An Aspen Surprise!

“Overflowing with Thankfulness”

This week, I was notified that a photo I’d submitted to a Fall photo contest in Colorado had been awarded a “bronze” level prize!  I was so excited; I could have burst!!  It felt a bit like I’d won a Car, an Oscar, and the Lottery that I don’t even play!  It’s been 4 days and it still makes me smile.  (The unmarked photo can be found on the “Captures” page of the blog.)

Some photos are candid, taken when you are blessed to come upon something that moves you.  Others photos are dreamed about and then planned down to the last detail.  We plot, we plan, and then we pray it all comes together.

The “bronze photo winner” was planned.  We’d visited Grand Mesa, Colorado in the summer and marveled at a grove of Aspens.  Aspens in the summer are beautiful, but in the Fall, they are spectacular! 

I was inspired by a photo a friend took many years ago, looking up through Christmas lights mounted to a tall monument to make a “tree”.  What would that same perspective look like shot through colorful Aspens?  I hoped I’d get to find out.

We planned the trip to Colorado to coincide specifically with Fall Colors and the New Moon, to try to capture aspens and stars!  My husband knew I wanted “Aspen photos”, but he didn’t know how I wanted to take them.

We visited the Mesa and found it more deserted than normal, the side affect of shutdown due to COVID-19.  The day began a bit hazy due to some wildfire smoke from further west.  Chances to capture the aspens seemed thin, but we made our way up the Mesa anyway, knowing there would be something beautiful to see regardless.

On our way to “Land’s End”, the sky began to clear, the beautiful blue breaking through.  I walked into the grove, looking for the tallest and straightest trees. Most of the time, I was bent way backward trying to get my camera parallel with the tree trunks and perpendicular to the sky, wandering through the trees, snapping photos from different perspectives and locations.  When I came out of the grove, my husband and both of our German Shepherds were all looking at me in confusion.  They clearly thought I was crazy!

The Sheps are roughly the same size, one is standing on the seat, the other on the floorboard.

As I think back to this photo, I am struck by its beauty: the colors, the blue sky, and the memory of how it came about.  No matter how much man plots and plans, it’s up to God to reveal what he will, in his time. 

God painted the picture; I was blessed to be there, to freeze time for a moment, and capture a bit of his Glory.

And, I am thankful.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

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