Dead Tree And Moon, Haywood County, NC - 2015
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
Because trees are such relatively long lived organisms, sometimes living hundreds, or even thousands of years, we sometimes think they should live forever. Not so. Like us, they have a prime of life, then they get old, become weaker and more susceptible to disease and injury, and then they die. It's the natural order of things.
The tree pictured above lived a full life on top of Waterrock Knob near the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don't know how old it was or how it died. I'm sure it observed the construction of the Parkway, and then countless visitors to its home on top of the mountain. Eventually, insects, disease, or maybe lightning ended its life. Now hikers see this tree and think it's such a shame that it's dead. Not really.There is a new generation of younger trees growing up around it to crown this mountain peak. To really enjoy nature, one has to observe and appreciate all its phases - life and death. Even in it's current state, it still has a certain kind of stark beauty, don't you think?