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Red Aspen in Fall

Photo by Ray Boren

For a week of two in the fall, the colors in Utah are spectacular.

The aspen trees (Populus tremula) go from green to golden as the days shorten and temperatures drop. Some of the trees turn red-orange and rusty red.

“These rusty aspen are easily noticed in the Monte Cristo Highway area of the northern Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest — between Huntsville and Woodruff, Utah,” notes Ray Boren, who took this photo. “Scientists have discovered that two anthocyanins are present in orange and red-colored aspen leaves but not in the more prosaic golden or yellow aspens. Anthocyanins are pigments that give flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees colors such as red, blue and purple.”

This photo was taken on September 29, 2010.