What a surprise to find out there is still so much snow on Col de la Bonette in the middle of June! The last bit of snow I saw was in St-Dalmas exactly two months before. Since then I completely forgot about it, except for the news on TV showing the load of snow the South-West of France was getting. Since St-Dalmas the weather has been so-so, but on beautiful day we could enjoy having lunch on a terrace, walk on the beach and feel like summer was heading our direction. That makes it an even stronger contrast when you go in the mountain and experiment winter again.
We do, however, had much warmer temperature than winter on Col de la Bonette right now, making it very comfortable for a walk, have lunch in the mountain sitting on a rock, and of course taking pictures. When we left Saint-Paul in the morning the temperature was 20 degrees, and down to 8 degrees at the top of the Col. Quite a big difference!
Now back to photography. This day on Col de la Bonette had a lot of surprises for us. First, the weather was really challenging because of the frequent changes in lighting. From cloudy to sunshine to rain, and the back and forth. I kept changing the aperture and shutter speed on the camera to adapt and get proper exposure. Perfect, I like it when it's complicated.
Second surprise was the fact that a race was happening there that day. La Coupe des Alpes 2013 is the name of it, and it brought us a lot of nice cars. Ferraris, Porsches, Jaguar, all of them exotic from past years.. I was delighted to watch the flat vista of the mountain punched with red, yellow, green, blue and other vivid colors of the cars passing in the front of my lens. There were so many I could have a post on this blog just for that.
Third surprise was the snow. Lots of it. It was amazing to see these "walls" on the side of the road. A clear hint of the snow falls they had over there. It reminded me of the youth in Canada where we could climb on the house roof from the snow pile the wind had created during a snow storm. Oh well..
Forth and last surprise was the greens growing everywhere. It's a huge contrast with the rocks and snow, the greens are intense and saturated, only cut by a river or timberline. It was gorgeous and a pure pleasure to photograph.
© Normand Primeau