On the way to Oz

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This was such a fun photograph to take. Cheryl brought this to my attention well over a year ago after I had completed some branch trimming. The past year or so has made the facial image even more real than before so she directed my attention to the tree again.

The tree is a mature, but not old, Pin Oak. Over the years I have pruned the lower branches as an act of survival or I would have been decapitated while mowing the lawn under its umbrella of tough twigs and branches which seem to bend toward the earth at an ever-increasing rate. I suspect healthy growth and gravity are the culprits. Good for the tree…bad for the man.

The result you see was not intentional. However, I believe I created something akin to the apple trees in the movie, The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion all needed to pause for a refreshing break while on their way to the magical city of Oz for some much needed help. As soon as the nearby apple trees were located while in the enchanted forest, Dorothy plucked an apple from one of them (which looked very similar to this guy). The tree asked her how would she like having an apple plucked from her and then began throwing apples at the group. They hurriedly moved on!

It is a good thing Pin Oaks don’t grow apples. However, they do grow many pin oak nuts which the squirrels love to eat. Perhaps that is why I always see the squirrels scurrying past this tree at a faster rate than any other! They may have had a knock or two on their heads!

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Red in Green

5-22-15 015This morning I shot a bird, but not in the sense of hurting it. As I walked a local park right after sunrise, I spotted this cardinal alight on a tree branch. It was rather far away so I had to go full zoom to capture it. Although not the clearest of photographs, it was worth taking anyway. These birds are timid and difficult to capture through a lens as they seldom stay in one place for but a few minutes, and they hide in thick-branched trees. He was happily singing away right before I shot this image.

Cardinals are native to the Midwest, but I also saw several other bird species which are not. The avian migration period is coming to an end so we will see less and less foreign birds who are moving on to their specific geographical regions for the summer. Thankfully, we have our resident robins and blue jays, starlings, doves, and a variety of song birds to bring us enjoyment all season long.

I have always wondered what it would be like to be “free as a bird”…to take flight at the slightest whim, to pause wherever I wanted, and to have a “bird’s-eye view” of our sphere of domain. I can only imagine. What birds take for granted, it would be sheer delight for humans to fly without the aid of machines. I can only imagine.

Masterpiece in Blue & White

1-26-14 032What is a masterpiece? Depending on the dictionary, one definition may read like this: any production of art which is created by one who is most competent in his or her trade, and whose work is most excellent in every way (my paraphrase of several choices).1-26-14 040As I gazed into the afternoon sky a few days ago I realized that I was observing a flowing work of art which was being painted by the Grand Master himself. His canvas was the sky and his brush strokes left behind a trail of cotton colored clouds. His method is always facile and his boundaries limitless.1-26-14 030Within a span of fifteen minutes I witnessed a hundred paintings. Each was unique and oh, so beautiful. I recall as a child the fascination that clouds held for me…laying on my back on a bed of grass, a warm breeze touching my face, and watching the sky turn into a playground of animals and people and things that went fast. Imagining was so fun.1-26-14 021Even though I am a bit older (ha!) I still enjoy watching the clouds form overhead, as in a ballet of sorts. I marvel at how quickly the images on the canvas change. As much as I enjoy the art, it is the awe for the artist that really captures me. Isn’t that true of any great master…we celebrate the maker as well as his creations.1-26-14 025Therefore, I leave you with this thought. Be conscious of what is above in addition to what is around you. Look up more often and spend less time peering down…the view is so much more spectacular!1-26-14 016