Lemon Aspens and Chair Mountain
Crystal River Canyon by CO 133, Placita, CO, 9/25/2011
Linhof Master Technika 2000 camera, 210mm Rodenstock Sironar-N f/5.6 lens, polarizer, Fujicolor Pro 160S film, 98 megapixels
This clear early autumn day began with an exploration of the Crystal River Canyon around the town of Redstone, Colorado. The canyon - a glacial valley also called the Valley of the Coal Miners - is historically known as a center of coal mining in the southwestern part of the state. A cluster of quaking aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) caught my eye with their lemon colored leaves glowing in the morning sun! The trees stood out strongly against the rugged high desert brush in this riverside setting at Placita, an old coal mining town site south of Redstone. In the distance is Chair Mountain, which has an elevation of 12,727 feet above sea level, and is the high point of the Raggeds Wilderness. The mountain gets its name because from many angles it looks like a high-backed chair with high arms. The dark hill at left is a lowermost foothill of Elk Mountain, and the green hills at right lead up to the ridge connecting McClure Pass to the west with Chair Mountain to the south. This area forms the heart of the Elk Mountains, a high, rugged mountain range within the Rocky Mountains.