Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Death of Trees

This morning's Denver Post provided a piece on the tragic loss of the lodgepole pines in the White River National Forest. The devastation, the killing of these wonderful trees is the result of the voracious appetite of the pine beetle that, it is estimated, will eventually take 80 to 90 percent of the lodgepoll pines in the west. The picture at the left was taken (Ed Andrieski, The Associated Press) in Colorado's White River National Forest near Frisco.

I took the picture below last month also in the White River National Forest ten miles east of Vail. In both pictures, the lodgepole pines being attacked first lose their foliage and turn brown; they then turn gray and, eventually, fall to the ground.

Sadly, the vista on the right will probably disappear in the not too distant future.

Some say it's nature's way; that the fires that will naturally occur and burn away the rotted lodgepole pines will give new life to this old forest. That may be so. But, Mama Nature--from the short view--sometimes really sucks.

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