I didn’t want to deceive you.
First, you must look at the first two photographs.
They show what much of the Upper Peninsula woods looks like now.
Most of the autumn leaves have fallen. The long swaths of brilliant color are gone. Our black-and-white winter world is re-establishing itself. The tree skeletons creak in the skies.
Except–WAIT! One moment please. Nature has one last autumn show to reveal.
It is a stunning display by the larch trees! They have been waiting patiently for their turn, and it is now.
They sway and dazzle and light up the often-gray world with beautiful oranges and yellows. Their needles look like they are glowing matches, or long slivers of fire. They appear kissed by the sun. They drench the senses in a last autumn gasp of astonishment.
Especially when a rich blue sky presents itself momentarily behind these “northern lights”.
The needles are so soft. You want to trail your hands alongside of them, petting them like a gentle creature.
You may even want to dance along with the branches, especially if no one is watching.
There are several different kind of larch trees. Many of the larch trees in this “neck of the woods” are called tamaracks. The name tamarack comes from the Algonquin word meaning “wood used for snowshoes”. You can read more about them here.
I am not sure if these larch trees are tamaracks, although I suspect they are. They were planted by foresters several years ago when the acreage was clearcut in our forest neighborhood.
They–almost–make up for my despair when the hundreds of acres were cut.
I just love it for its late autumn beauty. For the final blaze of fiery-orange needles glowing in the sunlight.
Thank you, dear larch.