19 August 2007

Glacial Time, Glacial Beauty

It's always struck me that the garden, or landscape in general, is anathema to our current quick culture pop deluxe. I grew up with the TV and fast food, and these and other things breed a need for instant gratification. Don't like it? Flip the channel. Gardening and growing takes time, sometimes a lot of time. You can plant a tree now and not see it come to full fruition for 30-50 years. To think in these long terms--growing seasons and years--is like working on an oil painting that will never dry.

So, our recent trip to Glacier National Park heightened this feeling even more. In the park, I became keenly aware (over five days time) how things were shaped in the landscape over millions of years. Rocks, soils, plants and animals all evolving together--changing together--over the major and minor shifts in climate .

One of the coolest things about learning more about native plants, both here in Texas and in Wisconsin, is being able to recognize those plants and their relatives across the American landscape. In Glacier, I recognized species (or relatives) of many--baneberry, snowberry, geranium, paintbrush, lupines, hawthorn, cottonwood, aspen, rue, anemone, aster... Many more plants than that were totally new to me.

It was an exciting and awe-inspiring place, but I don't want to go on and on about it. Here's a slide show (an experiment) of just a few of the plants, rock formations and bugs seen at Glacier. (By the way, we did also see grizzly and black bears, moose, marmots, big horn sheep, mountain goats...a true American safari!)

1 comment:

BigHAIR said...

Thanks for the small reminder that there is beauty still left to experience here in the States. I have a bad habit of thinking that i must leave the country to see unscathed habitat. Nice pics.