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Posts Tagged ‘quaking aspen’

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These are bite marks on quaking aspen nearly seven feet up the three.

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And some shed out hair. Moose have hollow hair like white-tailed deer, but it’s based upon on a much larger scale. They also have a much denser undercoat.

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The moose weren’t on the trail that day, but they weren’t that far off.

 

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The last flame of autumn:

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(I don’t know why he went into eclipse! He’s too young!)

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Bobcat track. You’ve already seen the bobcat, though:

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Quaking aspens against a blue sky:

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Wild turkeys trying to hide:

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Naked aspens

Not yet in leaf. Naked white skeletons against the blue sky.

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Aspen skeletons

Quaking aspen without their leaves:

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I backed over a duck last night.  Miley had brought it near my car, and I guess it hid there are all day. When I moved the car, I crushed it.

I was very upset about it, and I still am.

I decided the only thing I could do is give a proper funeral. I had seen fox tracks the night before about 30 yards from a grove of aspen.  As I’ve noted before, I want my own ashes spread in an aspen grove. Quaking aspen are among the first real trees to colonize a pasture or clear-cut in the forest succession. I want my elements to break down and become part of the aspen, which will feed grouse while they live, and then as they decay, they will feed the oaks and hickories and maples that come with the maturing forest.

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I placed it there in the grove.

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This is the duck that used to eat from my hand. The tamest of the lot. It had a good life, swimming and foraging as ducks do.

But it is gone now.

My only hope is that maybe a young fox that is just dispersing from his parents’ territory will come by and enjoy a free meal.

That’s all I can hope for.

This is my penance for my killing.

Pay it forward.

I am an odd fellow mourning the death of an animal like a duck.

If it were a wild animal or a real farm bird, that would be a different matter.

But it’s too much like family to eat.

So it must be passed along into the carbon cycle.

 

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The Bald Aspens

When I die, I want my ashes spread in an aspen grove like this one:

 

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This morning, the sun was hitting the aspen grove so perfectly that I had to take a few photos.

The sun so perfectly illuminated those pale tree trunks, but unfortunately, I’ve yet to find any device that really can capture the eerie beauty of quaking aspen in the summer sun.

We’re still experiencing freakish 100 degree temperatures.

There isn’t much of a breeze, but a slight one did start to kick up.

Quaking aspen leaves will shaking in even the slightest breeze.

That’s how they got their common name, and this feature is also reflected in their scientific name, Populus tremuloides.

They are among the first really tall deciduous trees to colonize an area that is slowly returning to forest.

Most of this area was open pasture, but because many of the farms have since been abandoned, the aspen groves have been able to pop up. Over time, the aspen die, and hardwood trees grow in.

When my time comes, I want my ashes spread in a grove of quaking aspen. I want my elements to enrich the aspen, and when they die, their elements will enrich the other trees that replace them.  I want my elements restored to nature, where they will enrich other living things.

That’s the only eternal life I need.

I captured a little footage of a light breeze moving through the aspen grove:

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In this squelching heat, it’s oddly peaceful and sweet.

The air is muggy and oppressive.

But there is still some gentle breeze out there.

The aspens will catch it.

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