embracing the beauty inherent in arboreal life

I admit it: I’m a tree hugger. Of course, I do have my standards; not just any ol’ leaf-covered twig will do. I tend to develop attachments—relationships, if you will—with certain barked friends who draw me to them with their character.

One of my earliest memories was being entranced by the fluid movements of a gnarly weeping willow’s branches in my babysitter’s front yard. Its long, rope-like greenery swished around me in warm afternoons, blurring the world beyond. And I’ll never forget the hundreds of Blue Spruce seedlings I planted as a teenager on our Oregon tree farm. Later, when I needed some consoling at college, I would visit this stately sycamore outside my dorm in the late evening rain, whispering to it my latest tribulations.

Trees really are miracle workers. They’re nature’s perfect CO2 scrubbing device, working tirelessly to filter greenhouse gasses out of the air. They provide wondrous material to craft art or shelter, they stabilize the soil, they feed us all sorts of nutritious delicacies… and they can be the most beautiful, enigmatic objects to photograph.

This gallery celebrates these glorious plants. Large or small, smooth, rough, simple, complex… each tree has a lifetime of watchful wisdom to offer us—if we just learn to slow down, listen, and give it an embrace when no one else sees you. It’s OK—I promise I won’t tell. 😊