trees

Branches, Thomas County

Branches, Thomas County

Branches, Thomas County

On a cold November day, the humanity and chaos of these branches called to me as the last light of evening faded. Loneliness took me as I watched them, and as is typical for me, an image soon followed.

 

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Autumn Leaves, Adams County

 

Autumn Leaves, Adams County

Autumn Leaves, Adams County

Goodbye, Autumn. You really put on a show in 2013, and we’ll miss you as you begin to… leave. (pun intended)

Field and Trees, North Texas

Field and Trees, North Texas

Field and Trees, North Texas

It was a chilly day in December (for Texas, that is; Nebraskans would be in shorts and tank tops at 55 degrees), and a misty pall hung over the red dirt of the northern Texas panhandle. I like back roads, and on a whim, added a few hours to my homeward journey to look for subtle images that made my eye move and my mind ponder.

Stump, Chaffee County

Stump, Chaffee County

Stump, Chaffee County

One might think I’d spent much of my three weeks in the Colorado high country looking at trees, both living and dead. And that would be correct.

Poets have spent lives musing on trees, including Robert Frost:

“I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”
 
– From the poem “Birches”

Edward Weston, too, found deep muse in the arms of trees:

“Cypress trees, like peppers, do not repeat a family pattern, each one facing a different problem in battling wind and finding foothold…it breathes mysteries, and I know there must be fairies in the deep dark recesses…”

– From My Camera at Point Lobos

So too do I find romance, magic, and mystery wrapped into the swirling eddies of the nooks and crannies of trees, honored to march on in the company of poets, painters and photographers throughout the eons.

The PlainSky, Nebraskans Show: The Complete Works No. 7

Cemetery Angel: The PlainSky, Nebraskans No. 7

Cemetery Angel: PlainSky, Nebraskans No. 7

This eerie scene of a child’s grave in the Whitman cemetery in Hooker county has haunted me for some time in my photographic efforts. The young girl died in the first years of the twentieth century as her family struggled to establish a life in the rugged Sandhills, a life tied to the growing town of Whitman. Now, Whitman is nearly extinct, and the monument to the child has only the trio of nearby cedars for companionship on the High Plains.

Morning, Heartwell Park

Morning, Heartwell Park

Morning, Heartwell Park

Opening one’s eyes to his or her everyday surroundings is a fantastic challenge for most photographers; as they become inured to the sights and sounds of the local environment, sight stops. I, too, have suffered these bouts, so I force myself to open my eyes. Monday morning, as I drove to my office, the early morning light and ducks milling about inspired me to make an impressionistic capture, and helped me renew my visual relationship with what’s just outside my front door.

Mark Rothko Tribute, Alda

Mark Rothko Tribute, Alda

Mark Rothko Tribute, Alda

Mark Rothko’s abstracts perplexed me as a teenage photographer; how could I, as an artist who was a child of the Paul Strand photographic reformation, reduce images to their true essence, simple explorations of color and light? I experimented for a decade with Renoir-style textures, Degas-inspired colors, and last January, with this Rothkoesque essay on the winter grass and tree belts along the Platte River. I have never Photoshopped this image; other than minor curves correction, the photo appears how it came out of the camera.

What are your thoughts (I’m looking for truth here)?