I know that my quality time is spent in the desert. I’ve never been able to figure mountains out. They’re awfully busy, they’re frequently closed in (more than two trees per square miles starts me worrying), and they’re just confusing.

I’ve found out, however, that there are a few things about the mountains that I can start wrapping my head around and as I start understanding those few things, I start ‘getting’ the mountains.

Aspens, for instance. I love aspens. They’re beautiful trees. They give a great show in all four seasons, from the electric green of the newly-opened leaves in the spring to the eerie white-on-white of the winter, the trees always have something to offer. I can hardly go by an aspen grove without making an exposure.

I’ve been in those confusing mountains in the last few weeks, and have found some nice aspens. (As always, click on the images to see them full size. Then you can click on the arrow that appears midway down the right or left side to scroll through the images.)

Aspens, Vedauwoo

Aspens, Vedauwoo

These display a fairly common phenomenon with aspens: multiple trunks. I’ve seen up to five at once. All the aspens in today’s post are nice and straight, but I’ve seen trees with trunks that loop around 360°. Cool.

Ma Nature's Rock Garden

Ma Nature's Rock Garden

Aspens are fairly delicate trees, but they grow in some of the oddest places. Just west of Barber Lake in the Snow Range, there’s a one-time rockfall that has stabilized and has been around long enough to grow a nice selection of lichen on the rocks. Add a few aspens to that and you have a lovely little rock garden. Ma Nature can give us a visual treat now and then.

Ma Nature's Rock Garden #2

Ma Nature's Rock Garden #2

Of course, being generally stark white, aspens lend themselves to black-and-white photography. Black-and-white is the hardest photography of all to do right. I’m fairly happy with these images, but can see I need to keep working on them to get them right. That’s the wonder of photography: There’s always something to strive to get better at.

More to follow.

Bob