Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mellow Yellow - Aspen Fall Colors in the Rocky Mountains

Click on picture to see a larger image
Mountain Valley Panoramic in Rocky Mountain National Park
For a slide show of the Aspens in the Rockies click here:
Once in the show, click the f11 key for a better view
I spent a few days visiting my daughter and family in Colorado. Her family moved to Castle Rock, CO from Florida. Quite a change in climate and altitude. She had a housewarming party for all the relatives in Colorado and got a chance to visit with a few I had not seen in many years.
The Aspens were changing color at higher elevations, so my wife Gloria, daughter Pam, four year old grandson, Tyler and I spend a wonderful day driving around looking for scenes of golden light to photograph. In the morning, we drove through Denver up to Loveland, the west up the Thompson Canyon to Estes Park. We had no time to stop and enjoy the towering canyon, nor buys Estes Park, except for a bit of lunch. Using Pam's State Park pass (saving me $20), we drove into the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Ranger at the entrance told us that the road to Bear Lake, where most of the Aspens are located, was congested with traffic, so instead we drove up Trail Ridge road. We found a few Aspens here, but not what I was looking for, so we backtracked to Estes Park, then drove south down highway 7, 72 and 119. Along this route we stopped at many places for some colorful views of the golden trees along the mountain sides, streams and valleys. Click on the above link to see a slide show.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Tom. As usual, your photos are superb! You probably know this already, but in case you don't:

    Aspens are called "Quakies" or "Trees of Tragedy" in many parts of the west. The two names have divergent origins. They are called "Quakies" because, while still in green, the least wind causes the leaves to rustle, giving the effect of the entire tree shimmering or "quaking".

    They are called "Trees of Tragedy because, as you may have noticed, groves of aspen are usually found joining with irregular boundries with forests of conifers. The aspens are the "scars" of forest fires; they are the first trees to grow after a forest fire, and clearly deliniate the boundries of that fire. Over periods of many years, they will be replaced by the conifers once again. Aspens rank among the most beautiful of trees in all seasons, bot are relatively short-lived.

    They are also one of my favorite trees.

    Thanks again for sharing the wonders of your lens,

    Jim Marsh