Sometimes, one comes upon an object that is unusual, that catches the eye. Such was the case of a tree that I saw in the garden of Dunvegan Castle.
Araucaria araucana (commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, piñonero, or Chilean pine) is an evergreen tree growing to 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in diameter and 30–40 m (100–130 ft) in height. It is native to central and southern Chile, western Argentina. Araucaria araucana is the hardiest species in the conifer genus Auracaria. Because of the longevity of this species, it is described as a living fossil. It is also the national tree of Chile. Its conservation status was changed to Endangered list by the IUCN in 2013 due to the dwindling population caused by logging, forest fires, and grazing.
As you can see from the people standing next to the tree, this tree is impressively tall; I would estimate this tree to be between 20-25m tall, which is an impressive sight.
This particular tree stands in the gardens of Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod of MacLeod, the chieftain of clan MacLeod. This castle on the Isle of Skye is well worth the visit, as its gardens are a thing of beauty!
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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23 thoughts on “The Monkey Puzzle Tree”
This is a giant indeed 🙂
Fabulous tree Frank 🙂
I have always been fascinated by these trees.
Their seed structures are unusual as well; they are true living fossils
When we bought our bungalow, there was a fourteen foot high Monkey Puzzle tree in the back garden. There was also a fish pond (8 feet x 6 feet by 4 feet) and a delapitated shed. The garden was very small, so we demolished the shed and fishpond (almost wrote off a kango drill), and advertised the tree for sale, not telling prospective buyers they’d have to dig it up. A young couple turned up with shovels and a trailer and set to. We helped them carry it out, ball root and all, and got fifty quid for it. They were ecstatic as the twelve inch high one they’d bought for £25 had died!
That’s a great find for them and I’m sure you were happy to get the space in your garden cleared.
Indeed! It was win win all round as we had a lovely deep hole in which to throw in some rubbish and bury. The lawn was very lush when it came!
So striking and beautiful. It looks like it might reach down and scoop the people up (Ha!).
I was waiting for that moment…
There are a few of these monkey puzzle trees in Canby, OR. I think they are way cool. 😀
I love their look.
There’s a Monkey Puzzle Tree in our neighborhood, but not nearly the height and size of the one pictured…looks like I have another location to add to my travel list!! ❤ Love it ❤
Many opportunities for travel! 🙂
Always!!! You’ve got a way of capturing the adventure 😉✔️
Its looks like an old painting, calm & beautiful.
Thank you! The weather in Scotland was amazing!
In central India,weather is also amazing (combination of cloudy and sunny day accompanied with breezes)
I will have to come visit!
Sure, India is good place to explore, Just take care of climates like June to September are hot in almost India except few states.