Sunday, March 16, 2014

Down to the Bones

It was one of those blue sky afternoons, so welcome after months of gray days.  The temperature hovered around zero making it too cold for the photographer and her cameras to be outside for long.  But I knew if I shot from the car, it probably would keep my cameras and lenses warm enough.  So I packed the car with my gear, loaded my old Golden Retriever Oakley into the back, and my new puppy Gracie in the front in her crate.  I told them we were going on adventure.  Before I left my neighborhood, they were both asleep.  

As I turned towards the Lighthouse, I was wondering what my subject for the day would be. But then I passed the s-curve with all the red barns and outbuildings, and saw a stately old tree gracing the roadside.  I knew what I'd be shooting that day.  Trees.  Without leaves.  Down to the Bones.

There was a time in my life when I'd feel sad after the leaves fell.  Perhaps the sadness was a sign of dread for the gray skies and cold weather coming, along with the nearly monochromatic tones of winter.  But I've learned to really enjoy the winter months, especially the trees down to their bones. 

I'm fascinated with the variety I see in these skeleton shapes.  Some are strong and sturdy, others delicate and fragile.  Some root to the soil singly, others grow in clumps or rows so long they appear to run together. 

While the variety of tree shapes is obvious, I hadn't really focused on that until I drove around and looked at them with intentionality.  Our world is diverse in so many ways and on my blue sky cold afternoon outing, I could really see that in the trees that I enjoyed and photographed. 


  1. These tree images of yours, Karen, are just what I've been looking at lately, too. It's so fascinating to learn to see the growing habits of the different species, and there's a lot winter color in the branches (esp. willows but also orchard trees), too. Those hybrid poplars bring to my mind the phrase "serried ranks." Thanks!

  2. Serried ranks! What a good description of the poplars. I'd always heard serried ranks used with troops, but it really fits here too. Thanks, Pamela.

  3. Karen, looking at your beautiful images of trees reminded me that one of the things I most enjoy about photography is how it leads us to look anew and more closely at the familiar.

  4. Jan...You made a really good point here. I'm finding that especially true with wanting to make a new blog post every week. I'm always on the lookout for something different to photograph. Karen