Maple Fire


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There is an area in central New Mexico called Fourth of July Canyon. You might think that the canyon was named for the holiday: after all, it makes sense, right? Well, it is, but not quite for the reason you might think.

It was actually named for the big tooth maples that reside there, and it is one of the largest concentration of these maples anywhere in the state. Or about anywhere. One of the characteristics of these maples is their leaves in fall, which turn very bright colors, usually with red tones. On the right day and in the right light, these reds can be exceptionally colorful. And that color red reminded someone of the color of fireworks on the Fourth of July, hence the name.

Come to think of it, and now that the words are written, it does seem like the canyon was named after the holiday after all.

At any rate, this clump of maples certainly seemed to glow with their own internal fire. Fireworks are going off all around the trees, just like the Fourth of July. Fireworks, not quite the holiday.

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