I live in the most forested state, which is fortunate because I love trees. With nearly 90 percent of Maine covered I have daily opportunities to appreciate their impressive forms, even if I’m terrible at identifying them. I’d wager that I’ve taken pictures of far more trees than anything else in my life, including my own children (who I can identify).
I saw the trees here this past weekend while skiing in the glades at our local mountain. Trees plus snow plus skiing make a winning combination for me. Still, I can feel torn between continuing through the snowy world as skis intend, or breaking up that flow, calling a halt, messing around with gloves to find my iPhone in the cold… I can wonder if I’m wasting my outdoor time.
Back at home, with the experience still fresh, I sometimes look at a picture and wonder: Why didn’t I take a little more time to compose it? Move a little right or left, up or down. Frame the ski tracks differently. How did I miss that branch in the way?
Well, probably because it was cold, I can’t tell what photos will look like from a reflective screen, my much-faster-skiing husband was waiting patiently below, and I’m not nimble enough to lie down on my stomach on a snow slope while wearing skis to take a picture. Though maybe I’ll give it a try.
Still, I love all of those trees. And I’m glad I brought more pictures of them home.
Even the ones I didn’t know about. The picture below was an accidental shot from earlier in the day. It’s an eerie take on a sunny day, and I keep going back to it and its unexpectedness. Ghost trees.
We take photos for innumerable and varying reasons, but when it comes down to it a photo should make you feel something.
It’s now a workday Monday, two days after I took these pictures. They aren’t perfect; they weren’t even all intentional. But now, looking at those glades of snow, the tracks of skis, the shapes of trees against sky, they take me back to those sublime spots. And that’s not a waste of time.