Madrones in the Abstract V (August 2020)

Natural processes create a seemingly infinite variety of abstract patterns in and on the bark of the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Southwest Oregon’s signature tree. So, from the heated, sweaty embrace of high summer, here are more selected images from the bark of these endlessly fascinating trees.

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The Humble Leaf (August 2020)

It’s August now. Deep summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. The temperature is up and the humidity is down. And the sharp, old campfire tang of wildfire smoke drifts in the air. Extensive hiking has been put on hold. But there’s always time for the Forest. There, a reasonably comfortable loop hike can be hewn from an early start and a judicious choice of trails. And so it was. This time out, I started noticing the fallen leaves on the trail. Just leaves. And dead ones at that. Yet, in life, they busily inhaled carbon dioxide (of which there is now too much), generously exhaled oxygen (if you’re still breathing, thank a leaf), and offered cool shade from the incandescent sun. In death, they’ll return nutrients to the forest floor and add their carbon to one of our planet’s great biogeochemical cycles. Their colorful deaths will mark the end of one season and their green rebirth will signal the start of another. Raking them up provides healthful exercise. They make good compost. All this from leaves. Just humble little leaves. Hard to imagine life without them…

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Little Things (May 2020)

“There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.”

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
California Ground-Cone flowers
A Forget-Me-Not Moth caterpillar feeds on Great Hound’s Tongue flowers
Mountain Strawberry
Little claws
Slender-Tubed Iris
Bark
Tolmie’s Pussy Ears (a Spring favorite)
Squiggles
Striped Coral-Root (with tiny gnat – on second pedal up on right)
Calypso (Fairy Slipper) Orchid (with small, but fierce, crab spider – beneath first pedal on left)
New beginnings…
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Fall Comes to the Forest (October 2019)

 Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Emily Brontë
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Madrones in the Abstract IV (April 2019)

Natural processes create a seemingly infinite variety of abstract patterns in and on the bark of the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Southern Oregon’s signature tree. So, as winter starts being pushed aside by the warm caresses of Spring, here are more images selected from the bark of these endlessly fascinating trees.

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Madrones in the Abstract III (January 2019)

Natural processes create a seemingly infinite variety of abstract patterns in and on the bark of the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Southern Oregon’s signature tree. So, as another round of winter weather (with snow! 😀 ) closes in on us, here are more images selected from the bark of these endlessly fascinating trees.

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Madrones in the Abstract II (November 2018)

More of the abstract artistry of the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), Southern Oregon’s signature tree. Natural processes create a seemingly infinite variety of abstract images in and on their bark.  Hence one more set of images from the bark of these endlessly fascinating trees.

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Madrones in the Abstract I (November 2018)

Pacific Madrone Arbutus menziesii Southern Oregon

There are probably few trees (with the possible exception of the Douglas fir) that are more strongly identified with Southern Oregon than the Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii). This tree is native to the western coast of North America between British Columbia and California, but is mainly found around Puget Sound and in the Oregon and California Coast Ranges. They are also scattered on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and Cascades.

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Bombus on Grasses 11-Jun-2018

Roxy Ann Prescott Park Medford Oregon
I got this…

We were on an exercise hike around Roxy Ann Peak in Prescott Park when we came upon this bumblebee (Bombus sp.) gripped between two stalks of grass. The wind was oscillating the stalks in different directions, pulling and pushing the bee like some kind of deranged exercise machine. So much for a relaxing break from pollinator duty. Maybe yoga the next time?

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Mountains (August 2017)

But I shall go down from this airy space,
this swift white peace, this stinging exultation.
And time will close about me,
and my soul stir to the rhythm of the daily round.
Yet, having known, life will not press so close,
and always I shall feel time ravel thin about me;
For once I stood
In the white windy presence of eternity.

Eunice Tietjens (1917)

Patrick Y. Wang (1977 – 2005)
Andrea “Andy” Basque (1963 – 2008)


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