“Hello all my long lost friends, it is I, writing you from the comfort of my friend Ava’s computer, hopefully to explain why you haven’t heard from me for almost a week or so.  If you recall, a while back I was telling everyone I had a nasty little flu-bug that just didn’t want to go away.  Well a few nights ago the coughing had gotten so bad that I hadn’t slept in about two or three days, and since the only relief I could get was sitting up, I decided to answer some more email.  Things were going quite well, until I realized I had a mysterious electrical storm occurring approx. two inches in front of my face and that didn’t seem like something that should be happening in my living room.  I finally realized my face was on my laptop, which was apparently shorting out from the coffee it had just drank that I’m almost certain I made for me. Bad little computer I thought.  Getting everything settled down I then decided it would be a good idea to see a doctor, and doing so I discovered the flu-bug was actually some sort of bacterial lung infection that was messing with my lungs and since I’m and idiot, I had pushed myself to far and fallen asleep on my computer. Bad little computer user I thought.  The overall gist of the matter is that I am out one computer, and until I replace it, my posts, and my comments will be rather sparse. The good news is that the aliens did not get me after all. See you later.

Since Vancouver is basically a city in the middle of a rain-forest, you’ve probably noticed the abundance of trees in the photographs I take, and it most likely hasn’t caused you to take even a second glance. I mean Rain-forest=Trees, right? Right. What you may be a little curious about, is why I include so many DEAD trees in my photos, and that’s a fair question. With just the smallest amount of effort, I could put up a 100-picture gallery each and every day showing nothing but healthy, majestic, vibrant, young or old-growth trees. And you and I would both, I feel, be bored out of our minds in no time at all. The dead trees help to break up the monotony, as well as aid in setting off the beauty of the healthy trees surrounding them. But that is only one side of the coin.

Ever since I was a little boy, I always saw the beauty that is so often hidden in things that are broken, or deformed, or, yes, dead. I’m not saying there’s anything beautiful about dying, or death. What I am saying is that the first time I had a pet die on me, and I looked at this carcass that no longer had breath in it, and I remembered all the joy we had had together, along with the sorrow and the sadness at knowing we would never play together again, something about seeing that lifeless animal dragged a love so great from the deepest part of my heart, that it could only be described as beautiful, a final parting gift from my dog to me. And I was grateful for it, and it made me love, and protect, every other animal I ever owned, that much more because now I finally understood the true bond between an animal and a human.

When I see a tree stump in the woods, I don’t just see a piece of dead wood. I look for the areas of furthest decay where that stump is in the process of giving itself back to the forest, that in its decay new life might sprout. If you look closely, even in some of these pictures, you can’t tell where the stump stops, and the earth begins. I watch for fungus’ that move in and draw nourishment when the stump reaches a certain state (I separated a couple shots like that for a gallery on fungus’ and molds). Other plants often don’t even wait for the stump to completely decay before taking advantage of his presence, and you will see a few pictures here of a healthy young tree that has decided that it is going to use this massive stump as a ready-made foundation. It actually looks rather humorous right now, but the wisdom of his choice (as far as plants make choices) will be evident in 20 years from now when he is still around and much of his competition has fallen away. It’s a tree-eat-tree world in the rain-forest.

And there is still one other reason I photograph so much deadwood. If you read some of my earlier articles, you might remember that even though I have a strong desire to do so, I’ve never had any real artistic talent. This desire stems from the same ability to see beauty in so many things. Being able to see beauty, I’ve always wanted to recreate it, but drawing it, or painting it is apparently out of the question. Lately, however, a few people have encouraged me to photograph it, so that’s what I try to do. But that also means I have to photograph it where I find it, and lately, that’s been with Landscapes and in the woods (or Vancouver’s Greenspaces actually). And with that, I guess we’re ready for the gallery. With all the talking I’ve been doing today, the good news is it’s a pretty short gallery by my usual standards, approx. 24-25 shots, and all of deadwood.

And now I have to run, my doctor shall be waiting. Actually, I have lots of time, I just couldn’t think of anything else to say. Hey, I’m not Hemingway, I run out of words all the time. So stay healthy, and happy, and keep writing, and we’ll read you later.


22 thoughts on “Deadwood

  1. This is a great post! I find it very surprising that you don’t consider yourself to be someone with artistic talents! These photos, the composition, the thought and considerations that have gone into their creation suggest just the opposite.
    Something tells me that as you begin to claim your artistic gifts, the level of creativity at your disposal will only rise to new and unexpected heights! Well done.


  2. Great pictures!

    …And that’s for making me laugh this morning with your billboard find! Haha… Just a fling, hey! I knew there was something untrustworthy about that JELLY.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂


    1. In some TV show I saw a guy light a cigarette as he walked out of the Hotel Vancouver, take a little walk while he smoked it and talked to his buddy, and then put it out as the two of them walked into the Chalet at Whistler. According to the movie’s plot line, this all took place in France (NOT).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How on EARTH (pun intended) do you take such amazing shots of dead…wood? =) I got it. I appreciate the concerned eye (a loving photographer’s, at that) that searches for redemption in the decay.


    1. I truly do see more life in these pieces of wood than death, and I never fail to be amazed at the beauty of new life as it wins time and time again in its struggle to survive in the harshest locations imaginable. My only fear is that I may be boring my viewers who may not share my infatuation with seeing this timeless cycle as it is played out again and again each time the same in many ways, but always unique in others. Thanks for dropping by, and now that I’ve finally managed to replace my dead computer, I shall be making my own comeback very soon in the days to follow (just getting familiar with Windows 8.1). See you then.


  4. “I look for the areas of furthest decay where that stump is in the process of giving itself back to the forest, that in its decay new life might sprout. If you look closely, even in some of these pictures, you can’t tell where the stump stops, and the earth begins. ”
    -I like this. It does make for interesting photographs, too.


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