“Sheep Mountain & Beaver Pond”

Sheep Mt. & Beaver Pond, near Trout Lake, SW Colorado (c) Mike Utley

M32-1(S)—Sheep Mt. & Beaver Pond, near Trout Lake, SW Colorado
Trout Lake is located near the small town of Telluride in southwest Colorado and is among my favorite places on the planet. This image was made a couple of miles from the lake. The stark contrast between the black water of the beaver pond and the brightly lit snow stretched the exposure limits of the slide film I used, resulting in some blown-out cloud details. Despite this, I like the image. I’m not a winter person by any stretch of the imagination, so I have few winter scenes. This image has the feel of a black-and-white photograph, and the cloud-shaded mountain in the distance adds a brooding, melancholy tone. (Canon gear, Fuji Velvia ISO 50)

17 thoughts on ““Sheep Mountain & Beaver Pond”

    1. Thanks so much, Xenia. The air here is certainly clean (when wildfires aren’t raging; no big cities anywhere for hundreds of miles), especially in the winter after a new snowfall. It can be so cold and crisp that it makes your eyes water and can steal the breath right out of your lungs. This shot was taken around 10,000 feet elevation in the Lizard Head Pass area. There are many hiking trails in the area, as well as Telluride Ski Resort, so there’s abundance of activities for winter-lovers. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Lamittan. This place is about an hour away from where I live. I’ve been writing so much poetry about the melancholy aspect of winter that I thought I should share something that represents a bit of the beauty of winter. I’m happy that you liked this image. 🙂

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  1. This sends shivers down my spine – because it’s so beautiful and also because it must have been so cold. Brrr… It’s definitely a beautiful contrast of light and shadow. The clouds look so majestic. The bluish tone gives it a peaceful but saddening effect. A lovely capture, Mike. 🙂

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    1. Thanks much, Terveen. I agree–the clouds are a powerful part of the scene (even though the highlights were blown-out due to the contrast). It’s almost as if the angry clouds are chastising the mountain, hiding it in their shadow as some sort of punishment, while the rest of the world rejoices in bright sunlight (come to think of it, I feel just like that shadowed mountain during the winters). And yes, that blue patch in the upper-left corner adds an oddly poignant aspect to the scene. I wish I enjoyed winter more…there’s so much to photograph in my area in the cold months. I feel about winter the same way I feel about broccoli: I wouldn’t mind it as much if I didn’t have to experience it! 😀

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    1. Thank you, Grace. One thing about this image I really like is all the little trees (“happy little trees,” according to Bob Ross) climbing up the flanks of the distant mountain. They add texture to the background. I’m glad you liked this image. 🙂

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    1. This is a thoughtful and accurate assessment. There’s certainly a sense of expectation in those clouds. I really like your notion of deep contemplation with regards to the forest and river. There’s an inherent tension here, something waiting to happen. I always appreciate your unique way of seeing things! 🙂

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    1. Thanks, David! It’s my requisite snow photo, you could say–one and done! I like this place better in the summer and fall, but thought it was appropriate to post it here due to it being the depths of winter. 🙂

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  2. The contrasts do make for a dramatic photo. I like black and white and this has a lot of similar qualities. You’re right about the brooding mountain, and there’s a deep sense of cold. It must be a completely different subject in the summer. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Diana. You’re right–there’s such a difference with the change of seasons. I’ll be posting another couple of Sheep Mountain images in the very near future that show a different side of things. It’s a gorgeous area, regardless of the season, but difficult to get to in the winter when the roads are horrible. 🙂

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