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Looking for Fall Colors and Finding ... Snow!

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

We drove to the mountain in autumn and arrived—later that day—in winter.


October 22nd on Mt. Baker. We were hoping to photograph colorful fall foliage, but were greeted by snow. A lovely scene—even if it signals a premature end to summer. Video: Donald J. Rommes



Fall colors have been late in arriving to the coast this year and the colors we do have are not especially vibrant. As the month of October was winding down without a lot of color at sea level, we decided to take another look at the foliage up the mountain to the east—about 60 miles away.


The sun was shining as we left. The sky was a clear blue, but a hint of clouds was visible on the eastern horizon. It was still sunny at the base of the mountain, but as we gained altitude, the road showed signs of being wet in places—as if it had recently rained,


Clouds gathered as we climbed higher, and above us we could see conifers whose branches were laden with snow. Soon we are in it ourselves, with perhaps 4-5 inches on the ground and more on the trees. Just beyond the base of the ski lifts, a closed metal gate indicated the road was closed for the season—a road that had first opened for summer a mere two months ago,


Patchy snow and ice covered the pavement beyond. Obviously, we wouldn't be reaching the trailhead we had planned on. We parked a bit lower and walked a snow-covered trail to look for places to photograph.



Snow-covered landscape from somewhat off the trail. For Nancy's photo of the same area, please click on the photo to go to our companion website—Iris Arts. This Photo: © Donald J. Rommes



Afterwards, we descended to a lake where snow began to fall once again.


Winter has come to the high country!


Still photo in the same location as the video above. It is a very nice scene, but the video adds the dynamic element of snow falling. Snow was visible as streaks in the exposure taken with slower shutter speeds, but it was not falling heavily enough to be convincing in the photograph. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes

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