Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sharing Trees

As a transplant to Colorado, I am admittedly partial to the trees of my home state of California.  I have, nonetheless, always enjoyed the Fall in Colorado; its mountains filled with lodgepole pine trees and aspen trees -- painting the hills beautiful shades of yellow and orange. 

Over the last few years, whether traveling by air or driving along Interstates, I have been watching the epidemic of a failing forest devastating the beauty of the Colorado mountains. I had heard the stories on the evening newscasts and picked up an article or two about it but I had paid very little attention to the articles. Some might find this incredible but I had never been a fan of the mountains (or the cold and snow).  To me, they were just another annoying barrier that I had to go through to get to my beloved beach and desert.  It wasn't until last year, on a drive on Interstate 70 headed west, that I really noticed the total devastation. It is now undeniable and enough to melt the heart of this die-hard-hot-weather beach babe. 

Mountains that I had lived by for many years and had come to take for granted

Now entire areas of the forests in Colorado are almost gone.

A phenomenon of rising regional temperatures, drought, forest fires and insect infestations (pine and twig beetles), it is predicted that the lodgepole pine tree will be completely wiped out within the next few years (an area the size of Rhode Island).

The aspen trees will be gone before the new century is over if the course continues unheeded.

The Colorado Rocky Mountains are changing forever in our life time and I wonder about the implication of this in our childrens' life times. 

Nothing ever happens in a vacuum.

Take a good look around you as you drive through your neighborhood.  Learn the names and the history of the towering green giants that are shading your home and giving your children something to climb. Check out those scenic overlooks on your next road trip. Get a window seat on your next trip on a plane and leave the shade up.  Try to see the world and the gifts that mother nature has given us through new eyes.  It's just one more lesson that I've learned as I get older -- never-ever-never take something (or someone for granted.)  Gone is sometimes forever.

Look deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything better.
~ Albert Einstein ~