Many people who have never seen New Mexico picture it as a desert - hot and brown, with little vegetation. In actuality, 6 out of the 7 known life zones in the world (as identified by C. Hart Merriman) exist in the state, making it an ideal place for scientific and environmental research work. Travel 2-3 hours by car in any direction, and you will be in a completely different environment. Depending on where you go, you will find anything from desert, to plains grasslands, to rocky mountainous locations to conifer forests. In higher elevations such as Los Alamos, tree leaves change color in the autumn months, much like they do in the northern US and Canada. Snow occurs regularly as the season transitions to winter.
These photos were taken in September 2017 on NM-502 going towards Los Alamos and Bandalier, as well as in the mountain passes that surround Los Alamos. You can see that in the lower elevations, the leaves have not yet changed, yet a few miles up the road, they are in full color. We had several rainstorms over the summer, which filled the streams to capacity.
The autumn clouds, created by the changes in air temperature, are also very dramatic.