back to our house, I had to stop to shoot Mount Timpanogos: the dance of the clouds and their shades all over the valley was absolutely heart stopping! The snow, the rocks, the browns and the very lonely valley just spoke volumes of silence and beauty to me. The world is ready for what it is to come. You can hear the echo, and the surrender ...
Click on the picture for the entire album of this short trip. 

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