Maroon Bells : Beyond Beautiful

Maroon Bells Beyond Beautiful

When: August 2019              Weather: Cold to warm     10-20C

Leica M10P 35mmsummilux, 15mm Voigtlander, Nikon P900, Sony RX10.4

Maroon Bells is one of the most highly recommended attractions in the Aspen area both for its scenic beauty and birding.  Without a car, you would need to get to the Aspen HIghlands Village to take the shuttle bus up to the Maroon Lake/Bells area….along with every other tourist in Aspen arriving around 10am when the sun is up and the Bells not at their best.  So do yourself a flavour and hire a rental car for the day and get up to the mountain by about 545am at this time of the year to witness the first glow of daybreak on the spectacular landform of the Maroon Bells.  It’s an easy drive up to the guardhouse where you can pay $10 for admission and then onto the main carpark which was empty at this time…Maroon Lake is just a hundred metres away….

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Our first view of the Maroon Bells as the sky lightened around 545am

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A few minutes later, the red hue of the mountains became more apparent

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Behind us, the glow of dawn provided the light that bathed the Maroon Bells

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As the day lightened, the whole valley started lighting up

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The early risers at Maroon Creek

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In black and white

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And as the sun peeped over the mountains behind us, the tips of the mountains on our right were highlighted

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and about half an hour after daybreak, the rising sun cast its light on Maroon Bells

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Maroon Bells

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And by 9am the valley was lit and the difference in colours was marked

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Majestic mountains

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wildflowers in the foreground

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Pools of water reflecting the Bells

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Walking to the western end of Maroon Lake…

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There is a loop trail which leads from the western end of the lake

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there is a little creek

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which gushed merrily

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and here, our first bird of the morning…hopping from rock to rock in the creek

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An American Dipper

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American Robin

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American Robin

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Song Sparrow

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and busying among themselves in the reeds were several immature pine siskins.

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pine siskin

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Pine siskin in flight

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by the time we headed back around 930, the sun was high

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the valley was bright

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red tailed hawk

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Tree swallow

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Tree swallows

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Aspen trees from which Aspen gets its name

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In the full light of the sun

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A little tree squirrel saw us off

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Magnificent Maroon Bells….you mustn’t miss it if you are in Colorado

 

One of the places you must get to when in Aspen….one of the most photographed mountains in America….and a few birds to boot!

Thanks to Bob Kaufman for help in identifying birds

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