location: bear valley
backstory: allen creek is one of those local places that i love to find. there is no real reason to go there. locals may hunt or snowmobile around the area. i found it while cross-country skiing.
it reflects what i call backyard nature: close to town, not remote like many of my photo treks. no grand landscapes or features. simple. down home.
and...in the right light, season, conditions, it revels a deep beauty that is always there if...we take the time to notice.
from spring through fall we might drive past and hardly see it. in winter, snow sets off the colors of aspen, sky, willows and pines. that's one of the reasons i love winter photography: a little snow changes everything. it becomes another place, shows a different aspect of nature in our own backyard.
once snow settles in, skis or snowmobile are the best ways to allen creek. it's about a 3 mile ski on forest service roads through rolling, forested hills that open up to this scene at the east side of bear valley.
the low angle of a solstice setting sun provides contrast, depth, shadow. willow stalks seem to radiate red next to stark white aspen.
as sun disappears, cold wind picks up quickly dropping temperature toward zero. red tail hawk settles on snag, surveying evening. coyote calls from the background hills. seasons transition from one to another.