Monday, August 1, 2016


A favorite word of mine since we “discovered” it in the mid 70’s living in metro Denver. Say it out loud, TUNDRA! It sounds just like the Russian it is. The sign here at Rocky Mountain National Park says it means “treeless” in Russian. Tundra! We took the Trail Ridge Road up above the 11,500 foot altitude line where trees cannot find a way to survive. Amazingly, this thick, matted, multi specimen turf of dwarf plants takes over. It is topography of frost heaved rocks and this wonderful carpet of vegetation. The flowers are everywhere and are all teeny. The plants make hay when the sun shines. They exist for five months without temperatures ever rising above freezing in the long winter at altitude. The growing season is barely 3 months. It is tender this tundra. A footprint can take decades to repair. I stopped at a walkway many times to bend to the side to touch, (“pet”),  the various plants. The intertwined nature of it is reminiscent of peat moss. It is a type of fairy tale land, up there above the trees.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite Russian word is Tunguska, as in Tunguska Event. Was it anti-matter? Was it a large meteor? A nuclear bomb?