“They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed So low for long, they never right themselves.” - Robert Frost
I spent last weekend on a mini-getaway in Santa Monica. Before I left I told myself I would only take five photographs the entire four days. It was a challenge as I usually take multiple shots and then decide which I like better. This challenge to myself was to not just point and snap, but search for the perfect subject and then take only one photograph of it. This is what I came away with….just the one…
Most people in Southern California look the roughly the same, so I couldn’t find any real interesting subjects in humans. The trees however, were so cool the way they seemed to emerge from the dirt like a giant earth worm, then settle back in, that I used all of my five shots just on them.
While in Anchorage, Alaska this past weekend a friend and I rented bicycles and rode fourteen miles on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. The natural beauty of Alaska is breathtaking and we were reminded of the wonders of nature at what seemed like every turn. Not only did we pass eagles fishing for their lunch in the waters alongside the trail, but also happened upon a bull moose foraging in the woods. His antlers blended in so well with the leaves surrounding him that had it not been for his enormous size and dark brown fur, we’d have biked right on past him. After turning around and heading back into town, we were again stopped dead in our tracks after rounding a corner on the trail and coming face to face with a cow (female moose) and her young calf. She seemed so serene and her baby almost oblivious to us, however we weren’t taking any chances and quickly back-peddled to a safe enough distance and waited for her to move off the trail and into the woods.
While I found the moose to be majestic, nothing compared to a few old trees I happened to spot along the way. One reminded me of an old woman with a spear – fishing for her dinner, and another seemed to have the shape of a Native Eskimo – dancing along the bluff. The trees were so strange, so odd, so old, and I was immediately enchanted at how much character they had. Surrounding them were lush trees overflowing with green leaves and young fresh bark, while these old gals wore the years of harsh weather like some great ceremonial coat. Charles Baudelaire once said, “Strangeness is a necessary ingredient in beauty.” I completely agree with Mr. Baudelaire as I most certainly always see beauty in strangeness….and trees