Sunday Stills: #Leaves have Fallen from the #Trees

Welp, it’s happened. Fall fell, at least here in Eastern Washington. Despite a lengthy Autumn due to warmer than normal temps in September and October, we experienced weeks of unprecedented Autumn color. Now comes November with the first frost and the leaves have danced to the ground into piles of color. Thankfully, no leaves in our yard. Yet.

“Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun bring more happiness than daffodils.”

Cyril Connolly

The Sunday Stills theme this week is leaves and trees. No matter which hemisphere you live in, you have these!

Before the first frost and a few random snowflakes, our overnight temperatures were in the upper 30s to low 40F (3-5C), which kept the leaves on the trees a few more days. The bright yellow trees in their Autumn glory seem to be illuminated with sunshine on this late October gray day. I saw this view as I drove home from town and literally turned around and parked on this street, hopped out of the car, and took several photos.

Aside from amazing trees in our area like red-leafed maple and golden aspen, all juxtaposed onto deep green evergreens, a new (to me) tree has captured my imagination. (Hint: in the above image, you can see it to the left).

Arrowleaf Balsamroot wild sunflower

Why is it special? Before I share, just let me say that you already know my love for sunflowers and pine trees. Of course, here in Eastern Washington, evergreens are everywhere (they don’t call Washington the “Evergreen State” for nothing). I posted a few months ago about my surprise at discovering wild sunflowers growing amidst the pine forests.

So…drumroll please…imagine my joy at discovering a conifer (notice I didn’t say evergreen), that turns golden yellow in the Autumn and drops its needles just like a deciduous tree!

Whaaattt? A Golden Pine Tree?

The Western Larch (sometimes called Tamarack) is a majestic conifer found at higher elevations in the Pacific Northwest and into Canada.

This photo started it all when my brother-in-law showed me his pics from his weekly drives to Montana. I thought “how beautiful, look at the sunlight on those pine trees!” He said the trees were actually yellow! Swoon. This image shows the mountainside covered in larches shrouded in gray fog.

Without trees, mountains, fogs or rains, the Sun cannot create its own magic in the morning!

Mehmet Murat Ildan
Western Larch in Montana
Original image by E. Schrandt

In a foggy morning, sunshine coming through the trees looks so divine that we seriously think it is the hand of the very divinity itself!

Mehmet Murat Ildan

Western larch (Larix occidentalis) and subalpine larch (Larix lyalli) grow in the interior Pacific Northwest (Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) of the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada. They are conifer trees like pines because they have needles instead of leaves, and their seeds grow in cones. Unlike pines they are not evergreen; they are deciduous. In the autumn, the needles of larches turn golden and then drop off the branches. Western larch is used for the production of Venice turpentine. The wood is highly prized as firewood in the Pacific Northwest where it is often called “tamarack.” The wood burns with a sweet fragrance and a distinctive popping noise.


I’m obsessed!

We see two species here in Eastern Washington: The Western Larch (above) and the European Larch. Below is the European Larch, most likely planted, and distinguished by its long, willowy branches. Whereas the Western Larch grows wild on rocky ridges and has shorter needle clusters. Of course, both trees turn yellow and their needles fall to the Earth.

Golden European Larch

Willowy European Larch and its needle clusters.

And just like when you see that same car everywhere when thinking about buying a new one, yep, these stately yellow tamaracks are everywhere!

Autumn Splendor
Autumn splendor featuring golden Western Larch in center

My Festival of Leaves

Earlier I mentioned the leaves have mostly fallen and have now imbued the Earth with magical carpets.

“Listen …
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break free from the trees
And fall.”

Adelaide Crapsey

Below are a few images of fallen leaves enjoying laying around within their magic carpets. From this…

October Maples

To this…

Rosy fallen leaves

And more!

“I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling?”

John Muir

More Photo Challenges this Week

Each week I am inspired by the following bloggers’ images and photo challenges.

Marsha’s Writers Quotes Wednesday Writer’s Choice (Writer’s Choice or Fog–I have a little of both)
Cee’s Flower of the Day
Dawn’s Festival of Leaves
Johnbo’s CellPic Sunday
Jude’s Life in Color: Black or Gray

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Shapes and Design

I’m also adding this post with my walk through the Autumn leaves and trees to Jo’s Monday Walk!

Who doesn’t love seeing images of our furry friends, wild or domestic, and all kinds of birds as we saw last week? A fabulous variety as shown by the number of links this week!

Always Write

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Bend Branches

Between the Lines

The Bloggler

Bushboys World

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Cath’s Camera

Cee’s Photo Challenges

Easin’ Along Image shared in comments

Geriatrix Fotogallerie

Graham’s Island

Heaven’s Sunshine

Hugh’s Views and News Image in Comments


Light Words

Life Lessons

Loving Life

Mama Cormier

Musin’ With Susan

Now At Home

Philosophy Through Photography

Photos By Jez

Retirement Reflections Image shared on Instagram

Robert’s Snap Spot

Soul N Spirit

Stevie Turner

Travel With Me

NEW Wolf’s Birding and Bonsai Blog

Woolly Muses

Working on Exploring

Sunday Stills Photo Challenge Reminders

  • Please create a new post for the theme or link a recent one.
  • Tag your post “Sunday Stills.”
  • Title your blog post a little differently than mine.
  • Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be posted all week.
  • Use hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

To see more of my images and other news, consider following Terri on Social Media by clicking the icons:

I can’t wait to see what your trees and leaves look like this time of year! Next week, the Sunday Stills challenge is all about the color ruby wine or burgundy, just in time for the Thanksgiving celebrations in the US. Have a wonderful week!

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