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.

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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