|Nature's Hardest Hue to Hold|
|Columbine Lake (click link for professional photos)|
Since our weekends are numbered, we've been sure to get out and enjoy fall every chance we get! Having been born in Texas, I have a strong bias towards Spring as my favorite season: redbuds, dogwoods, and magnolias all in full blossom, and whole fields turning blue, red, and yellow with wildflowers as the songbirds migrate up from Central and South America -- I feel like the New Year doesn't really begin until the first flowers. A Rocky Mountain spring is very different: the weather pattern is chaotic with snows, dust storms and heat waves all in the same week. The plants (and field technicians) can't trust it. Oak trees do not leaf out until late May, and even then they can get zapped by frost like many did this year and have to go through a second leafing almost a month later. Spring tries to start up in the valleys, and moves up the slopes in fits and starts, with July being the best wildflower season since snows have finally melted and monsoon rains hit the lower canyons.
|A scenic overlook of the Ampitheater|
|View from campsite|