Burned trees, fallen and standing, provide a vast gallery of wilderness sculpture carved by fire, water, and wind. The grey surface of the dead wood shines silver in veiled sunlight. The spiral growth of the wood, the stark, multi-angled branches reaching out, the eroded, twisted roots of the fallen, all speak of the powers of nature to create beauty both in life and in death.
Tree living: a miracle of life and movement in the stillness of being rooted. Beneath the rough bark water flows—how high?—through the cells from those roots, nourishing needles hundreds of feet in the air.
Tree dead bares its secrets, shows its ribs to the world. The graceful curves of its life are sanded silvery and smooth. Ridged, like wrinkles on an old face, displaying proudly its age, the wonders and hardships of the years. With beauty and dignity tree makes its slow journey back to the soil.
(Mount Evans Wilderness, Shelter House Burn area)