From a receding veil of mist, a brilliant cottonwood emerges in full autumn foliage. Growing in a mixed forest of Douglas-fir, blue spruce, and ponderosa pine, this flamboyant cottonwood stands unique among its coniferous brethren. A predominately riparian tree, cottonwoods never stray far from the water table. Firmly rooted on the steep slopes of Boulder Canyon, its location suggests a water source not far below the rocky hillside. Each autumn, a sprinkling of cottonwoods and aspens decorates the evergreen forests of Boulder Canyon with splashes of gold.