Maple Guardians


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Fourth of July Canyon, in the Manzano Mountains of New Mexico, is one of my favorite places to be in autumn. It also, not coincidentally, happens to have the largest stand of big tooth maples in New Mexico; as fall comes the maples light up in all their colors, making an inspiring sight.

I am particularly fond of this stand of maples. On this fall day, every leaf color that exists can be seen here; among the explosion of colors the maples guard the small, tiny meadow against all who might invade the tranquility. One of their brethren came down ages ago; they also stand watch over their fallen comrade to see that its rest is undisturbed.

I was quiet as I made this photograph. No words needed to spoken. The maples watched me carefully, but as time went by they were able to relax their guard a wee bit, once they saw that I was not about to disturb anything. We all enjoyed the cool, crisp fall morning together.

I go back to this exact same location year over year; each year the view is the same, yet subtly different as well. This one, however, remains my all time favorite.

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