The majority of the water is covered with a solid sheet of ice but the riffles were still open as were a few sheltered pools (or at least parts of them). Before heading to Moraine Park, we had driven through everything that was open to vehicle access. The sun hitting the peaks around the Roaring River produced some dramatic scenery.
My buddy Lo-Ammi enjoyed all the scenery and took a lot of pictures as well. Can you find him taking pictures in this photograph?
I finally got him to pose.
Turning away from the silhouette pictures, I saw what would be the last rays from the sun touching the tops of the mountains behind me. Minutes after taking this picture, the clouds moved in permanently for the rest of the afternoon.
After taking the above pictures, we headed to Moraine Park, hoping to find some elk. The critters were hunkered down somewhere in the woods I suspect but I did have fun walking the stream banks and taking a lot of pictures.
The ice made beautifully intricate patterns in places while in others it was just a solid glazed mass.
In places, the rushing water had carved under ice shelves to create some interesting shapes. The contrast between the rolling water, ice, and golden grass behind is simple yet beautiful in its own right. Under the ice shelf, the water was constantly splashing and thus creating ever growing icicles.
I probably could have continued wandering through the fields forever if it hadn't of been for friends waiting in a warm car. Remembering that we still had places to see, I turned back after one last shot of a bend pool that is productive under warmer and more liquid circumstances.
In the tributary stream above, I found the most interesting discovery of the afternoon under the ice. Near an edge were the ice had not formed, I noticed something move. Upon closer inspection I found a brook trout. Then another, and another, until it finally dawned on me that all the fish in the lake had moved up to spawn. Okay, maybe not all, but hopefully you get the idea...
Can you find the fish under the ice?
The day was quickly fading. As night approached, constantly changing colors danced across the sky and were reflected on the icy surface of the lake and beaver ponds. Yes, Colorado is a pretty special place in any season!!!