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Fall Colors (updated to include any year)

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Mark Curtis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:58 pm

A few of the Sneffels Range from last Thursday evening:

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby adkinsadam1 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:54 pm

Are the aspens around the maroon bells looking better this year than they normally do?

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Mark Curtis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:03 pm

Matt wrote:
Dude, I will send some whine with you next time you visit the Land of Enchantment. :?
Sorry you've missed out down there. Some of my favorite fall color photos have come from New Mexico.


Don't get too bent out of shape, Matt....it was just one person's point of view, and I think most are going to take that for what it's worth. I figured there might be some fallout from my comments. No problem, because I stand by them. At the same time, I meant no offense to New Mexico or anyone who lives there or thinks it's grand. I would go there again in a heartbeat.....maybe you could suggest some more places?

I only ask that you take my views in context. So much of scenery and photography is subjective, and I am glad you have had success there. Frankly, one can find great fall colors in any state....that wasn't my point. It was simply to suggest there are plenty of options even in these latter stages (for mountainous areas anyway) of the color season.....New Mexico perhaps being one of them. I recognize I was only giving a limited amount of feedback from a relatively condensed frame of reference. I have no doubt there are plenty of tourists, people who reside there, and photographers alike who have experienced what you described in great detail. I can't refute that, nor would I want to.

But my overriding point was more objective. That is to say, Colorado is an amazing state for aspen viewing and there are boundless, easy opportunities for viewing them all over the state.....and that they vary greatly in their peak timing and resistance to weather related conditions. You can drive from one area to the next and see stunning displays virtually all over the western two thirds of the state. I have ostensibly circumnavigated it multiple times over, and that is my view. And my sense is that most who have done the same will echo that sentiment. I admit my bias, and I also admit my lack of doing anything like what I just described in New Mexico. Perhaps I will some day when I have more time (and money!).

But until then, I can only go by what the suggestions were.....and I did see several of those places. And one of them was that stretch of US 64 I mentioned. Most places for which I did research seemed to corroborate the idea that that particular stretch was one of the most scenic in New Mexico (for fall colors...esp. aspen). And I would agree that it was as described. Esp. the section just before you start heading north toward Chama. I would say that area was on par with some of the better stretches in Colorado.

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Mark Curtis » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:20 pm

adkinsadam1 wrote:Are the aspens around the maroon bells looking better this year than they normally do?


If Jon's "damn good cliche shot" :wink: is any indication.....they look as good as I've seen them in years. I would love to see a pic of Capitol from around this time. When I went it was just a tad early for most of the trees.

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby aleph4 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:26 pm

Well, I hope the "coolness" of the snow is true. I'm staying in Crested Butte.
I mean, mountains are beautiful right? Should be good either way.

If anyone has any updates on how the snowstorm is affecting different aspen groves I would GREATLY appreciate it. I know wind can affect some differently than others and that some specific ones are running a bit late peak-wise (I heard Kebler is peaking now?)

Thanks!

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby kimo » Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:24 pm

Matt wrote:...the Land of Enchantment.


Mark Curtis wrote:...suggest some more places?


Northern New Mexico pulls me in like the undertow. Only in Maui does the night hum with energy so thick it can be felt. Enchanting is a nice way to put it. I find that it's a lot stronger than that.

New Mexico is a mosiac of elaborate textures not unlike a Navajo weaving. Some of the edges are sharp as a knife while others are blunt like the blade of new grass. Look for unending fields of golden aspens and disappointment may be the reward. But focus that vision in areas that are within arm's reach - an aspen or cottonwood resting on pink adobe or the needles of a red cactus pressed into a fading gravestone - and the reward can be unveiled.

The Land of Enchantment is not perfect for everyone - it can be a very strange place. And I agree with you - everyone has their own point of view and there is nothing wrong with that. But once I accepted New Mexico for its imperfections and difficulties and relinquished control to the magic, it became one of my favorite places on earth. I anxiously await my next two trips to NM: one planned for mid-October and one over Christmas or New Years.

I apologize for posting photos from October 2010. These were taken in and around Taos. Similar scenes might be found right about now.

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:56 pm

Mark Curtis wrote:A few of the Sneffels Range from last Thursday evening...



Mark Curtis, you are truly the Master of Light!



:bow: :bow: :bow:


Image
Image
Image

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby shaunster_co » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:06 pm

Camp Bird Road October 5, 2011. I believe a blanket of snow came to Ouray last night, but the colors are still spectacular on the North side of the Sneffels Range.

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby aleph4 » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:31 pm

Any of you have any reccomendations as to what the best (prettiest) way from Salida to Gunnison is right now? Considering colors

I was looking at the following
- Highway 50 - direct
- Cochetopa crossing, going through Saguache - Haven't heard as much about this one but it's further south so maybe the colors are running a bit late?
- Going north through Buena vista and doing Cottonwood pass

Thanks

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Mark Curtis » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:32 pm

aleph4 wrote:Any of you have any reccomendations as to what the best (prettiest) way from Salida to Gunnison is right now? Considering colors

I was looking at the following
- Highway 50 - direct
- Cochetopa crossing, going through Saguache - Haven't heard as much about this one but it's further south so maybe the colors are running a bit late?
- Going north through Buena vista and doing Cottonwood pass

Thanks


I would tend to discount the very minor difference in latitude. North/south as it relates to fall colors is only a very general guideline. There are certain areas that peak earlier or later regardless. And within the areas there are stands of aspen with variability.

I think the key issue for "right now" is the extent of impact to the leaves by the weather. Strong winds and snow from this current storm system are going to wreak havoc on some areas more than others. Typically the leeward side of the mountains is the eastern side. With that in mind, Cottonwood might be good....as almost all of the aspen on that pass are on the east side. The west side is sparse until you get past Taylor Reservoir and into the canyon heading toward Almont. The Taylor River in that canyon has some nice aspen and other colors.....though it is narrow and so you won't have large groves. So you would have two options for viewing. The PROBLEM would be Cottonwood Pass itself. It may be closed with the winter weather warnings posted.

So in lieu of that, 50 might be your best option. It's protected and it will be plowed (can still be a nasty drive though). There are aspen on both sides of Monarch Pass.

I don't recall Cochetopa that well. I know I have taken that route, but I'm not sure if it was in the fall or not. I have heard it is nice, so it might be a good option. I know I have been just southwest of that area in the fall and it was fantastic.

I guess my question would be if you are willing to go that far out of the way.....why not use that gas and time to go straight on 50, check the colors on Monarch.....and then cruise on up to Kebler/Ohio Passes? There are bound to be some protected spots there. You could even incorporate a loop if Cottonwood is open....by taking a road called Jack's Cabin Cutoff part way down from Crested Butte on the way back. Regardless, good luck....and watch the weather reports.

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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Scuba Steve » Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:37 pm

A couple shots from last weekend on the Cathedral Lake trail outside Aspen
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Re: FALL COLORS.....2011 ONLY, PLEASE (for now)

Postby Gareth » Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:55 pm

Our drive over Kebler Pass last Friday was interesting :?

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second."
- William James

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