About Us  |  Contact Us  |  FAQ's  |  Newsroom

[design image slice] U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service on faded trees in medium light green background [design image slice] more faded trees
[design image] green box with curved corner
[design image] green and cream arch
 
Regulations.gov
   
Employee Search
Information Center
National Offices and Programs
Phone Directory
Regional Offices
   
   
   
 

US Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C.
20250-0003

(800) 832-1355

 
  USA dot Gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal.
   

Forest botanist shares favorite memories of a cool breeze, sights and smells of autumn from the Tetons


Visitors to the the North Fork Indian Creek, Palisades District can find Greene’s mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina) and thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) ablaze in the fall on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest as shown in this September 2005 image. (U.S. Forest Service)

Visitors to the the North Fork Indian Creek, Palisades District can find Greene’s
mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina) and thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus) ablaze
in the fall on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest as shown in this September
2005 image. (U.S. Forest Service)

Posted by Rose Lehman, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, U.S. Forest Service


The Caribou-Targhee National Forest stretches the length of the eastern edge of Idaho and includes the western backbone of the Teton Range in Wyoming.


I suppose as a botanist my favorite time of year should be spring or summer when wildflowers are at their peak of flowering, but it is fall. A season that starts mid-August with the hint of reds and yellows highlighted in plants such as sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum), dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) and the many different species of willows (Salix spp.).

  
The season really gets its show on in late September when the bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) turn brilliant orange-red from the rim of the Island Park Caldera on the Ashton/Island Park Ranger  District, south to the Palisades, Soda Springs, Westside and Montpelier Ranger Districts. The Maple Creek drainage on the Cub River is spectacular in the fall when the bigtooth maples have turned.  They named this drainage correctly.

Greene’s mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina) abound in the Island Park area on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, as shown in this September 2010 photo. (U.S. Forest Service)

Greene’s mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina) abound in the Island Park area on
the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, as shown in this September 2010 photo.
(U.S. Forest Service)


I find myself lucky if I am at the right place mid-September to mid-October to see the bigtooth maple, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides), redosier dogwood (Cornus sericea), Greene’s mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina), mallow ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus) and cottonwoods (Populus spp.) (to name a few) at their notable best.


Fall colors are attractive and the reason for this blog, but it is the sound of the trembling leaves, the feel of the cool breeze and the smell of the season that make autumn special. Images of fall colors are grand, but to be there is divine.

Visitors to the Teton Basin District on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest will delight in many scenic vistas including the fall color of willows (Salix sp.) featured in the foreground in this October 2008 photo. (U.S. Forest Service)

Visitors to the Teton Basin District on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest
will delight in many scenic vistas including the fall color of willows (Salix sp.)
featured in the foreground in this October 2008 photo.(U.S. Forest Service)

Hunters in these mountains know the season well - not all go for the trophy antlers or the meat, some are there for the season hesitating to shoot when an opportunity comes that ends the hunt.  My Dad hunted and sometime I would go with him, for him and for me it was about being there with a reason to be silent in the moment of the season. The moment is there in the mountains quiet with the leaves changing to their reds, oranges and yellows of autumn.

 

The bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) makes a sporting debut in the fall on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest as seen in this September 2005 photo. It is distinguished from Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum) by the rounded instead of acute leaf sinuses (space between the leaf lobes). (U.S. Forest Service)

The bigtooth maple (Acer grandidentatum) makes a sporting debut in the fall
on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest as seen in this September 2005 photo.
It is distinguished from Rocky Mountain maple (Acer glabrum) by the rounded
instead of acute leaf sinuses (space between the leaf lobes).
(U.S. Forest Service)

 

US Forest Service
Last modified November 01, 2013
http://www.fs.fed.us

[graphic] USDA logo, which links to the department's national site. [graphic] Forest Service logo, which links to the agency's national site. [graphic] A link to the US Forest Service home page.