The Elder


(Click on the image to see full screen view.}

The tree called out to us almost audibly and stopped us in our tracks. Yes, there were hundreds of other trees around, but this one had presence. And this one’s voice was quiet but commanding. It was clearly the elder tree of the forest - the master - the one that every other tree deferred to. And it possessed both vitality and tiredness.

This giant of a tree seemed unable to stop the slow passage of time as evidenced by the the bare white branches still attached at the bottom. And the limbs (bones) strewn around the ground at the bottom of the trunk looked like they had been undisturbed for many years. It all clearly suggested that this tree seemed to be in the latter days of its great long existence. But it wasn’t ready to give up yet. The bright green needles of the new spring growth gave away the energy still alive in this master of the forest. There was still life, growth, and something to offer, to all who would make the time to listen. We stood there for what seemed to be a long time and listened.

Sometimes I take photos and when I get back home the ones I thought would be great turn out to be just ok and sometimes the ones I don’t expect to be great turn out to be surprises. And then, occasionally, there are the images, where you just know as you see it, as you make the image, and when you get back home - it just works. For me, this was one of them.

This image may be just another tree photo for many of you, which is perfectly fine. But for some, maybe it will speak to you as it spoke to us - when we stood there and just listened and then made its portrait. Either way, I hope you enjoy viewing the image as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Brian ReitenauerComment