Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sunday Reflections

 Here are four more photos from our Sunday afternoon jaunt up toward Gold Lake in Bucks Wilderness.  (See previous two posts.)  The glassy surface of Silver Lake provides a nice reflection of the background hills.  But, then, everything you see in the photo is a reflection of sunlight.  So, I am reflecting on reflections.
 A short distance up the trail from Silver Lake provides a view of Lassen Peak.  Click on the photo for an enlargement.  Lassen is barely visible.  During most years, Lassen would be covered with snow by now, and by late afternoon, the setting sun would be reflecting off Lassen's snow and rendering it much more visible. 
 When we approached the western end of Gold Lake, we finally spotted some Mountain Ash.  I was curious about how its condition would compare to that of the large Mountain Ash by the courthouse in Quincy, shown a few posts back.  The Mountain Ash at this elevation, above 6,000 feet, get seriously battered by winter snows and never grow was tall and undamaged as the one by the courthouse.  Also, the season up at Gold Lake is shorter.  What struck me, though, was another difference.  The leaves were brown and shriveled and still stuck to the branches.  Down by the courthouse, the leaves turn bright red while still on the tree, then fall off intact.  In another week or two, or maybe three, we'll start seeing beautiful, intact, red leaves on the ground.  That is, if we get there before the nefarious leaf blowers come to rearrange everything.  Up at Gold Lake the leaves are not going to get red and they're going to shrivel up before dropping.
One more reflection, the last picture I took before rapidly hiking back to the truck, hopefully before sunset.  This is the rocky prominence just below the summit of Spanish Peak.  I'm looking a little South of East, and the setting sun is behind me to the West.  I love clicking on this one and looking at the details i the rock and imagining climbing up various routes to Spanish Peak.  But not on this day.  It would get dark soon, and we might end up as a Mountain Lion's dinner.

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