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

AP
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Police say Frein opened fire on two state troopers more than a month ago, and they’ve been searching for him since. The Pike County district attorney says he intends to seek the death penalty.
 

AP
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Over the past century, midterm elections have been pretty rough on the party that holds the White House.
 

American Red Cross
October 30, 2014 | NPR · An NPR investigation revealed how the emergency organization funneled its resources away from storm victims to create an “illusion of mass care.” The Red Cross tells PBS NewsHour that’s not true.
 

Arts & Life

October 30, 2014 | NPR · Michel Faber’s best-seller, The Crimson Petal and the White, captured the feel of Victorian London. His latest is a literary science-fiction tale that might disappoint hard core sci-fi fans.
 

Courtesy Nikki Sylianteng
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Is it safe to park on the street, or are you risking a ticket? The more signs there are, the more confusing that question gets. Designer Nikki Sylianteng has found a way to help.
 

Courtesy of  Universal/The Kobal CollectionTION
October 30, 2014 | NPR · For Halloween, NPR movie critic Bob Mondello remembers scaring up some frights from his first job at a movie theater.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 31, 2014 | WXPN · The Scottish soul singer, a best-seller in Europe, plays songs from his new album, Caustic Love.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 30, 2014 | NPR · The song is the exuberant sound of a novice exploring the possibilities of alternative electronic dance music with no real rule book or manual at his disposal.
 

Mountain Stage
October 30, 2014 | NPR · Hear a live set from the banjo master, who’s long been expanding the instrument’s possibilities.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab