A Cold Winter's Day

     The day I took this photo was as cold as it looks. It was shortly after I moved to Colorado over three years ago, and I was desperate to get outside for a hike. It was snowing, the temperature was in the 20's, and it was a little breezy, but out I went anyway. My choice for the day was to visit Hall Ranch Open Space in Lyons, CO, not far from home. I started up the Bitterbrush Trail, following the footprints of those who had gone before me in the snow. The clouds hung low, and more snow was falling, and I began to notice a coating of ice on a lot of the plants and trees. Coming upon this tree, I immediately noticed its picturesque shape, and the coating of ice on the needles gave it a unique appearance. The cloudy background helps it stand out as well by obscuring what would be distracting details behind. What you can't tell from this photo is that the ice only covers the side of the tree facing me, the windward side. The other side was fairly normal looking with very little ice on it, a sure sign that this was rime ice, an uncommon occurence here in the dry climate of Colorado. Even in the cold of winter here, I've only seen this happen one other time since. I continued up the trail for a few miles until the footprints started to fade and be filled in by the strengthening snowfall. The water in my Nalgene had frozen by this point as well, so I decided it would be prudent to turn back towards the trailhead. The low hanging clouds closed in the bigger views of the trail, but smaller scenes such as this tree and some other photos I took of frost covered pine needles still made the adventure worthwhile. The conditions of the day also meant I pretty much had the park to myself, which upon returning again after that I found was a unique experience indeed. That first winter here was a bit harsh, and very snowy. I guess Colorado was welcoming me in its own special way.

     I'm proud to announce that this photo has been accepted into the Exploring the Light Photo Show at the Lone Tree Arts Center. I'll be joining some other great photographers in this show that will be on display from March 16 - May 17, with a reception on April 1st. If you're in the Denver area, stop by Lone Tree on the south side and check it out!

     If you'd like to order a print of this image, you can click on it at the top of the page and you'll be taken to my print store where you can place your order. You can also stop by the Lone Tree Arts Center and buy the 24x36 that will be on display there! If you're enjoying following my posts here on my blog, don't forget to follow me on Facebook & Instagram as well. You'll often see my latest photos there first. Thanks for following along!