Montana Outdoors

February 11, 2013

Connection to the past

Filed under: Trees — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:05 pm

Rocky Mountain Juniper

On the crest of a lonely ridge, far above the rushing water of the river, the gnarled and twisted skeleton of an ancient pine still stands wild and free, looking toward the sky in anticipation of things yet to come.


  1. These trees are rather like the faces of old people, people whose bodies have been well lived in and remind us of so much of that person’s history. These trees also tell us stories, I think.


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — February 11, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    • If we could only see some of the scenes there during the life of that tree!


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

  2. Can you imagine how long that sucker has been there. Fantastic find =)


    Comment by Tricia — February 11, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

    • If my guess is correct that it is a Rocky Mountain Juniper, perhaps as long as two millennia.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

  3. Beautiful image, Terry. Wild and free and wise.


    Comment by twoscamps — February 11, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

    • I visit that tree several times each year and I’m happy that it chose such a place to spend its long life. It is protected by the location which is approached only by foot and holds no treasures for those who exploit the land.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

  4. This is one of my favorites. I love the old scraggy wisdom and the green lichen against the sky. It truly embodies the look of “an ancient one”.


    Comment by Tammy — February 11, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  5. A majestic view!


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — February 11, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    • It is. From that place I can see the full length of the valley in which I live and the peaks that stand at the east end of it. To the west, the peaks of the Cherry Peak roadless area are in full view.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

  6. Beautiful!


    Comment by Roberta — February 11, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

  7. That is one old tree. What a beauty.


    Comment by Bo Mackison (@bo_mackison) — February 11, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

    • I’m sure it is very old and I hope that no one will ever interfere with it’s gradual return to the earth.


      Comment by montucky — February 11, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  8. I think you may have located the moss-covered, three-handled, family gredunza.


    Comment by jomegat — February 11, 2013 @ 10:53 pm

  9. What an incredible sight. Amazing to think how many centuries that old tree has seen.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — February 12, 2013 @ 2:00 am

    • The lifetimes of trees are fascinating and awesome. They provide for me a link to history that is much longer than the modern history of the west. The first non-Indians to enter the state I live in, Montana, were the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

  10. The perfect title and thoughts for this ancestor tree. All beautiful, branches, moss and roots, witnesses of a past we cannot even imagine. A great picture.


    Comment by isathreadsoflife — February 12, 2013 @ 3:48 am

    • Thinking about all that has taken place in the world during the life of that tree stretches my mind and sparks my imagination.


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:06 pm

  11. It’s amazing to think of all the people who must have looked at and sheltered under that tree for probably thousands of years.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — February 12, 2013 @ 5:14 am

    • Because of its location, the way it sits overlooking the valley, and the wildlife present in its immediate surrounds I would bet that the Indians who lived here were frequent visitors and enjoyed its shade in summer and its wind-shelter in winter.


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

  12. I love the presence of the lichen – life persisting and drawing support from the remnants of the past. And such a sense of movement. Those roots make it appear as though some force has tried to twist it from the earth – without success!


    Comment by shoreacres — February 12, 2013 @ 6:59 am

    • It symbolizes to me the spirit of the west and the tough people who were native here and those who came here, settled in and made it their home too. People of the land and the forest.


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

  13. This post tugs at my heart-amazing photo and words. Thank you for this. hugs


    Comment by Elizabeth — February 12, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    • I’m glad that you like the photo and post, Elizabeth! Trees like this provide our ties to history.


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

  14. Hi Montucky, You sure take wonderful photographs! I also like your caption about that old snaggy pine. Have a great day today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — February 12, 2013 @ 9:12 am

    • Thank you wildlifewatcher! There is a lot of inspiration in that old tree!


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  15. A terrific image. Somehow life and death, big and small, come together here. Such a wonderful point of view.


    Comment by WildBill — February 12, 2013 @ 9:24 am

  16. What a tree…and what a place to be….


    Comment by seekraz — February 12, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    • That’s why we get out where we do, isn’t it Scott!


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

      • It sure is, Terry…it’s so renewing out there…calming, restoring…grounding…. 🙂


        Comment by seekraz — February 13, 2013 @ 7:46 am

  17. Wow! This is impressive!


    Comment by Val — February 12, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

    • Lacking much by the way of recorded history in this part of the world, this is our connection to the past.


      Comment by montucky — February 12, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  18. Oh, the stories that old tree could tell! Intriguing. 🙂


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — February 12, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

  19. That is a glorious being. Two millenia, wow, it really does look wise. I would visit it frequently, too, if I knew it like you do.


    Comment by Candace — February 12, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

    • Trees like that are really treasures for those who recognize them as ties to the history of our world. We too often base our perspective on the very brief lives of those of our species.


      Comment by montucky — February 13, 2013 @ 12:39 am

  20. What a MAGNIFICENT tree and capture… Really stunning. Just love it. Ah, the stories. These trees deserve such respect.


    Comment by FeyGirl — February 13, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    • Trees do deserve much more respect than they get, especially here in logging country. Thank goodness for wilderness areas!


      Comment by montucky — February 13, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  21. such an honorable portrait of this tree stump
    and such a beautiful day~


    Comment by Tammie — February 13, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    • Part of our strange weather tis year has been many days when we have just an hour or two of clear sky, framed by clouds and snow flurries or rain. If you’re not outside when it happens you miss it.


      Comment by montucky — February 13, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

  22. Awesome finding. I love it and I am glad that You presented it to us.


    Comment by Sartenada — February 15, 2013 @ 1:24 am

  23. Absolutely love this ! Thank you for sharing !


    Comment by Sandy — February 17, 2013 @ 11:46 am

  24. wow. I really like this photo….love these “postcards” from your weekly/daily adventures


    Comment by skouba — February 18, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    • Thanks Stacey! It seems there is always an interesting image to bring back with me.


      Comment by montucky — February 18, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

  25. So much character in that old tree!


    Comment by kateri — February 19, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

  26. Interesting to see the beauty that is all around when you take the time. Thanks Terry.


    Comment by Ron Mangels — February 24, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    • Yes, there’s plenty there, Ron. I hope everything is well with you and your family!


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

  27. I wonder how long it’s been standing there?


    Comment by Watching Seasons — March 2, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: