Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

One advantage of traveling in higher latitudes and altitudes in the second half of October

with 11 comments


One advantage of traveling in higher latitudes and altitudes in the second half of October is the chance to see some colorful fall foliage. The first time we stopped for that was on October 20th as we drove south into Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona and pulled over at the entrance to the Cave Springs Campground. Most prominent initially were Lombardy poplars, but the name tells you that those trees aren’t native to the United States. I hope that this nearby tree with bright red leaves, apparently a maple, is native.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 23, 2016 at 3:56 AM

11 Responses

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  1. Great minds think alike: or at least we noticed the same phenomenon. I was going to title a post about my own trip “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Altitudes” as a take-off on Jimmy Buffett’s famous, “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. Unfortunately, even latitudes and altitudes didn’t get me this kind of color. It wasn’t until I threw longitude into the mix and headed west that the amount of color increased, which was pretty interesting.

    The color’s beautiful against that sky, and I like seeing the conifers mixed in. That kind of “mixed” forest can be especially interesting.


    November 23, 2016 at 6:47 AM

    • Great minds indeed. I’m glad to hear you finally got some longed-for fall foliage, even if you had to wait long enough to add longitude into the mix. Will you be showing some of the fall colors you encountered?

      The etymologist will point out that attitude developed as a variant of aptitude. When I think back on my years of teaching, I wish some students had put time into developing their aptitude rather than an attitude.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 23, 2016 at 8:14 AM

      • I certainly will show some of those colors. I was happy to find some cottonwoods in color along the Cimarron river, and some especially nice ones at a small lake. I learned a day or so ago that the cottonwood is the state tree of Kansas. And, while I was double-checking the doubled consonants in Cimarron, I discovered that the so-called “Dry Cimarron,” a portion of the river that usually flows only in rain, passes by Capulin Volcano.


        November 25, 2016 at 7:25 AM

        • Good. I look forward to seeing your fall foliage. The signs seem to be pointing you toward a trip to Capulin

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 25, 2016 at 8:17 AM

  2. There is nothing better at this time of year than the changing leaf colours against a background of cerulean blue.


    November 24, 2016 at 1:09 PM

    • Agreed. I grew up in New York so I know what real fall foliage is like. Because Austin is too far south to have much autumnal color, I’m happy whenever I get to travel farther north in October.

      Cerulean is a good word. It’s etymologically related to celestial.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 24, 2016 at 1:52 PM

      • 🙂


        November 24, 2016 at 2:15 PM

      • I realised after I made my comment that we went through Oak Creek Canyon, but our view was quite different as we saw it in snow! March 2010 https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/the-canyon-circle-road-trip-part-ii/


        November 25, 2016 at 5:17 AM

        • How adventurous of you to go in snow. You probably avoided crowds of people by visiting in the winter.

          We spent three nights in Flagstaff, using it as our base for the Grand Canyon and the Sedona area.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 25, 2016 at 5:39 AM

          • No choice really as OH used to visit San Diego on a regular basis (well San Fran really, but SD is where his office is based so we always tagged on a trip there) in Feb/Mar. And I as usual, like to visit somewhere I haven’t been 🙂


            November 25, 2016 at 6:03 AM

            • That was our goal on this trip, too: to see things we hadn’t seen on previous visits to each area. Even without the work connection, I hope you’ll make it back to the Southwest.

              Steve Schwartzman

              November 25, 2016 at 6:12 AM

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