Sunday, January 27, 2013
By now I’m sure many of my regular readers are tired of seeing photos from the Colorado National Monument. For those of you who might feel that way, I’m sorry to say I have another trip report of photos taken there. Better stop reading now! After spending over five hours photographing the inversion layer in the Monument on Saturday I had no plans to return on Sunday. However, in the afternoon I noticed the clouds that had been hovering over the Grand Valley all day were finally beginning to break up. I couldn’t resist, so I grabbed my camera and drove back up there. I’m glad that I did!
As I was driving to the Fruita entrance I noticed the clouds hanging in the canyon obscuring the view of Independence Monument. I found somewhere to pull over and switched to my long lens for a closer look.
When I reached the Monument Canyon view I was pleasantly surprised to find many dynamic clouds in the canyon below.
A disappearing act.
Closeup of the Kissing Couple before it was completely obscured by the clouds.
I waited until The Island was almost completely engulfed before pushing the shutter for this image. The Book Cliffs stand prominently on the other side of the valley in the distance.
A small break in the clouds looking down Monument Canyon.
I keep trying for a decent shot of this twisted Juniper tree. I may not have a great shot, but I’m still drawn to it.
Grand View over the cloud bank.
Some of the most interesting clouds I have seen at the Monument.
After taking the previous two photos I looked down and to my right and saw my shadow on a thin layer of clouds below surrounded by a circular rainbow. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I knew it was nothing I had seen before, so I quickly took a few photos before it disappeared.
Here’s a closer look.
…and a wider panoramic view. When I got back home I learned that this is an optical phenomena known as a Brocken Spectre or a glory.
The other side of the Kissing Couple as the clouds disappear.
Next I went over to check out the conditions at Pothole Point. There was a lot more cloud coverage over here. I only had a few small breaks like this one.
After waiting a while for the clouds to clear a little I finally gave up and headed back to Monument Canyon view. I noticed these sandstone formations in the late sunlight as I drove back.
I also stopped for yet another shot of Independence Monument. I love the dappled light on the Book Cliffs in the background.
By the time I reached the viewpoint again most of the clouds were gone. I did get to catch the last light of the day striking the Kissing Couple.
As I was leaving the Monument for the evening I made one last stop at Redland View to capture the beautiful colors in the clouds over the valley.