Northern Exposure

Fall Colors in Alaska

I don’t know what it is exactly that’s so spellbinding about Fall.

Fall in Alaska

Maybe it’s the chill in the air that drives families to snuggle up around a fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate, or feasts of caramel apples, hot cider, freshly baked bread and clam chowder.

Perhaps it’s the anticipation of the holidays starting with enjoyment of watching kids at Halloween, then gratitude for loved ones and blessings at Thanksgiving, and finally the joy, peace and wonder of Christmas.

Whatever it is…I love Fall.  Most people I know love it too.   The changes in nature as she removes her summer cloak are breathtaking and move us all to absorb the kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, crisp autumn air, and warmth of pleasant emotions.

For my Mom and Dad

I treasure so many memories of Fall growing up as a child.  We ALWAYS went on family rides to see the leaves as they changed colors.   I love that although my parents are in their 70’s, they continue to head up Provo Canyon to Heber Valley in a yearly pilgrimage to view the leaves.

I was chatting with them the other day, and my Mom asked when I was going to post some pictures of Fall colors in Alaska.  I told her I would do it this weekend, so Mom, this ones for you.

Fall Alaska MajestyI have my Mom and Dad to thank for a love of the outdoors and appreciation for nature’s beauty. Myself, 1 sister and 2 brothers, were introduced to the wilds of Utah and the western USA at a very young age.

Maybe it’s the warmth I feel from these childhood reflections, that burns deep within, when the colors of foliage are on fire

I remember the older I got, the more I wanted to discover outside.  Whether it was camping, boating, skiing, fishing, or hiking, Mom and Dad helped me find opportunities and experience it all.

Summer In FallI know many parents who wouldn’t have let their daughter plant trees in Yellowstone for a summer, guide rivers in southern Utah, hike to the tops of the Wasatch peaks solo, or forge snow laden roads to reach ski resorts with teenage friends.

As a parent, I have a deeper understanding of what it takes to let a child live their own adventures.  I struggle with it at times, but I remember how my parents raised me and let down the fences with my kids.  I try to support them in their passions, just like my Mom and Dad supported me.

Fall Reflections

I’m so grateful that mine allowed me to be myself.  They let an odd tom-boy of a daughter walk her own path that I’m still walking and wandering.  It’s been a gift.  A love of the outdoors has sustained me, along with faith, through numerous challenges I’ve faced in life.  Thanks Mom and Dad!

I hope I’ve given my kids the same love of nature and that they too will recall pleasant memories of the outdoors as their seasons change.

Alaska Fall ColorsFall Colors in Alaska

Alaska does Fall like it does everything else.  BIG!!  The dominant hues are gold…miles and miles of forests covered in gold.

Perhaps it was these vistas, and not the hunt for precious metal, that coined the phrase “There’s gold in them thar hills!”.

Fall Colors in Alaska

Birch trees turn a deep, dark gold.  Higher up, Aspens (my favorite tree) change to the beat of their own drum and choose any color they want from greenish yellow to orange to almost red.

Aspens in Alaska

The forest floor is literally carpeted in golden leaves fallen from the trees.  Even the pines are coated as wind rains leaves down upon them.

Thick layers of decomposing flora make for an interesting smell as Summer, Jeff and I found out on a Fall hike.

Fall Path

Alaska’s dense ground layers reveal hues of amber, red, purple and mahogany as smaller bushes change.

They are rich with color!  I especially like the delicate ice crystals on blazing leaves as plants fight off an early frost.

Fall Frost Alaska

Fall colors in Alaska  come quickly and burst vibrantly.  They have to because the forests knows, winter is coming fast in the Last Frontier.

Vibrant Fall Leaf. AlaskaMarsh grasses turn, blooms release their seeds, and animals are migrating to their winter homes.

We too have put up the harvest of summer.  Jams are made, fish and blueberries frozen, and summer toys replace winter ones in storage in anticipation of snow.

Fall Marsh, Alaska

I am enjoying our first Fall here and the seasonal colors in Alaska have not disappointed.  The rapture of of these vast lands is mesmerizing every month of the year.

When I’m in my 70’s, I hope I still have this same bond with nature.  I’m sure I will…my parents taught me well.

Love you Mom and Dad!

Fall Colors Magnified

  • October 04, 2015
    Peggy Oomens

    inspiring words as well as beautiful pictures
    My favorite is the frosted red leaves.

    • October 06, 2015
      Janet Bowman

      Thanks Peggy! The frosted red leaves are one of my favorites too.

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