MySecretGarden

U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trees I Met at the Grand Canyon

According to the National Park Service, there are approximately 200 species of trees and shrubs in the Grand Canyon National Park. 
 Some of the tree species include white fir, Engleman spruce, blue spruce, Douglas fir, corkbark fir, ponderosa pine, Utah juniper, alligator juniper, Colorado pinyon, quaking aspen, Fremont cottonwood, Gambel oak, and Arizona walnut.
All pictures can be enlarged by clicking
 While the magnificent canyon itself awoke thoughts about eternity and the power of nature, its trees made me think about strength, resistence and the will to live.
 Some of the trees are hundreds of years old and could tell a lot about their visitors. Most of all, I would love to see the faces of those people who came here long ago and knew nothing about the canyon's existence. We, modern people, are at least to some extent prepared for meeting this phenomen thanks to the media. Books, movies, photographs... But what about those travelers who just stumbled upon this humongous crack in the earth's body?
 By the way, do you know that the Grand Canyon is not the deepest canyon in the world? The deepest one is the Colca Canyon in southern Peru (Wikipedia). It is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, although its walls are not as vertical as those of the Grand Canyon. The Colca Canyon is suitable for living and developing agriculture.
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 Isn't this trunk awesome? Could it be a juniper?
 Most of the canyon's trees grow on the upper altitude, sharing space with drought-resistent shrubs, perennials and grasses.
Blue, blue sky...
The El Tovar Lodge, opened in 1905, is rustic and elegant: 
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 I love the Grand Canyon's railroad station. In 1995, we took a train from Williams to here, and it was powered by a steam engine. Now, the steam engine is retired and replaced by a more modern one.
 What do I know about balance? The tree in the next picture  made me ask this question. How strong the tree's roots should be!
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The canyon's shrubs include cliffrose, serviceberry and fernbush. Banana yucca and claretcup cactus grow in warm, sunny areas.
Sun is abundant here, on the south rim, but the plants have to cope with extremes of temperature and long periods of drought. It was weird to see patches of snow on a bright sunny day. In summer, torrential downpours are possible here.
It was April, and many trees didn't have green leaves yet. Some of them might be already dead. The rocks can hold them for a long time before they fall. Before that, they  strike us with their poignant beauty.
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The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,000 feet / 1,800 metres.
Delphinium, poppy, scarlet bugle, white thistle grow in the Grand Canyon, but to see them, my friends, you need to be down there and find the dry areas. How to get there? Take a mule trip! Or, take an 8-days raft trip down the Colorado River!
 Some people who took the mule trip say that sometimes it's so scary, you just close your eyes and pray. Maybe you can just concentrate on the sculpted mule's tale to avoid seeing the edge of the trail:
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Ponderosa pine is the main tree at elevations above 7,000 feet (2,134 meters). Below this level, Utah juniper and pinyon pine are the dominant types.
 Do you see a bird in the picture below? I caught myself several times thinking that I'd like to be a bird and fly above the canyon. Well, helicopter tours are available, but it's not the same, is it? Birds are free and fly where they want...
This bird might be a raven. We enjoyed watching this big, wise-looking creature.
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It's fascinating to watch trees grow on the thinnest of soils covering bedrock.
 The next image is one of my favorites:
The Colorado River, whose name means 'red', has a blue-green color. They say it used to be reddish-brown. The slit and sediments which gave the river that color are now trapped behind the Glen Canyon Dam on the bottom of Lake Powell.
The East side of the south rim was our favorite.
 Near the Watch Tower at the east end of the south rim:
 Curious how the beginning of the canyon looks? This is where it's not so wide yet:
I hope you enjoyed the pictures.
***Copyright 2011 TatyanaS

32 comments:

  1. G'morn, Tatyana ~ What an exquisite photo share ... it is a beautiful place to visit for sure, but your view is from a different angle than ours. Love it. TY

    Have a beautiful week ~
    TTFN ~
    Marydon

    4/6 GIVEAWAY ENDS TODAY

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  2. Stunning photography, Tatyana! What a fun trip it must have been for you. I take it you didn't take the mule trip down. :) Thank you for sharing this. Having never been there it was a real treat to see it from your perspective.

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  3. I agree with Grace...stunning photography.

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing the photos! Such textures and landscapes. I needed to see something warm and sunny (still snowing here). I appreciate the photos and hope you had a grand time:)

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  5. I definitely enjoyed the pictures! Your post is thought provoking and inspirational. I have been to the Grand Canyon only once and really hope to go again. An aunt and uncle took the famous mule trip to the bottom when they were about my age, but I think I would prefer the raft trip!

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  6. I've seen lots of pictures of the Grand Canyon but I've never noticed the trees before. Thanks for highlighting them.

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  7. Thank you for sharing these great pictures. This landscape is so different from ours here in the southeast. I always marvel at the variety of sights in our country. Carla

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  8. Tatyana thanks for some beautiful photos,
    I walked down and up in sept '96 and the river was the colour of melted chocolate then, I had a 4 night pass down in the canyon and stayed a few days at the top too, south side, I didn't know there was a rail station as I was travelling by train but told I would have to get a bus from Flagstaf, at the bottom there were white trumpet like flowers no idea what they were and couldn't find anyone who did, when I was there like you I wondered about travellers in earlier centuries who would suddenly come across this amazing sight, thanks for reviving happy memories, Frances

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  9. One of my favorite places on this planet...once you visit you are forever changed by its intense beauty and spirit...you captured that beauty and spirit

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  10. Wonderful photo's! You have some great shots of bristle cone pine tree's!! Did you see any Condors soaring above in the sky? Your trip is making me ready for our families trip to the North Rim planned for August!! Cheers, Jenni

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  11. Amazing photos. I've only been there once, when I was 8 years old. I can't get over the photo of the tree leaning sideways over the canyon!

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  12. Thank you everyone for your comments! I want to go back there!

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  13. hello Tatyana thanks for your comment on my blog, I first went to see the Grand Canyon in 1992 and met people who were going to camp there, I sooo wanted to do this, I had to go to Canada in 1996 which was my fiftieth year so I decided to stay on and give myself a birthday present to camp in the Canyon, I was lucky they gave me a 4 night pass, I do have photos on film so if I get them out and scan them perhaps I will do a blog post, I have been thinking about this for some months for my grandchildren but so far a thought is how it remains, Frances

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  14. Tatyana, Your photos really do justice to this magnificent site. It is a place that everyone should try to see no matter where they live if they can afford it. One of a kind and a once in a lifetime experience. Thanks for allowing me to relive it. Carolyn

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  15. Totally in awe, Tatyana. National Geographic quality images/script. Thank you. Your talent is amazing!

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  16. What fabulous shots of the canyon Tatyana. It is amazing how trees grow even in all of the rock let alone hang onto the overhangs and cliff walls. Our family went when I was a kid and my Mom got dizzy just looking out over the canyon so we didn't stay long. LOL! I thought it was so amazing though.

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  17. Wow looks amazing. Some hardy looking trees there!

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  18. Thank you for sharing this magical place and beautiful landscape!

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  19. Wow, those photos are amazing, I did not realise the grand canyon was quite so huge. The trees are amazing, glad I dropped by.

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  20. Beautiful photos, Tatyana! It's amazing how these trees manage to grow in what seems to be pure rock. The one hanging over the edge makes me shake my head in wonder. We visited the Grand Canyon for the first time last year, and it's hard to describe the sense of awe you feel the first time you see it. Like you, I wondered about its early visitors and what they must have thought when they came upon it unawares.

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  21. Grand Canyon has always been spectacular, but your photos put more drama and a great story of persistence in adversity. Those trees are the models for bonsai and they are nature's great bonsai. They should also be the national trees for desperate folks! Thank you very much for the grand tour, i havent been there till now.

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  22. Amazing photos Tatyana, stunning views and the gnarly old bark of the trees, so much beauty in them too!

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  23. Gorgeous shots of the Grand Canyon, Tatyana. We were there in 2007. I wish I still had all the photos...most of them were lost when my hard drive crashed. I definitely need to go back and take the kids, this time. Our trip was just my hubby & me, for our 30th anniversary. Happy Spring;-)

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  24. What a beautiful place! Stunning photography ! Very special landscape and the pictures are delightful !

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  25. Dear Tatyana, These are extraordinary photographs of a most remarkable place. Your sharing is unique and wondrous. The trees are wonderful . . . the canyon and vistas breathtaking. Brava!

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  26. Absolutely amazing and beautiful! Beautiful for pictures. Amazing for the blog. You are one the most prolific writers among Ru blogs I follow. And now I see this blog. With great pictures, more popular...
    Thanks for sharing your life experience and keep going on!

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  27. Thank you everyone! I am deeply touched by your comments. Thank you, dear friends!

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  28. You have captured the beauty and splendor of the Grand Canyon. Wonderful photos Tatyana. We went for our 25th wedding anniversary and what an incredible place. Just amazing. Love your trees.

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  29. Tatyana your pictures of the Grand Canyon are amazing. I went there with my family when I was a kid and took the trip down on muleback. I only remember part of the trip. I probably kept my eyes closed a lot! lol

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  30. Great pictures, Tatyana! My husband and I were just at the Grand Canyon a few weeks ago and saw these amazing trees, too. I was searching for the name of the those amazing huge trees with the bark that looks shredded and found your blog.

    I loved your tree pics. I didn't get as many as you did, but I sure enjoyed walking the trail alongside them while we were there. I've posted some of my pics on my blog, too.

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