Monsoon Dunes July 9, 2011

  I was getting burned out on the dunes last year; the Medano Fire and resulting black sludge in Medano Creek put a damper on my visits, and the Winter snows never came after the driest Spring in recorded San Luis Valley history. Wasn't even tempted to pay a visit over the past few months. Then, the monsoon kicked into gear a few days back and I got my first real rain in months here in Pueblo North. I knew I had to return to the place I love so much, and I felt like a bull being released into the arena.
  I just got my new Canon 24mm Tilt-shift lens, and the dunes seemed like a good place to test it out. What was I thinking? The Sand Dunes is NOT a place to test out a new lens when you don't have a filter to cover it yet--the blowng sand WILL destroy your gear. So I kept it in the pack most of the day, used my 70-300 instead (since it has already thoroughly been destroyed by sand...)
Got to the dunes at mid afternoon, felt odd being there with the tourists, since Im usually there at 4 am in mid-January. The lack of creek water did limit the crowd, though. My friends at the Visitor Center were not around, so I headed out after taking a few shots of the building afternoon clouds from the road pull-offs.
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Big Skies

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

The skies at the dunes are just as magnificent as the dunes themselves!
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Black & White

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Interesting Afternoon shadows
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Near & Far I

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

The abstract patterns never cease to amaze!
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

Great Sand Dunes,Colorado, photo

Dunes Abstract

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Interesting patterns and curves in the Sand Dunes.
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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American Beauty

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

I could watch the sand blowing over the dunes for hours!
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Alien Winds

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

The dunes are an amazingly bizarre landscape!
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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On Top of the World

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Solitary climber on top of the high dunes.
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Blue Moon

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

The moon makes a brief appearance in late afternoon
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Simple Things

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

More cool clouds.
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Last Light

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

This was about the last full light on the dunes; storms were starting to build to the west.
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Back Lit

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Cool back-lighting of the dune grasses
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

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Matching Lines

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Crepuscular Rays from the late afternoon sun match the angles of the dunes.
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.