The Friday Cyclotouriste

a geo-photoblog chronicling my "excursions velo"

On the Road……More Fall colors on Mt. Lemmon

with 2 comments

Fall/Winter comes much earlier on Mt. Lemmon than in the valley below.

Ascending from the valley floor in Tucson to the top of Mt. Lemmon is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada — in terms of the biological diversity and the number of ecological zones one passes through.

These high elevation mountain zones are called Sky Islands:

Weldon Heald coined the term “sky islands” in 1967 to denote mountain ranges that are isolated from each other by intervening valleys of grassland or desert. The valleys of this basin and range country act as barriers to the movement of certain woodland and forest species, somewhat like saltwater seas isolate plants and animals on oceanic islands – hence the common association with the archipelago phenomenon. Other species, such as mountain lions and black bears, depend on movement corridors between mountain islands to maintain genetic diversity and population size. (from The Sky Island Alliance website)


Written by fridaycyclotouriste

November 2nd, 2011 at 8:50 pm

2 Responses to 'On the Road……More Fall colors on Mt. Lemmon'

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  1. Very nice photos, Nathan! One of my favorite Mount Lemmon photo sites used to be the Marshall Gulch trail (at the end of the Mount Lemmon highway past Summerhaven). Unfortunately, the area was badly damaged by the Aspen Fire in 2003. There are obviously, as your photos show, still many opportunities for fall foliage color at the “Lemmon”!


    5 Nov 11 at 5:14 pm

  2. jim/ i saw evidence of that fire on this hike…things seem to be recovering, but slowly perhaps. sometimes a fire creates explosive re-growth. i’m not sure if that happened on Mt. Lemmon or not.

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