Jill Zaheer's JAZWORKS: A Tapestry of Mixed Media, Painting, Collaborations, Photography, and Poetry

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Tree for All Seasons- A Surreal Arboreal Experience: An Insider's Glimpse of A Matriarch Tree's Life

Julie Prichard over at Land of Lost Luggage and JeriAnn are hosting a wonderful collaborative project on the life of a tree over the course of the seasons, titled Arboreal which you can learn more about here. We select a tree and photograph it three times- over the course of several seasons. Julie is interested to see both the changes to the selected trees and the environment that the trees live in. The approximate photographing dates are:
Week of August 23, 2009
Week of November 8, 2009 Week of April 4, 2010
With so many trees to pick from, I decided on one of my very favorites which is across the street from where I live. It's not a flowering tree or perfectly formed, it's not standing upright and true to form. But rather, it's very old, weathered and bent all the way over. Here's her run way shot.
And moving a little closer to her.
Her branches are so far outstretched that when I look at the picture, it almost seem as if it is the trunk and needs to be rotated upright.
The tree has the most wonderful layered, textured, multi toned bark, has injury sites, worn out limbs, and has seen the neighborhood change over what must be the most amazing lifespan.
Since the first time I saw this tree, I've called her "Grandma Willow". Although she's not a willow tree, my first glance of her reminded me of the tree in the story of Pocahontas- wise, all knowing, and one to be revered and honored throughout its life.
Even when you look up to her, you never quite see her crown!
It's roots must be far underground since they are nowhere to be seen. It's as if she just magically sprout up from the earth.
This tree bends over backwards to hold her own, and makes no joke that she is the matriarch of the neighborhood. This beautiful tree is not moving for anyone or anything. Although the one way and yield sign are standing strong, this tree is not obliging or moving aside. As a result, you might be able to see that the sign has actually now found it's way into the tree's branch.
Cobwebs have settled into her crevices- finding comfort, security and shelter within her.
She has joints where ever you look.
When the autumn comes and she must shed her clothes, I'll show you the strength and backbone that she truly carries! Right now, she dons a beautiful rich green ivy which encircles her body-reaching up across her spine.
She bears her own beautiful leaves- large strong and shining for all to see. They carry a single point, almost to make a point.
Here, Grandma Willow has put on her party clothes, ready for her last hurrah of the season. She promises to be back in the Fall!


Seth said...

Perfect choice! And a truly poetic post! I love the idea that she is watching over the neighborhood and, in doing so, must have seen so many changes over the very many years of her life. And will no doubt see so much change far into the future. Very comforting to think about this!!

Julie Prichard said...

Another excellent tree... I feel like somehow these trees are all smiling to get the recognition they deserve after so long!

wanda miller said...

how majestic! thanks for a beautiful post and pictures. wanda

sdissing said...

You found a tree that is very special and almost your own. I`m sure, when winter and spring comes, that you will make your old matriarch get into character! Will be fun to watch. Steen

Supria Karmakar said...

What a cool project idea...love your post,..as usual you are such a great writer...your way with words and photos are magical..thanks for sharing...can't wait to follow this one.

Marilyn Rock said...

Trees offer us so much; your favorite is beautiful! I've missed visiting here and figured out a way to visit blogs using my husband's netbook. I still don't have my computer back from the shop so I cannot update my own blog.

Julie said...

Just a reminder that the Getting Arboreal: A Nature Collection is up for an update next week. Try to make a post with both your original tree photo and your new tree photo and leave me a comment so I can update the links. Hope to see you then!