"Lodgepole Camp"

12" x 24" Oil on Linen

Lodgepole Pine poles about 16 to 20 feet long and about 3" to 4" in diameter at the butt were used by the various nomadic tribes as tent poles for their lodges, and to make travois for the hauling of their households from encampment to encampment.   Lodgepole can get much larger in diameter if the stands are thinned out and this happens naturally.  Thick stands of Lodgepole Pine can grow very tall and thin to reach sunlight when the population of trees is dense.  As they grow straight up, they grow fast and shed their lower limbs as being of little use for sunlight in deep shadow.  The result is a quite limbless, tall, straight pole with a slow gentle taper.  Dragging the loaded travois and lodge poles around resulted in the ends being worn away.   So every couple of years the people journeyed into the high mountains where Lodgepole Pine were found in abundance.  They harvested and dressed the trees they needed and returned to the flatlands and the buffalo.  It also gave them the opportunity to harvest berries and game maybe not as plentiful on the plains.

 

 

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