Why Are There Conifer Trees in the Mountains?

I know I have said this before, but I will say it again – I love running around in the snow in the Rocky Mountains.  It is just so much fun to jump up and down and land in the soft, fluffy white stuff.

Other than all of the snow blanketing the ground, the snow also blankets the bare branches on trees and drapes over the needles on evergreen trees after a new snow.  The last time I went for a walk in the Rocky Mountains I began to wonder why all the trees higher up on the mountain were the conifer trees and not the broadleaf trees that lose their leaves in winter. Continue reading

How Do Trees Survive Winter?

winter-tree-branches-600x400The cold, freezing, short days of winter in the Rocky Mountains are not the best time of year for most forms of life.  It is not easy to survive and all forms of life have different strategies for how to survive it.  Many animals migrate, hibernate or adapt.

But, what about those forms of life, such as trees, that can not simply leave the area or go underground into a nice, comfy den?  How do they survive the winter? Continue reading

Tree Buds In Winter

I think that we have all seen what happens in the fall in the Rocky Mountains and all over the world – the leaves on trees change into beautiful colors and then fall off.  That colorful display is always amazing to look at.  Then after the leaves fall off the trees always seem so bare and empty.  They are now ready to withstand winter.

To most of it seems that the trees are just there all winter, waiting for the days to get warmer again in the spring.  Then in the spring, BOOM!  One day you may notice that there are buds on the trees that are beginning to open up and grow into new leaves. Continue reading

What is the Largest Living Thing on Earth?

All around us in the Rocky Mountains we are surrounded by different forms life.  In this blog I have talked about some of those including wildflowers, trees, birds, mammals, and others.  I have talked about some of the smallest animals in the Rocky Mountains, such as ants, bees, and butterflies, and some of the larger animals, including a moose and grizzly bear.

But, what is the largest living thing in the Rocky Mountains or even the entire World? Continue reading

Common Trees of the Rocky Mountains

Trees play a vital role in our world. They produce oxygen, which allows people and animals to survive. They also provide habitat (places to live) and food for animals, birds, and bugs.

There are about 100,000 different species of trees in the world.  The cold and high mountains in the Rocky Mountains create an environment in which not very many different kinds of trees are able to live.  In fact only around 50 different species of trees are located here. Continue reading