Friday, October 12, 2012

Mud Lake

I brought Ginny up to Mud Lake Open Space north of Nederland on Wednesday to stretch our legs and take some pictures.  Technically, we parked at Caribou Ranch Open Space.  But since they don't allow dogs we took the link trail over to the neighboring area.

The forecast called for partly cloudy skies, so I was hoping for a few nice fluffy clouds against a field of blue.  What I got instead was a solid bank of clouds that stretched to the east and clear skies to the west, with the dividing line seemingly directly above us.  I figured the wind would push the clouds away soon enough.

When the foliage has just passed its peak, you can get some really interesting textures and patterns on the leaves that are still desperately clinging to the trees.

Mud Lake
Mud Lake isn't especially big, but prettier than one might expect from its name.  I was fortunate to time this shot right after a leaf had landed on the surface of the water so the ripples it sent out were still visible.

Ginny did not appreciate being tied to a bench while I was taking pictures at the lake's edge, but I wasn't interested in having her wander into the water and bringing home a wet, muddy dog.

She's really grown into the perfect hiking companion -- always excited to go, well-behaved on the trail and can seemingly walk forever.

Mud Lake
That dividing line between cloudy and clear I mentioned?  In two-and-a-half hours it never moved appreciably, despite an intermittently strong breeze.  So when looking to the west I'd get vivid blue skies, but without any bright light and sharp contrast on the ground.

Mud Lake
I don't recall ever shooting in conditions exactly like these.  I even took an extra half lap around the lake thinking the sun was just about to finally peek through, but it never did.

One thing I certainly didn't expect to see was an old rusted-out bus.  When I got back into town I stopped at the Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center to ask about it, and was told by a very personable volunteer that it was the last of more than 30 tons of trash that had been removed from the area.  It's amazing what people will just dump somewhere and make someone else's problem.

Driving back home the sun finally decided to make its long-awaited appearance, helping Wondervu live up to its name.

We probably covered about four miles meandering around the various trails.  Yet another location providing pretty scenery and little elevation gain, so a solid choice when entertaining out-of-towners who want to get out for a hike.  Don't let the name fool you -- Mud Lake is worth a visit!

No comments: