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Silver Lake - Magic!

Silver Lake, Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains

October 20, 2015

This was the most delicious of mornings. The sun was trying to break through the dense cloud coverage, but the sinister clouds had other ideas and continued to bath the landscape with a soft diffused light that hung heavily in the morning air, suspended in place as if in a trace. Loitering; without permission.

A cautions call of a solitary duck drifted across the lake just above the water probably warning of the approaching storm. The wind roughed up the lake water and delivered a teeth-rattling chill. I was prepared for the conditions and dressed in layers. But, the icy wind is a clever foe and somehow always seems to find a way through my defenses and at minimum reminds me of Its presence, but often sends me retreating for reinforcements.

It took me several tries to get my tripod positioned properly. Once in place, I stood hunched over my camera less than two paces from the frigid lapping lake water trying to put the finishing touches on my composition with fingers numbed almost to the bone.

Some, and probably most would not find these conditions pleasing and would choose to never venture outdoors when the weather is such. The skies that some call dreary I find to be very pleasing. There is something about diffused soft even lighting that I find... relaxing. The world just seems to slow down. Details become more apparent, and I feel an enhanced sense of freedom.

From my chosen vantage point I stood just to the left and abreast of my tripod mounted camera as the unforgiving cold morning air taped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear an often heard reminder "you are not in control." Humbled by this thought I shivered in acknowledgement and pulled my brown fleece beanie down tight covering my ears. My hands were clad in finger-less gloves and buried deep in the pockets of my fleece jacket. My exposed cheeks and nose quietly complained as another steamy puff of breath dissolved into the frosty morning air - I smiled with complete satisfaction.

Gazing out across the slate-gray rippled water I watched the stormy cloud deck darken, thicken and lower obscuring the upper reaches of the towering mountains behind the lake. For several minutes the clouds moved rapidly, ghosting along the ridgelines and faces of the rugged mountains. Then a faint thinning appeared in a small section of cloud just above the eastern ridge and immediately a surprising wash of sunlight bathed the distant aspens with the most beautiful warm light. It was as if someone just walked in and turned up the dimmer switch and all the beautiful yellows, reds and oranges of fall exploded to life! Magic!

Now, I had my photograph. Delighted and smiling from ear to ear I released my shutter just as another sneaky cold breeze paid me another visit. Two quick exposures later; the first snow of the autumn season in the Eastern Sierra began to fall washing out the entire scene.

Silver Lake - Autumn

I stood lakeside for a few more minutes enjoying and basking in the wonderful falling snow until thoughts of steamy hot coffee had me quickly marching back to where I had parked.

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