Saturday, April 10, 2010

Old Juniper Tree

I have been admiring this old juniper tree out on the desert to the northwest of where I live for about 25 years. At first it was all by it's self out in the middle of nowhere with a narrow dirt trail running just to the east of it. Over the years I have stopped many times and taken photos of it. It's hard to take a good photo of because it it big enough that it shades it's trunk which is the most interesting part of the tree. Looking at it's size I am making a guess that this old juniper tree might be in the range of at least 300 years old. Juniper trees grow very slowly and on our desert that can be slowed down even more, but these are very hardy trees that need little water so nature is not apt to cause one to die. I have found many of them on the desert that I estimate to be several hundred years old but this one has always been my favorite. Man can cause them to die and more than I like to think about have been destroyed so that housing developments can build more and more houses on the desert. I chose the builder of my house with care, liking the fact that he never cut down the juniper trees that were in the areas where he builds house, preferring to build the house so the tree can live. Now the old tree I have photographed so many times is on the edge of a housing development and I am concerned for it's welfare. Actually I am surprised it hasn't already been cut down. In this photo I am standing beneath the tree looking out over the desert. The following photos show the uniqueness of the trunk that had has had branches broken off by cows and then the cows have rubbed on the branch ends making unusual twist and nobs that look polished by the rubbing by the cows while they stood under the tree for shade. The last photo shows just how close the house are to the tree.

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