The large snag in the center of this pic fell sometime between our new years visit of 2011 / 2012 and our visit back in April. It was something I noticed as soon as we arrived. Being in tune with your surroundings is something many folks miss. A good example of this is the phase of the moon. Ask any random person in the office or on the street and I think the far majority of them would not have a clue. They would however be able to tell you who is on the current cover of “People” magazine. To me this is just sad. When we live at the cabin we are always more in tune with nature. I think some of this stems from having to go outside more, just like at home we go out to get firewood, but there we also go out to use the facilities ( our sawdust composting toilet) and to retrieve items from the cooler. While most folk spend entire days sitting on the couch and stare dumbly at a TV.
A Void in our southern horizon.
Some possible firewood for the summer roundup.
The fallen tree was upwards of 2 feet in diameter at its base. Its age is still a mystery, as well as how long it has stood silent and naked waiting for its turn to return to the earth and nourish the next generation of patriarchs. This Ponderosa was one of a handful we have on our land. In the southwest corner of our ranch we have the “Four elders”, who are still alive and going strong, as well as the “Moontree” from which we named our ranch.
The four elders on the horizon and 2 youngsters in the foreground.
When we trimmed some juniper on our driveway, I cut some cross sections of the limbs which were about the size of my wrist. After looking over them with a magnifying glass I was seeing close to 100 growth rings per inch, putting the age of these limbs at 100 to 150 years old. The big Ponderosas may be 500 to 1000 years old or more.
When I was building the cabin Gil stopped by one day, as he walked past our picnic table he picked up and handed me an arrow head. He says he has found many near our land, and along the ridge of the bigger canyon nearby. Our little canyon is about 40 to 50 feet deep as it exits our land, the nearby bigger canyon is close to 100 feet deep. Thousands and thousands of years of erosion, and perhaps thousands of fallen patriarchs.
In august of last year I took my girls back to my home state of Michigan and got to visit some of my old stomping grounds. Some of the trees we planted in my old front yard are now quite big and no longer resemble the scrawny sticks I remember. We also visited the Nature Center where I spent many summers as a camper and, later, as a counselor. We strolled through the beech maple forest of my youth and the forest had indeed changed. The big trees were laying about while a new crop of younger trees were reaching for the canopy.