On the hike today we saw a tree that had rooted up a talus slope, right at the base of the cliff, at the top of the scramble. It was maybe a thirty-foot tree, two feet thick at the base, with a couple of subsidiary trunks. The roots, some as thick as my thigh or waist, spidered across exposed rock some twenty feet or more in places, to the earth below. They were gnarled, knotty. The tree itself was twisted up from an enormous knot at the bottom where it had grown around the rocks that bordered whatever tiny crack it had rooted in when it was sapling.
It looked like a rock-trained bonsai that somebody had hit with an enlarging ray. It was deformed and twisted and stubborn, and quite strong. It was the loveliest tree we saw on the walk.