Among the Larches

larches

We start walking at 5400 feet in elevation. The trunks of lodgepole pines are gray and scaly. The trunks of subalpine firs are gray and smooth. The crowns of the trees are dark above us as we cross a north-facing slope. This time of year the ground is frozen, and the sun may not penetrate to the forest floor. As we climb, the western larches (Larix occidentalis) reach for the light. They are golden and shedding. The trail is carpeted with needles. The larches are the biggest trees in the stand; deeply furrowed bases blackened by long-ago fire. They tower above us.

As we emerge on the rim, we see the world stretching away from us. We seek patches of sunlight, to rest and look around, and gather whatever heat we can. Our eyes go to the larches, and we shake our heads in wonder.

One thought on “Among the Larches

  1. I cannot look at a grove of Aspen now in the same way I did before reading that the grove is actually many parts of one organism, rather than individual trees! One big root system from which individual boles project through the soil, like funguses or mosses… united & fed by one shared root system…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s