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Early Summer Buried in Snow

A bigger than normal snowfall this past Winter (150% of average) has left a lot of areas above tree line still buried under the Winter snowpack. Many of the high mountain passes such as Loveland, Berthoud, Independence, Trail Ridge, and Cottonwood - are plowed roads through tall snowbanks. The ground in most places is not visible, and the short mountain grasses in exposed areas are still brown. This year, the remaining snow fields will take until mid-July to start melting and allowing the grasses to green up and the wildflowers to start growing. That makes for a short Summer to photograph mountains with flowers - my specialty, as you can see on this website. A sudden spell of hot, dry weather may happen. Or an early Monsoon season ( a period heavy daily rain with the intensity of a car wash - in the mountains) may start, drowning the wildflowers, and causing a profusion of mushrooms to sprout for the rest of the Summer. I'm hoping for just a two week delay to start photographing my favorite picture foregrounds - Rocky Mountain Columbine, Lupine, and Indian Paintbrush - that lend splashes of intense color to the mountain scene. Some of the higher mountain passes accessed by trails will still be buried in snow come September. Every Summer in Colorado is different - as the pictures I will be taking.

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