Later in the day we headed up high. We don't have many deciduous trees here in the desert, even in the mountains, so fall colors usually aren't especially dramatic. Nevertheless, the aspen trees provide little dashes of color amidst the dark green of the surrounding evergreens.
Aspen trees are often clones, so all the trees in a particular grove will turn the same shade of color at the same time. The scientific name for quaking aspen is Populus tremuloides. I've always liked the word tremuloides, which sounds sort of like trembling. The heart-shaped leaves are supported on small stems, so even the slightest breeze makes them rustle.
As we walked near the trees, a few leaves fluttered to the ground. The temperature was perfect, and it was a delight to be outside. Soon a yellow carpet will be covering the forest floor, and not long after that, a layer of cold, white snow will top the delicate leaves.