As autumn slowly prepares the way for winter's snow in the high country, i get a hankering to see cottonwoods in the lower deserts to the east of our valley. They're the last trees in the area to lose their leaves, so they're usually the final show of summer as she slips south.
On the way up the canyon to get to the desert on the other side, we saw the remains of the season's first real snowfall. The color hasn't yet hit its stride in the mountains, so that's a sure bet that the low cottonwoods haven't been touched by fall. The progress of the seasons is a good thing to watch all along the trip, nevertheless. Word has it that there was at least six to eight inches of snow on the summits when it fell, and that there are areas where four feet has run into drifts up high. These trees still have snow on their branches four days after the storms; that's an indication of the winds and how cold it's been for the past few days.
The fish were fun to watch on the stream on the other side of the mountain. It was three in the afternoon, but in the shade they were breaking the water with a vigor usually reserved for the first and last light of the day. We had some fun with dry flies for a time, and the color displayed by the medium-sized browns was a joy to see.
We didn't have much time in the desert this time due to challenged navigation and questionable exploratory decisions, but to see the red rock, sage and cottonwoods is always worth the time and effort.