Reflection 302: Wildness II

August 6, 2012

Copyright © 2012 by Steve Perrin     [With 11 photos.]

My engagement with the wild side of life leads me to tree bark. How exciting is that? In a word, very! Its bark is where the stem of a tree meets the outside world of storms, snow, insects, animals, and birds. Consider the irony of a tree having to burst through its own protective outer layer to grow larger year-by-year, creating a haven for life forms that will hasten its destruction. Insects lay eggs in cracks behind the broken shield of bark, and birds come looking for those eggs, prying off shards of old bark as they dig for food. Insect larvae that survive proceed to dig tunnels under the bark, consuming the wood as they go, inviting moisture, mites, fungi, and diseases to follow.

Trees are life worlds unto themselves, as wild as anything in nature. Living among spruce, fir, pine, birch, cedar, and oak as I do, I am drawn to each one as a unique individual. They all have stories to tell if you learn to speak their language. I specialize in the signs their outer skins show me, which I never tire of photographing. Without captions, I offer the following eleven images to show you what I mean by the wildness of trees, and to suggest there’s more to our everyday world than we can imagine.

P1010213 96-birch-7P1010216 96-birch-6P1010220 96-bark-1 P1010308 96-birch-5P1010309 96-birch-4 P1010311 96-birch-3 P1010312 96-birch-2P1010410 96-birch-1 P1010314 96-bark-3P1010317 96-bark-4 P1010449 96-bark-2Are you with me? Do you see what I see? Are you engaged? Break free and go for a walk in the woods to discover wildness for yourself. It’s more startling than TV, movies, videos, even TED Talks, even YouTube.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more wildness in future posts. I’m still here, y’r friend, –Steve from Planet Earth.

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