It was spring break, the third week of March 2000. Leaving Ouray mid-morning, I on the look out for anything of interest while driving over Red Mountain Pass. On the straight away just before the S-turns climb the top of the pass I was looking east across a ravine, and there, stood the Yankee Girl Mine. Must have been 10:30 am. The hot March sun glistened hard off the spring kernels of corn snow.

Directly below the mine, a lone tree pierced the surrounding snow and filled the lens; forging a life in a harsh and most unlikely landscape.

Check the view finder side-to-sideÕ top to bottom, corner to corner, left upper right to right lower bottom, and finally, left lower corner to right upper corner. Cable release in place. Push the plunger. Photo one. Again. Two. Increase shutter speed shooting one exposure under. Change again. Shoot with shutter speed one exposure over.

The young tree had defied the odds against the elements. Determined. Reverent. Persevering where nothing else would or could. Having met that moment, I felt all her roots running through my own lifeÑholding fast and strong.

Out comes the 280mm f2.8 lens affixed to A Nikon F4 35 mm Camera with a Nikor 280mm f2.8 lens with an f-stop setting F22 at 125th of a second and Fuji Velvia 50 film to capture the lone Pine.

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