The autumn equinox has passed and over on the eastern slopes of the Cascades one of nature's finest shows is now in full swing. Growing up in New England I became accustomed to what a real autumn is all about-and what spectacular autumn foliage (that's fole-i-age not foil-age-arrghhh!) looks like. Cracked me up when I first moved to western Washington and folks who had never left the region told me about the spectacular falls they get here. I don't think so- big leaf maples that turn turd-yellow doesn't quite cut it! You want awesome autumn foliage you need hardwoods-and lots of them-and variety- and warm days and cool nights-and frost-and you get my drift- Places like New England, West Virginia, Quebec, Ontario, the Maritime Provinces, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Peninsula-that's where you need to go!
But here on the east slopes of the Cascades and in the Kettle River Range, Blues and Selkirks of Eastern Washington we have larches that light up entire mountainsides- larches that emit a golden hue in a stark lake basin. Larches that almost rival eastern hardwood forests when it comes to amazing autumnal artistry. Check em out- they're enough to make this native New Englander not miss (well almost) Autumn back east. I'm off to the Methow next week- perhaps I'll see you in one of those golden lake basins.
(photo-Twisp Pass-Okanogan National Forest-early October 2006)