Trees, that is. I seem to have developed a fondness for taking pictures of the trees this winter. It’s hardly a unique thing to do; for one thing, it’s winter in New England, trees are everywhere, what else am I going to take pictures of? At the same time, without their leaves, there’s an eerie elegance to them. Whether the bright blue sky is peeking out between the branches….
…or whether the water is shimmering against the shoreline…
…I like them. I have this idea that they are like fingerprints, these trees – similar, but unique in the way they stand tall against the elements. And they make me think of our vascular system, our arteries, our spines, our blood vessels…stripped down like this, they seem almost human, like graceful dancers swaying their limbs through space. Sometimes, they seem like they are guarding things – standing watch over us, our houses, our streets, our ocean bays. Then the winter wind comes in strong, as it has done the past few days, and these soldiers turn fragile. Their branches and twigs get blown away, their limbs amputated and discarded; yesterday the streets here looked like emergency rooms, parts and pieces everywhere.
So I keep taking pictures of them, in all their naked glory, because this too shall pass; in another few months the leaves will return, as they always do.
I’m starting to wonder, though, if just like in writing, you have to “kill your darlings” when taking pictures. The VEB pointed out to me that in the above photo, the water reads like static across the picture, like on a TV screen when the cable is out. My “shimmering” was his “static”. And I had to concede, he was at least a little bit right. His favorite picture this week was this one, taken as the storm clouds were leaving Providence for the Atlantic:
Cue the Kate Bush.