Rising in the Fields

Yoga Tree gives birth

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the very hopeful theme of Rise/Set, which asks to share some of our favorite sunrises or sunsets.

There are a couple of these that come to mine, so I may do more than a single post in response to this challenge.  Of course, those of you who have followed my blog for a while know what is coming next: the Yoga Tree!  I have captured her beauty around the time of many sunrises, as she stood proud in the fields.

This one may be a good place to start…

yt-2013-12-12 07.21.20 HDR-1
Birth of the Sun

All we need is a bit of Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool album playing in the background, and we can be one with the Universe!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Forces

Overcome all aspects

Welcome to Week 99 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.  Your contributions to last week’s topic of Hill created an avalanche of creative output!

After climbing the hill with you over the past week, I thought it might be time for a theme that is a bit more abstract, and, thus, open for a wider range of interpretation.  So I came up with the idea of portraying Forces in our photography this week.  Forces are all around us, as we experience them everyday; they are also tremendously varied, as the pull of gravitational force is quite different from the tug at our heart strings by the force of love!

Use your creative feelings to express what forces have an impact on your life!

Here are some different forces at work…

Juxtaposed Life Forces

The tree’s struggle to overcome the tremendous forces put upon it by the creeping ice, the cold and barren nature of its environment, demonstrates the power of the life force that is indomitable within it.

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

I’m looking forward to finding out what shapes you come across!

The Wisdom of the Trees

Ancient lore spoken here…

In ancient times, Trees were often referred to as ‘Standing People’, as the majestic ones stand in the forests across many lifetimes; they hold the connection between Mother Earth and the stars in the firmament above.

Even more than that, the Trees observe quietly without flitting about, like the humans that scurry through their forests, always absorbing knowledge and storing it for the ages.  One fine day, we will learn to tap into the Wisdom of the Trees…

Wisdom of the Trees

Here we see the Trees, radiating with knowledge acquired across time; stand still and listen intently to hear their stories…

Inspired by WordPress Daily Post’s Discover Challenge of Conventional Wisdom.

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 17

Pining for the fjords

Although I have extolled the wonders of leaves in a previous post, so I beg your indulgence to take a look at a different expression of the leaf: pine needles.  Pine needles have always amazed me in their unbelievable efficiency; for their size and density, they generate the significant amounts of energy needed by some of the largest trees in the world.

Pine Needles

Pines have four types of leaf:

  • Seed leaves (cotyledons) on seedlings, born in a whorl of 4–24.
  • Juvenile leaves, which follow immediately on seedlings and young plants, 2–6 cm long, single, green or often blue-green, and arranged spirally on the shoot. These are produced for six months to five years, rarely longer.
  • Scale leaves, similar to bud scales, small, brown and non-photosynthetic, and arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves.
  • Needles, the adult leaves, which are green (photosynthetic), bundled in clusters (fascicles) of 1–6, commonly 2–5, needles together, each fascicle produced from a small bud on a dwarf shoot in the axil of a scale leaf. These bud scales often remain on the fascicle as a basal sheath. The needles persist for 1.5–40 years, depending on species. If a shoot is damaged (e.g. eaten by an animal), the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a bud which can then replace the lost leaves.

Their simplicity and hardiness are truly amazing!

Technical Details

This image was taken during a recent walk through Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III with an EF 100mm f/2.8 lens.  Exposure settings were 1/200 second at f/11 and 400 ISO.

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 14

Never ceasing, we hope!

This Wednesday, it’s once again time to take a look at the wonders of the world around us. Today’s inspiration is drawn from the current Northern Hemisphere season of Spring: the time of re-birth and regeneration of the massive scale that only Nature can conjure up!

Regeneration after generation

In early Spring, this tree was just about ready to get its juices flowing again to start the truly amazing process of accelerating its growth processes slowly, but surely.  In another couple of weeks, leaves would start showing, first as little buds, then quickly advertising their green presence to the world and hogging all the sunlight for themselves to provide what we call, appreciatively, shade.

It doesn’t cease to amaze me that trees can play this balancing game in the harsh climate of New England and further north, where they retreat from the onslaught of weather to conserve their energies for the next cycle.

Hug a tree today, and thank it for the breath that it provides!

Technical Details

I captured this image with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/25 second at f/18 and 160 ISO (leaning against a tree can make even 1/25 second shutter speed very steady).

I did perform a bit of post processing in Photoshop for basic sharpening and minor adjustments.  Additionally, I used Topaz Labs Texture Effects with a mild application of the Bluesy Trees effect to get that feel of images processed in an earlier age.

7 Day Nature Challenge – pt 3

Trees keep our history and tell…

I was nominated by a fellow blogger, Stella of  Giggles & Tales, for a 7-Day Nature Photo Challenge.  Stella’s blog is always full of interesting posts, which are a blend of poetry, photography and perspectives on the world around her.  Go check her blog out!!

On this second day of Spring, I want to bring you something a bit more abstract…


This shot came from a trip to one of my favorite places: Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA.  As happens quite often, my mind starts looking for something a little different to shoot,  which is where this shot came from.

Re-Radiate is all about recognizing the power that resides in trees.  Trees store up energy and release it back to us, denizens of the planet Earth.  In the process of doing this, they learn about what goes on in the world around them and store up a history of their environment.  If we listen carefully, they may even tell us about it…

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/3 second with f/18 at 160 ISO.  A zoom blur technique was used to get the effect in this image.

The Rules

Post a #naturephoto every day and nominate another blogger for this challenge.


The challenge of nominating a fellow blogger…  1/100 Sekundy‘s Jolanta runs a blog full of amazing photography!  Go check out this talented photographer’s blog!  If she accepts this challenge, I look forward to the results!