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


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