Father Charlie and I went north to see and photograph fall colors. This post has the results. Some people say we don’t have fall here in the Arizona desert. I disagree, and I love this time of year here. The changes are more subtle and nuanced than our cooler neighbors, but they are no less beautiful, in my opinion. However, we can experience the fall color changes in Arizona by taking a drive out of the desert. One popular place to go is Lockett Meadow, just north of Flagstaff, where there is a large aspen forest. If you can hit it at the right time in the fall, the foliage is a bright, brilliant yellow, like it was turned on with a switch.
We left on Friday morning, October 14. It’s about a 3 hour drive. When we got there we found we were a little bit too late, and a lot of the leaves had fallen, but there were still nice colors, and photos to be had. Our lesson learned is that we should go about 2 weeks earlier next time. The elevation is about 8500 ft, so the air is thin, and you can feel it when hiking.
The aspen forests in some parts of Arizona are in trouble and dying off. If you’re interested there is some information about it here. The main problem is deer, elk, and cattle eating the new shoots and thus preventing regeneration of the trees.
We saw this when we went to Potato Lake. After Lockett Meadow, we decided to stop by this lake on the Mogollon Rim that I’ve been to quite a few times to see fall colors. It’s a small rain fed lake – a pond really – that was bordered on one side with an Aspen grove. I haven’t been there for a few years, and unfortunately, all the aspens there are dead now, so I must remove it from my list of places for fall colors. We did take some photos of the pine trees reflected in the lake. The sun was low by then, so we only got the tops of the trees.
Here are the pictures: