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.


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