Thursday, May 7, 2015

Seeking Trees

It is no big secret that many of my friends and I feel passionate about trees.  Far outstripping the lifespan of the average human, these giant sentinels of times past leave me feeling very small indeed.

Their struggles through drought, fire, and the activity of man are too often scrawled upon the very bark which makes each species recognizable and unique.  Our world is richer for having trees and the by-product of clean air to breath is mighty sweet, too.

If one wants to mark the down-fall of man, you need look no farther than the wholesale destruction of trees. They anchor our very earth, preventing erosion.  They provide shade, habitat, food and form the framework for ecosystems.  Look to the most dramatic poverty-stricken nations and you'll find countries denuded of trees.

Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa at Daughmer Prairie State Nature Preserve, photo by Ian Adams.
One of  Ian Adams' best tree portraits ever features an old friend from Daughmer Prairie Savannah State Nature Preserve.  This giant Bur Oak, Quercus macrocarpa grows next to the parking lot on Marion-Melmore Rd.

If you have ever tried to photograph an old growth tree, one soon realizes it is difficult to get the full size, shape and perspective of its habitat included.  It makes Ian's fine work all the more admirable.

Now you can see many of Ohio's most spectacular trees as well as rock formations and scenic highways through the the filter of Ian's lens.

Ohio University's Swallow press has produced a gem filled with the best scenes Ohio has to offer.  A Photographer's Guide to Ohio has me spell-bound.  Thanks to Ian, I now have a few more trees to see right here in Ohio!

A little excerpt from Ian's work:
     When I view this tree, and other giants like it, I'm reminded of a statement attributed to playwright, George Bernard Shaw, "Except for the nine months before he draws his first breath, no man manages his affairs so well as a tree does."
My feelings, too.  A tree can be measured worthy in so many ways besides board-feet.  A note to Ohio State Parks and Forests,  none of the beautiful or historic sites Ian depicts include a clear-cut.

We need trees. 

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