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Best Days...Lily Lake Sunset


(C) Hillary Humberson


For many years Bob and I owned a home very near Long’s Peak and Lily Lake bordering Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, Colorado. Our "cabin” as we called it served as a place to escape and enjoy all things that mountain living offered including fly fishing the nearby lakes and rivers, hiking trails, observing Elk and other wildlife and for me, photographing nature in all forms.


In the world of “DSLR” otherwise known as Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras I’m a “Canon” girl. Oh, I’m not one of those folks that carries around lenses that resemble bazookas but I do hold my own with a few select zoom lenses and filters that bring out the best in capturing photographic moments.


For a time, I was on a quest to photograph as many animals as possible native to our Rocky Mountains. Living so close to the Park allowed for both early morning photographic adventures as well as late afternoon opportunities when animals are more often out and about. Though some eluded my lens, over the years I was able to photograph Elk by the score, Rocky Mountain Sheep, Moose, Bald Eagles in flight, a Black Bear fishing in a lake, a Snowy Owl with her nest of Owlets and of all things a Badger sitting on top of his den very near the Beaver Meadows entrance into the Park!


Likewise, the abundant natural beauty of “Rocky’s” colorful sunrises and sunsets, unusual cloud formations, scenic lakes, mountain peaks and floral beauty have always provided photographic inspiration! One basically can’t go wrong whether using an iPhone camera or professional gear!


However, on one gorgeous July evening as I was finishing dinner dishes a burst of color came streaming through the cabin’s kitchen window catching my attention. Without hesitation and grabbing my camera gear I called to my husband, “let’s go find that sunset!”


Finding the explosion of color was no problem at all as we lived within 5 minutes of this dramatic scene happening at Lily Lake where the photo above was taken. Beyond the beauty of the sunset itself was that apart from just a half dozen other folks, all with professional cameras and a leader giving them instructions, we were the only people present to witness this amazing display of God’s artistry!


I snapped dozens of pictures as each second that passed provided the most beautiful changing sunset scenes that I’ve witnessed to this day! Bob and I just kept remarking to each other, “can you believe this”?!


And then it happened…the leader of the small group came over to where we were snapping shots and without hesitation or introduction gently adjusted my camera settings stating, “There… now you’ll really love what you’re going to see”! Little did I know that the gentleman was an award-winning National Geographic photographer hosting an exclusive group compensating him for his skill, talent, and expertise! (And just moments before we were cleaning up dinner dishes…oh how I love God moments like this!)


And you know, he was right. I DID love what I saw not only through the camera’s lens but as well the finished product thanks to the help given by this Master of Photography. Through his guidance and a few adjustments what was already beautiful turned into a remarkable display of color! The camera and lens had the right settings, but without the professional’s help I would’ve never seen the depth and range of color, the explosion of light breaking through the darkness, or the rainbow of reflections on the Lake.


It really was a “Best Day”!


What adjustments might reveal what God really wants you to see? Are you willing to allow The Master to make those adjustments without hesitation? I know those are two big questions but consider that, “You just might really love what you’ll see”...if you let go, let Him reach in and be in awe of the result!


Psalm 65:8 (Amplified Version)

They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;

You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy!



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