The other day I was sitting on the porch of the house here in Telluride where Patti and I are staying. I looked in one direction and saw all the snow fields resting high upon Mt. Wilson, which rises majestically above the nearby hills and lesser mountains.

English: Mt Wilson viewed Leaving Telluride, C...

Mt Wilson viewed Leaving Telluride, Colorado.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


And I kept watching. It’s not like the mountain is going anywhere, but I was hypnotically drawn to its image. It was a beautiful day and there were a few billowy cumulus clouds slowly moving across the sky. I don’t see many hills or mountains like this in Dallas.

However, as they crossed over Mt. Wilson, they created shadows on the snow fields below them. These fields that were previously stark white became grey as the clouds moved overhead, giving the appearance of skiing down the snow fields. It was amazing to watch. I pulled out my camera to get a closer view of the clouds skiing down Mt. Wilson. I kept watching as different clouds created different shadows, but they all seemed to be skiing down Mt. Wilson. And I laughed.

And, for a moment, I wondered if any of these clouds fall down when they ski, like I do.

Also, from my same vantage point, I studied some quaking aspen trees. Here in Telluride, every art gallery contains numerous breathtaking photos of aspen. They are truly beautiful trees. They seem to preen and strut their stuff the best during autumn when the leaves turn gold and illuminate the countryside like an infinite-watt lightbulb.

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado

Aspen trees (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From my vantage point, I could see some pine trees and aspen trees. There was nary a breeze anywhere nearby. The pine trees were not moving, not at all. But the green leaves on the nearby aspen were quaking endlessly. Again, I started laughing. For some reason, each leaf started to look like the lips of noted news readers from TV. I started laughing even more as it started to look like Bill O’Reilly was chatting with Chris Matthews,and Greta Van Susteren was exchanging opinions with Katie Couric. You name the news reader, and their lips were in full action on the aspen trees.

I could not make out a thing in any conversation, but there were some strong sentiments indicated by the clattering of the leaves. I laughed even more and more as I started thinking of additional news readers that could be represented on the aspen.

Aspens in Autumn, Elk Mountain Ranch, CO

Aspens in Autumn, Elk Mountain Ranch, CO (Photo credit: don j schulte @ oxherder arts)

i laughed once more as I thought that if antelopes can be missionaries, and pigeons plot in secrecy, then I guess my aspen leaves can be news readers.

Here are some other interesting things I have learned about aspen since arriving here:

  • Aspen trees are one of earth’s largest living organisms. Thousands of trees can be joined underground by a single root network and can live for thousands of years
  • After a forest fire, aspens are the quickest organism to begin reproducing because usually the trees burn, but the root systems are not harmed usually by the fire and can reproduce quickly
  • American Indians would use aspen bark to make tea to treat various ailments
  • Baltic legend claims that Judas Iscariot hanged himself in an aspen tree, and the trees have quaked ever since, but since the trees grow only in high country there is not a lot of strength in this tale
  • There is a colony of aspen trees in Utah that is estimated to be 80,000 years old.