Montana Outdoors

October 24, 2007

Can’t stay away from the Larch

Filed under: Autumn, Coeur d'Alene Mountains, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 10:06 pm

At some point after I’m gone, someone will say: “Overall he was a fairly decent sort, but he just couldn’t stay away from the Larch”.

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

The scenes in these photos are between the North Siegel Creek and South Siegel Creek roadless areas and southwest of the Reservation Divide roadless area in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana. The first photo actually shows part of the South Siegel area.

Water from this watershed flows into the Clark Fork of the Columbia River, and despite the fact that it looks like a vast area, the streams whose headwaters are within it are small. It takes huge tracts of wild country to produce the precious water we need for survival.


  1. I’ve really enjoyed all your photos, Montucky. And these last two or three posts of the larch are so impressive. I especially love the first and last photos here in this post. They kind of remind me of polka dots in God’s landscape. ;o)


    Comment by Mary Carlson — October 25, 2007 @ 12:28 am

  2. I love the texture and the depth. Montana looks amazing.


    Comment by barbara — October 25, 2007 @ 5:41 am

  3. Incredible color Terry…. Do you have aspen trees in your area?


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — October 25, 2007 @ 7:10 am

  4. The trees are undoubtedly beautiful, but I have to say, their name sounds a bit like when I pull my boot out of the mud.

    Great photos, though.


    Comment by Pinhole — October 25, 2007 @ 8:09 am

  5. Mary,

    I’m pleased that you enjoy seeing this country! For a few weeks this time of year, the larch just take over the landscape. In summer, one hardly notices them at a distance.


    Comment by montucky — October 25, 2007 @ 12:36 pm

  6. barbara,

    There is some amazing scenery in Montana. It’s even more enjoyable for those who can get out into the wild country and see all of the small things too.


    Comment by montucky — October 25, 2007 @ 12:38 pm

  7. Bernie,

    Yes, we have Aspens, but not to the extent that I’ve seen in Colorado. Here they are mostly in or near the valleys or around small high meadows. Some of the yellows in the photos I took earlier are aspens. I’ve seen them in Colorado though where they just took up entire mountainsides.


    Comment by montucky — October 25, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

  8. Pinhole,

    I’m not crazy about the name either. Maybe that’s why folks used to always refer to them as Tamaracks.


    Comment by montucky — October 25, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

  9. Thank you for a view of these trees. They are very foreign to me. I Have never seen one that I know of. It still amazes me that there can be so much color in a conifer and a conifer that is deciduous is another wonder to me.


    Comment by nouveaufauves — October 25, 2007 @ 6:59 pm

  10. I wish you could see them in person! They caught my imagination when I was very young and every year since I get excited when they start turning colors. They are also beautiful and distinctive in the spring because their new needles start out as a lemon colored green. They are beautiful and contrast with the evergreens. During the summer they are often overlooked.


    Comment by montucky — October 25, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

  11. So does hanging out with the Larch detract from your “fairly decent” status?
    BTW, I’m in the middle of redesigning my site, and I wanted to ask if I could use this pic and this pic. Of course, I’ll give you full credit for the pics and link back to you here.
    Let me know if that’s ok.


    Comment by wolf — October 26, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  12. Hi Montucky, I appreciate how you brought up the water issue in your post. I think maybe one day, the only thing that will make the world listen a bit more is the inability to water their lawn in the cities. (Otherwise probably, except by the generous readers on this forum of course, the rural community will be largely ignored.) Meanwhile, these are pretty photos. I went up on the mountain to capture the larch last night as well – I’ll link your post tho that way I don’t have to inform the world about the trees (I let your post do that.) BTW my favorite of all these was the first – I love how you capture that whole carpeted look of the mountains. I’m surrounded by that as well but so far no luck getting such shots. Beautiful. p.s. it is difficult to explain really how lovely these trees are… the way they capture, tame and adore sunlight is something that even a photo can’t explain – in that sense both of our cameras are pretty darn limited I think.


    Comment by aullori — October 26, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  13. wolf,

    Sure you can use the pics! I’d be pleased!

    I think some of the town folk think hanging out with trees is some kind of moral issue,not that I’m really worried about it.


    Comment by montucky — October 26, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  14. Lori,

    It may well turn out that water availability will force all of the environmental issues and we’ll find that fixing that problem will also fix all the others. We can hope!

    Yes, I know our cameras are limited on a lot of these scenes. This tree especially has a way of changing color with a slight shift of the light. I was in the back country all day and I noticed at one angle they were deep gold and around then next turn the same trees were bright yellow, the only difference being the light angle. I guess we just have to do the best we can with the photos!.


    Comment by montucky — October 26, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

  15. The 1st & last photos are particularly lovely – I love the studded-yellow effect of the larches! Enjoy them while they’re still clad in color.


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — October 29, 2007 @ 3:30 pm

  16. I’ve spent a lot of time this year doing just that, including all day today. They’re rapidly losing their needles and the trees are looking thin now. It’s kind of neat to hike on a golden needle-covered trail though!


    Comment by montucky — October 29, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

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