The Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) gets its name from the way the leaves quake in the wind. The aspens grow in large colonies, often starting from a single seedling and spreading underground only to sprout another tree nearby. For this reason, it is considered to be one of the largest single organisms in nature. During the spring and summer, the aspens use sunlight and chlorophyll to create food necessary for the tree’s growth. In the fall, as the days get shorter and colder, the naturally green chlorophyll breaks down and the leaves stop producing food. Other pigments are now visible, causing the leaves to take on beautiful orange and gold colors. These colors can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions. For instance, when autumn is warm and rainy, the leaves are less colorful. This fall scene of gold colored aspens was photographed at Hart Prairie in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. Kendrick Peak (10,423 feet) is in the background.