28 July 2014
Let me know which you prefer and why.
The sycamore is more than a native tree that comforts, shades and helps sustain life beneath it. It has bold statements to voice about beauty, strength and vulnerability. Its overarching magnetism is found in its attention-catching hardiness in the face of its exfoliation. Without hesitation the thin outer layer of bark sheds in dramatic subtlety and even outbursts.
Strangely, there is little scientific consensus as to why that peeling occurs. Possibly the process protects these long-living trees from disease. Or the older bark sheds to give rise to a newer outer skin. Or it’s a genetic advantage. Or…
Each summer and autumn my mammoth sycamore scatters mottled strips. Shapes are endlessly unique. It’s not the variety or constancy of this ritual that attracts me. It’s the light and dark of varied-colored surfaces that seem to catch me by surprise.
It’s as though flashes of colors aka Jackson Pollack style fall into bushes and spread on the ground where it stands. Throughout the year the tree’s greyish outer layer gains new character with a palette that keeps redefining itself.
This deciduous hardwood has perseverance and tenacity. As it keeps up appearances, it also defies the notion of nature’s usual fare.
Ode to the Sycamore: Pieces of my heart nestle with the soft wind. Verve breaks through the maze, Creating a vision to study. Candor appears on edges of light and dark, Then rises to challenge daybreak’s interpretation. Subtlety witnesses the quiet and boisterous drama, which corrals tears with steamy dreams. Silhouettes are deceptive, Hiding and then revealing the real and true. And Mother Nature blends veracity with tensile strength to give mysterious performances.
Tip of the Week: Recently, I visited my alma mater’s library, which is not more than a mile and a half from my sanctuary. I was on a personal mission to acquire a copy of Robert Frank’s The Americans. There are some visual stories that must be revisited. His book is one. Issued in 1958, it was an event that gradually altered the public’s view about photography. In its initial publication the reaction was quite harsh. Subsequently, Frank’s work inspired generations of photographers, because he used ordinary people to document the everyday world of the 1950s. Click here and view an article on NPR’s Website called “Americans: The Book That Changed Photography.”
View other entries for this week’s challenge (Challenger’s Choice):
If you’d like to join the Photo Challenge, please click here for details. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Photo Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.