strawberry crisp morel-stuffed chicken fried steak apple huckleberry pie may flowers and silent auction


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less than ideal

Today’s shoot was sobering in contrast to the exhausted elation of the trip earlier this week. The aspens have taken a serious beating from storms and so there wasn’t much to salvage. Still, despite the fact that the quality of the aspens wasn’t good enough for dedicated shooting, it was a spectacular sunny day with blue skies and gentle breezes that rustled the remaining leaves. We walked through one promising stand of mature aspens on a carpet of golden leaves. Fall is magical here. I told Beth on our last shooting trip that getting outside on a regular basis – into the splendor that is Colorado – makes me say over and over again, “I am so happy.”


kaweah was pretty happy



I had accepted early on that there weren’t many money shots to be had, so Jeremy and I turned the trip into recon for the next fall shoot. While one person might see naked, gray aspen trunks on a hillslope, I see a full green forest in summer, fiery yellows and oranges in fall. I keep thinking to myself that I’ve seen all of the most beautiful places in Colorado, only to discover more valleys full of aspen stands, more jagged mountains draped in snow, more lakes and streams reflecting the blue skies above, more sprawling skyscapes over healthy dark green pine forests to take your breath away. This place is my home. I’m falling in love all over again.

a place to unwind



A storm is blowing in as I type, so hopes of sunset shots were dashed for this evening. Actually, I don’t mind. It was nice to find a local coffee shop in town to chill out with Jeremy while we caught up with work. Driving another thousand miles this weekend gives us plenty of time to discuss future plans. Where to shoot in the coming year? Southern California beckons to me as does Washington, Oregon, Montana, Utah, and there is always Colorado. I’m feeling excited and energized. I’ll post more photos from the fall shoot (and recipes) when I get home on a network that doesn’t feel like squeezing blood from a turnip. Tonight’s adventure – to find decent Mexican food in Colorado: something that seems obvious, but is actually quite elusive.

17 nibbles at “less than ideal”

  1. Natasha says:

    Would never have stumbled onto your blog had both of us not joined the NaBloWriMo.

    I think your photographs are incredible – love the fall colours, but the one at the bottom of this post is just brilliant.

  2. JessW says:

    Okay: you named off Washington, Oregon, Montana and Utah… what is wrong with Idaho?!? :)

  3. scout's true north says:

    Jen, happy to have found your site. am missing Colorado and the aspens and living at 9,300 ft. thanks for sharing it all.

  4. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Come to Florida!!! We don’t have mountains, valleys or snow, but we have sand like powdered sugar, clear blue waters and magnificent sunsets. We also have a few charming and very cool food bloggers! ;)

  5. SparkyB says:

    I love the shot of Kaweah.

  6. Manggy says:

    People on Twitter keep saying that they want to move to Colorado because of your pictures- how nice to be living somewhere you absolutely love. Sorry about the storm, though :(

  7. emhuze says:

    Wisconsin would like to see you too! It has many little lakes and shares 2 REALLY BIG ONES. Forests beckon as well as lots of BUTTER from happy cows. You could help this state expand its cheese mentality… I mean it!! Lots of photo ops… hmmmm??? ;) Glad you are growing where you’re planted.

  8. christina says:

    I think the tourist council of Colorado should hire you as their main PR person.

  9. Lezel Safi says:

    That shot of the bean board made me excited for winter for some reason! Shoot Montana, my best friend from junior high (20+ years now) is a golf pro at a club in Hamilton, MT….we haven’t been to visit yet but his pictures are just gorgeous! Stock Farm is the name of the club, their website is pretty good, check it out!

  10. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Every time I see a pic of Kaweah, I get the biggest smile on my face. Who can resist that face?

    Sorry the trees took a beating so early this year–but if anyone can make lemonade from lemons, it’s Jen. xoxo

  11. charlane says:

    I would love to have aspens – we have deadly dull pine down here that is either green or brown. so not inspiring

  12. Holly says:

    Jen, sorry to hear the aspens are not looking so great. A friend of mine spent the summer in Colorado studying Sudden Aspen Death — have you seen any evidence of the dieoff near you?

  13. Mrs Erg├╝l says:

    I’m sorry to hear the bad shooting conditions! But chilling out with your loved one is a great way to salvage your day!

  14. Sherry says:

    I think you’ll have a lot of fun here in the Columbia Gorge (in Oregon/Washington, if you haven’t heard of it)… Sometimes I take for granted how pretty my surroundings are but then when I leave and see how it is elsewhere, I realize just how lucky I am to live where I do.

  15. jenyu says:

    Woo! Thanks for sticking with me, guys :)

    Natasha – yay! When I have my junk in order, I’ll come by to visit NaBloWriMo folks! :)

    JessW – nothing wrong with Idaho, but I can only hit but so many places in one year and many of these locations have overlapping seasons (wildflowers, fall colors) :) Idaho is on my list, but probably in a couple of years!

    Susan – honey, you are reason enough for me to come to Florida xxoo

    Mark – that’s because they don’t have to endure the weather when they view the pics! ha ha!

    TKW – thanks love, you are just so sweet.

    Holly – this season is not sudden aspen death, as far as I can tell. It is likely weather conditions that resulted in dull colors and then perfectly timed storms to kill everything off early :( I suppose that is what we get for having perfect, gorgeous and healthy colors last year!

    Sherry – yes, I’ve done a little studying on the geologic structures there. Very excited to see it someday :)

  16. Joyce says:

    Wow, such beautiful scenery…wonder when i’ll ever have a chance to step foot on American soil… *daydreaming*** ;) I love trees in its glorious yellows and reds, fabulous pics Jen!

  17. JessW says:

    Well, when you make it over to Idaho, drop a line and I will show you the prettiest places I know of here! :)

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