These willows are a tortured species on this site in Rocky Mountain National Park as there are more elk than willows to feed them. Their close cropped branches make tight impenetrable bundles of energy and both species struggle to survive.
In the Kawuneechee Valley are the headwaters of the Colorado River. It is a few inches deep in places and the bottom colors the river surface a wonderful red orange. At sunset the yellow orange light back lights the willows as the mountain shadow races across the open flat. Just a few minutes of glowing flame illuminate the valley flora in raking light.