Dogwood trees are really beautiful, but for me, that beauty comes with a heavy price: severe allergies. I was traveling in the area of Dalton, Georgia a couple weeks ago, when some really beautiful light caught my eye. I also caught a really nasty attack of sinusitis and upper respiratory issues. Yes, we sometimes suffer for our art… and hope that every so often it’s actually worth it.
“Dalton Dogwood”, Nikon D800, ISO 100, f/2.8 at 1/320th sec., 180mm
“The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard.”
— Barbara Tuchman
I couldn’t help but imagine how different this place must have been when a tree occupied the space where there is now only a stump. It’s cooling shade most likely comforted hot and weary workers and animals. I can imagine a tire swing suspended by a rope hanging from the lower branches, that swing occupying for many hours the attention and energy of those too young to help with the work but too old to need a mother’s constant care. I think of the birds, squirrels and other creatures that must have found shelter in that tree either temporarily or as a home for a lifetime. What is now a stump once supported, nourished and enhanced life. Although the present quickly passes, what’s past is present.
“Stumps of History”, Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/13 at 1/1000 sec., 58mm Click on the image to view larger size and print options.
I love pears. In fact, they are without a doubt right up there next to pineapple as my favorite fruits. So I bought a red pear tree a few years back and planted it in the yard. A couple of years went by without any blossoms. Then the next year I got a few blossoms, but the fruit didn’t form. Last year, I got more blossoms and a half-dozen fully mature, juicy and delicious pears. But honestly, it was just enough to qualify as an impolite tease…
This year, she’s loaded. There are handfuls of blossoms on every branch. I’m pleading with her to make me a proud pear tree papa.
Mount Olivet Cemetery, in Salt Lake City, Utah is a pretty interesting place. The second largest public burial ground in the city, the tombstones span the years back to 1877. It’s an 88 acre spread of over 90 varieties of trees imported from other areas. Deer love to eat the flowers that adorn the grave sites and squirrels have an awesome playground in the vast canopy of trees. And birds. Lots of birds.
Over 30,000 people have been laid to rest here, representing members of many churches and races. Because of its beauty, the cemetery is popular as a park and it’s typical to find people walking, jogging, sitting, reading, enjoying a sunny day, or wandering around with a camera.