Flagstaff’s Fall Foliage

It’s so easy to ignore what’s in your own backyard.

Today, a friend from high school came to visit with her family. A Canadian who now lives in Phoenix, Mary, as you can imagine, needed a fall foliage fix, so we went hunting for autumn colors. We drove up to Schultz Pass and hiked up the Weatherford Trail about three or four miles.

And we found color.

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There’s something special about aspen. I love how straight and thin their trunks,

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how they create a wall of yellow,

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that frames the path almost like a fence,

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and contrasts with the dark green of pine

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or with dead stumps,

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whether fallen

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or still standing.

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And I love how all that yellow makes finding orange

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seem so special.

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At the end of the day, we headed up to Snowbowl, where right now orange

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is the norm rather than the exception.

The sun lit up the tops of the trees for a moment

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before ducking back behind the clouds,

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and I realized that ignoring your own backyard is really silly. Which is why I will be heading back up to Snowbowl a couple times over the next few days. Hopefully, I can get myself out of bed early enough to catch the sun rising over the mountains and lighting up that grove.

I also realized that, as with most things in nature, it would be impossible to really capture any of it, which is why most photos are not so much letters to a friend as they are diaries to ourselves.

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