This breathtaking photograph was done by Alfred Eisenstaedt in 1947 and is named “Trees in Snow, St. Moritz.”
I know it’s out of season, but I couldn’t resist it. It is the type of photo and the type of landscape that simply mesmerizes me. The starkness of the black on white, the wonderful whorled angles of the branches, and the sharp contrast between shadow and light all play together in a beauty that only a God could create.
Why is it that trees are more dramatic when leafless? They seem that way to me anyway, I guess because only in the winter can you see the incredible play of nature on the shape and twining of the branches. Each was shaped along it’s length by wind and weather. A brush against a limb here, and a branch recoils and goes around, up or away from the other. I can’t tell from this photo whether this was an unexpected snow or not. The tree seems to have some foliage, albeit it is covered.
Not apropos of this certainly, but as I was sitting at the top of my hill this morning, nearing the end of my walk, I pondered the insects traveling around me. I can get quite immersed in them some days. They seem entirely purposeful, yet if you watch, they often retrace, double back and otherwise move in ways that suggest random movement. I wonder as I watch the many centipedal ones, are they the ones I saw yesterday?
This always brings me to the remembrance of times I have laid flat on the ground, (even as a an adult, I might say) and looked at the world of the small. It is a busy place indeed. Lots of ants and other small insects too small to be seen from a standing or sitting position, suddenly appear and you realize that another world is going on here, one that we barely know of. A similar experience occurs in later summer, now approaching, when the night is a cacophony of sound. Another whole living is going on at night while we sleep.
What always seems incongruous to me is that for their size, most of these little animals seem to move great distances in a short time. I wish I could. And of course, I realize that I must every day, kill so many just walking around. Of this I am largely unaware. I am aware of course of killing mosquitoes with a vengeance and I have a war on flies too. I kill them quite gleefully and with great satisfaction. “There you go, you torturer!” I exclaim, as I deal the coup de grace with swatter or hand. And I don’t feel the least bit merciful either. But the little ones, who don’t bother me and I kill inadvertently, those I feel bad about.
The same is true to one degree or another about other reptilian things. I mourn not the frog or toad, the snake or other “other” animal that dies at the hands of my dogs or cats. I mourn the rabbit and squirrel, the coon and woodchuck that does however. Furriness makes a difference, and I don’t know why that is so, but I know that it is. I carry this over to nature shows. I don’t mind seeing the fish being eaten by a larger predator, but I bemoan the poor seal killed by the orca. I turn away as the lioness takes down the gazelle.
It has something to do with big eyes I think, which remind us of human babies? Is that a good enough reason to make this distinction in my empathy? I think not, but I do it anyhow. I have only so much energy to expend in improving myself as a human. Better to keep working on not wanting to physically throttle fundamentalists or other “wrong” thinking people, no time to reform my attitude about reptiles today.
If you are wondering what this has to do with the tree pictured above, the answer is nothing. It’s my blog and I’ll digress if I want to. So there. I can neglect logic if I choose, and you can just reform your attitude if you don’t like it!! Well, I’m having a lovely day, and I hope you are too. See ya!