The Trees of Emmaline Lake

I came home from the trip to Emmaline Lake with a slew of botanical photos. The wildflowers were booming thanks to the ample run-off from this winter’s snows, but I want to look some of them up before I post a few. So today’s post is going to be some art shots I took of trees we encountered. (Note: I haven’t bothered to look any of these up, so maybe I don’t need to know what the wildflowers are either…) The most interesting trees were on the peaks surrounding Emmaline Lake (approx. 11000 feet).

One of the things that fascinates me about the plants in the mountains is their tenacity; they grow in the most unlikely places. I saw wildflowers blooming just inches from the edge of snow drifts, trees reaching out from steep, rocky slopes, and stunted trees permanently bent by the winds that blow over the ridge they are growing on. But the all time winner was this plant below. I don’t know if it’s a tree or not, but it is growing out of an old tree stump that is right in the middle of a rushing river.

After that, the trees that interested me the most tended to be dead already – smooth or gnarled with twisted trunks and branches. Both of these were up near Emmaline Lake

These exposed tree roots were hanging out from under a clump of scrubby bushes on the slope we climbed to get to Emmaline Lake. (Note: Kurt and I did not approach the Lake on the official trail. In skirting a snow field, we wound up blazing our own trail on a slope nearby.)

There were also beautiful dead and dying trees down in Cirque Meadow and in the woods on the Emmaline Lake trail. Here are the ones I thought were interesting.

Author: Kit Dunsmore

Kit is a writer and an artist who adores living in Colorado. Whether she's hiking in the mountains or walking the prairies, she's always watching the wildlife in order to learn more about the natural world.

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