There's little more beautiful this time of year than a brilliant orange and yellow vine maple leaf backlit by the afternoon sun. I took this photo last year, but this same tree, outside my office at Mount Rainier National Park, has been just as gorgeous this season. The trick is to have a beautiful fall day with clear skies at the perfect moment of peak color. Any sooner, and the leaves aren't as bright; a day or two late, and the leaves have begun to shrivel and dry up. I knew what I had in this case case, so took off work an hour early and spent the time documenting the colors as thoroughly as I could. This is one of my favorite images -- I love the composition, with the yellow leaves on the left third, the orange leaf in the middle, and some negative space on the right, and with the light shining through the leaves making them seem almost aglow. I love this time of year.