In late August we drove to Estes Park, CO for the Clan Montgomery Society International Annual Meeting 2008. As part of the glories of that meeting we took a van trip up into Rocky Mountain National Park. The views were breathtaking! I was a bit short on the breath anyway because of the altitude. We live in the foothills of the Adirondacks, a very old, old mountain chain. They are very worn and aged. The Rockies are fresh and new, and while both are beautiful, the Rockies are a lot more of mountain than I am used to seeing.
This year they are suffering an asault by the Pine Bark Beetle so many of the trees were dried out and losing their needles. Our guide told us this is a cyclacle thing and the beetles only attack mature trees, so the young ones will grow to fill in the spaces left by the loss of the older trees. This problem is facing both Wyoming and Colorado.
Somehow the forest isn't the same with the mature trees dying.
We saw elk and deer and chipmunks. There are a couple of new bird species marked in our birdbook. We both had a wonderful time.