Sunday, December 18, 2016

Yule Tree

A gorgeous Ephedra  (Ephedra nevadensis)  growing
along the gravel road West of Mono Lake
in November, 2016.

This year we brought our Yule Tree back with us from the Eastern Sierras. Since we were driving through the Toiyabe National Forest and the National Forest Service has an office just South of Bridgeport on Highway 395, we stopped and paid for a permit to cut two trees (for a whopping $10.00 per tree, double what we paid the last time we cut a tree which was a number of years ago). On our return from the Bishop area we took Highway 182 North out of Bridgeport to Nevada Highway 338 which bisects the North most section of the Toiyabe National Forest. The Forest Service is focusing on removing some Pinyon Pines from this area to open more habitat for the Sage Grouse. Apparently the Pinyon Pines have encroached upon and markedly reduced this bird's habitat thus causing the population to dramatically drop.

I love Pinyon Pines (Pinus monophylla). They have a wonderful fragrance no other pine has. These trees are also the source of pine nuts. I learned while shopping at Manor Market in Bishop that pine nuts can no longer be legally harvested and sold commercially since they are essential to the Native Peoples of California way of life. The Cultural Center in Bishop has a number of wonderful exhibits focusing on the harvesting, preparing and using pine nuts as well as the rhythm of living in relationship with the cycle of the production of this nutritious nut.

Cathie preparing to cut Tanis' Yule Tree.

This is the Pinyon Pine we all chose for our Yule Tree.

Dwight securing both trees atop Stella.
Ready to roll onto Minden, Nevada where we spent the night
before returning to MuRefuge with our Yule Tree.
Auntie T, aka Tanis Walters, with her Yule Tree
decorated with collected treasures.
Our fragrant Pinyon Pine adorned for celebrating 
the Yule, aka Winter Solstice, sitting in the corner 
of MuRefuge's Great Room.
As the shortest day and longest night draw near may we all


  1. Cathie & Dwight, I really like your tree! Steve S.

  2. Yes,the tree is great and interesting story behind it.