“Looking Into the Oak Grove” Yakima Arboretum, Washington
This image of oak trees in the Yakima Arboretum found me this spring before the Covid-19 restrictions. Luckily the Arboretum was allowed to remain open during this period. I was able to make several other visits to see the cherry tree bloom, the magnolia bloom, and the crabapple bloom. Several times I felt that I had the Arboretum to myself. It was a great time to just wander and let images come to me.
My walks through the Arboretum help me visualize what our little place in Selah could be in 15-20 years. This spring we planted five oak trees. We have spaced them out to create a grove where we will be able to watch them grow. It will take several years for them to be tall enough to support an understory of smaller trees and shrubs. In the meantime the grove will look bare, but I will be able to squint my eyes and imagine what it will be like when they mature.
The Yakima Area Arboretum has one of the largest and oldest crabapple collection in the country. In the Spring, the blossoms create a mass of whites, pinks, purples, and reds. The trees are all mature and the blossom display is gorgeous.
The Yakima Arboretum collection is the stimulus that has led me to try to develop a little crabapple grove as part of our home landscape. This Spring, we planted a small grouping of six crabapples, all different varieties. Being young, their spring bloom was just a harbinger of what will be in the next 10 years or so. Over the coming years I look forward to watching them grow and mature. I plan to gradually develop an understory that will pull the grove together and complement the individual trees.
Walking into a narrow canyon in Capitol Reef National Park, I stopped and turned around to view the path I had taken. This tree was perfectly framed by the canyon walls and the cliff in the background. The shapes, colors, shadows and highlights created this image. All I had to do is place my tripod down and push the shutter. Nature is amazing.
My future bride wrote the following poem to describe how she felt when viewing the image
Growth is everywhere, even underneath the layers of rock where years of rain, wind, and river water color them a bright reddish, with lines and splashes of experience.
The tree winds and tangles to the sun as if it wants to be seen up where the air is clear and open, a place it stretches to yet cannot see.
It is a ghost-like journey, this quest to become. The journey, with its twists and branches, is the story that is not yet written, not yet told.
Bare branches against a winter sky always catch my eye. Last week I was driving along the Interstate when I saw an interesting pattern on the Horse Heaven Hills. I took an exit to explore with my camera. After a little walk, I looked up and saw these tree branches against the sky. It gave me a cold, gloomy feeling. I couldn’t resist the opportunity.
Sunlight on the trunks of a beech tree grove pull my eyes into the tunnel created by the overhanging branches. Filtered light through the upper branches provide a gentle glow on the ground. The natural archway beckons me to walk through.
Beautiful abstracts abound in the natural world around us. I am constantly amazed how much of nature’s art I see when I just take my time to peacefully look around me. Moments before I recorded this image, I was admiring a beautiful reflection of trees with their full fall glory in a pond at the Bloedel Reserve. I turned around and immediately saw gentle rays of sunshine peeking through two aspen tree trunks. I gasped at the beauty and quickly took an image before the sun went behind a cloud. That brief moment was a wonderful gift!
I have walked by this tree overlooking the meadow at Longwood Gardens many, many times. I must have over 100 images of it, taken over the years. On my last visit, I stopped again. It was a nondescript overcast day. I recorded an image anyway. Maybe, I could do something interesting in post.
I created this peaceful overcast feeling by simply adding a texture. It captures the way I was feeling at the time. It reminds me a little of the Hudson River painters of the late 19th century.
After the excitement of receiving the view of the gold patches shown in my post yesterday, I turned around and saw my neighbor’s trees silhouetted against the clouds. Quickly, I pulled out my I-phone again and received this additional gift. Seconds later the beautiful sunset pastel disappeared.
I am thankful to have my I-phone camera ready at all times. I can never anticipate when a gift will present itself.