Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

One good turn[ing of the leaves] deserves another [and closer view]

with 29 comments

Aspen Trees Turning Color 0858

The previous post showed aspen trees, Populus tremuloides, in the San Juan Mountains as viewed from US 550 north of Durango, Colorado, on September 25th. Eventually, as you see here, I came to places with good fall color right along the highway. The evergreens appear to be a species of spruce.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 21, 2014 at 5:44 AM

29 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, really nice. My OCD would have required that I straighten the trunks in the center … but that’s just me. Really nice shot. D

    Pairodox Farm

    October 21, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    • I noticed that slight leaning too, and I wondered if I’d tilted the camera. In looking at other pictures from the set, however, I saw that even within a grove there were sometimes smaller groups of trees that leaned differently from the upright orientation of the majority. My conclusion is that this picture probably shows the real orientation. I could have rotated the image a few degrees counterclockwise to put things on the up and up, but in the end I decided to leave the picture as is.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2014 at 4:36 PM

  2. Curious to realise that these are all clones. No wonder they look so alike.


    October 21, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    • The reality that groups of these trees are clonal colonies is quite surprising, isn’t it? And yet even within the clonal colony trees can change color at different times. Perhaps that’s due to differences in the light that falls on one tree versus another, or to other slight differences in the environment. Or maybe it’s just obstinacy.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM

  3. I really like the color against the repeating verticals of the trunks, and the evergreens leaven the whole thing.


    October 21, 2014 at 7:38 AM

  4. Just beautiful and nice composition, too.


    October 21, 2014 at 7:50 AM

  5. I really was surprised to see how you’d added your copyright to this one, and then I looked again. The strong, horizontal line, so noticeable, juxtaposes beautifully with the vertical trees. With the “signature” so clearly a part of the image, it takes on the feel of a vintage post card, sent back to your readers from a fabulous trip.


    October 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    • This picture is so full of pleasing details that I couldn’t find a place for my name that didn’t spoil some part of the image. That’s what led me to think outside the box—or rather frame, as photographers call it.

      I do see what you mean about a vintage post card. I still see post cards for sale in touristy places, but I wonder if they’ll fade away (more than they already have) in favor of the immediacy of digital photographs posted right after being taken.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM

  6. NIce photo Steve! It’s true…sometimes the best visuals are near roadways as you well know. I get turned off by the “icons” where everyone else tends to congregate.


    October 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    • It’s fortunate for me that a few excellent stands of aspens came into view along the highway because I wasn’t in a position to do any hiking. Like you, I generally avoid places where people congregate, although that’s not always possible, especially when I’m an unfamiliar place and don’t have time to find secluded places that might be even better.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM

  7. The evergreens appear to be the Colorado blue spruce, the Colorado state tree. At one time it was actually also the state tree of Utah, but earlier in 2014 the state legislature finally recognized the absurdity of that and replaced the Colorado tree with the quaking aspen as the official state tree of Utah. I’ve always loved the botanical name of the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).


    October 21, 2014 at 12:12 PM

  8. The repeating verticals put me in mind of Bev Dolittle’s paintings, such as “Sacred Ground”–winter aspens and horses.


    October 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM

  9. I always like your photos, but felt compelled this time to tell you how lovely this timely one is, over here in the UK, we do not see sights like this. It really does make me want to visit.


    October 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    • Thanks, Julie. We don’t have sights like this in central Texas, either, and that’s one reason I was so happy to see the changing of the aspens for the first time in my life. You may not have aspens, but aren’t there other deciduous trees in the UK that put on an autumnal display of color?

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 21, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      • We rarely have the right conditions to produce such wonderful colours on that scale, currently its too mild, so still a lot of green deciduous trees around. So I am very much enjoying your photos.


        October 22, 2014 at 2:36 AM

        • Let’s hope you get some local color later in the autumn. In Austin I look forward each November and December to see what our flameleaf sumacs do; they’re small trees, but usually a reliable source of color in a climate that’s too warm for grand displays like the ones you’ve seen here from Colorado or the ones I grew up with in New York.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 22, 2014 at 2:50 AM

          • One upside of the very mild Autumn here is the really wonderful display of red Hawthorn berries in the hedgerows. My neighbour has a Sumac, that does colour beautifully, but only one, it must be a wonderful sight to see lots in colour at the same time.


            October 22, 2014 at 5:56 AM

            • Will you soon be showing a picture of those hawthorn berries? I’ll do what I can with the flameleaf sumac when the time comes.

              Steve Schwartzman

              October 22, 2014 at 8:02 AM

  10. It’s like you’ve been shooting foliage right along. Very nice, Steve.

    Steve Gingold

    October 21, 2014 at 3:27 PM

  11. Great colours. 😍💕

    Raewyn's Photos

    October 22, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    • As you can imagine, I was quite happy with the set of pictures that includes this one. I finally got my real fall foliage.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2014 at 4:42 PM

  12. These trees are one of the wonders of Autumn – I really wish they grew over here in the UK. A beautiful shot, Steve.


    October 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    • You’re the second commenter on the this post who laments the lack of colorful autumnal foliage in the UK. We don’t have much in central Texas, either, and that’s one reason why my jaunt to Colorado this year was special.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 23, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: