Fall colors 2012….here they come!
Expect alot more of these types of shots over the coming weeks as we slide further from summer. I may suffer my way through winter but I’m infatuated with the cool air and bright colors of fall.
During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.
Colorado fall colors are famous. They light up the mountains-sides throughout the state. New Mexico’s fall foliage is quite impressive itself.
The brilliant show of fall leaves is regulated mostly by light with a hint of temperature baked in. By mid-September when the days become shorter and cooler and nights grow longer and begin to touch the freezing zone, the biochemical processes mentioned above take hold and we start to see the reds, oranges, golds and browns in the weeks before the leaves carpet the ground. Already, I’m seeing some aspens and cottonwoods here in Taos starting to change.
In the northern part of Colorado, this process is well under way and will reach its peak over the next two weeks. Here in northern New Mexico, our colors (already starting to change) will take off about September 25th and run to mid-October.
Check out these Colorado fall foliage driving routes and these New Mexico fall foliage driving routes to plan a weekend driving trip or some last camping trips of the season…and some amazing fall colors 2012.