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 week to catch the this year’s breathtaking displa.

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:

 

4 Responses to Aspen Extravaganza

  1. Rigel MacCrikey says:

    400 pictures of graffiti…. most of them illegible…. Why.

  2. Ms. Lin says:

    chill man

  3. terbear says:

    Beautiful pics. You guys are amazingly imaginative and stunning with the lens. Thanks for the biology link too.

  4. Louise says:

    I remember walking down from the top of Pikes Peak one time and meeting up with a young boy with his knife out, carving on an aspen. It was a beautiful day surrounded beautiful trees. I asked the boy if he thought he was making the tree more beautiful by cutting it. He said no but his dad told him it was okay. I agree with Rigel.

News

AP
September 21, 2014 | NPR · John Abdallah Wambere applied for asylum in the U.S. after Uganda passed a harsh anti-gay law earlier this year. His application has now been recommended for approval, pending a background check.
 

AP
September 21, 2014 | NPR · Scientists hope NASA’s MAVEN probe, arriving Sunday night, will provide insight into why the Martian climate changed drastically billions of years ago. It may help explain Earth’s climate changes too.
 

EPA /LANDOV
September 21, 2014 | NPR · While a U.N. agency reported about 70,000 refugees this weekend, a Turkish official says 100,000 Syrians have entered Turkey in the past week. Fighters from ISIS are closing in on the border.
 

Arts & Life

September 21, 2014 | NPR · When award-winning poet Brian Turner served in the Army, he was following a long family tradition. His new memoir traces that history — and imagines the perspectives of the people shooting back.
 

Candlewick Press
September 21, 2014 | NPR · It’s Perfectly Normal, a 20-year-old illustrated sex-ed book for kids, is meant to teach children about sexual health, puberty and relationships. It’s one of the most banned books in America.
 

Courtesy of Georgia Durante
September 21, 2014 | NPR · Georgia Durante’s career as a stunt driver has led to roles in car commercials and movies. But before the bright lights of Hollywood, the former model was speeding away from a dark past.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 21, 2014 | NPR · Chad Lawson needed to find a way to record at home while his children slept. The result is The Chopin Variations, a set of Chopin works with an intimate, otherworldly sound.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 20, 2014 | NPR · The Oscar and Grammy Award-winning R&B singer says her new album, JHUD, has more energy than her previous ballad-heavy albums, and expresses more of her “everyday person.”
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 20, 2014 | NPR · A certain someone hates the word “songstress.” What else should be abolished from music writing?
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab