A bunch of coulees, bluffs, creek bottoms, waterfalls and draws, trees scattered like match sticks hither and yon. Fire lay it bare, exposing the mountains for what they are; slides, rock, coves, caves, ridge and a bunch of hiding spots – just ask the grizzlies and goats.

You don’t want to be lost in it. That’s for sure. It’s better to stay on top then be wondering in the dark, not a star in the sky, only the dim moon shining through falling snow, silver here and there where the water shows.

Even best instincts aren’t enough. Nothing coming good or bad. The fire and deep snow doesn’t care, nor does the burnt snag falling to the forest floor give a damn if it’s heard or not.

7 thoughts on “snags

  1. mountaincoward

    Is that first picture a drawing? Doesn’t look like a photo with the vertical lines – if it is, how did you do it? Great pictures anyway and stunning mountains.

    What are ‘coolies’ by the way?


    1. underswansea

      A coulee is a land formed water drainage, kind of like a canyon or u shaped ravine. I spelled it wrong and have corrected it. The first picture looks like a drawing but isn’t. This is a mountain that was burned by forest fire 2 years ago. The ‘sketch’ lines are burnt trees that no longer have branches or growth but the trunks are still standing. They will eventually fall over becoming ‘deadfalls’ and make hiking through them damn difficult. They are also responsible for at least a few deaths by falling on hikers.


      1. mountaincoward

        That picture would look great on the wall – people could sit and puzzle whether it was a photo or a painting!

        I can imagine hiking through the burnt deadfall areas is pretty awful – a bit like hiking through brash after forestry felling. Didn’t realise there’d be enough weight of tree left after the fires to crush anyone though!


      2. underswansea

        In forests of pine, fir and spruce the fire burns the limbs and outside of the trunk. The whole tree doesn’t burn but is left dead. Logging companies have even been able to harvest the burnt trees as the inside wood can still be turned into lumber. This however is rare.


      3. mountaincoward

        hmmm – sounds like a hard job getting to the inside timber. I know burnt wood is around the best preserved wood there is – perhaps they should just fell it all for telegraph poles and use it as it is – will save them putting preservative on!


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