Fall arrives late in some Southwestern pockets

November 13, 2011 • State News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Forests throughout the Southwest are growing quiet as the season for bugling elk comes to an end. The aspens in the high country and cottonwoods in the valleys are dropping their golden leaves, and snow has dusted mountain tops in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.

There’s no denying it’s fall.

But for land managers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts, it was a long time coming in some areas. They had to wait a few extra weeks for summer to loosen its grip.

The slow change in season comes on the heels of months of volatile weather. Dust storms enveloped Arizona, drought paralyzed Texas and New Mexico and temperatures far above normal plagued most of the country. The summer that would never end is how forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque referred to it.

Those sweltering temperatures are thought to be one reason fall was late in some spots. The obvious measure was the foliage.

By the end of September, cars are usually funneling up the narrow roads leading to New Mexico’s ski areas so spectators can soak in the colors. Near Santa Fe, many of the trees were still Login to read more

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