The best of autumn is wrapping up here on the Front Range. Pikes Peak was white last week and the cold front that blew through took most of the leaves off unsheltered limbs. It was a mere two weeks ago that I took this photo of an intensely yellow maple, deep in its interior, where some chlorophyll still remained.
As I mentioned in "Glory" maples are not native to Colorado, but I once lived in New England where maples and the big oaks are king. There were two particularly magical afternoons when the light was so filtered by the yellow canopy that the very air glowed in yellow aura.
One of those times was walking down a dirt lane after a day spent on the Appalachian Trail in NE Connecticut. The classic New England stone walls on either side, cool fall air, an arc of maples covering the road until it disappeared into a turn and the lurking promise of dinner not too far away...
The second was a solo hike on the Mad Tom Trail, an approach trail that winds from the valley at East Dorset, Vermont high up to the ridge where the AT/Long Trail heads north to Canada. It was a particularly warm day and as I walked along Mad Tom Creek I came to a pool deep enough to swim in. Typically I’m a cold water wimp, but the temperature was tolerable and the yellow glow gave extra added warmth. In I went for a short dip, drinking like a fish as I swam under water, knowing there was nothing above me but forest.