Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 3)

15 October 2018


Taken in Camera+. Edited in Snapseed.

Bradford Pear Leaf; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Leaf of Bradford Pear Tree; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Taken in Polamatic. Edited in Snapseed.

Leaf of Bradford Pear Tree; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Leaf of Bradford Pear Tree II; All Rights Reserved 2018 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto each image to enlarge. Let me know which you prefer. Prints are available upon request.


15 October 2018

Transformation has many faces. None is more obvious and symbolic of  how nature shifts the purpose of a tree’s leaf in autumn. As this season progresses, nature’s palette ranges from quiet presence to megaphonic loud. Each autumn is dependent on the temperatures  and its effects upon the gradual or instantaneous release of chlorophyll. It’s a puzzle as to the visual changes that will leave a season memorable or so so. Discovery is a mainstay during each season, but definitely on high alert in the autumnal months. 

The arch of autumn leaves is a symbol of the season, and easily demonstrated by images in the Lens section. The Bradford tree, a mostly unwelcome citified non-native, has its most appeal as its leaves begin this season’s transformation. Each year discovery after discovery brings a level of awe and wonder. As in the Lens section where the two images were collected within days of each other.

While these plantings are no longer desirable (once they were planted en masse in cities and towns), the mature one in my backyard amazes as the weather cools and a certain mystery appears in one’s visual plane. In truth you must be aware, keeping alert to the unusual in nature.

Even though some of the leaves do not grip one’s attention, there are a percentage that do. As each leaf descends, possibilities abound. I have witnessed few other plants and trees (hydrangeas and maples) whose fallen leaves can so consistently bring such unique results from the loss of chlorophyll. While many are nondescript, each season brings a few outstanding designs—designs that mesmerize and instill instant joy.

There is an innocence to the aged leaf’s ability to keep giving (once fallen, I use them as mulch to winter over on my gardens). They have given their personal best in spring and summer, and now they are gold for composting and protecting plants. Their worth seems to expand with time.

Visual effects can overwhelm, and the cadence of autumn leaves are truly one of nature’s most pleasurable. While for some they may seem small in their gifts, But for me they bring an emotional and spiritual awakening that fills my senses. They are existential symbols of nature’s monumental and relentless magnificence. They match the old saying, “Big things can in small packages,” which is an astute way of saying that a jewel can be teeny or mammoth. Certainly, a leaf offers a glistening reminder that nature provides in vastly different ways from mountain ranges to sunsets to wildflowers peeking from a crack in the sidewalk. 


“Perhaps the rewards of solving climate change are so compelling, so nurturing and so natural a piece of the human soul that we can’t help but do it.”

The above quote is the final sentence in the article “Stopping Climate Change is Hopeless. Let’s Do it: It begins with how we live our lives every moment of every day” (from the The New York Times Opinion section, published on 06 October 2018). The authors Auden Schendler and Andrew P. Jones make a compelling argument for each of us to serve our communities in an ongoing effort to save the planet and therefore humanity.

Mr. Schendler is a climate activist and businessman, the author of “Getting Green Done.” Mr. Jones creates climate simulations for the nonprofit Climate Interactive, which contributed climate scenarios to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Read the entire article here.



This entry was posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 3)

  1. The leaves are beautiful, I just had to take photo’s of my plants before freezing. I enjoy your post.

  2. The house we’ve lived in for 14 years now had a large Bradford pear tree out front, presumably planted around the time the house was built in the mid-1980s. Earlier this year a main limb came crashing down. This kind of tree is known, as it ages, for producing many spreading branches that easily break. Worried about having other branches come down and damage property or hurt people, I had the tree cut down. I’m not sorry to lose a non-native, which as you pointed out has been widely planted, but I do miss the way it filled the space. Even after half a year I haven’t gotten used to the big gap and to how exposed the house seems whenever I drive up.

    • Steve, I absolutely sympathize. Fortunately, my tree, which was here when we moved into the house almost 20 years ago, remains sturdy. But I’ve been diligent at trimming it. I adore it for the reasons mentioned, but also because the yellow bellied suckers love it, and appear each winter to do their duty: rings of their presence all around the diameter of the tree. Their feedings do no harm, but the tree also provides cover and habitat for other year-round and wintering birds such as the brown creeper plus white and red nuthatches, such bliss. Hope that you can plant a native in the tree’s place.

  3. Tina Schell says:

    This weekend in upstate NY I’m finally back to the beautiful autumn colors I so love. I agree wholeheartedly in the end it will be those who love nature that work to save the gifts she’s given us

  4. Great close-up looks at these interesting leaves. I like the first best for the contrasting colors and because it doesn’t have the dark shadow like the second image … seems less heavy.

  5. Amy says:

    Both are beautiful images, Sally! Global climate warming is worrisome…

  6. I second the wonder and beauty of Autumn. Beautiful post Sally!

  7. Often the colours of autumn are so overwhelming that it’s in the small details we may enjoy the season best. These two images surely show this to full extend. Both are gorgeous photos.

  8. Tiny says:

    I love seeing fall images because we are more or less ‘evergreen’ here in FL. The second image talks to me. The harmony of colors…and the movement. That leaf is going places 🙂

  9. TinyJeremy says:

    Great shot

  10. I really like the second image, Sally. Perhaps it is the golden tones or the thought of baked pears.

    Thanks for the link to the New Yorker article. If our leaders don’t soon lead the way for climate change, they may have to follow the rest of us.

  11. livvy30 says:

    Autumn leaves and colours are my favourite! I really like the first image.

  12. Tish Farrell says:

    These are both exquisite images, Sally. I love the luxuriant, velvety colours of the first. But then I also love the more subdued browns and ochres of the second.

  13. Lignum Draco says:

    The wonder and beauty of Autumn. You’ve captured it beautifully, Sally.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s