aspen beneath nature's blanket

October 09, 2022  •  5 Comments

Viewing fall color in the Rocky Mountain west is a spectator sport, as it probably is all over the world, because under perfect conditions, it can be one of nature's perfect plays.  The best of the colors show themselves in our area any time between the last week in September and the second week in October.  Looking at the Sangre de Cristo mountains from our part of Santa Fe, and given the forecast for rain much of the week, we decided that Monday was probably an excellent day for aspen viewing on the way to the Santa Fe Ski Basin.  And it was indeed, despite the heavy skies. Many in Santa Fe were thinking that same thing, as the trailheads and parking areas were packed with cars and buses disgorging all sorts of folks and dogs.  Occasionally, the grey blanket relaxed, emptying some of its contents.

For photography, this type of sky is not necessarily ideal as far as brilliant panoramic views are concerned, but there is always something to shoot. I saw several people with cameras on tripods trying to capture the best of what the day had to offer.  And it was a splendid and damp day in the rarified air.  The gold in the aspen was spectacular.

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Shades of red and orange were scattered everywhere.

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Each leaf, dotted with raindrops, made its own statement.

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I couldn't resist photographing raindrops that had landed and pooled like a ball of mercury into the middle of nature's gold.

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My obsession with aspen trunks will probably be with me forever.  They are fascinating.

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To me, the photograph below is the essence of "forest primeval", with layer upon layer of aspen trunks, leaves, and duff, emitting a fragrance that carries one's spirit back to the beginning of time.

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The momentarily empty trail, edged with assorted color, reflected the dream-like state of a day in the high country.

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Thanks to Charlie, Christina, Veronica, TTT, Victoria, Catherine, and Steve for writing this week!  I hope each of you will pack your cameras or smart phones with you wherever you go.  The whole of our world is worth documenting.  

until next Monday,


a passion for the image©



Dianne James(non-registered)
Yes, Daryl, it's all truly worthy of documenting, and you do that sooooo beautifully. My Aspens turned a beautiful gold, and the winds, today, are taking the leaves away. Now I'll get to rake, and build a compost pile with them. Yay... Gold or not, I love how aspen leaves move in the breeze. So elegant and almost magical. Thanks for sharing the beauty!
Lawrence T. Jones(non-registered)
Stellar photographic images.
Thank you Daryl. Stunning as ever. Makes me happy
Steve Immel(non-registered)
Boy, I love the aspen leaf with the pool of rainwater. Stellar! The russet leaf and sprinkles, too. Hell, all of them. I spent several hours yesterday morning at one of your favorite haunts. I drove up US 64 past Hopewell Lake to get the best of what I call Brazos Pass. I was an hour so late, but it was still a treat. Sunny even. Like you I didn't get aspen glow. You missed it because of the overcast and I because of the overcast. The gray creates a very different mood. It looks wet and rich. The touch of orange amidst the yellow and lime green in image #2 is glorious.
Stupendously stunning w fascinating textures and autumnal color drama. Doggie w stick brought us great joy!
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