The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Photos highlight fall beauty of our national forest

  • Fall colors glow along the shore of Picture Lake as Mount Shuksan rises in the background.

    Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

    Fall colors glow along the shore of Picture Lake as Mount Shuksan rises in the background.

Fall is here, and recent photos from the staff of Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest capture the season in all its glory.
Click here to see fall photos from the forest.
Laura Potash, botanist for the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest shares her recent perspective on the new season. Potash is also an avid backcountry hiker, mountain climber and a volunteer for Snohomish County Search and Rescue, experiencing the Cascades in every season:
"Certain indicators announce to me that summer is indeed over and fall has arrived in its full glory. On the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, those indicators vary depending on the ecosystem I'm hiking that day. If I'm in the foothills of the mountains, below about 2,000 feet elevation in what we call the western hemlock zone, it is standing under a canopy of big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), whose leaves turn a gentle yellow-golden color. You know fall is here when the light shines through these gigantic leaves from above, and the carpet of deciduous leaves at your feet makes the air smell earthy and wonderful. If you look around on the ground you can probably find a leaf as big as your chest, which is pretty amazing if you think about it. You can find these beauties on hikes off of the Mountain Loop Highway and Middlefork Snoqualmie River.

"But my favorite place for fall color on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie is our subalpine parkland. Up around 4,000 feet elevation and above, you'll find the dark green, spire-shaped subalpine fir trees (Abies lasiocarpa) contrasting sharply against mats of low-bush huckleberry, also known a blue-leaf huckleberry (Vacinnium deliciosum). This species of huckleberry forms extensive mats interspersed with red heather. In the fall the leaves turn a rich red-plum color and are so gorgeous when backlit -- they remind me of stained glass. Hike up in Heather Meadows, Alpine Lakes Wilderness and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness to enjoy these stunning displays.
"In the more moisture-rich grassy meadows of the subalpine parklands, there are a few late-blooming wildflowers left. Most notable is the bog gentian (Gentiana calycosa) with its deep purple flowers that only open in sunlight. In portions of drier meadows you can still see the delightful seed-heads of western anemone (Anemone occidentalis). More creative common names describe this species better, such as “mouse-on-a-stick.” Hike through boulder fields at this time of year and you might be lucky enough to come upon a “pika haystack.” I saw one last weekend – a pile of snipped and wilting stalks of lupine and alpine ladyfern, that a pika (an adorable relative of the rabbit) had laid next to its den to dry for winter-time munchies."
Fall hikes
The staff of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest recommends the following list of relatively easy hikes to experience fall's colors.
Hannegan Pass
Picture Lake Path
Sauk Mountain
Lake Twenty Two
Beckler Peak
West Fork Foss
Ira Springs
Middle Fork Snoqualmie
Greenwater Lakes
Kelly Butte
Story tags » Hiking

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet Classifieds

HeraldNet highlights

'The Pinterest of beer'
'The Pinterest of beer': Lynnwood man's iPhone app tracks the beers you drink
Your photos
Your photos: A selection of our favorite reader-submitted photos
Tulips in bloom
Tulips in bloom: Photo gallery: A rainbow of color in Skagit County
He was a devoted family man
He was a devoted family man: Stephen Neal was working in a home when the mudslide hit