13big_obsidian_flow.jpg It is a hard life for living things on the Big Obsidian Flow. This bent and twisted Lodgepole pine looks young but it is not. Over the decades wind has blown dust across the rugged Flow's surface. Some of this dust collects in the space between the rocks. A seed, carried to this place by a bird or rodent, begins to grow and eventually a tree appears. The Forest Service describes this process as a "Flowerpot" environment. With so little dirt and minimal moisture, the trees grows to be a smaller version of their cousins growing at the foot of the Big Obsidian Flow.


Return to Deschutes National Forest pictures