One of the things I absolutely love about living in Colorado is the aspen tree. It only grows at high altitudes, and only–as far as I know–in the western mountains of North America. They propagate mainly through their roots, sending up feeder shoots and lots of them, as anyone whose neighbor has them knows to their great annoyance. An entire grove of aspens can grow from just a few parent trees. In fact, one grove in Utah is called Pando (Latin for “I spread”) and is the single heaviest living organism in the world. It might also be one of the oldest, the root system is estimated at up to 80,000 years old, continually sending up new shoots, some trunks living 130 years before being replaced by new ones.
Think about that – 106 acres of forest is actually a single living thing that has been growing there ages before there was civilization in Mesopotamia.
The aspens in my area are certainly not that old or impressive. But the colors, when they finally turned, were lovely this year.
There was also a crab-apple that still had color, though the frost was taking its toll.
All in all, it has been a lovely fall. And now that winter has begun in earnest, I’ll have to learn some techniques for snow, and haul out the cold weather gear. Even better, start looking for indoor subjects….