Friday 25 October 2013

Trembling Aspen

    The deciduous tree that probably most famously is associated with the Rocky Mountains in North America is the trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides).  It is poplar tree which is commonly seen growing in well drained and drier areas of the Robson Valley.  The question usually asked by those people not familiar with the tree is, “Why is it called the ‘Trembling Aspen?”
    For some reason the shape and structure of its leaves causes movement, even in the slightest breeze.  The whole tree seems to shimmer as the leaves move back and forth.  In the language of some of the First Nations people they referred to this characteristic as “woman’s tongue”, and “noisy leaf.”   Some believed that if the leaves began to shimmer when there was no perceptible wind, it indicated that a storm was on the way.  (The last time I saw the leaves trembling was about 4 days ago, and its been clear and sunny ever since.)
    This blog spot doesn't allow me to put on a video, but on my website ( in the blog section, there is a short video I shot of the aspen doing its trembling trick.  Don’t get too excited, its not that dramatic, but it gives you an idea about why the aspen got that name.

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