Friday, 1 July 2016

East of Mogollon, NM

The most spectacular part of this trail and the surrounding area are the quaking aspens of the Gila. I noticed some signs of a relatively recent fire while I was hiking. According to the Audubon Society, when conifer forests are disturbed (either by fire or wind or logging or what-have-you) quaking aspens are among the first trees to take advantage of the new free space and exposure to sunlight. Eventually, they will be forced out again by regrowth of conifers. It makes my heart jump; the complexities of the regenerative process; the fragility of all living things, plants and non-plants.   

These amazing specimens can grow to be eighty feet tall, and 'quake' in the slightest breeze