I know every young person thinks Bob Ross is the bomb even though he’s been dead longer than they have been alive, but I remember him from when he was on TV when I was a kid. Weirdly entertaining. Quietly funny. His show was oddly soothing, like a virtual hit of thorazine. Plus the man had a gift for making something out of nothing. And quickly, too.
So after a couple of editing sessions from two outings, I realized that I had a theme on my hands – Happy Little Trees!
After another load of fresh powder I went out on some snowshoe trails and found that the snow was all pockmarked from bits that had fallen off much larger trees. The kind these little ones might one day become. While they might not be majestic now, they have an intricacy and presence all their own.
Most are bare, but some sport leaves like this small aspen sticking out of a snowbank –
It’s a little messy and I wish the leaves weren’t so tightly furled, but I still had to stop for it.
On another day the light was brighter, unfiltered by clouds and I spent some time crossing and recrossing a frozen bog. The direct sun made the snow sparkle and brought up some really interesting texture –
A trail I often go mushrooming on wraps around part of this bog and I’m always curious as to what it looks like, but can’t get into it on foot. When it’s frozen though, I can explore it a little. I think these two are black spruce and one is obviously taller than the other. The snow was probably 2 1/2 feet deep at this point.
Oh and look! Tamarack pines. Tiny ones for sure, but they’re so wonderful in all their nubbliness.
Scenes like this allow for different processing techniques to be successful and while I did go for black and white sometimes, I think the subtly colored photos work as well. Plus you can use harsh light to an advantage if you make sure to incorporate and deliberately place the angled shadows.
This little one stopped me in my tracks. The quintessential Charlie Brown tree, complete with droop. The bend position and the snow both still on and recently fallen tells some of the story of winter. It comes and goes, ebbs and flows, but life finds a way.
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