The day in winter: Tree fractals, part 3

March 10, 2011

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My online friends might have noticed that I’ve been obsessing over winter’s bare trees in the last week or so. I have become fascinated with imagining the root system underground that’s comparable to the naked branches I see reaching toward the steel grey winter sky. I just think these trees are stunningly gorgeous in their seeming randomness that’s actually well-behaved fractal growth.

Large trees and small trees, they all inspire me with awe. These urban trees quite often are given very precise plots in which to grow, defined by the 3-foot by 3-foot metal grates that mark their entrance into the earth. But Mother Nature endows them with persistence.

Here is my tribute to these wonderful plant creatures. They all exist within the linear mile and three quarters between my office in the heart of downtown and my home neighborhood that’s only slightly less in the thick of things.

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The tree at the very top and the tree directly above are, in fact, the same tree. I thought the vertical shot had nice composition, but the horizontal photo really shows off the branches.

All of the trees have their own personalities. The ones below I also found particularly appealing and beautiful. Each shows its own history. Maybe it has fortunate wind blockage from nearby buildings and can grow straight. Maybe it doesn’t and lists to one side. Maybe it’s in a healthy location and has grown an even crown of branches. Maybe it has to eke out a living on a dirty, busy, polluted corner and makes gasping grabs toward the sun.

If you are in a deciduous winter, go outside and revel in the beauty that has yet again been provided you by this planet we live on.

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Photos were shot as dusk approached with my iPhone 4 and processed with Camera+ app, using the Ansel filter and thin black border, because today’s mission was to share a black and white photo.

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