Venus on the Divide
The belt of Venus (red band above Earth’s shadow) slides toward the horizon at dawn above the Indian Peaks. Strong winds are apparent with the band of clouds above the summit ridges (Continental divide) and several Ponderosa pines moving in the shot. The remnant fall colors in the aspen add a nice warm contrast to the mostly cool tones of an early winter morning.
The clear skies were a welcome relief from smoky skies over the previous weeks associated with several large fires to the west. A cold front brought a bit of snow and temporary cessation of spread of the fires. Unfortunately the relief was short-lived- since this photo was taken major blow-ups in the fires and associated major smoke events have occurred, and two new very local fires have started, both within 5 miles of this photo (this area is currently under mandatory evacuation).