High Points — October: The best month | AspenTimes.com

High Points — October: The best month

Paul E. Anna
High Points

“So this is what this place looks like in October,” said my friend, who has become a part–timer in our little valley. “I had almost forgotten.”

Yes, this place does look good this time of year. There is something about the light, the angle of the sun, that is flattering. Everything takes on a kind of dramatic glow and is imbued with a warm sense of nostalgia. Usually the temperatures moderate down in to the 50s and low 60s during the daylight hours and flirt with freezing at night. But this year (excepting yesterday) we have been reaching 70 and beyond as the weather has found a warming groove.

Oh, and then there are the colors. While peak season usually fades away rather quickly in the earliest days of October, there is a lingering palette of yellows, reds and oranges. While the Aspen trees play a starring role in late September, it is the Cottonwoods that took their star turn in the first two weeks of this October. Stunning yellow and gold leaves danced above the rustic hues of the scrub brush in the sun making this a bit different autumn.

Of course, this is a different fall season in a lot of ways. There is the overwhelming change brought about by the pandemic, which will go down for most of us as perhaps the most trying time of our generation. Then the election and the relentless divisiveness have been so unsettling that it has threatened to tear our country apart. And the smoke that has hung in the skies and permeated the valleys made the summer a challenge for those who love the outdoors.

But if one just takes a walk or a ride here in the October sunshine it is almost easy to put all of that behind and simply revel in the beauty of the last days before winter’s inevitable arrival. It is hard, when kicking through the fallen leaves in the relative solitude that this place offers, not to be a part of the natural flow.

Now, October may be the best time of year anyplace in the Northern Hemisphere, not just here. Harvest season in the farmlands, football season, time for the World Series and, of course, Halloween. My friend has spent the last few Octobers in a very different place, New York City. And having been there in the late fall and hearing the sounds of Sinatra singing “Autumn in New York,” I know how special that can be.

But for me, this is the place and the time I enjoy the most here. It is simply the most comforting month of the year.

October is my favorite month.