Leaf peeping past its peak
October 4, 2007
ASPEN ” No one can complain about this year’s fall colors. The weather is another matter.
Leaf peepers heading into the high country surrounding Aspen have been treated to a prolonged stretch of autumn splendor that is now stretching into its third week, but for the third weekend in a row, the weather is not expected to cooperate.
While the turning of the aspens has past its peak display in popular spots like the Maroon Bells, just outside of Aspen, the trees on the mountainsides surrounding town ” Aspen Mountain and Smuggler in particular ” remain spectacular, and some aspen stands are still in transition from green to gold. At higher elevations, some stands have lost their leaves altogether while others are still plenty showy.
The weather for each of the past two weekends, has been a mixed bag ” rain, cold and clouds one day and bluebird skies on the other. After several days of perfect fall weather this week, clouds are back in the forecast on Friday, along with a slight chance of rain. The National Weather Service is calling for a 70 percent chance of rain on Saturday and rain or snow on Sunday, before things start to dry out on Monday.
Sunny skies are back in the forecast on Tuesday, but the predicted nasty weekend weather may send much of what’s left of the leaves blowing in the wind.
All in all, however, this year’s leaf season was a vast improvement over last year, when the leaves on many aspens seemed to turn from green to brown and fall off.