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

February 10, 2016 | NPR · Iowa and New Hampshire have spoken, each in its own unique accent. Now the race moves on to Nevada and South Carolina, states quite different from the first two, and quite different from each other.
 

The Washington Post/Getty Images
February 10, 2016 | NPR · An MSNBC host accidentally called the candidate “Bernie sandwich.” Sanders supporters and adversaries on Twitter jumped in.
 

AP
February 9, 2016 | NPR · The agreement, negotiated by the city of Ferguson, Mo., and the Justice Department, is expected to cost the city more than $2 million per year. The city council altered the plan to reduce that cost.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
February 9, 2016 | NPR · “It’s a little space, well-measured and precise, in which you have to keep the ball bouncing,” says Álvaro Enrigue. His book, Sudden Death, pits the Italian painter against the Spanish poet.
 

Keith O'Brien for NPR
February 9, 2016 | NPR · Deep in the woods of New Hampshire, 20 inmates are engaged in a fierce chess tournament in a secluded prison. The prize may be just a paper certificate, but even then, winning means a lot.
 

Ashley Cleek for NPR
February 9, 2016 | WBHM · Pop-up dining experiences are cropping up across the country. While diners savor an exclusive meal, chefs get to try out recipes and gauge the local market for their food before opening a restaurant.
 

Music

February 9, 2016 | NPR · Baaba Maal is one of the most well-known Senegalese singers today. For over three decades, his music has won him fans all over the world. Music reviewer Banning Eyre says his first album in seven years, The Traveller, is different and surprising.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 9, 2016 | WXPN · Hear the experimental singer, songwriter and composer perform songs from Have You In My Wilderness.
 

Mountain Stage
February 9, 2016 | NPR · The frontman of The Hold Steady makes his first solo appearance in front of a Mountain Stage crowd.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab