Earlier this week I decided to take a drive up to the high country to photograph wildflowers. It is definitely cooler up north and a pleasant reprieve from the desert heat. The forecast was for partly cloudy skies and a chance of a monsoon storm. I was hoping for overcast skies while making intimate shots of wildflowers.
My plan was to stay until sunset and see what the sky would bring. The clouds were white and puffy, the type you see when a storm is starting to build. I spent a few hours photographing wildflowers. People working at the Arboretum at Flagstaff were probably wondering what I was doing walking around and around. As the sun and clouds moved, the light was changing on the wildflowers and I moved along with the light. I had packed a lunch and ate it at the arboretum under the shade of pine trees. After eating, it was time to pack up and head out to look for some landscape shots.
My first stop didn’t have as many wildflowers as I had wished for. I decided to try another location. Mormon Lake was absolutely beautiful! Some locals at the overlook commented they hadn’t seen that much water in the lake in a very long time. The lake is considered intermittent and has an average depth of 10 feet. This is where I would wait for sunset. As I waited for sunset a very large herd of elk could be seen to the south of the lake and laying in a field of yellow wildflowers. If only I had packed my binoculars! They were too far away to get any type of shot. There were a couple moving through the lake as well, but again too far away to shoot. While waiting, I chatted with a guy who had ridden his bike 24 miles out to the lake from Flagstaff. He stayed for quite a while and then headed back into town hoping he wouldn’t get caught in the rain.
I could see a storm rolling in over the San Francisco Peaks from the west with the potential of making sunset quite a site. At times, the peaks were covered with clouds and rain. Would they move enough to the east before sunset? I knew from experience to stay until the last possible minute to see if the sky would turn colors. I was in luck, the clouds and rain moved far enough to the east creating a break in the cloud cover to the west. The sun was setting and creating some beautiful shades of pink in the sky! Looking to the north the San Francisco Peaks were lightly outlined with pink. And to the southwest you could see just a touch of pink in the reflection on the lake. It was absolutely beautiful! A few minutes before I left a couple young ladies showed up and were in awe of the sunset. Up until then I thought no one else would witness this incredible beauty as I had been the only person to stay for sunset. It had been a good day!
©Tamara Becker and Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different, 2013. All Rights Reserved.