No. 1: The Larch

With Elise gone on a much-needed escape, I was left to my own devices. Steve suggested that we go hiking and since I hadn’t been in the mountains in some time, we took off to Emmental for the day.

Steve recommended that we climb Napf (1408m, 4620ft) in the Emmental Alps, near the village of Luthern. Emmental is the home of some of Switzerland’s most famous cheese and just north of the core of the Alpine range. From the summit of Napf we had spectacular views of the Jura mountains back home as well as the Bavarian, Austrian, and of course Swiss Alps. Since it had recently snowed, we also were able to enjoy our first wintery hike of the season.

At the tail end of autumn the trees were still holding on to the last bits of color, and with the overcast sky to our north and clearing skies to the south, the band of sunlight that was able to shine across the horizon combined to provide interesting light and ambience for the afternoon.

In fact, it was so clear that we were able to recognize different types of trees from quite a long way away. For example, it was the precise time of year that the larch’s needles turn bright yellow before they fall for the year. So although they are not common where we live, they are more numerous in the Alps, and we were able to spot the larch. The larch.

The. Larch.

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