Abstractly Nature

Shot of the Month – July 2013

Fallen Tree, Vermont-USA (1411)

When I first gazed upon this scene I was baffled.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of it.  I could see only chaos.  Well, the pile of sticks seemed familiar. Yeah, ok, that could be a bird’s nest.  But the rest of it?  No idea.   I looked and I looked.  I looked some more.  Tilting of the head.  Squinting of the eyes. Tilt to the other side.


Finally, our guide gave me the orientation I needed to make sense of it all.

She explained that we were looking at a tree that had fallen over in this small bog.  The main trunk of the tree can be seen in the water to the right.

The standing fan of “branches” was actually the root system of the fallen tree!  Bam.  It all snapped into place.  The pile of sticks on top was an abandoned osprey nest.  Well, at least I got that part right.

I couldn’t take my eyes off the visual disarray.  It seemed like abstract art. I have tweaked this image in that vein to bring out the “art” even more.  I have boosted the colors to make the green on the main vertical root really pop out.  And I have blurred the edges of the photo to allow the eyes to be naturally drawn into the “canvas.”

Is it just me or do you also see a screaming face in the main vertical root? It’s mouth is agape as if caught in an eternal scream. A pointy nose and two furrowed brows filled with rage just above the black gob.  Two root arms spread out in opposite directions as if appealing to the gods.  Seems like the tree is unfurling its outrage over the injustice that has befallen it.

I love how something so real,  a tree (you know, brown, stands straight, has some green stuff on it), has been transported into the realm of the abstract where lines and shapes no longer follow the rules and new meanings and realities blur from one into the next.

Perhaps this is Mother Nature’s version of the Rorschach test?  If yes, I  don’t think that I want to know how I did.

Something to ponder over your morning coffee:  If there is no one in the forest to hear a tree scream, does it make a sound?

Until next month….