This week the barn swallows that gather on the lines have left. The cottonwood leaves have been falling in Boulder, and the aspen leaves have been turning and falling in the mountains. I still see chicory blue blossoms in town. It is fun to watch the aspen and cottonwood leaves fall, then float on the creek, while some lay underwater.
On a hike up a 12,900' mountain, we saw the golden old-man-in-the-mountain flower, some yellow cinqufoils, and a flock of rosy finches. Lower we were serenaded by bugling elk and woodpeckers in the morning. We became trailless for a while coming down from North Diamond Peak when we tried to descend diagonally instead of following the trail back along the mountains shoulders to the pass and the trail. We hiked through deadfall and swampy meadows for a while. The aspen were dramatically gold, bronze, and yellow. A mountain bluebird dipped its tail rhymically on a post at the pass before flashing some bright blue as it flew. There are still ripe tomatoes and raspberries in town.