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.

The skies at the dunes are just as magnificent as the dunes themselves!
Big Skies

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

Interesting Afternoon shadows
Black & White

Interesting Afternoon shadows
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

The abstract patterns never cease to amaze!
Near & Far I

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

Interesting patterns and curves in the Sand Dunes.
Dunes Abstract

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

I could watch the sand blowing over the dunes for hours!
American Beauty

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

The dunes are an amazingly bizarre landscape!
Alien Winds

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

Solitary climber on top of the high dunes.
On Top of the World

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

The moon makes a brief appearance in late afternoon
Blue Moon

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

More cool clouds.
Simple Things

More cool clouds.
Photo © copyright by Stan Rose.

This was about the last full light on the dunes; storms were starting to build to the west.
Last Light

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

Cool back-lighting of the dune grasses
Back Lit

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

Crepuscular Rays from the late afternoon sun match the angles of the dunes.
Matching Lines

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