As you head further northeast in the province, you begin to notice the flame-coloured trees that are being ravaged by the Mountain Pine Beetle, glowing in the sun amidst their green neighbours. The odd birch tree stands out, gleaming green and white - victors cheekily displaying their healthy foliage. No nasty beetles on them!
All the other trees perch on the hillsides, muted in their summer splendor, mourning the loss of their compatriots.
The sun dances under the glacial glares of the mountains, as they dare it to melt their icecaps. The sun obliges enough to send forth waterfalls washing down the mountainsides, some trickling, some gushing.
Moving deeper into the Kootenays, you begin to notice a different summons of death amid the trees. They stand stalwart, like great wizened old men. Their branches jut out of their decaying trunks at odd angles, giving the appearance of many crooked arms. Darkened foliage hangs as ashen grey beards. They are dead, but they remain standing. Same song, different lyrics you might say.
Okay, our trip was nowhere this bleak, but it was interesting to see the variety of afflicted trees. Not sure what caused the ones to die right in their tracks, but there they were, waiting for the other shoe to drop as it were. Or the axe to fall.
More about the trip another time. Tired.