Last Light on Tamaracks, East Eagle Valley, South Wallowas . . .
(Larix occidentalis) Also known as Larch, from the Latin generic name.
The name Tamaracks comes to us from the French Canadian,
which was evidently borrowed from the Algonkian (I prefer this spelling).
Algonkian refers to the Native American family of languages once and
in part still spoken from the Atlantic Seaboard through the Great Lakes
area all the way into the Great Plains.
Larches or Tamaracks have many distinctive features. Two of
interest in these days of catastrophic glacier retreat are: they are
the first trees to establish themselves in the bare mineral soil left
behind by the disappearing ice; And that forest scientists in the Switzerland
tell us that the single oldest known tree documented in the Alps is an
ancient Larch that is about 1500 years old. What a story it would
be able to reveal!
On the road in the American Northwest.
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