September 26, 2003

Trees: Walnut #1

image copyright Fred First
Walnuts at pasture's edge, taken from twenty feet south of the mailbox, framed by the big maple

I used to think, as I hurried along the county roads of Floyd County to work, that some day, I'd like to start a pictorial study of trees. It would be mostly silhouettes of trees against sky, isolated whenever possible from a lot of background so that form would be primary. I even had a couple of subjects picked out, and toyed with the idea of stopping someday to ask the owner of that old barn on the hill with the ancient apple tree next to it if I could please just come and hang out, watch the light change, pick an hour and a day when conditions said just what I wanted that old apple tree to say. But I was in a hurry, and it was other things more practical than trees that won every time.

And so, maybe this year, this wintertime of bare branches and monochrome, I will start attending the trees again, starting with the walnuts near the house here, realizing how different are the feelings that a stranger feels seeing trees that are merely trees, and what I see, knowing these trees personally. Even that tree in the neighbors pasture, having studied it, learned its particulars, its personality if you will, makes the photograph quite another thing to the photographer. So just indulge me.

Posted by fred1st at September 26, 2003 05:35 AM | TrackBack

...but even as a stranger viewing that strange tree in a strange land, I can catch a glimpse of its personality in that beautiful photo. Thanks, Fred.

Posted by: boynton at September 26, 2003 07:04 AM

Indulge -- but of course! Since I started reading your blog we bought our first home, a small Iowa acreage. Your words are now a First-thing-in-the-morning addiction. And as the Mom of 2 dogs, I do look forward to the Tsuga tidbits :-)

Posted by: Lisa at September 26, 2003 08:53 AM

As someone who lives in a tree house and spends a lot of time with trees and taking their pictures, I can attest that trees like to have their picture taken. You can feel them smiling and posing, like young girls in front of a camera who can instantaneously turn on a smile no matter what their mood. Trees are so vain.

Posted by: fletch at September 26, 2003 10:03 AM

This, my 14th year back in Kansas, I await the heart-stopping beauty of a tree that lives along my route to work and home, in its autumn radiance. Frequently, I've thought to stop to ask the co-resident of the city lot to identify the species of the tree; but, I must get to work, I must get home, I must get wherever I'm going (and I can't drive and identify a tree at the same time). I suspect that it is a Chinese pistacio (based upon absolutely no knowledge!) Our walnuts have not yet started to turn. The leader of a sweet gum up the street has turned scarlet; but, all else awaits the cooling of the nights.

Posted by: Cop Car at September 26, 2003 11:11 PM

I'd be interested in knowing how you use software to tweak these photos.

Posted by: Only Connect at September 29, 2003 05:43 PM

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