Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nature's Art

I attended an art show today on this clear spring morning. It was put on by a white pine, in our small patch of woods, just off to the side of the narrow walking trail that takes us to a wetland. The morning sun cast natural light on this exhibit of a pine, a decaying remnant of its former self, yet still full of color, life, and stories.

(See the full art show of this one white pine in the slide show at right, above)

As I walked around the tree I imagined the forces that chiseled and sculpted this tree during its growing life and now through its decaying years. The sun, wind, rain, ice, bark and wood boring beetles, woodpeckers, and fungi, among others.

I thought about all the woodland animals that have passed by this tree, perched on its branches when it still stood tall and green, cached food in its loose bark, nested in its cavities, hid and hunted around its trunk. This tree, full of life when alive, and now in death returning nutrients to the forest floor, and still home to moss, salamanders, beetles, sow bugs, and centipedes.

It will take many more visits, sitting on a fallen log, to study each sculpture and painting in this natural gallery of art - a Bryce Canyon in miniature with its mini canyons, windows, hoodoos, and weathered images.

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