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Tag Archives: fall colors

A friend and I walked with our dogs in the hills yesterday. It had rained the night before and the air was fresh and clean. There were low-lying clouds when we started but soon the sun broke through and we were warm going uphill. We heard a lot of shooting even though the main deer season is over. Probably target shooters. Luna doesn’t care for gunfire but she stayed close. We lingered a bit and the sun went down and suddenly it was chilly. Winter will soon be here.

This hike had just about everything – stunning fall colors, lingering wildflowers, grand vistas, perfect weather, wildlife sightings. Oh my.

We got out early and made the long and arduous drive to the Freezeout trailhead in order to hike up to 8000 plus foot Tiffany Mountain. The road is rocky but passable for most cars. It just takes a while. And I took even longer because I kept stopping to look at and photograph the fall colors. Some of the aspens were a vivid orange red instead of yellow. The dogs were getting anxious since I wasn’t letting them out. At the trailhead, while I was fiddling with my gear and before the dogs were out of the car, I heard a strange bellowing sound. It was something I’d never heard before. Bigfoot? I didn’t hear any thrashing around in the brush and wasn’t sure what to make of it but I had an idea of what it was.

The dogs wore their orange vests because it is hunting season for bear and grouse and also archery deer season. I had hardly seen anyone along the way but I figured it was better to be safe. The car said it was 45 degrees in the sun and on the shaded trail I found frost. There were some migrating raptors, mostly accipitors that I identified – Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks. There were lots of Clark’s Nutcrackers gathering seeds and making raucous calls. Chickadees and kinglets and bluebirds and juncos too. I saw a pika in the rocks near the mountain top.

The larches were vivid. The golden needles against the blue sky takes my breath away. The views that unfolded as I walked above the treeline were also breathtaking. I could see the North Cascades all the way to Mount Baker. Farther south, there was Glacier Peak. And I could see the continuing smoke from the Crescent Mountain wildfire. It will burn til the snow falls.

When we were returning to the trailhead, I heard some thrashing through the brush ahead and to the right. And then a cow moose crossed the trail not 100 feet ahead of us and she was followed by a bull moose! So that was the sound I heard earlier. The bull moose was bugling! It all happened pretty fast so no photos. There are moose in various places around this region but you just don’t see them very often.

I’ve been working with a student at the Independent Learning Center (ILC) in Twisp this fall. He showed interest in photography early in the quarter and his teachers asked if I’d mentor him as he pursued this interest. We have spent time talking about photography, going on photo walks and working on the computer – learning about photo processing. I have little experience with teaching so it’s a learning experience for both of us. He is an eager learner, ready to pursue new topics and also a good listener. It’s been fun.

The ILC is located on the TwispWorks campus. We visited some of the studios on the campus and walked around the adjoining neighborhood and to the park at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow River. Hopefully soon we will have snow-covered backdrops to explore.

Looking through the photos from our walks, I miss the colors of fall. Especially on this foggy dark November day.

Two women, three dogs. Lots of fall colors.

Oh my gosh. I guess I was working a lot and got way far behind on my photos. This hike was to Twisp Pass at the end of September. My girls didn’t get to go since Sky was recuperating and it was a pretty long hike for Luna. She probably could have gone but it was best for her to keep Sky company. Lindsey and I saw a Golden Eagle and a mountain goat in the distance.

We have had a good long season of fall colors following the hot dry summer of 2017.

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