Aspen in Autumn

October 19, 2000


Provided by: Jim Foster, NASA/GSFC
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Sandy Gertsch

This photograph was taken in early October (2000) on the east side of the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah. Aspen typically reach their peak color in early October across much of Colorado and Utah. In the background are the Olympic ski jumps, which will be used in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, 16 months from now in February, 2002. The golden aspen contrasts with the deep green of the fir and lodgepole pines and with the rather drab foreground consisting of sagebrush and range scrub. The higher elevations of the Rockies and the intermontaine basins, as compared to terrain at similar latitudes in the eastern U.S., contributes to the earlier fall colors. In some parts of the west, drought and heat stress have resulted in the fall colors being somewhat muted this year.

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