Ascent of the Odle – Dolomites in Autumn

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View from the base of the Odle group of mountains, in the Italian Dolomites, in Autumn.

This beautiful vista is part of the Adolf Munkel trail, in the Val di Funes area of Italy’s Dolomites. This mountainous region owes its fame mostly to its stunning sheer cliffs and towering peaks. But its lovely European Larch forests are just as big a part of its beauty. Endemic to the Alps, the European Larch is one of a handful of conifers that are also deciduous. I’m more familiar with the forests of North Carolina, where you only see conifer forests with dappled color like this when they are infected with lethal pine beetles! It was much less concerning, and more beautiful, to see it as a part of the natural autumn spectacle.

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