A Tree By the River

northern exposures
treesntracks-1216

alder cones, winter 2014

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alder cones against snowbank, winter 2014

alder branch-2

red alder, fall 2013

Alnus rubra. Red alder grows all along the California coast and northward all the way across the Yukon Flats in the Alaskan interior. Look for it along sloughs and riverbanks where soils are damp and gravelly.

When fall arrives it becomes one of the prettiest trees in the region, as its heavily textured leaves adorn themselves in cinnamon red. Little cones, dried long before winter sets in, remain on the limbs until spring when new ones replace the old and catkins appear everywhere, hanging like caterpillars.

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