Monday, November 24, 2014

Land of Grand Trees!

Connecticut is a land of grand trees!  The hardwood forest is tall and thick, strong and bending, and colorful and dark.  There are oaks, birch, hickory, maple, pines, hemlock, ash, cottonwood among others, each with their own texture, form, and place.  They can be a wall; hiding the lay of the land, make distances greater, and muffle sounds.  They can be individual with great presence, keeping the secrets of a centenarian.  The trees are so beautiful!  I love walking among them, recognizing both species and individuals, quieting my thoughts and just drinking in the peacefulness they offer.

There are many trees that I admire growing in my neighborhood.  The Red Oak above is listed on the Notable Trees of Connecticut. It is less than a mile from my house on Juniper Hill Farm.  I could see it from the road and even though it was a little weird I asked permission to photograph it.  Such an amazing tree.  The Red Oak is one of the last to loose it's leaves.  The top picture is in November and the bottom in October.  Another fantastic Red Oak within 10 miles is the famous Ashford Oak.  It was the largest Red Oak in the US for years, but sadly it has dropped some of it's limbs and now is in decline.  The tree is just off the route 44, which is the oldest hwy between Boston and Hartford and George Washington really could have stopped here!  But really the best trees are the ones I can walk to, that are landmarks, friends, and make the area around the house so special.

The Ashford Oak

 A stately Maple in the woods near the house.  I've notice the largest trees seem to be the ones that are growing along old stonewalls.  That's because in the olden days, the fields would have been cleared for growing crops and only trees along the stonewall would have survived so they are the biggest and oldest.

I have found photographing trees to be a challenge!  It is hard to show what you eyes drink in.  A close up picture shows the texture and over arching branches, but loses the height and feels awkward. Far away the tree seems smaller, is shaded the tree's own shadow, or is lost among the trees.  To show the texture and size and light and presence makes me admire landscape and nature photographers who succeed.  I do admit that I don't practice enough with three dogs towing me along bringing my clunky camera along doesn't always happen.  Still the trees are wonderful.  I've written a few other posts where trees of Connecticut play a big role and here is one of my favorites, Rambles.

An interesting side note:  this is a bearing tree
One that can help you get your bearings!
In AZ officials place a stake in the ground with longitude and latitude information.
In CT, they place it on a large tree, because a stake would soon be lost under leaves and vegetation.