Nature does a fine job at making her own Christmas tree, don’t you think? I photographed this lovely, snow-frosted evergreen along the side of the road in Mount Rainier National Park.
And, since it’s Fun Fact Friday as well as Christmas Day, here’s a little bit of Mount Rainier tree trivia for you: The trees in this park extend all the way up to over 6,000 feet along the mountain flanks (over 1,800 meters, more or less). Forests cover approximately 58% of this national park. And most of the trees here are evergreen conifers, meaning they have needles and they keep their needles on their branches year-round.
They call this tree the “Penthouse Tree.” The damaged bark revealed the heartwood of this tree, which began to rot. In so rotting, it provided nutrients for other vegetation, such as the leather fern and evergreen huckleberry growing atop this redwood. This vegetation has a room with a view! If you ever have a chance to visit Redwood National and State Parks, you should definitely wander this 1.3-mile easy trail located in Redwood National Park. There’s a plaque dedicated to Lady Bird Johnson, who was there to dedicate this national park. Many of the sights you’ll see have numbered stakes beside them that correspond to descriptions in a brochure of this hike. The brochure used to be available at the trailhead, but due to Covid, the box is no longer stocked. You can, however, print out and read your own copy of the pamphlet by clicking on the image above.
“Bobby socks” around Opalescent Pool in Black Sand Basin, Yellowstone National Park
“Bobby socks” along the Fountain Paint Pots Nature Trail, Yellowstone National Park
Hey folks, it’s Fun Fact Friday!
If you’ve ever visited Yellowstone National Park, you’ve seen these dead, desolate trees with the white rings around their bases. Those are called “Bobby socks” and are formed when the trees absorb the silica (natural glass) from the thermal waters. This, of course, kills the trees and “freezes” them to keep them standing.
Big tree, small tree, short tree, tall tree. I don’t know if I just made that up or if I read it in some Dr. Seuss book. Anyway, when I first stepped upon the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park, I looked up at this very tall tree and snapped a shot of it with my iPhone. There are some very tall trees, indeed, in this place.
I have no idea what possessed me to look up at this particular juncture during my foray along the Grove of The Patriarchs Trail in Mount Rainier National Park. I think it might have been to see if I could spot the little bird that was singing so exuberantly. The moment my eyes lit upon this forked tree top and the spider web between the prongs, I immediately thought of Sauron’s searching eye in The Return Of The King.
Sometimes, I capture a photo for one reason, only to find the composition looks completely different when I download it to my laptop to start editing it. This image, for instance, was photographed when I visited the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, this past July. All I wanted was a nice little leading line shot of the Bright Angel Point path with the moon in the distance. What I ended up really noticing during the editing process was that tree, which reminded me of Tolkien’s Ent, arms upraised, beseeching Nature to bring back the Entwives.
Or, perhaps, during this political climate, this tree is beseeching the government to end the shutdown and bring back the National Park Service workers to help clean up and protect the national parks. I’ve been reading so many stories about stupid people trashing the parks, and I, myself, am heading to Olympic National Park later this coming week, on assignment for the National Parks Traveler. I have no idea what I will find. I figure the beaches will still be easy to access, but I might not be able to get to the park’s interior rain forest due to downed trees blocking the road. And I wonder what kind of trash there will be – if any. Guess I’ll find out in a few days.
Rootbound along the Rim Trail toward Upper Inspiration Point Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
I’ll bet this is one of the most-photographed trees along the Rim Trail. One photographer on Flickr remarked he spent 4 hours photographing the tree/roots. Um, I did not spend that long and can’t remember the last time I stood in one place for 4 hours photographing the same stationary object. Perhaps he did exaggerate a little, but maybe not. Anyway, this tree (and others that you can find along the Rim Trail and within Bryce Amphitheater) are great examples of erosion processes there in the park. Those exposed roots were – at some point in time – once covered with soil until it was all eroded away. And yet, there stands the tree, continuing to keep a toe-hold to its survival.
The key to getting a clear shot of both tree and background is to either take two shots – one focusing on just the tree and the other focusing on the background – and blend them together (aka “focus stack”) or take a wide-angle shot and then crop to taste, which is what I did, since I was handholding the camera.
Feeling a little twisted and bent out of shape from the workweek? Never fear, the weekend is right around the corner (unless, of course, you have to work this weekend – in which case, try to weather through it) ):
This little tree – a bristlecone pine, I think – and it’s deep red-orange sandstone perch just off of the Zion-Mount Carmel Road in this national park – is rather famous. I’ve seen it in a number of images on Flickr. I saw it for the first time as I was returning to the Zion tunnel, after a photo op stop at Checkerboard Mesa. I would have missed this tree completely had I not turned my head at just the right time to look out over the landscape. This tree and sandstone knob called out to me and I found a pullout at which to park, then walked back along the road and out into the landscape to photograph different perspectives. Trees speak to me and this one was particularly verbose (grin).
A wide-angle view of sunrise at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Good morning, folks! It’s Memorial Day, a day here in the U.S. when we remember those men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. It’s not only a day for reflection and thankfulness and perhaps a visit to the resting place of a loved one, but also a day to get out (if you can) and enjoy the wonders of our environment, or maybe attend a baseball, soccer or basketball game, enjoy a picnic (if the weather cooperates), or go to a movie (I hear good reviews for the new movie “Solo”).
If you are unable to have this day off, then perhaps you can console yourself by enjoying this image while drinking your morning beverage.
Not trying to be political here, folks. Before the 25th, I usually wish people Happy Holidays. On the 25th, I wish them Merry Christmas. And to show that I also appreciate globalism, I wish you not only a Merry Christmas but a Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weihnachten, and Buon Natale. I’d do the wishing in Japanese, Korean and Chinese, too, but I don’t have the keyboard for it.
Anyway, you get my point. I hope everybody has a great day, today, no matter whether you celebrate the holiday or not. And, start planning for some great adventures for 2018. I know I’m going to!
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
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