After opening presents on Christmas, the chaos which is family gatherings settled down a bit, and my eyes began to open to the inspiration I always find in nature. It started with this - I'd taken a walk, marveling at the many houses nestled amongst the trees along the street and spotting the snow in shadowed places. It was dark and cool, the sun barely getting through here and there. As I studied this house across a shallow ravine, I noted the sun rays making their way through the trees. A light mist was rising, swirling mystically through the light. It was ethereal and beautiful, and so quiet. I felt myself really relax for the first time in days, started seeing beyond the obvious.
You know me and trees. I had noticed a lot of Ponderosa pine trees right around the house but didn't bother to take pictures; I already have quite a few reference pics of their distinctive bark. This burned out tree, however, did intrigue me. It had a story to tell, but it wasn't talking. That's the grand-niece, Amanda.
Oddly enough, it wasn't until the next day, when we were packing up to leave and I was waiting by the cars out front that I noticed two little trees with incredible textures. I took pictures from all sides, all angles, the relatives looking on with puzzled faces. But I know you all would have understood what was going on in my head.
I didn't really look at anything but the trunks, no idea what these are. Maybe someone out there can enlighten me? These are all the same tree, if I remember correctly. Below is the other slender tree, the richly colored trunk probably no more than 5 inches across, but very sturdy-looking and with a bark that looked very aged.
Not a tree but a bit of a surprise to look down and see this puff of seeds broken free from its pod. Quite large, like cat-tails, but up here at 6000 feet near no water?
I cannot resist adding this last NON-inspirational photo. As we returned to Bakersfield, just where the canyon opens up to the valley, standing like sentries up the side of mountain, or more likely trying to infiltrate into the land of pine trees... my hated palm trees!
Next up - the return trip via Amtrak - more adventures in traveling!