Mount Aeneas In Autumn

Oct 24, 2014

Mount Aeneas, Swan Mountains, Flathead National Forest, Montana. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Liz Rohde

"Mount Aeneas," by Margo Whitmire.

"A few remnants of the summer's huckleberry yield are frozen in subtle indigo spurts amid the spruce-fir forest and fledgling whitebark pines. Mountain ash berries pop in bright bursts of red-orange. Every step along the trail is a satisfying crunch of dirt that has crystallized into little sheaths of ice. A wildlife biologist I met at the trailhead is heading toward the summit to tally the eagles and falcons that fly over the narrow ridge top. The day before, she tells me, a golden eagle flying above suddenly turned itself upside down, grabbed a finch, and flipped right-side up again without missing a beat."

(Broadcast: "Fieldnotes," 10/26/14 & 10/27/14. Listen Sundays at 12:25 p.m. or Mondays at 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)