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Autumn Fire - Photo Gallery
Colors on ParadeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Autumn is my favorite season for so many reasons. I love the colors, the warmth, the breezes, the contrast against the deep blue skies of Colorado, and of course the mountainous backdrop. I have never been able to call it "fall", because autumn is a much more beautiful descriptive word. I made that choice when I discovered the word, and it still describes the fullness of the season to me.
I find it particularly delightful to travel during this time. The temperatures are perfect, with the exception of an occasional storm or two which is in Colorado, a normal occurrence. I love the expression, "If you don't like the weather in Colorado, wait a minute, it's about to change!" I have been caught in, and actually enjoy those interruptions as well.
I have found many a local coffee shop or restaurant refuge during these times. I have also made it a point to not be in too much of a hurry to get from one place to another in the middle of changing seasons. I have encountered radical mountain snowstorms while climbing peaks on the sunniest days, and I respect the weather as God created it. When I was in the middle of climbing Mt. Redcloud several years ago, a short bout with rain and lightning afforded me the rest I needed to eventually make it to the top. The view was glorious!
I never get tired of photographing the color blending of trees, brush, and even plants and leaves that are dying, it seems that somehow the whole picture of the season has precious things to contribute. I relish all of them, and appreciate the lingering of autumn. Every year, I think, is the best and most beautiful I have ever seen. I try not to take pictures in the same places each year, however, I have a few favorite trees that stand exceptionally in my memory that I photograph quite regularly.
I highly recommend taking your autumn pictures when you first encounter the scenery and colors that move you. I have too often, intended to make another day of it, and when that day came, the leaves were sadly either absent or diminished. Since we have random storms in the fall, one good dumping of snow can change it all in days. This year was an exception, as the snow served to deepen and beautify an already spectacular fiery display.
When I first arrived in Colorado, it was summer. I thought I was in heaven merely by virtue of the reduction of humidity that I had been accustomed to on the island of Hawaii, but I had much yet to see. As summer burst into fall, I marvelled at the display of creative trees and colors for the first time. As my sister drove me through the first aspen groves and I saw them glistening in the breeze, I was simply captivated by their beauty.
Driving into Aspen present a staggering view of hundreds of quaking aspens. A walk through John Denver's Memorial in the city named after such glorious trees. It was a peaceful contemplative walk on a brisk fall day, with friends. The following year, I spoke at a banquet in Telluride, equally breathtaking in its autumn presentation. I walked extensively through the town, marvelling at everything I was blessed to see.
I think deeply on these walks, and whenever I am out in nature, like most people, I suppose. This year, I found myself even marvelling over the plants that where dying amidst the living. Even the dying plants had their own beauty in their surrender, always with the promise of new, and perhaps more abundant flourishing in the spring. We should hope the same for ourselves, I thought.
Now, after 19 years, every year seems to hold progressively more spectacular displays, and I am more fascinated with capturing the totality of the beauty that accompanies the season. So far my collection is 2,000 photos, each unique in presentation and the observations that I made as I looked through the lens.
These pictures were taken in Erie, and Vail, during the week of October 15-22 and on the road from Glenwood Springs to Aspen from October 5-9. Although I missed most of the aspens in Vail this year. my cover photo was taken in the Betty Ford Gardens there during our annual women's retreat.
I suppose tomorrow's storm will wipe out what remains of the color, but who am I to lament after such a delightful feast? Not only have I had more than my share, I have still have a piece of it in my heart and on film. Oh, and that's right, there is always next year!