This tree I found in a canyon not far from Zion National Park in Utah. And since I’m doing a series on the park right now, I thought I’d post just this one image today, to show that the area around Zion is worth exploring too.
I called it afterlife because I think this ancient cottonwood may be dead. But who knows, it is winter when many perfectly alive trees can look to be deceased, especially very old ones. In any case, the old codger has obviously loved this rock for a long time.
And the tree continues to serve its ecosystem. It has very likely served as home or shelter for many creatures, and it’s probably been a prime feeding spot for generations of insect-eating birds (like woodpeckers). I’m also guessing many an owl has perched up there in the moonlight. It’s a perfect height from which to swoop down on unsuspecting mice.
So if and when you come to Zion, at least on a second visit, make some time to explore the surrounding area as well as the park. Hope your weekend and holiday preparations are going well. But remember to enjoy the season and try not to stress out trying to make everything perfect. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!