I have a dear friend who is a wonderful artist. Many of her canvases use as background, patterns from a Persian carpet: colorful and vibrant context for birds, plants, animals and dreams.
The Mountain State of Colorado, this month, is a Persian carpet of color. We didn’t plan on coming to CO to leaf-peep; we had plans for a pilgrimage to a favorite Bears Ears destination and Colorado happened to be between us and Valley of the Gods.
We struck gold as soon as we reached the base of the Rockies, well north of Ghost Ranch. Went from O’Keefe’s soft, rounded and abstract hills of lavender, peach and butterscotch to Colorado’s toothy peaks, foothills and fields of marigold, rust, and garnet.
Stopping at Mancos State Park, we settled into a camp site surrounded by oaks of many colors. I never imagined that oaks could clothe themselves in such a variety of bronze, gold and rust-red. And yet, here they were: three oak scrubs just outside our camper window were dressed in three different warm hues. Quaking Aspens adorned the mountain sides and alpines meadows, uniformly brilliant, sparkling in the sunny breeze.
We weren’t alone in the campground. Slow walks around the almost-empty loop of sites provided interactions with our 4-legged community.
The trees blaze with the passion of autumnal formal dress. Grasses blush red at their bases and burn brighter yellow toward the tops of their stems. Even cattails are burnished. A feast of colors. A Persian carpet of patterns.