Sunday, September 23, 2007
Here are some early Autumn in the Rocky Mountains photos I took coming home from Pueblo the other day. Keep in mind that although the days are shorter and the nights cooler we still had a couple of over 90 degree days this week. It was cooler and cloudy today.
This photo shows sailboats on Lake Pueblo, in front of the Wet Mountains, from Liberty Point.
[Please click these photos to enlarge so you can see the details better. It's hard to get so much huge scenery in such a small photo.]
One of the first signs of Autumn here are the yellow blooming Rabbit Brush which cover the valley slopes and the foothills. The cottonwoods will not turn gold yet for a few weeks, although I did see a few yellow leaves here and there. Today I could see the Aspen,that have begun to turn gold, on the front slope of the Wet Mountains, south of Toad Haven. The weather experts tell us that the leaves are turning later than usual, due to the rains we've had, but should be brighter than usual when they do change. You can follow the changing leaves from the high altitudes of the mountains and on down, until finally the cottonwoods along the streams and rivers, and the other lower altitude leaves, change. The native vines, Sumac, and Scrub Oak leaves turn red, but most of our other native trees and shrubs turn golden.
Here are masses of white Ironweed, with tiny daisy like flowers, and other brush along the banks of Beaver Creek, south of Florence, with a pair of gorgeous Paint horses in the back. On the left edge of the photo is one of our remaining old Cedar fence posts. These are rapidly giving way to steel posts as the Cedar finally rots in the ground.
This lovely little yellow daisy flower is quite common this time of the year. I'm not certain exactly which plant this is, but it is one of several similar members of the Aster family that are listed in my native flower book. It might be Goldweed, also known as Cowpen Daisy, as it is common in corrals and pastures.
By next week I will probably be able to post photos of the golden Aspens and later, the red Scrub Oak covered hillsides and the yellow Cottonwood leaves from the riverside woods. The Fall colors always get my creative juices running.