Montana Outdoors

October 31, 2010

A morning with the larch

Filed under: Autumn — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:33 pm

Despite low clouds and a constant drizzle today, my son and I spent the morning in the Cabinets just below the snow line. Even under the dull gray skies the golden needles of the western larch stood out against the green of the firs, pines, hemlocks and cedars.

Western larch

Western larch

Western larch

Western larch

Western larch

Western larch


  1. I adore those trees! They look like beacons of light! I got to see some of them on my trip through Eastern Washington a couple weeks ago. My friends here call them Tamarack trees though. I don’t know if there is a difference…. they are beautiful!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — October 31, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

    • Whatever the name, they sure are pretty! They are often referred to as tamaracks here too, but technically I think they are western larch (Larix occidentalis). True tamaracks are found in the northeastern United States and Canada according to “USDA Plants”.


      Comment by montucky — October 31, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  2. Does it get better than mountains, larch trees, and mist? I don’t think so!


    Comment by sandy — November 1, 2010 @ 5:05 am

    • I agree Sandy. This is a great place to be this time of year.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  3. I didn’t think it was possible for your photos to get any more beautiful, but you’ve outdone yourself the past few days. Those autumn colors are just stunning. STUNNING!


    Comment by Robin — November 1, 2010 @ 5:52 am

    • Thank you Robin! We are having a better autumn than last year. The mountains are celebrating!


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

  4. All are beautiful. I especially this the 2nd photo with the way the lines of the trees travel with the highlighting yellow trees. I’ve never seen yellow trees like these. Amazing.


    Comment by Anna — November 1, 2010 @ 9:17 am

    • Most of the lines and the old roads are the results of logging activity that took place in that area in the 1950’s. Nature is finally starting to restore the forest, but it won’t be complete for another hundred years.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

  5. Fantastic orange/fall colors! So very very beautiful out there!!!


    Comment by Tricia — November 1, 2010 @ 10:28 am

    • We do get a lot of yellows and golds in the trees. Larch are a very big part of our forests here.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  6. Hi Montucky, In your second photograph, the golden trees (Larch?) stand out as if they were planted by nature in avenues up the mountainside. Interesting picture. I really like this bunch of pictures a lot. Have a great day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — November 1, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    • The larch in the second photo are occupying skid marks from the logging crews. As they become taller than the surrounding firs and pines, more green will fill in between the yellow.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

  7. The 3rd photo is wonderful! Golden trees! Wow!


    Comment by Barbara — November 1, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    • That photo is a closer look at some young larch. In a few hundred years they will be very tall!


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

  8. What wonderful photos. I love the larch trees in fall with their golden needles and look forward to their red flowers in Spring. I will follow your Blog as it’s great to read about other regions and countries.


    Comment by jackiequeen — November 1, 2010 @ 11:44 am

  9. My favorite time of your mountain year — those greens and yellows in ribbboned tiers. So lovely. And I even like those bits of low clouds, just hankering to get winter started, maybe? Though winter can wait a bit, please…


    Comment by Bo Mackison — November 1, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    • This year winter has been kind of nibbling its way in Bo. For the last week the snow up high was pretty solid, but I saw today that much of it has melted. I’m sure there will be plenty more: this is supposed to be a very wet winter as a result of the La Nina effect.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  10. Whenever I see gorgeous photos, I just want to jump in the van and drive. Autumn really is a magical time for taking pictures. Yours a wonderful!

    By the way, I saw you over on Val’s AbsurdOldBird blog and just thought I’d pop in and say “Hi!”




    Comment by Mitchell Allen — November 1, 2010 @ 6:04 pm

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mitch! I know what you mean: it’s impossible to spend much time indoors this time of year.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

  11. Wow. Everyone of these photos is stunning.


    Comment by kateri — November 1, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

    • The mountains are incredible this time of year, kateri. These were some of the photos taken during a three mile hike into the high country yesterday. The trees were bright even though there was a constant drizzle.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

  12. Thank you for sharing these incredibly beautiful images, montucky.


    Comment by Cait — November 1, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

    • I’m glad you like seeing some of this region Cait! There will be more yet to come I hope.


      Comment by montucky — November 1, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

  13. Seems like this is a timber paradise for the wood industry, however untouched by them.


    Comment by Preston — November 2, 2010 @ 3:42 am

    • It has been for most of the past century, and the forests are suffering badly from all of the logging. Timber is usually considered and treated like a renewable resource here when it really isn’t. We get only about a foot of annual rainfall, and because of that, forest that has been logged needs several hundred years to regenerate, if it ever will.


      Comment by montucky — November 2, 2010 @ 11:59 am

  14. They glow! Awesome colors.


    Comment by Candace — November 2, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

    • As with so many large scenes, photos don’t really do them justice. they do seem to glow, and when the sun strikes them from an angle, as it does sometimes in the evening, they seem to be fluorescent.


      Comment by montucky — November 2, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

  15. do people ever use these for christmas trees? do these lose their needles?


    Comment by silken — November 3, 2010 @ 6:46 am

    • The larch shed all of their needles each fall. Some here are already almost bare, while others are still bright yellow.


      Comment by montucky — November 3, 2010 @ 11:12 pm

  16. Beautiful work Terry, I know what you mean by evening light and leafs, the colors and light are spectacular at that time !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — November 3, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

    • Yes, light is so much of an issue. And it can provide many surprises!


      Comment by montucky — November 3, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

  17. Awesome photos. From the top I like most of all the second and the third photo.

    Also the last photo showing the “creeping” mist is mighty.

    Thank You presenting them.


    Comment by sartenada — November 5, 2010 @ 12:36 am

    • I was pleased to get these photos on day of constant drizzle. Colors come out well on days like that, but it was rather dark.


      Comment by montucky — November 5, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

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