Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Autumn Day Trip to Convict Lake

A glacier carved lake with an interesting legacy

With the changing season and autumn finally here, I took a photo adventure to a lake named Convict Lake.  Such an ominous sounding name for a lake nestled up near the Sierra Nevada Mountains made me curious to go check it out.

On this warm Indian summer day when I arrived at the 7,850’ elevation lake I was completely astounded with its pristine beauty.  In no way did it reflect its namesake.

On first glance was the green, clear water framed in warm hues of golden aspens with towering mountains in the background.  I had been concerned that the trees might not be taking on any color since the weather for the autumn season of 2017 had been so fickle with cool spells, followed by warmer than usual days.

Walking out on the boat dock, Laurel Mountain stretched tall in the background with its rugged features a reminder of the glacier action that carved this 140’ deep Sierra Nevada Lake.

To the left side of the lake lies a walking trail that wanders through natural vegetation that was turning warm colors of autumn.  This trail continues around the lake for 3 miles and eventually connects with the Sierra Crest.

Convict Lake is known for its trout fishing and the Convict Lake Resort offers hospitality for a family vacation or a romantic getaway.

You might be wondering how such a lovely, inviting lake would be named for convicts?  Years ago back in 1871 a group of convicts escaped from Carson City, Nevada and were trapped here at what was known as Monte Diablo. There was a gun fight with the posse and two of the local men were killed.  The prisoners were eventually apprehended and the lake’s name changed to Convict as a tribute to the fallen posse members.

Just after I had packed away my camera gear and was about to get in my truck, a Bald Eagle flew right over my head and landed in a near-by tree.  I had the greatest urge to grab my camera and rush over to get a photo.  However, my intuition took hold and forced me to just enjoy the experience and be in the moment.  The eagle was so close as it flew over, its white head and tail glistened in the warm sun.  I felt that this was a prelude and peek into what I might find for my next visit.   And when I do return, I will plan on spending an entire day just relaxing at this awesome crystal clear lake.  My camera will be ready if this eagle should make another pass right over my head!

With my Nikon and tripod, my goal is to recreate the scene as it appears in nature, to preserve in a photographic image the awesome, yet simplistic beauty of the scene that waits around a bend or over a hill. Sometimes it's a colorful landscape, and many times I'm allowed in the presence of the numerous creatures that adapt to life in the wild.

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