Saturday, December 9, 2023

Junipers in December & Views from Above

Trail 1 dusted with snow.
Once again we ventured northeast of Laramie to visit the two three Rocky Mountain Junipers we're following (I added the Fallen One several months ago). It was cold and windy and snowing lightly off and on. But it felt good to get out of the house! And it's time to acclimatize—they say this will continue for awhile.
We made it. "Northern" tree on left. Field assistant on limestone for scale.
Of the two standing trees, the northern one has a good crop of berries on the east (leeward) side. I saw none on the west side. The southern tree has no berries. Perhaps it's male (Rocky Mountain Junipers are usually dioecious, trees are male or female).

East side of juniper, protected from the wind and laden with berries (dark spots, click image to view).
Next I checked the third tree, the Fallen One. It's clearly female, with a very healthy crop of berries.

Fallen one in distance.
Mature juniper berries often have a glaucous bloom, making them frosty blue.

Then we turned to face the wind, and made our way back to town.

Headed home. What appears to be mountains on the horizon is a cloud bank.

Recently a reader asked where these junipers are in relation to Laramie. So I captured and sent her a photo from Google Earth. And wow, was I surprised! The limestone is much more impressive from the air. It's the gently sloping start of the foothills of the Laramie Mountains to the east.

Arrow marks approximate location of the junipers. Paler areas east of town are exposed slabby limestone.

A better view; black spots are scattered junipers.
This is my contribution to the December gathering of Tree-followers, kindly hosted by The Squirrelbasket. Best wishes to all!


  1. Does Google Earth have a font with a crossed seven? Or is that hand-written?

  2. That was a screen capture, which I marked up in Preview (Mac) using Bradley Hand font. I didn't know it crossed 7s til you pointed it out ... cool!

  3. The limestone is impressive. But what I find most striking on the Google Earth image is how few and far between the open areas, like public parks, forests and nature areas, in the actual town are.

  4. Yeah, I guess so. But fortunately, from the east edge of town we have public land to the crest of the mountains and beyond :)

  5. It's interesting to see that the fallen tree has such a good crop of berries.

    Juliet (Crafty Green Poet)

    (For some reason neither of my browsers are currently letting me sign in to comment on blogspot blogs, despite the fact that my blog is also at blogspot)

  6. to see the Google Earth view. And the Juniper berries are very impressive!

  7. lol, the crossed 7 thing. i found it. But very nice to see your trees on the map, lots of space around your town, I think that is wonderful.

    1. indeed we are very fortunate to have accessible public land so close