Soft early morning light bathes the Aspen gold of a distant hillside seen through the bare Aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees at a higher elevation. An aspen tree isn’t really one tree… it is actually a stand of clone “trees” all growing up from one root system that regenerates itself after each fire clears the landscape. Aspen trees grow quickly and provide cover for pine saplings until the pine trees begin to overtake the aspens, eventually crowding them out. Some of these root systems are among the oldest living organisms on planet Earth. Photo © copyright by Chris Eaton.