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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Secret Garden: "Jesus on the mainline, tell Him what you want..."


We set off at the crack of dawn (ok, 7:15). It was a dual-purpose day: goal one, get some exercise; goal two, photograph wildflowers up in The Secret Garden. But sometimes Jesus doesn't answer my prayers, and lately, it seems, He doesn't even take my calls.

On an optimistic day that's forecasted to be "partly cloudy," we are motoring Petroleus Rex up a series of FWD switchbacks under grey skies and sketchy weather. So what else is new? At least we'll get a hike in.


It looks promising...for a second.
Wildflowers don't really "pop" in poor light, and gray-sky mountain backdrops are like french kissing your same sex sibling square on the mouth. Batting .500 in baseball is great, but not so much when photographing The Secret Garden. We try to make the best of it...use "flash fill" and keep sky to a minimum; the screen reviews are not promising. But hey, were wading through wildflowers above timberline with full tummies and good health. What more could a Geezer ask of Jesus uh, make that the Universe? 
  
Grey skies and poorly lit paintbrush (yawn)
 Bobbie has a dental appointment in Montrose at 3 pm, which means we need to be home 1ish. We power-hike to The Secret Garden, lungs and legs burning like a 3 alarm fire in Hell. Given the clouds, I want to push on another mile to a barren, 13,000 foot ridge line that offers views over into the "Telluride side." But if we do—and I know this from experience—the sun's going break through as sure as spam in the inbox, and we'll miss the final show of best show on earth...and I will curse like the sailor I used to be, which probably has something to do with Jesus not taking my calls.  


Better, but still shady
So we waded wildflowers and waited...and waited...and waited. Clouds began breaking up into patchy blue skies. Sun shined on mountains all around...except on The Secret Garden. And me, all lathered up with SPF 50!  

I keep shooting "flash fill," only to get a "low battery" warning. I get two more shots before the camera's battery tanks. No, I don't have a spare...lost it a long time ago while, ironically, photographing spring wildflowers in Arid-zona. 

Fortunately, I have the 12 megapixel iPhone...which often takes photos equal to or better than my Canon Elph-ie. 

Sun over there, but not here...
Sun all around, except where I need it...
Finally, two energy bars and a nap later, the waiting pays off. I hear a choir of black Angels singing back-up to Mick: 
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you just might find 
You get what you need

Better...

BETTER...

ALRIGHT!!!
 Trouble is, The Secret Garden wouldn't stay lit. One stubborn cloud; I feel like Charlie Brown. 

So here's the good, the bad, and the ugly of a morning spent wandering wildflowers in The Secret Garden...now, apparently, no longer a complete secret (sigh).


Invaders!!!!

I use them as "models," without permission!!!






















 Of course, after we're almost back to Petroleus Rex, the forecast materializes... fucking best light ever!!!






 and all the colored girls sing...
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you just might find 
You get what you need

Indeed. I got what I needed...a good hike above timberline and 10 minutes of sun.

19 comments:

  1. Finally, thought you might have caught the Zika virus, but the wait is always worth it otherwise we wouldn't see Springtime in the San Juans, or I guess you call it Summer Time. Glad to know you still have the Man up Stairs number, I think that's a good call.:) Reminds me of a funny e-mail I got today which I'll send you direct. As for the invaders in the Secret Garden I can't believe the places isn't crawling with them.

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  2. Well, dummy me, I thought all the pictures were great. What a gorgeous gorgeous place. That guy didn't answer my calls back either, when I used to make them.

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  3. When we were up there, all of the other visitors talked about the hike being described in a hiking book that they were using. So the secret must be out.....One of my favorite places to visit!!

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  4. Beautiful flowers. I like the contrasts between them and the snow in the background, as where you live Winter never seems to go away.

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  5. Maybe it was the SPF 50. Beautiful pictures anyway. Oh, and I believe Jesus is on "vacay" this week.
    Julie Laverne (my middle name, BTW)

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  6. Those flowers look like they are "popping" just fine to me even with the clouds. Another great spot in those beautiful mountains!

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  7. A "Secret Garden," eh? I see you held out on us. ;-) And I'm with Sherry and Chris...the low light still looks absolutely lovely.

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    1. You were there...it's where you scrambled up the steep, loose scree on all fours to the ridge line. Glenn and Gayle were along, too :)).
      P Pal

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    2. Oh, got it. One of my top three favorite days in Ouray..or the whole summer, for that matter. I didn't know it was "secret"...that may push it up to the Top Two. ;-) The word "intoxicating" comes to mind. Thank you and Bobbie for showing us such a special place.

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    3. It was our pleasure (and your pain, I'm sure...but well worth it).
      P Pal

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  8. I can almost smell the mountain flowers. It's amazing the difference sunny skies have on improving the color of the flowers. Thanks for waiting out the sky and sharing the photograph that the better light provided.

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  9. Laughed, chuckled, smiled, admired your photos all the way thru your best post ever!!

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  10. I've never seen such a strange assortment of different wildflowers...
    Thanks!
    Upriver

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  11. Don't complain! It's still a spectacular wildflower meadow regardless of the light.

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  12. Amazon sells those batteries for very little money. Invest in a few!

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  13. Oh my goodness - I don't feel the slightest bit sorry for you because the Secret Garden is SPECTACULAR!!!!! Great photos, great story, and thank you for making me smile!

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  14. Imagine my surprise to see the words of that old "spiritual"! I chuckled out loud; haven't heard nor sang that song in many years but it took me back to several hundred occasions from my youth as a PK (preacher's kid, in case you didn't know). :) As is typical with the creative and talented, you are probably your biggest critic. The photos are wonderful; the flowers, beautiful! I'm not sure I can thank you for dredging up those old memories ;) but I definitely say thanks for the smiles you continue to induce with each post!
    ~ Annie

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    1. I can still hear my mom singing that song, dancing in place at tent revivals. Yes, I'm a P K too :)
      thanks, Annie,
      mark

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