While the term arborglyphs is usually reserved for the tree carvings of Basque and Irish sheepherders who used aspen trunks to communicate with one another came to the United States to tend sheep in places like the Pacific Northwest and Nevada (see a beautiful slide show of Basque arborglyphs from Nevada HERE) there’s a strange poetry to the furtively carved initials and hearts that scar the aspens along the old road to Cripple Creek. Usually little more than crude initials, a heart and perhaps a date, these scratchings, taken as a whole, are less acts of senseless vandalism than amorous expressions inspired in part, no doubt, by the irresistible beauty of the aspens.

We don’t advocate carving into these beautiful and delicate trees (read more about their amazing biology HERE), but we do recommend heading up Old Stage and Gold Camp Roads this weekend to catch the last of this year’s particularly spectacular display of color.

The music in this piece is “Song for Obol” by Arborea (who played at the Rubbish Gallery some months back). You can download it for free by clicking on the downward pointing arrow in this player:

 

5 Responses to Aspens & Arborglyphs on Gold Camp Road

  1. Dick F says:

    Great pics. Around my place in Teller County the arborglyphs are made by deer and elk who nibble on the Aspen bark when the ground is cover with snow. You can judge how deep the snow was by the height of the glyphs.

  2. Ellen Troyer says:

    Thank you for bringing great beauty and interesting story to the desktops of those of us who are too busy this year to take a day off to honor the change of season. Your photos are fabulous and the accompaning music was perfect.

  3. boomer49 says:

    Interesting that some of the dates are over 20 years old.
    Cool slide show and great music, ya coulda told us who is was.

  4. Paul Richardson says:

    Very nice. You mentioned the Basque sheepherders. They have a big presence in Wyoming. Lots of them live in Buffalo, WY.

  5. Joyce says:

    Beautiful Photography of the Aspen Trees, music and carvings (arborglyphs). Thanks for sharing a presentation of Colorado with us “Easterners”. We don’t have the exclusive on “Autumn”.
    Joyce Eckler

News

NPR
July 28, 2014 | NPR · For this week’s Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich with a cult following. It’s the Korean steak from Rhea’s Market and Deli in San Francisco.
 

NPR
July 28, 2014 | NPR · One-click online shopping is changing how we shop. Stores with leases as short as a day are proliferating — meaning a storefront can be a designer clothing store one day and a test kitchen the next.
 

July 28, 2014 | CPR · The Colorado attorney general has asked the state’s Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
July 28, 2014 | NPR · For this week’s Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich with a cult following. It’s the Korean steak from Rhea’s Market and Deli in San Francisco.
 

July 28, 2014 | NPR · Alan Cheuse reviews A Replacement Life, Boris Fishman’s humorous account of Holocaust survivors in today’s New York.
 

July 28, 2014 | NPR · Only one movie in July, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has broken the 100 million mark during its opening weekend. Box office receipts all summer have proven anemic. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with RENTRAK, talks to Audie Cornish about the box office slump.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 28, 2014 | NPR · His style may be his own, but it distinctly recalls the sound of the 1950s. The vocalist, guitarist and songwriter shares his love of 45 rpm records and raw, live rock ‘n’ roll.
 

July 28, 2014 | NPR · Jenny Lewis achieved musical fame as part of the indie band Rilo Kiley, which broke up in 2011. Her third solo album announces a new chapter in her career — and perhaps her life.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 28, 2014 | NPR · Dave Brubeck called her “one of the greatest jazz pianists I have ever heard.” She digs up an old tune and calls two Monk numbers on this 1992 episode of the program.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab