A Mission From Trees

Have I mentioned yet how much I hate winter?

“Biff…we get it,” said the fox. “You’ve told us over and over…you hate winter more than Windows 8.”

“Whoa now, fox,” I said. “The only thing in the world that’s as hateable as that is Windows 8.”

So, I guess I’ve mentioned how much I hate winter. I mean, It’s cold, dark, slippery, wet, icy, odourless…you have to wear 50 pounds of clothing, none of which includes sandals…oh…and get this…my friend Gary Stairs just came in and added one more thing about winter…it’s colorless. How could I have forgotten that one? I’ve shot winter pictures that have provoked people to ask what process I used to convert them to black and white…and they didn’t believe me when I told them they were in color. At least, until I hit them over the head with my camera several times, yelling, “It’s color! It’s color!” I’m really sensitive about these things. And my camera is heavy.

So…winter. It’s here. And I’m still waiting for summer. But you can’t always get what you want…but by jeezus…I’m going to get what I need. I need to get outside with my camera. I love the candid people portraits, but I dearly love nature. And trees.


“What about trees, Biff?” said the fox.

They’re beautiful. They never stop being beautiful. They’re beautiful all year round…when they’re in full leafage in summer, green and glowing in the sun. When they’re erupting color in the fall and when that matrix of buds coats the branches with spots of green in the spring. They’re…

“Hey, Biff, aren’t you forgetting something?” said the fox.

“You’re really messing with my train of thought here, fox.”

“Uh…winter? Trees in the winter?”

Anyone have a good recipe for fox stew?

OK…trees in the winter. I really hate to say this, but trees in the winter take my breath away. Especially with a white coating of snow. I love the contrast, the delineation, the emphasis on structure that you don’t get with full foliage. In the summer you get form, shape, texture and color. All of which is pretty damn cool, but not as mesmerizing as when you can you can see right into the physical essence of something that predates even me.

I just stood outside Reads, under a tree with light snow packed gorgeously on its branches, and closed my eyes, listening, feeling, smelling…opening myself to the tree. After a couple minutes the tree spoke to me in the form of a large patch of snow plopping onto my head. But hey, if bird shit is supposed to be lucky…

My head is wet, but I’m not going to wipe it off. It’s a sign. I’m going to treat it like a christening and a calling and write holy things about trees. But not with words.

With my camera. This is what I need…to get outside with my camera every chance I get this winter and pay homage to the trees.

I inadvertently started this morning…before I knew that I was on a mission from the trees…

winter-5 winter-6 winter-8 winter-9 winter-7

1 thought on “A Mission From Trees

  1. “The woods are lovely, dark and deep
    but I have promises to keep
    and miles to go before I sleep
    and miles to go before I sleep”

    My 2 favorites are the 1st and the last! Winter isn’t colorless…..merely eloquent, fox.

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