A Sad Goodbye – WPC

“A fool sees not the same tree a wise man sees.”

William Blake

AUTUMN ASPENS

AUTUMN ASPENS, COLORADO

This week, sadly, we say goodbye to the WP-supported Weekly Photo Challenge. My first WPC response, believe it or not, was nearly 6 years ago in August of 2012. For that challenge, “Growth”,  I posted a photo essay about a visit to the Redwood forests of California – definitely an All Time Favorite. That post can be seen here.  I thought it only natural that this final WPC response also be about trees. This time the magnificent redwoods are joined by shimmering aspen groves and ancient live oaks dripping with Spanish Moss among others.

LIFE SUPPORT

LIFE SUPPORT

“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”

Karle Wilson Baker

Saying goodbye to something we hold dear is never easy.  That point was driven home inexorably in a novel I’ve just finished, The Overstory by Richard Powell. Apparently, Mr Powell shares my sense of awe and wonder at the magnificence of trees as well as their importance as a key element of our world. He weaves myth, science, and character development into a compelling story both lyrical and imaginative. 

AMONG THE GIANTS

AMONG THE GIANTS

“Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

John Muir

Mr. Powell’s novel has received rave reviews, and rightly so.  Scientific facts are presented in a way that is both understandable and wondrous. Landmark historical events are woven within the context of his story’s development, and characters are written in a way that we truly care what happens to them. Plot lines that seem far-fetched, such as living on a platform high in a giant redwood for a year or environmental protesters camping out in forest areas slated for clear-cutting are in fact based on actual events.

SPIRIT OF THE SWAMP

SPIRIT OF THE SWAMP

“A forest is not a wilderness, but a community of souls who speak to one another on the wind.”

Anthony T. Hincks

The novel focuses on the nature of trees and forests; their place in our ecosystem, our growing knowledge of their complexity, and the essential importance of their contribution to our planet. Our future – the air we breathe, the climate in which we exist, the food we eat and the creatures by which we are surrounded – all these and more depend on the forests we have only recently begun to appreciate.

THREE LIVE OAKS

THREE LIVE OAKS

“Listen, and you can hear the forest breathe.”

Louis L’Amour

I found the way the author personified the trees and the forests to be one of the more interesting aspects of the novel.  Much as we now know dolphins and whales can communicate without human-defined language, so too Mr. Powell encourages us to believe that trees have a compelling message to deliver, if only we are open to hearing it.

FOREST PRIMEVAL

FOREST FLOOR

“The world’s forests are shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.”

Desmond Tutu

Compellingly presented through his characters’ experiences, Mr. Powell’s outlook on the future of our forests, and therefore our planet, is somewhat pessimistic. Rather than a dire prediction, let us hope his means instead to awaken us to the fact that the world’s resources will thrive only when we begin to recognize their importance.

The Overstory is the first work I’ve read that comes close to portraying the emotions I felt walking among the redwoods. Then and now, words fail to describe the power and grandeur of these massive specimens. In my previous post I mentioned a National Geographic photograph which can now be found here. The photo is actually a composite of 83 photographs and is the only one I’ve seen that even begins to show the immensity and majesty of these titans. A copy of the photograph from the original 2009 issue still hangs in my home office.

As for me, The Weekly Photo Challenge may be gone but I will still be posting, as I hope will most of the other participants. Perhaps we will find a new way to continue the community we’ve grown to know and appreciate through the years.  

A special thanks to Sally of LensandPens for the book recommendation, as well as a sincere thanks to the editorial team at WordPress for their creativity and commitment to us all. It was so much fun to see their “all time favorites” – I look forward to seeing yours!

 

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”

Imogen Cunningham

 

 

 

 

 

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134 thoughts on “A Sad Goodbye – WPC

  1. I have just read a review of “The Overstory” by Richard Powell in The Guardian and ordered this book. I was overwhelmed when I first visited the Sequoia National Park and look forward this read. Awesome images as always, each and every one a gem. I have never participated in the weekly challenge and had no idea it was closed. It was very popular I assume, so why did it close? You are a great role model, have you thought about organising a challenge yourself? Maybe every fortnight? 😉

    • Thanks Dina-as you may have seen by now, 4 of us are indeed running a new challenge. We have no idea why they ended it, and very abruptly. Hoping the challenge community responds

  2. WOW…Tina…just gorgeous shots…truly bigger than life!! Your words are always so gorgeous…the book sounds like a wonderful read thank u for sharing!! I am happy that u will continue your blog as i truly enjoy & so look forward to reading!! 😜

  3. Hi Tina, I was so shocked to see the Photo Challenge closed! Though I’ve had little time to write I finally sat down today and was shocked to read the news. 😕 Thought I’d check with you on any insight you may have heard as to why? I am very sad but still so glad to follow each other. With retirement on the near horizon I will definitely be picking up the pen again! Ahhhh!
    And of course, this post is both eloquent and the photography outstanding.

    • Hi Alexandria, so nice to see you name pop up! Unfortunately I have no insight into the abrupt demise of the challenge and was as shocked as you were. Will definitely stay connected to the many friends I’ve made thru the WPC, present company included! Congrats on the impending retirement!

  4. These tree photos are poetically done. These quotes say so much of why we love trees…
    You have shared many, many beautiful photos and quotes via WPC with us. Thank you very much, Tina!

  5. Pingback: The (déjà vu) Last Post – Abrie dink hardop

    • Thanks for the ping back on your beautiful (if poorly quoting) post Abrie. What a nice way to say goodbye to the WPC. I may have to quote YOU in future posts 😊😊

  6. Once mor, Tina, your words and pictures encompass marvelling thoughts and allow us to be reminded of the good times and great people we’ve met over the years in which we participated in the WPC. Thank you!

      • Egrets are few and far between here, and so plentiful for you there. I saw 1 here last year (and on only 2 occasions) and none the year before. I wouldn’t begin to know which way to aim my camera if faced with a tree-full like yours. 😄 Best, Babsje

  7. Tina: I am all of the trees. Trees are my all time favorite and your weekly photos as well. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I can’t think of a favorite since they grow on me. No sad goodbyes. I leave you this poem: I think I shall never see. A poem as lovely as a tree…. Perpetua

    • Thank you Perpetua, one of my favorite poems. I grew up in his home town and every student in every class could recite the poem by heart, including yours truly 😊

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