The Maroon Bells, a world famous pair of 14,000″ mountains above Aspen, Colorado, are normally bereft of the solid white layers of heavy Winter snows by the month of June. In this photo, the snow is still there on the first of June, on Memorial Day weekend. The scene looks like late Winter before the very start of snow melt from the increasing temperatures of Spring. The higher elevations in the mountains of Colorado make for a slow transition into Summer from a long Winter lasting up to 8 months. Vegetation does not green up in April as in lower elevations, it finally does the second week of June – in the Summer.Thus there is no real Springtime high up in the Rockies of Colorado. There are but three seasons – Winter, Summer, and Fall, with a snow melt between Winter and Summer, better known as the colorless “mud season”. No Spring greening of vegetation occurs, only the melting of snow and the exposure of the muddy soil below. After the heavy Winter snows above Aspen that year – and along ski season – I took my girlfriend camping to Maroon Lake below the Maroon Bells, on Memorial Day weekend. Unlike the cold looking scene in the photo, it was warm that day. My girlfriend decided to work on her tan and laid on a rock in her bikini – just outside of the right picture frame. I would have taken the picture with a beautiful girl in it, but my business was scenic photography showing only the natural scene. She got her tan and I got my picture!
- Ancient Tree on