NATURE was prodigal with her colors that autumn. The frosts came late, so that the leaves did not gradually change their green. One day, as if by magic, there was gold among the green, and in another there was purple and red. Then the hilltops blazed with their crowns of aspen groves; and the slopes of sage shone mellow gray in the sunlight; and the vines on the stone fences straggled away in lines of bronze; and the patches of ferns under the cliffs faded fast; and the great rock slides and black-timbered reaches stood out in their somber shades.
Columbines bloomed in allthe dells among the spruces, beautiful stalks with heavy blossoms, the sweetest and palest of blue-white flowers. Motionless they lifted their faces to the light. Out in the aspen groves, where the grass as turning gold, the columbines blew gracefully in the wind,nodding and swaying. The most exquisite and finest of these columbines hid in the shaded nooks, star-sweet in the silent gloom of the woods.
[The Mysterious Rider by Zane Grey]