Red Aspen in Utah

October 15, 2010



Photographer: Ray Boren
Summary Author: Ray Boren

The photos above show glorious fall colors in north central Utah. Golden aspen (Populus tremula) is a staple of autumn in the mountain west. However, gold isn't the only color that aspen may attain as daylight shortens and the temperatures drop. I've actually photographed orange-red aspen trees over a period of many years. These rusty aspen are easily noticed in the Monte Cristo Highway area of the northern Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest -- between Huntsville and Woodruff, Utah. Scientists who've studied selected aspen clones (for they usually grow from a shared root system) have discovered that two anthocyanins are present in orange and red-colored aspen leaves but not in the more prosaic golden or yellow aspens. Anthocyanins are pigments that give flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees colors such as red, blue and purple. Note that the bottom photo was taken from Brighton, a ski resort not far from Salt Lake City, Utah. Photos taken on September 29, 2010.

Photo details: TOP - Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D60; Focal Length: 240.0mm; Aperture: f/8.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 100; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Flash Fired: No; Color Space: sRGB. BOTTOM - Same except: Focal Length: 112.0mm; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.017 s (1/60); Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); Flash Fired: No.