Friday, August 31, 2007

Climbing Mt. Fuji: Persistence of Life

-Strange Pilgrims
-Lights Above
-Into Sleep
-The Summit
-The Descent

The surface of the reddish bassalt that covered the upper parts of Fuji reminded me of pictures of Mars. The fact that I had just finished re-reading the Mars Trilogy didn't help this fact. It amazed me to see such expanse of barren, lifeless ground, and then without warning a sprig of green pushing its way out.

In addition to the lack of topsoil on the mountain, and the fact that much of it is above the tree line, the mountain is also covered with snow for 10 months out of the year. Nonetheless, life persists on Mt. Fuji.

Maybe its because of the amount of light filtering through the clouds, or maybe its because of the contrast to the red ground, but all the plants had a vibrant green color. I saw this lime-green colored lichen on some of the rocks that seemed too bright to be natural.

The picture to the left shows the reddish gravel covering the mountain, the chain barrier marking the trail, and a little plant life ahead. This is somewhat lower on the mountain. Higher up, the vegetation is much more scarce. Below right is a picture of a rock covered in lichen. This lime-green stuff is fairly common from what I could tell.

Its quite remarkable that life would exist in such a barren place. That it would spread up a mountian covered in snow for 10 months, grow for a couple, only to be killed off and make way for the next generation.

What a great image, a cold dead rock, covered in life.

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