Autumn in Wyoming is usually just a bridge to a much colder season. Suddenly the nights are freezing and the leaves disappear virtually overnight. But, when we get a "spring-fall" and the temperatures stay warm the colors are really dramatic; this fall was just such a season.
The temperatures weren't just warm this early autumn, it really was t-shirt weather in the Wind River Canyon. We had very dry conditions and no snow to speak of; which is really weird. Because of this the fall foliage colors were at their rarest display. This wild fireworks of colors is really quite unique, and occurs maybe once in every ten years!
The Wind River Canyon doesn't have an abundance of deciduous trees, but we do have a million leafy plants in a wide variety of colors. Most years these autumnal colors are never seen by anyone until conditions are perfect. In this one ideal fall few will ever stop to see these beautiful displays of autumn, and not a single person can even get close to the best of them. To photograph these autumn colors in the Wind River Canyon requires extraordinary timing; the peak of color doesn't last very long.
The photograph below was taken on October 9th and captures the absolute peak of this beautiful display of nature's colors in the Wind River Canyon. I've been up to this place only a few times; it's that hard to get up there. The pine tree in the center is a beauty designed by Mother Nature herself. The dramatic autumnal colors are shown as I saw them and not exaggerated----this is a Wyoming Landscape at it's finest! This landscape of fall colors probably will not be repeated anytime soon, but with the reality of climate change, who knows? The photograph was taken with a big, telephoto lens since it's the only way of capturing such a large beast from such a distance. Mounted on a tripod the picture was taken from my yard; it's an amazing explosion of nature's colors....revel in it.
Update: For those of my readers that are wondering about the Orphan Fawn, he's just fine, now. The little deer is on the other side of the Wind River here in the canyon; he followed the stags across the low-level river to mating grounds; this fawn is a survivor. For those people that didn't see the photographs, here he is not long after his mother was killed just up the road from here; his spots are long gone now. I wish this little miracle of Mother Nature's all the luck in the world----we'll be seeing him again, I hope.
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My name is Michael John Balog and I live in the Wind River Canyon in Wyoming.