As September ends and autumn begins, life in many of Colorado's mountain towns begins to slow down. Most of the summer visitors have left, many local businesses have closed for the season, and the festivals are now just fond memories.
An aerial view of Lake City's Uncorked Wine and Music Festival
Although the streets are quiet, the natural world is undergoing dramatic change. Just a few weeks ago, the forests were still filled with wildflowers and mushrooms. Those same forests are now home to carpets of fallen aspen leaves and patches of fresh snow. The seasonal change is particularly abrupt this year.
Summer already begins to seem distant as the mountains take on a new character. Peaks are suddenly more challenging environments, with high winds and snow fields. At lower elevations, aspen canopies turn from green to gold to bare in a matter of days, and familiar trails can seem like a completely new experience.
I can't take you to my favorite trails and forests, but I can leave you with this short video experience. Relax and watch the falling leaves.