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Trip Report from September 4, 2009

I went to Mount Evans in the mid afternoon with the idea of shooting spectacular sunsets and perhaps even a moonscape or two giving that there was a full moon last night. But it was not to be. It was overcast and more smoke from the LA fires that I want to see... so one turns to plan B: Find targets of opportunity and check all the usual spots for scenery pixs. Here is what I found:
There was a herd of sheep (about 15) at Walter Pesman Alpine Garden trail head and a herd of photographers enjoying their presence. This little one was nice enough to pose.
Further up the mountain, above Summit Lake, there were about 40 sheep and it was nice to see that many have lost the last of last years' hair. From here up to the top to see what was brewing. What was brewing was stormy weather including overcast sky and snow. When at the other end of the parking lot there was such a ruckus, it could only be:
Yep, you got it, Ptarmigan. About 5 were being rousted by some tourist climbing on the rocks. I grabbed a long lens (300mm) and ran to find 5 ptarmigan among the rocks and got about 20 good images. This bird is in transition from his/her, "I look like a rock" all summer to, "I'll just blend in with the snow" this winter. Note the duel leg bands. This are is under intense study by the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Next you go looking for some type of sunset image. Too overcast high up on the mountain so one checks favorite sunset spots down the mountain. Still above timberline, you spot Echo Lake bathed in the last light of the day and get this shot:
Still not finding the perfect sunset spot, I continued down until Echo Lake just outside the entrance to Mount Evans. Not yet sunset time, so you find a good spot and spend sometime talking to local fisherman, hoping the wind will die so you can get that perfect mirror shot, and, as the sun slowly fades in the western sky, you get this:
Sunset at Echo Lake Colorado!
Is this not the perfect end to a great day?
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