Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. ~Chinese Proverb
For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50, Ann-Christine asks us to explore a new theme–Trees–which are a lovely, graceful, and often overlooked part of our natural world. As I assembled my collection from Australia and the United States, I decided to focus on the parts of the tree first. So, here we go. Trees. Deconstructed.
The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert
These leaves come from the wattle tree, a native of eastern Australia. I spotted this tree in our friends’ garden in Sydney. I had never seen such beautiful frond leaves on a tree before.
Tree Pods and Flowers
Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky, We fell them down and turn them into paper, That we may record our emptiness.~Khalil Gibran
Flowers will soon burst forth from these seed pods. They belong to the Agave tree, which grows on the grounds of the Wrigley Mansion–a wonderful estate to explore in Phoenix, Arizona. If you look at the upper left part of the photo, you can see the flowers already in bloom.
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson
I believe this usual tree bark is from the conifer tree in Australia. (If my Australian friends disagree, please let me know!) I love its intricate and unique design.
Once there was a tree, and she loved a little boy.~Shel Silverstein
This Banyan tree grows in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. I was fascinated by its aerial root system. I processed this image with an oil painting filter to highlight its dramatic and magical appearance.
If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~Hal Borland
The Joshua tree is famous for its striking, crooked branches that reach towards the sky. This tree is the epitomy of patience, growing slowly over many years at rate of one-half inch to three inches per year. According to some researchers, the average lifespan for a Joshua tree is about 150 years.
The Big Picture
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They took all the trees
Put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ’em
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
’Til it’s gone…
~Joni Mitchell, from “Big Yellow Taxi,” 1967–68, © Siquomb Publishing Company
Now, it’s time to step back and think about the “big picture.”
Sometimes, I take trees for granted. I ignore their quiet majesty and grandeur. But when I do pay attention, I am struck by their intricate design, resilience, and brute strength. During our trip along the Great Ocean Road, we stopped at a secluded beach hidden behind huge rock escarpments. But instead of admiring the rocks, I stared at the trees, growing impossibly, unbelievably, even at the top of these inhospitable cliffs. They are indeed one of nature’s wonders.
A special thanks to Ann-Christine for providing this week’s theme and inspiration for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 Trees. Click here to visit her blog, Leya, and see her theme post. If you’re new to our challenges, click here to learn how to join us. Remember to link your post to the theme announcement and tag it Lens-Artists to help us find it in the WP Reader.
I’d like to close this post with a salute to all of you who joined our “Favorite Things” challenge last week. Your interpretations were varied, sometimes surprising, heartwarming, and in a word–marvelous!
Next week, it’s Amy’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to visit her The World is A Book blog. As always, Amy, Tina, Ann-Christine, and I are delighted that you’re joining us!