Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Tamaracks Are Turning!

Actually, the orangey, brown trees, on these mountains are not tamaracks, but rather alpine larches - but both trees are deciduous conifers from the same family, and tamarack sounded better for the title.

They are not dying, pine trees either, but "evergreens", that turn color in the fall, and drop their needles. They'll regrow, and green up in the spring. And, in the meantime they are a sight to behold, glowing orange, on the sides of the mountains.

These pictures were taken from my driveway - and so are a little far away. If you've never seen one close up, check out Summit Post (click the link to go there), they have some great shots, and a lot of information about these high elevation trees.

The top of the mountain above is over 8,000 feet, and the ones below are higher, with ify roads heading that high, on those particular peaks. I'm not sure if the minivan will make it up to them, though I think we'll try, because spotting a turning larch is on our fall leaf-list. Just in case, I ran the kids out front, with binoculars in hand, to make sure everyone got a good look.

It's a prettier sight than the snow, we had on those peaks a few weeks ago, or at least a more seasonally appropriate one - kind of like a bunch of crazy Christmas trees, dressed up for Halloween. And, on a side note - those are some of the mountains that the Corps of Discovery crossed (at least part of the same range). Can you believe Sacagawea managed it, on foot, with a baby in tow? It never ceases to amaze me.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

That is kind of crazy, I couldn't imagine walking that much.

Phyllis said...

Wow, that is some beautiful scenery you have got there. I have never heard of those trees before. Thanks for telling me about them. I have enjoyed seeing the different plants and animals other people in different parts of the country have. It does make that part of our history even more amazing. I think I will have to show my gang this when we get to that part again.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Your driveway view is gorgeous. I hope you will manage the trip and take some close shots!

Debbie said...

Tamarack was one of my dad's favorite trees. It is amazing what the Indians, the Pioneers, and Explorers did. I always loved the stories of my Great Grandma and Grandma about their travels by wagon. We can't even imagine doing the work that they did in those days.