Aspen Grove Below South Lake

Aspen Grove Below South Lake - A dense aspen grove in full fall color near South Lake in the Bishop Creek drainage
A dense aspen grove in full fall color near South Lake in the Bishop Creek drainage

Aspen Grove Below South Lake. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. October 3, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.

A dense aspen grove in full fall color near South Lake in the Bishop Creek drainage

I have been returning to this little group of trees for several years now. There are many like it throughout the eastern Sierra, but somehow this group has come to seem like “mine” and I shoot it every fall. There is nothing obviously special about it – it is not some sort of landmark location, and you would easily pass right by it if you happened to be there and look in a different direction. It is up a somewhat obscure little dirt road that goes no where in particular.

At the right moment in the fall season the grove turns completely golden-yellow with the exception of some years when it seems to hold a bit of orange or red, if I recall correctly. I like to arrive in the early evening just as the sun is about to dip behind a nearby ridge and bring soft, shadowed light to this spot. This year I had thought that I might be too early, since I would more typically shoot there perhaps a full week into the month of October, but this has been an early season for aspen color in the Sierra and in a number of other areas of the west as well.

G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

2 thoughts on “Aspen Grove Below South Lake”

  1. Nice capture of this colorful grove in the early light before the sun reached it.
    I know this spot too and was able to make some photographs there on the Sunday before but at a later time in the morning as I spent lots of time photographing around North Lake, the tree tunnels there, and Sabrina basin area. I only had time for one overnight trip to see the fall color and it was a very popular weekend with all the photography workshops going on. Could not believe how many photographers were at Mono Lake to photograph the Harvest Moon over the Tufas and then the next morning at “the shore spot” at North Lake for sunrise. I know that kind of shooting amongst the crowds is not your cup of tea and mine neither but I had never gotten the chance to shoot the iconic North Lake sunrise shot yet so I got there early and got my spot. Glad you also got to photograph the fall color in Utah this year.

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