Windswept trees in Moraine Park. The angle is southwest. I shot these chasing after the Coyotes.
So instead of focusing on frozen waterfalls and alpine lakes, the group headed for the two large meadows, Moraine Park and Horseshoe Meadows. We also took a cruise through a residential area across from the visitor's center where a herd of elk was hiding from the wind.
Grasses poking up through the snow. I always like to see this. Not only are the colors and shapes a nice contrast, but grasses herald the return of spring even if it is several months away.
We drove through one of the campgrounds, which was amazingly open. You would think that on such a cold day and in such a lonely part of the park we would be the only people. Alas, there was a steady stream of cars driving around looking at the scenery. Imagine what is like in the summer.
The weather was rather cold that day. The temperatures ranged from 16 to 24 degrees. We would drive around looking for interesting trees, grasses, ice, and snow and leap out of the car and leap back in. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. While none of my photos turned out to be fine art quality, they do capture the essence of Rocky in the winter...cold, bleak, but beautiful!
Ok, I am cheating here with this picture, which was taken 5 days after the official photo shoot. I was back in the park for a snowshoe and the weather was beautiful. These are the mountains you can see from Moraine Park. The Aspen grove at the base of the photo are the same ones profiled earlier in this post. What a difference a few days make.
The world famous Stanley Hotel, located outside the park in the town of Estes Park. Built in 1909, the Stanley hosted world class guests in top hats and tails. It was also the inspiration for Steven King's novel the Shinning. They do say it is haunted and I have had friends stay there and stay up all night ghost hunting. They host a Halloween mascaraed ball that I have always wanted to attend. Alas, the hotel is becoming run down and my friends have reported rather dowdy accommodations. With the chance to meet a ghost, does that matter?