Fall in the North Cascades: Alpine Larch

 An alpine larch and the granite spires of Kangaroo Ridge in the North Cascades.

An alpine larch and the granite spires of Kangaroo Ridge in the North Cascades.

All along the high ridges and basins of the eastern slope of the North Cascades, lives a distinctive tree. The alpine larch (Larix lyallii) eeks out its existence at the very edge of tree-line in these mountains, acting as the gateway to the alpine above and the immense trees which characterize lower elevations in these mountains. Larch trees are the only conifer tree in the world that has deciduous needles and each fall the brilliant gold of these trees lights up the crisp fall air in the high mountains.

 Darcy Ottey on a fall outing in the North Cascades of Washington.

Darcy Ottey on a fall outing in the North Cascades of Washington.

 During the fall, the limited range of alpine larch is illuminated brilliantly all along the edge of treelike in the high country.

During the fall, the limited range of alpine larch is illuminated brilliantly all along the edge of treelike in the high country.

 At the lower elevations in their range alpine larch blend with subalpine fir and Engelmenn spruce.

At the lower elevations in their range alpine larch blend with subalpine fir and Engelmenn spruce.

 A grove of alpine larch below the snow covered north face of Frisco Peak and the Lyle glacier.

A grove of alpine larch below the snow covered north face of Frisco Peak and the Lyle glacier.

 A few alpine larch dot the upper reaches of Early Winters Creek with the iconic Liberty Bell massif beyond.

A few alpine larch dot the upper reaches of Early Winters Creek with the iconic Liberty Bell massif beyond.

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David Moskowitz

David Moskowitz, Winthrop, WA, 98862