Wasatch Environmental Update; Autumn Paean

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Wasatch Environmental Update for October 11, 2015

By Gale Dick, Co-Founder of Save Our Canyons

“Autumn Paean”

Here is a tribute to Autumn in the Wasatch, contributed by the co-founder of Save Our Canyons, Gale Dick:

Many Utahns believe that fall is our best season. The days are still pretty long, the air is crisp and the skies often are an intense sparkling blue. After the hammering of the summer sun, and before the sobering realities of winter, there is this wonderful interlude when life seems to pick up zest and the outdoors invites us to visit.

Fall is a great time to tramp the Wasatch canyons and peaks. It’s a great time to see your favorite wildflowers in their beautiful seed stages. Cow Parsnip sports its elaborate seed contraption. There are still some of the wonderful geometric constructions of the Salsify seed displays, and Green Gentians rear their elaborate stalks as a suitable finale for their truly baroque summer blossoming. Mountain Ash blazes with its orange-red berries.

The days are perfect for a walk – cool and crisp. As the season advances the leaves begin to turn. With some seasonal luck, the Aspens glow and tremble as they turn to gold, and shower the forest floor with sun-drenched bright yellow leaves. There is something gothic and liturgical about the Aspen groves, especially when they are near stands of somber conifers. As the underbrush begins to lose leaves, there are often fleeting glimpses of deer browsing, and of their athletic hopping away.

Well, you get the idea. It’s a good time to get to know or reacquaint yourself with our home range, the Wasatch. Ask a friend where to go – or get a map or a trail guide. Get out the old day pack and water bottle, put on those sturdy shoes, and take a leisurely walk or a challenging scramble. But be ready for weather: it IS fall.

Enjoy it and learn more about the treasure in our backyard.

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