It would be hard to exaggerate when describing the summer of 2011, the most brilliant display of wildflowers I’ve seen in 30 years of living here. From springtime seas of lupine to late-blooming paintbrush and fireweed, the show was boggling. We even saw stalwart harebells and tiny lupine still blooming on a hike last week. The floral phenomenon was even worth slogging through those May snowfalls (talk about abundance!) that drove us so batty last spring.
Summer will be a hard act to follow, but autumn has its own kind of brilliance. Today I walked among the variegated green and yellow aspens on the Upper Loop, with the first little showers of gold leaves fluttering down in the gentle breeze. A perfect autumn day trumps just about anything. Perhaps even the legendary summer of 2011.
For leaf lookers, here’s my prediction: from here on, every day will be that much more spectacular. Next week (the last week of September) might be the peak of color, but I think we’ll have gorgeous autumn hues well into the first part of October (unless Mother Nature messes with us). And catch the sunsets; we’ve had some soul-stirring light displays of reds, oranges and purples illuminating the evening cloud puffs.
By the way, you can soon read Molly’s essay in the winter issue of the Crested Butte Magazine, which is in the pre-production stage right now, for publication before Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, if you have any magnificent winter photos or killer story ideas, send ‘em right this minute. You can reach me at email@example.com.