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good hunting

“I went shooting this weekend,” I mentioned casually.

Shooting…” my oncologist dragged the word out waiting for me to elaborate.

“With my camera,” I smiled. He smiled back, seemingly relieved that I didn’t say I was popping off bears with a high-powered rifle from a helicopter because how chickenshit would THAT be?

On the long drive home Jeremy had asked me if it was a good trip. Before I could answer he corrected himself, “Was it a worthwhile trip?” Well, I think it was. I wouldn’t know for sure until I got home and looked through my 500 photos. Good and fun are not words I use to describe these crazy marathon shoots. We (he) drove 1000 miles this weekend. Colorado is a big state. We covered the equivalent area of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined – but mountainous.

heading for independence pass

outside of aspen

Shooting conditions were less than ideal. There was a lot of moisture in the air which made for crappy landscapes, but you have to work with what you’ve got. The good news is that the moisture made for fresh snow in the high peaks, which is the icing on the cake in autumn.

predawn on the maroon bells

colorado’s most photographed mountains

reflection in the valley

majestic aspens outside of crested butte

The trip really drove home how breathtakingly gorgeous Colorado is, and I only shot 25% of the beauty I experienced. There is something amazingly fresh and open about walking through a mature aspen stand. The ground is full of understory, the canopy blocks out sunlight and yet air flows freely through the forest and the leaves manage to give off a glow of their own. While I love the reds more than any color in fall, the yellows are what create that magical light, that luminosity, that stunning contrast with the patented deep blue sky of the West.

sunrise over the sneffels range

love the red

san juans

whitehouse mountain and mount ridgway

There is no recipe today. I just thought I’d share some of the photos before crashing into my pillow. I’m too tired to write anything remotely profound, funny, or insightful. You can find some more from the weekend here, here, and here.

38 nibbles at “good hunting”

  1. Kitt says:

    Holy cow! You did cover some ground. What beautiful shots. I’m definitely heading for altitude this weekend. But a little closer to home, not having such a generous chauffeur.

  2. Mrs ErgΓΌl says:

    What gorgeous photos! Jen, thanks for sharing, it is like I’m looking at the world through your lens. I can’t help but go “wow! ah! wow! nice!” as I look. I will go on and look at more, you betta go crash into your pillow! xxoo

  3. Jodi says:

    These are absolutely beautiful pictures! I enjoyed looking at all of them. I live in Colorado as well but moved here just a few years ago from the Midwest. We took a drive last weekend around the Pikes Peak area when the leaves just started to turn. It’s an awesome time of year! :)

  4. Rosa says:

    OMG, that place is so enchanting! So much beauty is nearly not bearable ;-P! I’d love to be there now… Love your magnificent pictures, as usual!

    Cheers and keep up with the great work,


  5. Wandering Chopsticks says:

    I never thought much of Colorado but after seeing these photos… just wow! I’ve always been more of a Douglas fir kind of girl, but you’ve totally made me see aspens in a new light. Literally. I think it’s incredibly sweet that Jeremy drove you all over just so you could take these photos. And share them with us. :)

  6. Manggy says:

    Hey, I think the photographs are insightful and profound enough on their own. :) Now get some well-deserved rest!

  7. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    I think we’ll have to go hiking this weekend! Those pictures have inspired me and my boys are always up for a good trek.

  8. Sonya says:

    What MERVEILLEUSES PHOTOGRAPHIES (in french ;o)!!!! This is life in wondeful colors, bravo!

  9. Debbie Green says:

    Your pictures are absolutely beautiful…..

  10. Grey Street Girl says:

    These are amazing. If this is only a sample of the 25% you shot, then you must have experienced some true American beauty. 1000 miles though – geez Louise! Looks like you made the most out of your whirlwind trip!

  11. Jeni says:

    I grew up part of my childhood in Ridgway and your photo of the back side of Sneffels is making me homesick :(

  12. Astrid says:

    I would say the trip really was worth it! Thanks!

  13. Margie says:

    Stunning. I am so homesick. But, thanks so much! The San Juans’: my sister recently visited; she lives in the valley. …oh how I miss her….

    I beg to differ with you on your writing. I found poetry. Pure. Simple. Gracious. You set a tone with your photographs and then delivered it through your song of praise.

    Rest. We are always here.


  14. ThistleDew Farm says:

    I am so envious – I would love to have an aspen grove, but alas I think we are to warm in Knoxville TN. Your pictures make me long for the crisp mountain air…..especially interrupted by the smell of cookies fresh out of the oven!

  15. Michelle says:

    You are slowly but surely convincing me I have to live in Colorado the more I read your blog! Amazing pictures! Also, thanks for the Chinese recipes, I’d love to see more – I’m a first gen immigrant, and you are to thank for like.. ohhh 100% of my Chinese recipes :)

  16. steamy kitchen says:

    I love seeing the pics of the mtns – esp being in FL, where everything is flat (the speedbumps on the street is as mountainous as it gets)

  17. Shari from Ohio says:

    And to think………….it was all here before we were.

    Simply breathtaking and fantastic work.

    It calms me just to look at them.

  18. We Are Never Full says:

    i lived in breckenridge for 3 years about 10 years ago. it was a wonderful time. but i’m from the northeast and love fall. i remember being very sad when my first colorado fall rolled around thinking i wasn’t going to see those lovely colors I was used to at home. then the aspens turned. whoa. it’s like nothing else i’ve ever seen. wonderful shots.

  19. Sarah @ Sweet Endeavors says:

    Those photos are spectacular. I would call that a worthwhile trip!

  20. Mollie says:

    Beautiful! Glad it was productive, if not exactly “fun”. I love those close ups of the reds. Good stuff.

  21. bee says:

    thank you for taking us with you on this glorious trip.

  22. Amy says:

    Jen, you are a truly gifted photographer. These pictures are *stunning.* The aspen stand is my favorite..I love how it fades through the spectrum, from the green hues near the ground through the yellows and reds near the tips. So beautiful. Hope you’re getting some good rest! :)

  23. Lori says:

    I can only assume you are referring here to a certain someone and Alaskan wolves. I so agree. Thats not really hunting anyway. Its like catching fish in a fish bowl.

    Beautiful, breathtaking views. That San Juan one is like an Impressionistic painting. Just beautiful.

    I love how you tease your doc!

    Thanks for the info about Ithaca!

  24. Manisha says:


  25. susieshomemade says:

    Just breathtaking!! Really, really good:-)

  26. peabody says:

    The reflection pictures are absolutely amazing.

  27. Rachel says:

    Wow, your photos are absolutely breathtaking. Makes me want to go to Colorado to experience the beauty first-hand!

  28. Tami says:

    Your photos are simply amazing – you are so incredibly talented! Ans I am so happy that you are feeling better :)

  29. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    Oooooh pretty. Words fail me! Although I gotta say that the name “Sneffels” tickles me even more than “Crested Butte” :D

  30. Sarah says:

    Beautiful pictures. Makes me wish my bf would move back to Colorado & I could go with him. :)

  31. Chez us says:

    Brilliant! We did that drive a couple years ago but it was August and not as nearly as spectacular! You really captured Fall!!

  32. Chiara says:

    Wowwwww! Those are amazing “shots” :)

  33. jenyu says:

    Kitt – my chauffeur is pretty good… and cute too :)

    Mrs E – so glad you enjoy them!

    Jodi – isn’t it? I love it here.

    Rosa – thank you, hon!

    WC – I wasn’t an aspen girl either (coming from the east coast), but now I *love* them! Jeremy is an incredibly accommodating partner. He is my “enabler” especially with my physical issues after surgery/chemo, etc.

    Mark – aw, you’re sweet :) Thanks!

    Joanne – great! I love seeing parents with their kids on the trail!

    Sonya – thank you.

    Debbie Green – I’m really happy that you enjoy them.

    GSG – it’s hard work, but totally worth it!

    Jeni – lucky girl! I think that is one heck of a glorious place to live.

    Astrid – thank YOU!

    Margie – thanks. The San Juans are incredible.

    ThistleDew Farm – usually on these trips the crisp mountain air is interrupted by the smell of cow poo :) but it’s still gorgeous :)

    Michelle – Colorado is indeed gorgeous, but you have to hunt for some of the best shots :)

    Steamy – you crack me up! Come visit me girlfriend. Then you can double the Chinese population here ;) ha ha ha!

    Shari – thanks. I’m really glad you like the photos.

    WANF – I hear ya! Breck isn’t a bad place to live ;)

    Sarah – thank you!

    Mollie – you’ll have to soak in the reds out there for me. I miss reds!

    Bee – I’d gladly take you on my trips anytime (but you might go nuts in the car for so many hours!)

    Amy – trying to rest up for the next trip, but I’m happy that you enjoyed these. Ithaca should be amazing soon.

    Lori – hee hee :) Thanks! I hope my doc doesn’t mind it (I tease most of my docs). Hope you have a good time in Ithaca!

    Manisha – thanks!

    Susieshomemade – :)

    Peabody – thanks, lady.

    Rachel – you should!!

    Tami – oh, you’re sweet. Thanks!

    Laura – the names are funny. There are some other funny ones too. Makes me want to name something ;)

    Sarah – there are houses on the market in our neighborhood!

    Chez Us – it’s pretty any time of year, but most spectacular in the fall!

    Chiara – thanks!

  34. YDavis says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  35. Peggasus says:

    Maroon Bells is one of my favorite places on earth. One time we hiked all the way up by one of those far mountains and ate our backpacked lunch there. I am also happy to see the aspens: they are my very favorite tree EVER, but here in Illinois our weather is too cold for them to grow. I guess I’ll need to move to Colorado one of these years.

  36. jenyu says:

    YDavis – thanks!

    Peggasus – the Bells are so awesome! We backpacked the four pass loop which (as the name implies) crosses four passes over 12,000 feet. The trip encircles the Bells and it is breathtaking to say the least. I love it there. Never tire of it. Never. Yes, move back to CO!!

  37. Jaime says:

    wow, those photos are amazing. (almost) makes me want to live somewhere cold ;)

  38. jenyu says:

    Jaime – well, I guess having a photographer in the cold climates is the next best thing :) thanks!

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