The Mystery And Majesty Of Trees
It is really hard for me to put into words why I love trees. There is just something magical and mystical about trees. Trees can be almost anything you can imagine. Take on any form, shape, or size.
No two trees are alike. A tree can be a 6 foot tall flowering cherry tree or it can be a two hundred foot tall sequoia. What even is a tree?
Is it a tree, or a shrub, or a bush? Is a grove of trees all one plant that has spread and grown underground only to emerge as individuals above ground for us to see? Or is each tree a distinct individual plant?
Trees pose more questions than provide answers when I look at them. They inspire creativity. I want to get in very close to show off the tiny details that make an individual tree unique. Or I want to stand far away to show a tree in all its majesty as it stands out on a landscape.
There are so many ways to photograph a tree. And every photograph you take will may never be replicable. A single leaf budding. One flower blooming. A solitary branch filling with leaves or flowers. The cracks, crevices, and textures that become increasingly visible upon closer inspection of a trees trunk.
If there are enough trees close together they become an impenetrable wall. Impeding your vision. You have to feel where to go. No longer able to see through the thick woods. You become immersed in the trees.
A single solitary tree can be impressive for the exact opposite reason. It stands out against its surroundings. My mind immediately goes to large trees standing alone in a field. Or even one large tree towering over other smaller trees nearby.
But the simple majesty of trees is just as apparent if there is a single small fragile flowering tree in a busy environment. A flowering tree in a busy park. It says slow down. Notice me. Pay attention.
Mysteries of trees
Trees also have this way of being sturdy but seemingly fragile at the same time. If you spend any amount of time in the woods you will no doubt come by fallen trees. There will be trees in various states of decay that have been on the ground an indeterminate amount of time. Then there will be other trees that look freshly fallen. Maybe they fell last month, last week, or just before you arrived. Freshly cracked wood and splinters. Or maybe the ground was torn asunder as the roots were stripped right from the ground.
Trees have a sense of indestructability to them. Push on a large tree and it is like you are nothing. It doesn’t even respond to your force. But even a small fragile looking tree can be so flexible that you cannot snap a branch off of it. It just bends and flexes as you try your hardest to bend it to your will.
Forces of nature
Only another force of nature can overcome a tree.
The tree trunk rises. The branches spread. Leaves take shape and provide shade.
Colors shift. Leaves fade. They fall. Bare trees stand sentinel.
Storms surge. Trees heavy with snow. Branches snap.
Rain, wind, and weather topple trees.
Collapsed. Decaying. Tree returns to the earth.
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