Brett Baunton: Autumn in the North Cascades

Fall is the fabulous season of color. The Northwest is blessed with amazing fall scenery;

flaming vine maples and mountain ash, meadows loaded with blueberries and crimson red foliage. Light, shadow and the contrasting colors add texture and interest.

I love to watch the light, the colors and the seasons change – to be immersed in these dramatic events is my goal as a nature photographer.

My photo adventures follow the seasons and fall is unquestionably the peak experience of my year. The days can be crisp and clear with a blissful breeze (and no bugs). I can feel the seasons change and take delight in seeing the first snows soften the high places.

All year I anticipate my annual larch tour high on the Cascade Crest. Alpine larch are remarkable trees that turn gold before shedding their needles. Besides the fact that  these are the highest elevation trees, each one has a unique character.

At times like this the indoors is overrated. Rain or shine it’s ‘f-8 and be there’ for the best results. I really enjoy studying maps and route finding to ideal vantage points. I fell in love with backcountry travel in Alaska and found that beyond the beaten tracks lies the mystery of discovery. My favorite perch is high upon an alpine ridge with mountains above and beauty at my feet. Admission is often high in sweat equity but nature’s colorful gifts are unsurpassed and being there makes my life all the richer.

Brett’s photo credits range from National Geographic to Natures Best magazine to Whatcom PlacesAlaska and Washington Tourism, Audubon and Sierra Calendars. The USPS featured Brett’s Pacific Crest Trail image on a “Wonders of America” stamp. Brett’s studio, ArtScan is located in the Bay Street Village in Bellingham. Visit his new website at


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