Summer in the Higher Places

About the middle of July there comes into the air of the high places a golden emptiness, a washed look infinitely beautiful but melancholy with a premonition of fall. The early light seems detached from its source; till midmorning the highest slopes are touched with a powder-blue mist, which will intensify and come lower as the brief summer of the peaks runs out. The silver of aspen leaves turns brighter and the cottonwoods begin to be flecked with gold. Above the timberline dwarf oakbrush flies a flag of scarlet which will march down the mountainsides with the gold from now on. The light in the canyons has come through lavender gauze and the woods seem darker, more deserted, more given up to solitude.