Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Trees of Life

April 15, 2019

The way that life grows on other life may be especially visible in semitropical and tropical locations. In Florida festooned trees draw my attention and wonder. A walk this winter in the Myakka River State Park with my friend Jean provided more instances of such complexities than usual—probably because Jean pointed out some beautiful examples at the very beginning of our wandering. The culmination was a tree and its inhabitants that Jean calls her favorite tree. Perched bromeliads (some people call them air plants, though that is a misnomer) and mosses growing on trees are easy to spot and appreciate. So are many species of lichens, which are not plants at all but hybrid life forms that combine fungi and (usually) green algae or cyanobacteria. Jean’s favorite tree is special for hosting a variety of lichens, including the subtlest—pale washes of color that make you lean in to see if you can catch when one faint hue gives way to another. Even a short walk through a forest of growth on top of growth may be enough to make you marvel at the connectedness of life, perhaps even to recall the John Donne poem.








And a detail of the photo above:












21 responses

  1. Excellent series, Linda. You made good use of flat lighting (my favorite kind) in all of these. It brings out the textures and colors beautifully. Nice work.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 14, 2019 at 10:54 PM

    • Thank you, Ken. I usually prefer raked light, so I’m glad you think these worked out in the light department. I guess there really is no wrong time to be in the woods! And maybe my preferred light wouldn’t have worked as well. Himm.


      April 15, 2019 at 4:14 PM

  2. Nature at its best! Following our winter rains it’s wonderful to peer closely at all the growth exploding, even in its most minuscule form.


    April 15, 2019 at 1:10 AM

    • Yes, I’m back in Ohio now, and noticing so many changes, all deserving of a closer look. Thanks for your comment, Gunta.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 15, 2019 at 4:17 PM

  3. What a fabulous forest Linda and a wonderful selection of your beautiful photographs – I love them 😊😊


    April 15, 2019 at 2:31 AM

    • Thank you, Alastair. The Myakka River State Park is a great place to go. It’s huge, but even if you just go to the same parts of it every time, there’s a lot of detail to notice.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 15, 2019 at 4:23 PM

  4. I’m likin’ it. (Sorry.) Seriously, these are beautiful images.


    April 15, 2019 at 3:18 AM

  5. Some very striking images here, my friend. 🙂


    April 15, 2019 at 6:22 AM

    • Thanks, Adrian! I have to defer to Mother Nature; she gave me some striking trees to photograph.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 15, 2019 at 4:34 PM

  6. Wow, those pictures look like ones I might take. I love those beautiful trees in Myakka too.


    April 15, 2019 at 9:40 AM

    • I thought of you while writing the narrative, Lynda. I know you love those trees, and insects, and lichens, and and and.


      April 15, 2019 at 4:36 PM

  7. Porter, Laurence Marjorie

    Thank you for this beautiful series of photos and for linking them to the John Donne poem, Linda. For me, they evoke treasured memories of the North Woods—of portaging trips in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and of Maine. The magical shades of green of mosses and lichens against evergreens punctuated by white birches is intoxicating.



    April 15, 2019 at 11:08 AM

    • Thanks, Marjorie. I’m so pleased that you appreciated the link to the John Donne poem. Northern Michigan is where I first saw lichens in profusion, and I often think of that place near Grayling when I see the Florida lichens.


      April 15, 2019 at 4:46 PM

  8. Gorgeous, Linda. The lichens and moss are so appealing. You do a great job finding colors and patterns in nature.


    April 23, 2019 at 4:22 PM

    • Thank you, Jane. I think that I don’t find the colors and patterns in nature as much as they find me. That’s to say: they are all around; I just let them in.


      April 23, 2019 at 4:57 PM

  9. Oh Linda, these are so beautiful. I will have to come back a few times to drink it all in. I too love the flat, even lighting, and all the very subtle gradations of color. You did a spectacular job of capturing and conveying what’s going on in places that I’m sure most people pass right by. In the first photo, did you alter the processing to increase the softness or textured feeling? Lovely, whatever you did!. The composition in #3 is masterful – perfect! #5 makes one smile, so cheerful! #11 & #12 would make a nice pair. Bark studies, gotta love ’em! With the scratches in the last photo, you approach the fish bins. (I think there’s a typo and that’s what friends are for, right? The sentence beginning, “Jean’s favorite tree…” – subtlest. Thank you for making these, for being so alert to beauty, and for always keeping at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 27, 2019 at 5:50 PM

  10. Oh my goodness. You’re right; typo now fixed. Thank you for that, Lynn, and all your nice comments. About the first photo: no altering here. When I see trees like this, I often think of that line in the Elvis Presley song: “I’m itchin’ like a man on a fuzzy tree.” (See, though it’s not the version I’m familiar with.) That #3? I went at those (dead) palm trunks from so many angles until I finally found the one I liked. And rather than life on life, I’m aware that this and the next photo are life on death, but I couldn’t resist putting them in this collection; it was the same walk. Oh, I like thinking of #5 as cheerful! Bark studies are fun, aren’t they. You’re very astute to catch a resemblance between the scratched palm trunk and the scratched fish bins. I didn’t think of that.


    April 27, 2019 at 8:32 PM

    • OK, I did NOT know that line, so I began my Sunday morning with Elvis, merci to you. 🙂 Life on death, life on life – I bet if you had a microscope it would be clear that both are mixed up in all these photos.
      I know you’re not one to use the Glamor glow slider (Color Efex), or to move to the left with the clarity slider (LR)….but that first photo still has me surprised. The blades of grass and that palm tell me everything’s in focus but it’s hard to believe. I love being surprised by nature.

      Liked by 1 person

      April 28, 2019 at 11:16 AM

  11. Read an interesting article on the net about how trees communicate with one another through their root systems.


    May 8, 2019 at 2:37 PM

    • I’ve read about that other places. It’s interesting, isn’t it. We keep learning more and more about the natural world.


      May 9, 2019 at 1:02 PM

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