Photo by Pete KJ "Base Camp Denver: 101 Hikes in Colorado's Front Range"

The Hunt for Red September


It’s that precious time again! The aspens in Colorado’s Front Range are blazing in color. As I write this on September 14, groves at 10,000 feet and above are peaking.

We’re talking about groves that sport anthocyanins. Unlike the yellow and orange pigments which are present in leaves all summer, red-glowing anthocyanins are produced only in autumn in response to bright light and excess plant sugars. In the case of aspens, red is elusive. Most groves don’t go red at all, and those that do don’t do it every year.
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