I haven’t been up into the mountains in ages.  For weeks now, I’ve been thinking that I needed to go, but to be honest, I needed an excuse to do it.  My brother proved to be that excuse.

In for just a week, I wanted to do something special during his visit, which just happened to coincide with my birthday last Tuesday.  Since my mom could not get off from work on Tuesday, I asked for Wednesday off and up into the mountains we went.

I was hoping for some fall foliage but alas, it was too late in the year.  Still, I took one of the routes that people take when they’re looking for golden Aspens – Evergreen Parkway to HWY 104 and round the back way to Echo Lake.  I’ll be sharing a lot of those pics in the next few weeks, but I wanted to start with some closeups of interesting things that caught my eye.

It was late in the day and I was itching to wander down a path to see where it would take me.  My mom was just looking for a place to go to the bathroom.  I looked to my left and saw one of those National Park bathroom places, so I cut across the road, parked, and then went wandering.  I came across a curious tree.  One side was ashen gray, skin cracked with deep grooves.  The other side looked fairly normal except for little areas that looked…chewed on.

Really odd.

I took these pictures:

The other side had areas with this odd texture:

I wondered if it had been struck by lightning and burned, or if someone had set it on fire, or if it had frozen – maybe some combination of all of the above.  I’ll never know for sure.

In a sea of evergreens, this tree stood out to me, surrounded by a light dusting of snow, full of mystery and an odd beauty.

~P

4 Comments

  • Patrick Hester (@atfmb) (@atfmb) (@atfmb) Posted October 21, 2011 9:30 am

    Photo Friday: The Gray Tree http://t.co/F6r3kZWD

  • Paul (@princejvstin) Posted October 21, 2011 11:21 am

    I’ll be sharing a lot of those pics in the next few weeks, but I wanted to start with some closeups of interesting things that caught my eye.

    You previewed a couple of those on Twitter. Very nice indeed, Patrick.

    I am not sure what the story with the tree is. Lightning damage is what jumps out at me, but I don’t have much skill at Botany. Neville Longbottom I am not!

  • Patrick Hester (@atfmb) (@atfmb) (@atfmb) Posted October 21, 2011 3:39 pm

    Did you check out The Gray Tree today? http://t.co/F6r3kZWD

  • Caroline Posted October 25, 2011 3:16 am

    Damage to the bark could be caused by local wildlife, scent marking, stropping claws. Or if there are deer in the area, I think it’s the season for the velvet to be rubbed off antlers. Not sure what those rams in the area do, but they could be up to shenanigans!

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