Category Archives: Photography

A worship-worthy tree

Madrone by Jill WussowField biologist and photographer Jill Wussow shares some lovely photos of Texas madrones at her somewhat alarmingly titled blog Count Your Chicken! We’re Taking Over! “If you haven’t seen the glory of these bad boys,” she says, “I suggest you book it over to Texas or New Mexico when you get the chance and worship them just a little bit.”

Planting tree-photos on Google Earth

Flickr and other photo-sharing sites welcome geolocation data, but Brazilian tree-blogger Juilana at Árvores Vivas demonstrates how to incorporate pictures of trees with detailed captions into the most widely used online mapping tools, Google maps and Google Earth, through Panoramio. Though photos may be browsed withion social groups, getting them onto Google maps and Google Earth is not automatic, as Panoramio’s Help page on the topic explains.

Needless to say, we strongly encourage tree lovers all over the world to give this a try. For inspiration — and just for general interest — here are Juliana’s photos. Click the link at the top of that page to view them on Google Earth, if you have the software on your computer.

Trees and cultural landscapes

It’s not a blog post, but we like this photo exhibition at Garden Design website: “Landslide: Every Tree Tells a Story.”

In 2010, The Cultural Landscape Foundation and American Photo magazine, with support from The Davey Tree Expert Company and American Forests, created an original traveling exhibition about the irreplaceable trees and tree groupings—often associated with historically important people and events—that have shaped the development of communities and cultures, many of which are at risk.

As a media sponsor of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Garden Design is proud to share the beautiful photographs and accompanying stories that are on display in the 2010 Landslide: Every Tree Tells a Story exhibition.

Check it out. Then visit The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

If you could follow one tree for a year, what would it be?

British blogger Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy followed a sycamore tree last year, but says its size was a disadvantage — “all the ‘action’ happens high up. At ground level, shade and location mean it’s not a good place for other plants to grow… what little there is that struggles into life between its toes tends to get nibbled as soon as it shows its head above ground.” She doesn’t want to blog about trees in isolation, but as members of an ecological community.

So this year’s tree, by contrast, is part of a small but dense clump of vegetation, and is so small and “scraggy,” it’s “hardly a tree at all.” But a tree it is, and one of some significant folkloric and even exotic appeal to this North American reader (though we do have a closely related member of the same genus). What’s the species? Read the post to find out.

Exploring the Caledonian pinewood

Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)Last month we linked to Part 1 of a report on a visit to a surviving fragment of Scotland’s once extensive pine forest. Ashley has since added a Part 2 and Part 3. His photos give a good flavor of the landscape.

Heather, bilberry (blaeberry) and juniper form the shrub storey while Scots pine forms a rather open canopy, with a few downy birches for company. Other trees I saw in the Ryvoan Pass, but in miniscule numbers, were willow, rowan, holly and alder.

Arboreal photo-blogging roundup

Luara Hegfield has been posting some wonderfully atmospheric photos of trees to accompany her blog entries for the “river of stones” January mindful writing challenge (see the Writing Our Way home blog for more on that). I especially liked this one of tree branches at dusk, these three of trees and water, and this lone birch.


Welsh painter Clive Hicks-Jenkins blogged some photos from his holiday visit to the medieval town of Sarlat in southern France, which included a shot of some awesomely grotesque trees which look as if they’ve been pollarded every year since the 14th century.


On Wednesday, London blogger Jean Morris shared a stunningly blue collage calling attention to “The shapes of trees.”


Back on January 4, Buddhist nun and photographer Seon Joon expressed her “new year’s resolutions: worship” in visual form, with three very arboreal photos. She included this quote:

I am glad I belong to a religion that worships a tree.
—Stephen Batchelor, Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist

New Tumblr site: “Goths up trees”

Goths up treesWriter and friend of trees Marly Youmans sent along the link to a newish tumblelog called Goths up trees. Located at, it consists entirely of user-submitted photos of — wait for it — goths up trees.

Well, not quite entirely. What sets Goths up trees apart from the hundreds of other very narrowly focused Tumblr sites is the author’s commentary, which is pitch-perfect and generally hilarious. Take, for example, the post containing the above photo (which I nicked without permission because hey, it’s Tumblr — that’s what you do):

This was submitted by GothicCharmSchool with the comment “Jilian Venters from Gothic Charm School, exploring her backyard.”

She’s very well dressed for tree exploring. Bonus points for maximum skin coverage with the hat and sunglasses. Some gloves would have completed the look but we can’t have everything. This is probably the happiest up-tree Goth I’ve ever seen. Was she drunk? Was she trying to reach a pair of boots that she had coveted for years that mysteriously appeared in the tree IN HER SIZE? Did someone lure her up there with the promise of a new corset tailor made just for her (I’ve fallen for that one before)? Was the author of a certain popular vampire romance novel stuck up the tree unable to move and in poking distance? I’m going with all of the above. She’s just that happy.

4 out of 5 – for skin coverage

For more — much more — like this, check out the site.

When trees are more photogenic than wildlife

Weather Wonderland at Fidalgo Island CrossingsDave at Fidalgo Island Crossings took his camera for a walk and discovered that a wetland forest in winter can become a place of magic and mystery.

Fall colors still at their height in Berkeley, California

Check out landscape designer Robert Trachtenberg’s photo essay at “Spectacular fall colors on view for all in Berkeley” — a useful reminder for those of us in colder, drearier climes that autumn is not yet over.

Bamboo poetry in Kyoto

bamboo groveWhile technically a type of grass, bamboo is also very tree-like, and a bamboo grove is nothing if not arboreal, as this photo post from Under a Banyan attests.

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