Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Some Gold in the Fall: Cottonwood and Western Larch

I met some trees with character the last few days, and a few were presenting golden colors that enhanced their presence. 

This large cottonwood along with a few smaller mates occupies a small unnamed canyon in the deeply eroded table lands west of Ellensburg. Its gold color and fluttering leaves were an attractive site. It was a hot day for October and the cool of the canyon stream was appealing, but I had some ground I needed to cover so I stayed up high and took a route around the upper canyon versus the steep cliffy slopes.

This western larch stood along in a rubble field of fractured hard basalt. This particular larch had turned color ahead of the other larch in the area. Larch are conifers hat loose their needles in the fall.

Larch are the predominant tree in parts of the drier and higher parts of the North Cascade crest, but also show up in stands on the colder parts of the east slopes of the Cascades such as this one on the upper Manastash Canyon west of Ellensburg. This particular site is at elevation 4,000 feet. Larch also cover large tracts of the high mountains in north central Washington such as along Highway 20 east of Republic in the Kettle Range.

1 comment:

Mo said...

The day after this post, I drove through larch groves in High Creek, north of Ellensburg. Many survived the Snag Canyon wildfire!