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Early Summer in the Rocky Mountains

Grass doesn't green up and Aspen don't leaf out until June in the High Country

There is no smooth transition from Winter to Spring to Summer in the high country of Colorado, Just an abrupt warming at the tail end of what still feels like Winter - the Mud Season of mid-April through May. Finally, in June, the brown grasses come alive and the Aspen leaf out in a beautiful shade of light green. I get back to work after a long ski season and look forward to the colorful wildflowers of July.

In early June, I visit areas at lower elevation, like the Flatirons by Boulder and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.. To the West, I stop by Hanging Lake above Glenwood Canyon to see the waterfalls from the Spring runoff from the Flattops Range. To the South, I head over to Ridgway by the San Juan Mountains to photograph green pastures with a train of still snow capped mountains in the distance. The upper reaches of the mountains are still clogged with melting snow pack on the trails above 10,000' elevation. The flowers to lend a foreground to the scene are mainly colorless Crocus and yellow Dandelions. The brilliant red and orange Indian Paintbrush and the blue and white Columbine are still weeks away in July. But I'm on the trail again, after a long Winter, just me and my Shetland Sheepdog Roger. Like going fishing, there is never a bad day out on the trail.