Lit by the LED flash on the back of my iPhone 4S, this image was made in a single 30 second exposure with my DSLR.
A stand of Quaking Aspens clothed in peak autumn color lines the banks of Bishop creek, high in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada.
Strong in the Storm
On Tahquitz Rock, a winter cloud engulfs the mountain, as this lonely tree clings to its home on a granite wall. We broke fresh snow on a cross country climb via the south face of the mountain in 20 degrees with 20mph winds and fresh ice. It was frigid, but the landscape was ethereal in its beauty.
This little tree is only about 4 feet tall, and I photographed it from a rather precarious spot on an adjacent 4th class ledge. Notice all the little icicles hanging from its limbs!
It's hard to imagine all the winter storms and summer heat this little tree has weathered, all the while clinging to its little ledge and forming a venerable life there.
You might call these God's own sand castles. Naturally occurring near springs on the floor of an inland salt water sea three times the strength of the ocean, these extraordinarily intricate sand and mineral formations are truly awe-inspiring to behold.
When I explored this area, I had the whole place to myself in serene peace and quiet for hours while the tourist hordes descended upon some better known formations at another nearby beach area.
These baby Aspen trees have just taken root in the ashes of a grove of Jeffrey pines which had probably stood for hundreds of years but were killed along with millions of other trees in a very short time during a human-caused wildfire this past summer in the mountains of Southern California.