White Birch

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I live too far south to see birch trees.  They’re beautiful, and their paper-like bark is very useful, especially for starting a campfire on a wet day.  To find one, though, I have to travel hundreds of miles north, OR climb about 4,000 feet UP, to a point where the climate mimics an environment closer to the pole.

It’s hard to imagine the end of the last Ice Age, when these trees were able to cover the northern hemisphere.  Now, pockets of birch, Douglas fir, and other “northern” trees hold on in isolation on mountainsides, in small populations of just few trees, as a reminder of what once was.

Photo Credit – Lynn Abbott

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