Project Athena - Day 70 (Trees)

From the Ashes

Life is the fire that burns and the sun that gives light. Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky. Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.
— Lucius Annaeus Seneca

This tree remains standing almost two years after a forest fire scorched an area of Moraine Park in late 2012. The ground vegetation has grown back abundantly in the valley since then, covering the burn area with a soft blanket of green grasses and colorful wild flowers.

The charred blackness of this tree in stark contrast to the blue sky, the green grasses or the white snow reminds me that the earth continuously transforms itself with fire and out of those ashes, the most beautiful life is born.

RMNP, Colorado

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/13 • 1/20s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 69 (Trees)

I confess. I am a tree hugger.

What did the tree learn from the earth to be able to talk with the sky?
— Pablo Neruda

This tree has been on my radar for awhile now. I have actually attempted to photograph it several times before today and each time, the elements have not cooperated. Although tonight was windy and I couldn't use a tripod, I snapped a few hand held frames in hopes that I could hold the camera steady enough for a sharp image. I got one. Smiling.

RMNP, Colorado

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/413 • 1/80 • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 68 (Trees)

The Giving Trees

Once there was a giving tree who loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come to play
Swinging from the branches, sleeping in the shade
Laughing all the summer’s hours away.
And so they love,
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.
— The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein

Chapungu Sculpture Park in Loveland is little sanctuary in the city is one of my favorite places to walk, sit, meditate, and take pictures.

I was very surprised to find the leaves on the trees already beginning to turn color. Fall is just around the corner. Smiling.

Chapungu Sculpture Garden, Loveland, CO

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 24mm • F/4.5 • 1/20s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 67 (Trees)

Wood Turned to Stone

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
— Mark Twain

Petrified wood has been around practically since time began. How amazing that, under specific conditions, the organic materials of a tree are replaced by agate or other stones as  the wood decomposes.

My crystal book says petrified wood is powerful in removing obstacles, helping restore physical energy and is good in relieving hip and back problems! This is definitely going to hang close to me for awhile!

Petrified Wood

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/14 • 1/2s • ISO 200 • Macro Filter

Project Athena - Day 66 (Trees)

The Oval...

Except during the nine months before he draws his first breath,
no man manages his affairs as well as a tree does.
— George Bernard Shaw

The infamous oval at Colorado State University is truly a landmark in its own right. It is abundant with stately, beautiful trees that shade the walkways that arrive from various parts of campus to intersect under the canopy of green and brown. All this within one epic oval.

No matter the season, this beloved location showcases its spectacular trees with splendor and provides a marvelous refuge for students and visitors alike.

CSU Oval, Fort Collins, CO

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/5.6 • 1/250s • ISO 2800

Project Athena - Day 65 (Trees)

Lessons from Trees

God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, “Ah!”
— Joseph Campbell

I walked among the trees this evening listening to their prudence. I always seem to garner some great wisdom from them as they whisper messages through their expressive leaves and occasional creaking trunks.

This couple had a lot to say about resilience. They weathered a great flood almost a year ago. As you can see, it almost took them down. But they don't seem to know that. They just keep growing next to each other undaunted by their now awkward angle. They don't protest about the rocks deposited at their base. The wear the scars in their trunks with indifference despite the trauma of being assaulted by perilous debris that rushed through six foot high waters. There is no sad story replaying about how a free flowing river they once loved betrayed them and became their adversary.

I never heard them complain about, blame, or project onto each other. I never heard them criticize themselves or talk about their fear or expectations of their future. They just were. Happy. Holding branches. And smiling...

Resilient Tree, Poudre River Trail

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/22 • 1/6s • ISO 3200

Project Athena - Day 64 (Trees)

If This Tree Could Talk...

Went out to shoot the super moon tonight and Athena had a different idea...This stately cotton wood tree wanted her picture taken. Her trunk is as wide as my car is long. I wonder how many super moons she has watched rise over this horizon?

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.
— Alice Walker

Great Cottonwood, CO

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 38mm • F/32 • 1/2s • ISO 3200