We just arrived home from a vacation in Estes Park, Colorado. We spent a lot of time in the Rocky Mountain National Forest.
One evening we took an adventure sunset ride to the Roosevelt National Forest. During that trip we stopped in a big grove of Aspens, and one of our drivers told us a little about the trees. I was so excited to learn more about them. Some of it was eery for me, especially some of the Indian beliefs like they thought the trees protected them at night and other things I don’t want to remember like those black spots are eyes, but here is some of what I’ve learned:
- Leaves quake, flutter, or tremble in the wind. I sit out on our porch and was mesmerized at the fluttering even in the gentle breezes.
- The leaves shimmer.
- Dark scars on the white bark that look like eyes are actually where deer and elk have eaten the bark which is nutritious.
- Indians thought the dark spots were eyes, and the trees protected them.
An entire grove can form from one tree, seed, etc.. They are one organism. They are connected by their roots.
- The tree gives off a white powder on the outer part when rubbed that can be used as a natural sunscreen. Native Americans used it as such.
- The groves were a safe place for the Indians because they could see far and wide while camping. So perhaps that is why they believed the trees protected them.
- The leaves have a square stem instead of a round stem which makes them flutter or quake like they do.
- Leaves are not fuzzy on one side like other leaves. They are shiny on both sides. Photosynthesis happens in the bark instead of on the leaves
You can read more about our Colorado trip here.