Arboreal Stories: Aspens


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This portfolio is one of a series dedicated to trees that have become personally meaningful to me, by which I mean that they are prominent and welcome parts of my world and life. It is not an exaggeration to say that, being the recluse that I am, I spend considerably more time in the company of these trees than in the company of people (including those I consider as friends).

Aspen trees, growing in clonal colonies (one of which is the oldest living organism on Earth, estimated to be about 80,000 years old) are a staple of the Western mountains. Alas, in recent years these trees have been on the decline due to Sudden Aspen Decline (SAD) due to years-long drought. It is estimated that about 50% of aspens have died, and may soon disappear from much of their range.

Aspen trees morph with the seasons: lime-green in the spring, green in summer, dazzling yellows and reds in autumn, white and bare in winter. They are always a joy to be among, and a very photogenic subject. Some of my favorite campsites, especially in the summer and fall, are in clearings among aspen trees.

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