I was delighted to find this grove of very young aspens. All aspen trees grow in clonal colonies which are derived from a single seedling. The colonies of apsens spread by means of root suckers. This is obviously just such a colony. These trees are nearly bare, while many of the colonies of apsens near them still wore their leaves - some in brilliant fall colors and some still green. Because all the aspens in one colony are clones of one another, they will color and drop leaves at the same time. If you have ever wondered why you can look at a hillside of aspens and notice bands of color, well, this is the explanation. You are seeing several colonies, each marching to their own beat as the season changes.
I often look for the details when I am out in the forest, ignoring the colorful canopy that is above me. I find as much interest in the textures and patterns on these tree trunks and the fallen leaves at their feet as I do in the brilliant display above.
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Spotlight photo at http://barbaralee.aminus3.com/image/2010-10-09.html