Trees die for a variety of reasons: they can be deliberately killed by humans wielding chain saws, axes or back hoes. They can be eaten alive by biological 'pests.' Or they can die from generally unfavorable environmental conditions. I've been travelling in the Southwest for the past few weeks and have found myself drawn many times to the beauty of a tree whose life was claimed by lack of water and/or extreme heat. A few of them are in the pictures above. Top left was taken at Natural Bridges National Monument, bottom left was taken at Canyon de Chelly.
I find these trees 'beautiful' on two levels: one, the 'nobility' I can read as their life story as they struggled to maintain their lives in the face of extreme adversity leading to death and, two, the abstract visual beauty they exhibit after their deaths. I believe Georgia O'Keeffee was drawn to skulls and bones bleached and scoured by the wind and sun of the New Mexican plains in a similar way. About her depiction of the bones in her painting, "Cow's Skull with Calico Roses," she said "To me they are as beautiful as anything I know."
Trees, so beautiful while living, retain a graceful beauty after death as well.
Ruthie photographs trees because she loves them.
1 - 3pm
A Walk in the Woods
423 N. Main St.
Photographer and editor Ruthie Rosauer will be on hand to autograph copies of her book, THESE TREES. The book, a compilation of 140 trees photos paired with poems, has been described as "A gorgeous book, a heart-opening photo collection."