(click to enlarge) Tree bark
(click to enlarge) Decaying fallen tree
The Sandia Mountains, on the eastern edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico, rise to over 10,000 feet. Hiking at that elevation, especially when it's hot in the city, is a good way to get cool and comfortable. The trails are dense with trees, but also with damaged and fallen trees. Fluctuating temperatures, high winds, and stony ground make it difficult to stay healthy and upright. The cycle of life is much in evidence.