The limber pine is one of the longest-lived trees in Alberta and can have a lifespan of more than 1,000 years. They can be found on rocky, wind-swept ridges throughout the Crowsnest Pass and surrounding area. Limber pines often become scraggly and stunted in appearance, particularly when exposed to the hurricane-strength winds this corner of the province is famous for. In some places, the relentless winds have caused these trees to grow at crazy angles, almost to the point where it looks like they will surely topple over the next time it blows really hard. Sometimes, they do.
The limber pine in the photograph above is located near Passburg in Crowsnest Pass. It’s growing in a spot that’s sheltered from the wind, near the crest of a hill. The tree is healthy and doing well; it’s growing straight and is full of strong branches and limbs. I can’t say how long it has been standing here, but suspect it has hundreds of years left to live before the tenacious, ever-persistent Crowsnest winds topple it to the ground.
I took this photo last week, after a snowfall. It seemed to lend itself best to a grayscale conversion, as the only color in the scene was a small amount of blue in the sky, near the top of the image, and above the tree-covered ridge in the distance. I liked the way the tree and its shadow contrasted against the snow-covered hillside, and the clouds rolling across the sky.