Vine Maple Silver Logs

Vine Maple Between silvered logs (Philip A. Knouf)

Vine Maple Between silvered logs (Philip A. Knouf)

The Vine Maple in the Big Lava Bed area are often next to silver logs of dead trees that litter the crinkly lava of this area.  The lava is mostly basalt with some ropey Pahoehoe.  Because this area receives a lot of moisture in the winter and spring there is actually a lot of vegetation in this very rocky area.  However, while in the spring there is a lot of bright green, by late summer and early fall this area is one of the first to show fall color in this section of the Cascades.  Vine Maple is interesting in the various shades of yellow, gold and red that the plant is capable of displaying.  In the Big Lava Bed it almost always shows the most intense color.  This is likely the result of the hot and dry conditions it lives in during the growing season.  The Vine Maple in the more moist deep forests right next to the Big Lava Bed is much later to change color and will likely only show pale yellows and reds.

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