Thursday, January 12, 2012

Think of a Tree

Think of a tree. When you think of a tree, you tend to think of a distinctly defined object; and on a certain level, it is. But when you look more closely at the tree, you will see that ultimately it has no independent existence. When you contemplate it, you will find that it dissolves into an extremely subtle net of relationships that stretches across the universe. The rain that falls on its leaves, the wind that sways it, the soil that nourishes and sustains it, all the seasons and the weather, moonlight and starlight and sunlight - all form part of this tree. As you begin to think about the tree more and more, you will discover that everything in the universe helps to make the tree what it is, that it cannot at any moment be isolated from anything else, and that at every moment its nature is subtly changing. ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

On this day while walking, I paid particular notice to the trees. Come join me, please so that you can see them too.

morning tree shadow
Man's heart away from nature becomes hard. ~ Standing Bear

This was the sight that greeted me at the end of my driveway, one sunny morning. The pavement was still wet from an overnight drizzle but the sun was pouring its light onto the street from behind a small, bare-limbed tree.

squirrel cutie
You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet. ~ Hal Borland

This little cutie caught my attention by making all sorts of murmuring noises. I stopped to chat with him for a bit.

leafy cuddle
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. ~ William Shakespeare

I often notice a solitary oak or maple leaf which has become caught up in this fence but today, I was happy to see this pair wrapped up in a warm, oaky embrace.

fuzzy branch again
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein

A fuzzy branch seems to be budding. It was every bit as soft to the touch as it appears.

sunlit bare pine branches
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu

This pine tree stands at the end of the walkway which leads into the park. Even its dead lower limbs have a beauty to them in the right light.

January leaves
“Listen to the trees talking in their sleep,' she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. 'What nice dreams they must have!” ~ L.M. Montgomery

There's still some life in these multi-coloured leaves. This image was taken just one week ago.

just a branch
“All our wisdom is stored in the trees.” ~ Santosh Kalwar

A simple bare branch. I liked its spotty markings.

Thanks for joining me on another one of my walks. You're the best company.

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit. ~ Elton Trueblood


ADRIAN said...

This was a cracking walk...thank you.

Kerri Farley said...

Walking with you ...... it's just the BEST!! LOVE your "take" on things ...... the tree shadow in the first shot steals my heart!

Teri said...


Ruth Hiebert said...

Thanks to you for showing me once again,that beauty truly is everywhere.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

The first shot, the shadow, was such an awesome surprise!

messymimi said...

You make me want to drop what i am doing and go take a walk in the woods. Thank you, i need the reminder to do that once in a while.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

lovely tree walk. thanks Oma Linda

DJan said...

I'm going on my usual Thursday hike today, with your images of trees filling my heart. Ahhhhh....

erin said...

oh, i love the contemplation of the first quote and the first photo especially. "But when you look more closely at the tree, you will see that ultimately it has no independent existence." and to think, just the other day when i was out shooting, i discovered the exact opposite of this quote, that each tree has such a defining characteristic, as though they each need their own name. these two seemingly contradictory ideas are less in conflict than one might think, instead, they feed one another, symbiotic ideas. it is like with us, each person distinct, and yet we are a part of the whole, one living organism. the truth falls across the spectrum, i think, instead of lying at one end of it.


Anonymous said...

What spectacular shots! The first one is pure magic.

ellen abbott said...

excellent selection as usual. Hard to say which are my favorites. The last two I guess, I love your macros. but the squirrel is pretty nice too.

Mental P Mama said...

Trees are my favorite people;) Thank you for the support!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for sharing your walk with us Hilary. I need to get out more--bundle up and just go.

Gail Dixon said...

All the quotes are wonderful and perfect for the photos, but the first one really impacted me. Nature is so pure and capturing it with my camera brings me immense joy as it does you. Always enjoy your photos and bits of wisdom. What a day-brightener!

Elizabeth Grimes said...

The light on that pine tree is beautiful. You certainly have an eye to find the beauty in unexpected places.

Ruby said...

All the pictures are great. I love the leaf shots!!

TexWisGirl said...

always happy to accompany you on your walks. you share such beauty. :)

Suldog said...

The fuzzy branch has something of a smiley face. Great job of pairing the quotes with appropriate sights.

Out on the prairie said...

Lovely selection of shots

Anonymous said...

The shot of the leaves with the purply background is stunning. It's been a strange winter... finding beauty seems to be easier :)

Unknown said...

I always enjoy your close up looks of the world, Hilary! Beauty everywhere!

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

I love walks that I can take while sitting in the comfort of my home, and yours are the best. My favorites are the squirrel (because he's so darned cute) and the oak leaves (because of the warm color and sharp detail in the photo). Good work.

Tabor said...

What beautiful anatomy you have around you.

Brian Miller said... me some trees...i find great comfort among caught some of their beauty for sure hilary...

Joanna said...

You have redefined trees for me. The quotes along with your photographs stopped time. I'm heading out now for a walk with my eyes wider open. Thank you.

stephen Hayes said...

All of your pictures are beautiful, but the one of the two leaves caught in the fence should win an award. You could write a novel about what's happening there.

Frank Baron said...

Fine images, wonderful quotes. You knew how they would resonate with me - especially Standing Bear's and Albert's.

Very satisfactory. ;)

Gillian Olson said...

Beautiful pictures, I think the leaves caught in the fence and the fuzzy branch are my favorites. Thanks,

L. D. said...

Wonderful observations.

Mage said...

I love taking walks anywhere. You are my main source these days. Beautiful.

Daryl said...

such clever POVs .. you inspire me

WritingsForLife said...

I had not though to trees like this before.

And your photos, as always, are beautiful :-)

cheshire wife said...

I had always thought that all trees looked the same in winter when they are bare. How wrong I was.

Dan said...

Je suis emu et convaincu que nous somme tous... kin folk! :)

Tres jolie mon amie.

Pauline said...

such a beautiful walk - there is no better place as a cathedral of trees

Wendy said...

Love those quotes, especially the one about nature not hurrying...

Cute little squirrel. And that pair of oak leaves look so cuddly. Can't believe you had colourful leaves, but I imagine even those will soon be gone.

Thanks for taking us on your walk. Next time I'll bring the Timbits!

Red said...

Some of the shadows tell a great story. You've accomplished some neat things with low light.

lime said...

oh hilary, trees whisper to me and soothe me so i just loved this post with your images and the quotes you chose. i have to say that first shot truly took my breath away though. there's a spiritual quality to it.

Dianne said...

you know how much I love me my trees :)
looks like the squirrel carved out that spot just for himself

Indrani said...

Fantastic pictures Hilary!

Sueann said...

I thoroughly enjoyed my walk with you. And the conversation ministered to my soul! And what a profound conversation it was too!!

Barbara said...

I love my morning walks surrounded by trees - you captured their beauty so well in your photos! Love the quotes, too!

She Who Carries Camera said...

A beautiful walk in the comfort and warmth of my home! Thanks!

Reb said...

I love the oak leaves in the fence, the juxtaposition of man and nature, the gold and black - very striking. The squirrel is wonderful and the fuzzy bare branch is amazing in the detail.

Lynne with an e said...

Thank you so much for this calming, yet thought-provoking, walking meditation. It's wonderful to be guided to see the beauty in the details of the natural world that might otherwise go unnoticed, and to be spoon-fed yummy morsels of wisdom to chew over.

photowannabe said...

Thank you Hilary. I so enjoyed this comtempletive walk.
I loved your photo of the hint of new life on the branch and The Oaky embrace.
It is so refreshing to see the world through your eyes.

yaya said...

Love the tree pics! I've been enjoying the trees in our woods and yard and I love the photo of the pine tree..hmmm..I wonder why? Have a great weekend!

Hilary said...

* Thanks for joining me, Adrian. :)

* Thank you, Kerri. I was pleased wtih how it turned out. I'm glad you joined me. :)

* Thanks, Teri. :)

* Ruth, I thank you but I also know you have no trouble finding it for yourself. I've seen your beautiful photography. :)

* Gary, it was. I've never seen pavement look so nice. :)

* My pleasure, MessyMimi. It's not a bad break to take in your day. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks kindly, Oma Linda. :)

* Thank you, DJan but I doubt you saw my trees too prominantly with your own real trees on display. :)

* I think you've pretty much nailed it, Erin. Separate but one.. with each other and with the rest of all existance. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment. :)

* Thank you so much, Lady Fi. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

* Thanks very much, Ellen. I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the post and really, there's no need to pick a favourite. :)

* Thanks for stopping by, MPM. I hope you're recovering well. :)

* Slamdunk, that's the way to do it. Once you're out there, it's quite enjoyable despite initial resistance. ;)

* Gail, thanks so much for such kind words. I've always noticed how much you love nature through your photography. I glad you enjoyed the post. :)

*Thanks kindly, Elizabeth. Much appreciated. :)

* Ruby thanks so much for letting me know. :)

* Thanks, Tex. As do you with yours. :)

* Thanks, Jim. I'm not surprised that you noticed the faces. :)

* Thank you, Steve. :)

* Christine, thank you. I don't know about "easier" but different, for sure. :)

* Thank you so much, Reena. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks very kindly, Linda. I'm glad I could oblige you with this seated tour. ;)

* Tabor, I'm very lucky to have such an area so nearby,

* Thanks very much, Brian. I'm not at all surprised that you feel a connection to trees. :)

Hilary said...

* Joahanna, thank you so kindly for such a lovely compliment. You're very kind. :)

* Thanks very much, Stephen. That's sweet of you. Or maybe a musical like Oaklahoma or Annie Oakley. ;)

* Thank you most much, Nero. ;)

* Thanks, Gillian. I'm glad you enjoyed. :)

* Thank you, Larry. :)

* Aww thanks, Mage. I'm glad that you join me. :)

* Well thanks, Daryl. :)

* Thank you Raajii. Very much appreciated. :)

* Chesire Wife, I think it's in winter that their uniqueness is most apparent. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* That's very sweet, Daniel. C'est possible. :)

* A lovely way to describe them, Pauline. Thanks for that. :)

* Wendy, I'll count on that. I'll have some Tim Horton's coffee ready for when you do. Thanks always for your kind words. :)

* Thanks very much, Red. I'm glad you enjoy them. I have fun playing with light. :)

* Thank you, Michelle. I'm glad you get that from it. It was such a startling image to see when I walked out my front door. I hoped it would translate into the image. Thanks for seeing what I did. :)

* Dianne, I do. I had you (and Frank and a few others) in mind while I was working on this post. :)

* Thanks kindly, Indrani. :)

* Thank you, SueAnn. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

* Thanks Barbara. It pleases me to know that you had an enjoyable walk :)

* Jill that's sometimes the best way. :)

* Reb, thanks so much for all of your kind words. They're so appreciated. :)

* Louciao, you're too sweet. Thank you so much for such kind words. :)

* Thanks very kindly, Sue. It's always a joy to have you along on my walks. :)

* Yaya, thanks so much, you pine-lover. :)

Barb said...

A perspective on trees that shows true essence. I've enjoyed your leaf in wire photos and this one seems to tell a story. I really like your close observations, Hillary.

Joanna Jenkins said...

HI Hilary, Another lovely walk. I especially like the fuzzy branch. As I scrolled down the photo and got to the little bids, it looked like a tiny face :-)

Hope all is well with you. xo jj

CiCi said...

What wonderful quotes in this post. Trees are a reminder of the strength of nature and also a reminder to appreciate aging.

sage said...

I enjoy seeing things through your lens! Thanks!

Hilary said...

* Thanks very much, Barb. It pleases me to know you enjoyed the visit. :)

* Thanks for joining me, Joanna. You and Suldog both noticed that little face which eluded me until then. Thanks for that. :)

* Very true, CiCi. We can learn a lot from trees. Thanks always for stopping by. :)

* Thanks kindly, Sage. Much appreciated. :)

Rob-bear said...

Wonderful pictures and story, as always. (Wish my pictures turned out that well.)

Anonymous said...

Those leaves are almost shaped into a heart by the fence -- at least that is how I saw it at first glance.

Linda said...

I love how you capture the light playing on your subjects. I love the evergreen with the subtle light illuminating the branches.

Betty Manousos said...

thanks for sharing that beauty through your photos!

you're so talented!