Mar 28

Winter is Hard on the Forest

Category: Arizona

Here are the results of an evening hike around Walnut canyon.  The recent melting of thick snow has revealed the winter’s damage; the trees have it pretty hard.

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Two of the winter’s victims

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Forest wreckage and the rising moon

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Two-foot diameter trunks have been snapped in half like twigs under the weight of ice, snow and the effects of heavy wind and low temperatures. I examined the wreckage on the ground; the trunk was not rotten. It took out a few smaller trees on the way down.

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A lot of the snags (that’s what standing dead trees are named) have been hit by lightning.  It’s not visible in this image, but the lightning usually blasts off bark in a spiral pattern.

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This tree points an accusing finger at the moon – for what I can’t imagine.

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This gnarled tree isn’t dead, just dormant, but its twisted shape is a testament to the shattering winters it has seen.

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The long low light from the setting sun infuses the forest with enchanted light.

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At the other end of the sky, an antipodean moon keeps balance.

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At intervals, tantalizing glimpses of the gloriously snow-clad peaks.

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1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. spleeness March 29th, 2010 2:15 PM

    My favorite one is with the trees that have light glinting off their trunks. The depth of blue in that Arizona sky still surprises me. Really beautiful!

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