Fall Leaves in the Upper Rio Grande

Ever wonder where the Rio Grande got its start?

_JC89449

 

_JC88325.jpg_JC88845.jpg_JC88376.jpg_JC88698.jpg_JC88415.jpg_JC89522.jpg_JC88430.jpg_JC89543.jpg_JC88470.jpg_JC89105.jpg_JC88564.jpg_JC88622.jpg_JC88946.jpg_JC89449.jpg
If you follow the Rio Grande upstream about as far as it goes — to where the Rio Grande is still a rio muy pequeño — you’ll wind up a little west of Creede, Colorado.   Fortunately, most Colorado tourists have overlooked this area because it’s a long way from major airports and ski resorts, but there’s a loyal Texas and Oklahoma crowd that usually arrive in RVs for riverside camping, or in 4-wheel-drive vehicles for exploring the mountains.

It’s a great place year-around, but — until last week — I’d never been there for the real “peak” color of the aspen leaves in the fall.  They’re beautiful, but they’re quick!  In the space of a week, lots of the aspen leaves went from green to gone.  Fortunately, I got a few pictures before they all disappeared.

———–

If you want to see several more fall leaves shots, OR if that slideshow above doesn’t work on your browser or device, click here to see them on a different page.

————

Pine beetles are a constant scourge in Colorado, and a few years back a wave came through and killed a bunch of trees.  The locals call it “Beetle Kill.”  The bugs eat the mature evergreens but don’t touch the aspen.  Lots of the pictures have at least a few obvious dead trees.  The shots below are of areas where the evergreens are essentially wiped out.  It looks as though the aspen will quickly take over the open space.

 

c36-_JC88622.jpg_JC88613.jpg_JC89208.jpg