The above scene is Pure Colorado – Sagebrush, Yellow Aspen, and snow-capped mountains. Much of Colorado is a high desert, as evidenced by the Sagebrush in the foreground. There is scant rainfall in the Summer – most of the precipitation occurs in Winter months, with the runoff watering the trees and the shrubs. Compared to states in the East, Colorado receives 1/3 to 1/2 of the average rainfall in the Eastern states. The Aspen crowd in areas where there is moisture in the ground, sharing extensive root systems. A hundred individual trees may be connected to one root system, making Aspen the largest living things on earth.The snow capped mountains of the San Juan Range start collecting snow from storms in late September and continue through April and May, resulting in snowpack 6 or more feet deep. Many hiking trails and dirt roads are covered with snow until the end of June, later in a heavy snow year. I take most of my Summer photographs in July and August – a short window to capture the beauty of Colorado in bloom.
- Ancient Tree on