A Morning in the Back Country (6 photos)

I wanted to add a February image to my gallery of the Cottonwood tree at Lake Henshaw, and in a fit of lunacy I decided that I should try a sunrise photo (just in case you couldn’t tell, I’d like to add that I’m really not a morning person and prefer sunsets… somehow).

I got up at 4am and reached the tree with Toni (who didn’t mind eating her breakfast at 4:30, unsurprisingly) just at the beginning of civil twilight. As I was driving I did of course notice a flawless, cloudless sky and the stars above… no clouds, once more. Luckily, as I arrived, Lake Henshaw provided a bit of morning mist that I tried to utilize as I worked the scene.

I forgot my gloves and it was pretty cold (well, for Southern California standards at least), so operating the camera and tripod became a bit unpleasant after a while, but I was happy to be out there. As the sun rose I drove up on Palomar Mountain’s East Grade Road, briefly stopped at the vista point that overlooks the valley, and continued to Love Valley for an extended morning walk with Toni. We were greeted by a group of cows, and the views Across the Vale in early morning light were most lovely. It’s a real dilemma… I should be out there in the early morning more often. The light is wonderful.

As for the Cottonwood gallery addition… even though I like the more minimal “Chrysalis” with the silhouette of the tree alone very much, I don’t think it fits into the theme of the gallery, because it doesn’t feature the landscape around it. The “pick” on the other hand features not only a nicely separated tree silhouette, but also the colors of dawn and the morning mist a the lake nicely. It was an obvious choice.

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