Aspen Trees of the West
Here in the Rocky Mountain West, Populus tremuloides, otherwise known as the Quaking Aspen, a form of poplar tree, is ubiquitous, or at least it used to be (see NYT link below). In the summer they shimmer and shine with greens and a soulful rattle, in the fall they turn orange, yellow, brown and red, and in winter their shape and pattern reign supreme in the dark forests. I find them to be most beautiful in the forest, as they reflect the ambient light and colors, and cast shadows all about. They have much depth and mystery. And they are very hard to capture accurately on film, in a compelling way. The challenge is that typically they are in deep forest, surrounded by scrub oaks, conifers, and all sorts of undergrowth that can make for a very busy and distracting scene. And the lighting tends to be very contrasty with lots of shadows and depth.