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Fall Colors

Aspen paint the mountains in shades of yellow

The fall foliage in Colorado’s high country is at its peak right now and absolutely resplendent in bright color. If you live here and want to see this year’s show you need to go ASAP. A cold front will be arriving tomorrow and that is going to drop temperatures and bring some precipitation. Snow levels could drop to 10,000 feet above which a few inches are possible. With conditions like that, an abrupt end to the mountain leaf peeping season can be expected.

Scroll down to view the complete gallery of images from this past weekend’s fall colors in Rocky Mountain National Park.

The road to gold.  Yellow leaves on aspen trees create a bright scene in Rocky Mountain National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

The road to gold. Yellow leaves on aspen trees create a bright scene in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Little leaves steals big fall foliage show

Probably my biggest fault as a photographer is an inability to recognize small-scale photo opportunities. I think I just don’t pay enough attention sometimes. Thankfully that wasn’t entirely the case recently when viewing the golden aspen in #Colorado’s high country recently.

Most of the time I was indeed focused (pun intended) on the show at the top of the trees above me but for whatever reason, at one point a very bright, beautiful scene below captured my attention. A few bright yellow leaves had fallen at the junction of some tree roots that were above the surface and when laying on the ground on their level, I was able to truly appreciate the leaves’ fine detail.

Throw in the greens and browns of the forest floor surrounding the leaves and these are my favorite pics of the day.

Golden aspen leaves lie on the forest floor. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden aspen leaves lie on the forest floor. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden aspen leaves on the forest floor in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden aspen leaves on the forest floor in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden aspen leaves lie on the forest floor. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden aspen leaves lie on the forest floor. (© Tony’s Takes)

There’s gold in them thar hills!

Colorado’s high country is ablaze in color right now as the fall foliage continues to arrive. Temperatures this weekend were very mild for this time of year which made it quite easy to get out early and take in the sights. This image was taken this morning in the Horseshoe Park area of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Aspen trees are topped in golden fall foliage in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Aspen trees are topped in golden fall foliage in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Rocky Mountain gold (and blue)

In Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, the colors are starting to change above about 9,000 feet.  I was unable to find any large expanses of yellow but did find some nice, isolated batches.  I kind of like shots like this with the contrasting brilliant yellow of an Aspen tree and the deep blue skies of high altitude.

Leaves of gold stand in stark contrast to the deep blue Colorado sky in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Leaves of gold stand in stark contrast to the deep blue Colorado sky in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Grazing elk and fall foliage in the Colorado high country

The changing of the seasons in the Centennial State is one of the best times of years here. Weather conditions are typically pleasant and up in the mountains the changing foliage streaks the landscape in gold. Throw in our abundant wildlife and you have some great photo opportunities.

I took hundreds of pictures this past weekend and this is my favorite – in fact it is one of my favorites that I have ever taken.

The sky was quite overcast but for a brief time soon after sunrise the sun made an appearance at the horizon bathing this area of Rocky ?Mountain? National Park in sunlight. At the far edge of the meadows, aspen trees were radiant gold. In the foreground, an ?elk? bull bugled as he kept close watch on his grazing cows. It was an amazing scene to witness and I am very pleased to have been able to capture it.

Elk graze in a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Elk graze in a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A canopy of golden leaves

A canopy of golden leaves. This tree is resplendent in gold and has a very, very busy internal structure. Found in Rocky Mountain National Park this past weekend, I’m not sure what kind it is. Possibly an aspen but they usually aren’t so ‘busy’ and don’t normally have a ‘barky’ base. Any hints would be appreciated.

A busy aspen tree is resplendent in fall colors in Rocky Mountain National Park.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A busy aspen tree is resplendent in fall colors in Rocky Mountain National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Amber colored mountainside in Rocky Mountain National Park

It was a typically gorgeous Colorado day this past Saturday and perfect for photography, wildlife viewing and fall foliage. With clear, blue skies above, Hallett Peak (left), elevation 12,720 ft, and Flattop Mountain (right), 12,324′, looked as rugged as ever. Below timberline on their slopes and on those of nearby mountains the aspen were radiant in fall gold.

Hallett Peak (left), elevation 12,720 ft, and Flattop Mountain (right), 12,324', looked as rugged as ever with golden aspen trees below. (© Tony’s Takes)

Hallett Peak (left), elevation 12,720 ft, and Flattop Mountain (right), 12,324′, looked as rugged as ever with golden aspen trees below. (© Tony’s Takes)

Star brightened fall foliage

The late afternoon sun was peering through this grove of aspen trees near Estes Park, Colorado yesterday. The changing of colors is a bit early this year and this was likely the last, good weekend up in the mountains. Some spots were already bare while others were nearing the end.

The sun illuminates golden aspen leaves near Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

The sun illuminates golden aspen leaves near Estes Park, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

There’s gold in them thar hills!

The change of colors is in full swing in Colorado’s high country right now and the landscape is looking amazing. The aspen are golden and in some places shades of orange and red. This image was taken yesterday afternoon on Guanella Pass looking to the east back toward Georgetown.

Golden leaves along the mountains and hills of Guanella Pass, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Golden leaves along the mountains and hills of Guanella Pass, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Golden View

I decided I didn’t want to wait till this weekend to see the fall colors so I headed for the high country right after work today. Guanella Pass in Colorado was absolutely stunning and awash in yellows and oranges.

A golden view from Guanella Pass, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A golden view from Guanella Pass, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)