#115 Below the Rim

October 18th, 2010

Below the Rim

Autumn breaks out

It happens every year

And it is always a big deal. The leaves turn whatever color they do, every year. The aspens and the scrubby poplar bushes change, but the pines just carry on. Except those killed by pine beetles. See those scraggly, naked things here and there above the rim? Those are pines killed by the mountain pine beetle, a bug that gets underneath the bark and eats away at the tree’s ability to feed itself. First, the pines turn a very pretty shade of umber, then all the needles fall off and they die. The only thing that kills a pine beetle infestation is a forest fire. Trees are dying all over the West, because we suppress fires in the forest.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

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