Waitin' for the Critter to Come
This old hollow cypress tree has been a favorite target of mine for years. Though it is off the beaten path, the tree is easy to find — southwest of Grider Field (the Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Municipal Airport) on Wilbur West Road and Ohio Street Pike where Bayou Bartholomew crosses the road. I have watched it for years, hoping that some sort of critter will pop his or her head above the precipice and strike a pose for a memorable photograph. That wish has yet to come true. And I have yet to throw in the towel — and will still look as long as I am able. Craggy and primitive as it may be, this scene says green better than most.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Pine Buff, Arkansas
It is the evening of November 24, year of our Lord 2013. Here in LA (lower Arkansas), it is colder than a well-digger’s keister in Montana. Our high was 32° F. today. My friends further north are reporting high winds and temperatures that make ours sound balmy. A great deal of our leaves have fallen, yielding the tan, crunchy carpet in our yard that I love and my wife despises . Given all that, it occurred to me that now would be a good time to look at some green as a reminder that these frigid conditions are temporary.
A Bayou Runs through It
The eyepiece on the Nikon was greasy with sweat before I finished shooting this large tractor pulling a land leveler off US Highway 79 between Altheimer and Wabbaseka, Arkansas. This field is typical of many in the Delta in that a small bayou runs through the field. The background greenery lines the bayou.
Laid Low by an Ill Wind
I am the center subject in this photograph. The purpose is not shameless self-promotion, but proportion. At the time of the shoot, I was the only object available with known measurements. I am 6’ 3” tall (down from 6’ 6,” I must add), and am 2 feet across the shoulders, give or take a standard deviation or two. That should give you an idea of the immensity of this 100-year-old-plus oak tree laying on its side in a friend’s yard. An ill storm put his majesty on the ground, making a temporary sea of green.
What's It Doin' There?
Though there is just a little green in this image, I believe it qualifies by the mystery of its presence. It is in a large cornfield in the suburbs of Cornerstone, Arkansas. Under normal circumstances, agri-business has little truck with trees in the midst of its fields. Surviving trees are normally left to mark an old home place, a grave, or other humanly significant reasons. I have made a number of inquiries as why this tree still stands and no explanation has been made. Perhaps all concerned have forgotten, and it is left alone because “it has always been there” — in this case, reason enough, because it looks cool.
Throw another log on the fire or raise the thermostat a degree — and be grateful that you have a warm place from which to observe Mother Nature doing her thing.
Cypress tree, Nikon D300, ISO 200, hand held (on a bridge), AF S Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VR, 1/60 @ f9; Land leveler, same camera, hand held, AF VR –Nikkor 80-400 f4.5-5.6, ISO 400, 1/400 @ f10; Tree on ground, Nikon D7100, ISO 200, tripod mount, AF S Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VR, 1/400 @ f10; Tree in field, Nikon D300, ISO 200, hand held, AF S Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 VR, 1/1600 @ f4.
See more green for relief at
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,
including this water tower shot
and another of the same in different light,
plus some more green from the hinterlands
of the Delta. It is a fine way to while away
a few minutes and get immediate relief from whatever is bugging you. No prescription required.