Sunday, August 17, 2014


Before I begin to show you photos from our time in Glacier National Park, I feel that I must share a story of rebirth. As look at my photos of the western side of Glacier, indeed just a few hundred yards behind our Impressive campsite, a massive burn scar has transformed the view. 

Fire is natural process, and officials prescribe burns nearly every year in the park, but in 2003,after five years of drought, a wildfire tore through 136,000 acres. I'm sure it was traumatic, and I remember being sad when I heard about this, but now, eleven years later, Glacier National Park is undergoing a rebirth. 

Notice the vivid green grasses and the healthy young trees at the base of their elders, and don't feel sad when you look at those standing, barren tree trunks. Snags are vital for many creatures. This valley was vibrant and alive. 
Most of the trees in these shots are Lodgepole pine. You can always recognize lodgepoles by their arrow straight trunks. This species is adapted to fire. 

Fact: Nearly all lodgepole cones require temperatures of 120 degrees F to germinate, and since that is a rare temperature in their range, they require fire to reproduce. 

Speaking of tree germination, watch as Leaf witnesses the birth of a magical, new tree in Cairn: A Dragon Memoir.

Leaf stopped staring, shook her head, and tossed the peach pit to the ground where it rolled into divot in the forest floor. A heartbeat later, she watched in amazement as the pit split apart to reveal the life inside. Already a tender root was snaking toward the rich earth. 

Among the grasses, thousands of wildflowers captured my attention. (Come back for a special post on the wildflowers of Glacier) But until then, come back tomorrow to venture deeper into nature. 

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