Thursday, February 18, 2010

Trees Series. Stills, 2010...continued

My Trees series is about dormancy, death and decay.

On my walk today I peeked through a hedge and saw this incredible sight -- the rotted, decapitated stump of the once-mighty guardian of the estate partially hidden behind it.

My wide-angle lensing choice exaggerates the distance from the stump to the manor house. I did this in order to accentuate the idea that this sentry (hence "SenTree") is now discarded, forgotten, literally marginalized, robbed of its role and left to decay.

On the way back to my house,  I saw a man and his son tapping a giant sugar maple in their front yard. My interest caught the guy's attention. He motioned for me to come over, and we proceeded to have a delightful conversation about tapping, invasive species, the symbiotic relationship of root fungi to trees, and many other arboresque topics. So, hello there Eric and Eli Olsen...

The light was fading fast, so I started heading home -- hoping perhaps to capture one or two more images before I'd have to hold the shutter open too long to make it feasible to get  an image without a tripod.

Of course, that's when I came across this spectacular, ridged fungal growth on the limb seen here in SymBiosis.  I took several exposures in the darkening light, holding the shutter open longer and longer each time, holding my breath so I didn't shake my trusty camera. After about nine tries, I finally got it in focus with the shallow depth of field you see here. Bingo. ###


  1. Hi Roberto,

    Good to meet you today, thanks for the kind words on your blog. For he record the fungal partners of trees are called mycorrhizae, and a pretty good introduction is here

    So even as you continue your lovely documenting of trees sliding into death and decay, with much help from the amazing fungi, consider the life-giving fungi as well. Really only in the last 20 or so years have we come to see trees as truly compound organisms, with their hidden fungal partners below ground. More like lichens than we knew.


    Eric Olson

  2. Hi Eric,

    Thank you for generously sharing your knowledge of and passion for tree tapping and fungi. I'll check out the mycorrhizae article. It was a pleasure meeting you and your Son and I look forward to seeing you folks around the neighborhood.

    Roberto Mighty