Saturday, August 2, 2014

Idaho's seasons

Many people come to Sun Valley, Idaho in the winter to ski.  They're missing out on what I think are the best seasons.  The summertime allows for camping in the cool mountain air, and on the Earnest Hemingway memorial it states, "Best of all, he loved the fall."  Autumn is quite special as well, after the heat of summer has gone and the leaves display their glorious color.

This picture could have been taken in any season, but it shows the Smoky Mountains, to the west of the Wood River Valley.

This surely does look like summertime in the Sawtooth Mountains.  Maybe that is Snowyside Peak in the distance at the right.  There are 216 mountains taller than this in Idaho.

This looks like autumn with the brown grasses, dried at the end of the growing season.

Southern Idaho's autumn is predominantly colored yellow from Aspen and Cottonwood, but the riparian areas and northern Idaho give some reds and oranges in the fall.  This is Freezout Ridge in northern Idaho's Clearwater Mountains, with red huckleberry bushes.

Here's another look at the Smoky Mountains, in the fall.  The aspen are green and gold patchwork in the sagebrush ocean.  The north side of the hills gets enough shade from the sun that evergreen trees can grow.  The southern exposure is too hot and dry for a tree seed to germinate and thrive.

There is a downside to living in a ski resort community.  It snows.  It snows a lot.  You can see my neighbor on his roof, shoveling what looks to be about four feet of compressed snow.  First I would shovel the driveway, then I would get up on top of the snow piles, and shovel the piles away from the driveway.

These are the Boulder Mountains as seen from Galena Summit on a clear morning after a heavy overnight snow.  I saw this view my first week in Idaho.