Autumn Color

Bigleaf Maples among Conifers

The Pacific Northwest isn’t known for fall color the way New England is, but we still get our share of brilliant yellows and oranges. The color here is from Bigleaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) growing on a steep hillside above the Baker River. I shot from across the river with a 70-200mm lens and worked over the image in Lightroom to improve the contrast and saturation.

It’s getting toward the end of the foliage season, and most of the maples around Baker Lake and along the Baker River trail today had already lost most of their leaves. The Vine Maples were nearlybare, with just a few lingering leaves showing pale color. I’d hoped there would be more interesting foliage when I set out for a hike today, but it was mostly disappointing photographically.

All was not lost, as it was a very pleasant day for a walk in the woods. The clouds lifted mid-day and the sunshine highlighted the moss-covered tree trunks. I found a couple of species of coral fungi and maybe identified one of them in my copy of David Arora’s Mushroom Demystified. There were some other mushrooms along the way, but mostly past their prime or so small as to not be particularly interesting.

At the end of the day I drove up to Baker Hot Springs to see if it had been dug out after being filled in by a winter storm a few years ago.  The pool was back to similar size to what I remembered and I sat and soaked a while before heading home.

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