Strange Morning, Great Day
Saturday’s forecast had called for clear skies and beautiful weather, so I was a little surprised to see clouds obscuring some of the stars as I packed my gear in the Prius and left the campsite for Trail Ridge around 5 AM.
As I started the climb up Ridge Road, I stopped for a couple sunrise shots, made more impressive by the threatening skies moving in.
There was a weird red/magenta glow in the sky as dark clouds began to dominate the skies the higher up the road I climbed.
As I neared the top, I stopped and hopped out of the car as a fairly bright rainbow suddenly appeared out of the gloom. I was so close to the rainbow, I couldn’t get the entire thing in a photo even with a 20mm wide angle lens, felt like I could just about reach out and touch it at times.
The rainbow increased in intensity as the wind began whipping rain sideways, and, unfortunately, right in my face as I attempted more shots, covering the lens, and me, in rain and forcing me to retreat to the car.
I raced farther up the road hoping in vain to escape the windblown rain so I could get more shots of one of the most intense rainbows I have ever seen, but as I drove on, the rainbow faded and eventually all but the tail end disappeared before I could get out of the driving rain.
By 8 AM, the rains stopped, the clouds slowly lifted and the good weather promised for today started moving in.
On my way back down the mountain, I spotted four Bighorn Rams grazing on the slope above me, but unfortunately, there was no nearby pullout and the Saturday morning stream of traffic coming up the mountain made it impossible for me to get any decent shots.
Since these guys were the only Bighorn Sheep I had encountered in my two weeks here, I was more than a little disappointed, to say the least.
By the time I returned to the valley floor, the wonderful weather predicted for today had fully arrived. And with it my first opportunity to shoot some nice bull elk basking in the early morning sun.
This actually was my first opportunity to shoot elk with some wonderful golden hour light, all my previous encounters have been in the dim light of dawn or duck, or in complete shade.
These two younger bulls would alternate grazing and semi serious sparring sessions.
One of them finally tired of the game and headed across the meadow at a full gallop.
Later in the afternoon, I took a short trip back down Route 7 to get some shots of The Chapel on the Rock. I liked the dark clouds setting off the sculpture on the hill above the chapel. When I was here several years ago, I remember this building being surrounded by water, actually appearing to be built on an island, so something has changed here in the last few years.
Thank you for shopping Amazon from my site!
When you click through to shop Amazon from here, I get a tiny commission, one that does not in any way impact what you pay, and all those tiny commissions eventually add up and that helps me keep this blog going !