In the Northern Hemisphere September 22 marks the official beginning of autumn this year on the calendar but I have been enjoying fall colors now for several weeks. My unofficial autumn started several weeks ago when I first started seeing the chokecherry leaves begin to turn red in the high country of the Wasatch Mountains east of the Salt Lake Valley. Not long after that I’ve seen maples, poplars, willows, serviceberries, hawthorns and aspens all start to change colors and every trip up into the mountains has been a visual treat.
Black-capped Chickadee and Autumn leaves – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Here in Utah the beginning of autumn isn’t so much about the official calendar but is more about altitude, the higher you are the sooner autumn makes an appearance.
Currently I am enjoying searching for and photographing the birds that migrate through Utah during the fall and those that stay here in Utah all year long with the colors of autumn in my photos.
Typically I would prefer that all of the body of this Black-capped Chickadee was free of the out of focus elements in front of it but visually the abstract jumble of autumn colored leaves stimulates my eyes and my brain. The colors rather than the calendar tell me that autumn has arrived in the high country of Utah.
It is still too hot, too dry, too smoky and too summery in the Salt Lake Valley but a few miles away and with a gain of a couple thousand feet of altitude I can enjoy autumn with her profusion of colors, cooler temperatures and the birds I am so passionate about.
Life is good.