It seems like it was just
yesterday that I was writing about spring here in South Park Colorado.
That statement sure sounds like something my mom would sayâ€¦seems like only
Today is the 3
of October and South
Park is again the topic
of my writing. This time I am writing about fall; fall color to be exact. The
â€œfall color seasonâ€ is underway. Huge splotches of gold can be seen on the
mountainsides around 11,000'. Here at my house at 9300-9500â€™ we have not yet
seen the peak foliage color.
It is the large stands of
aspen with brilliant yellow gold leaves that are the iconic Colorado
fall scene: Aspen gold and blue sky â€“ I have
taken my share of photos with this theme. This year, however, there is red in
the display, at least more than is usual. And more green for this late.
Color change in the aspen
trees is cued by shorter day length as summer progresses into fall. The yellow
and orange pigments are there in the leaf and even play a role in
photosynthesis, but they are masked in the summer by the green chlorophyll. As
the days grow shorter and the temperatures drop, chlorophyll production (and
food production) slows to a stop. The tree will break down the chlorophyll
allowing the carotenoids â€“ the oranges and yellows â€“ to show. Red to purplish
color is an expression of anthocyanin pigments. The anthocyanins are actually
produced in the leaf from sugars that remain there as the leaves begin to
separate (on a cellular level) from the tree.
There is always a lot of
local speculation about the factors that make for the best fall color show or â€œgold
rushâ€ as it is known here. Generally speaking the trees need good summer
moisture (but not too much), cool nights but not freezing temperatures, and dry
conditions early in the fall. Coloradoâ€™s
color season appears to be delayed this year because of the very wet conditions
in early to mid September.
temperatures are in the forecast for tonight through the weekend I took some
photos today. I am afraid that a hard freeze will turn what is green now
directly to brown and I want to capture how pretty it is to have all the colors
â€“ green, olive, gold, orange, and red â€“ on display this year.
Sophie and I set out this morning down the lane from my home.
Gorgeous grandfather Aspen showing red and gold color.
Â A stand of aspen trees illustrates what Colorado's fall "gold rush" is all about.
Summer's fading greens and coppery reds of fall show in these aspen trees.
More color to come (I hope) if frost doesn't turn the leaves brown.
While I donâ€™t really
design my Pebbles at my Feet jewelry to follow the seasons, I am certainly
inspired by my surroundings. I often use Colorado
and South Park color palettes in my natural stone jewelry
designs. How neat it was to find these rhyolite beads with shades of summer
green and fall aspen yellow in the same stone. These were certainly inspired by
what I call the fading summer greens.
A new design from Pebbles at my Feet not yet listed. Rhyolite and copper earrings show "Summer's fading greens".
And this bracelet reveals
an entire landscape of autumn color including the red and pink rocks that
backdrop the scene in many of my favorite areas. Gemstone charm bracelet featuring jasper, rhyolite, unakite, and agates.
Season-less, but most certainly inspired by Colorado's intensely blue skies and red sandstone and clay earth, I called these earrings (sold) "Blue Sky over Red Earth".Â
I hope you are enjoying a fall display near where you live, too. Let me know what you like about this season...and make my day...by leaving a comment.