Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tree - Song ? Treason ? Tree Son ? Reason ?

I will try to keep a long story short here. Last Saturday I had planned a photo shoot with the owner of a bright yellow 1970's Volkswagen Beetle, we were going to come to this spot on a dirt road through a vast field of colza (rape seed?), where I wanted to try a few pictures of the bright yellow Beetle against the backdrop of the brilliant yellow field of flowers, and be able to make a few remarks about certain creatures in nature being able to change colors and camouflage themselves for survival purposes. But it was not to be, the Beetle owner backed out, literally, half an hour before we were to start. Tough luck.
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So I decided to take a little stroll there, seeing as I had nothing better to do all of a sudden, and I headed up this track through the heavenly yellow, and into the woods beyond. And it was there in the woods that I stumbled on a few trees which I mentioned to Laurie over at Creating Pictures that I would post soon. . . In any case, regardless of being stood up for the VW shots, it was a lovely afternoon for a stroll in the woods. . .
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Those dazzling yellow fields of rape seed are really something this time of year in France. . .
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I had hardly gotten into the woods before I came face to face with this message wishing me "Bonne Chance" or "Good Luck". . . It was disappointing to see people had spray painted graffiti on the tree trunks here in these off the beaten track woods . . .
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And the "Good Luck" trees were not the only ones that had been decorated by dim witted dolts bearing spray paint . . . I kept on walking . . .
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A bit further on I came to an arch in magical green light . . .
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And near the arch above there was a bright red sign on a tree trunk warning "Chasse au Grand Gibier - Danger", or "Big Game Hunting in Progress - Beware". Now I don't know what that sign really meant, because the biggest game in these parts is maybe a deer or a wild boar. . . when I think of "Big Game" I tend to think of elephants, rhinoceri, or water buffalo. . . I was expecting to see a herd of wildebeest behind the next tree.
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But saving the best for last, this is the photo I really wanted to share . . . deep in that stretch of woods there was a tree on which someone had nailed a metal sign long ago, and the tree had clearly decided to devour the offending bit of metal. . . I cautiously gave that tree a wide berth, lest it should think that I looked tasty too, and decide to nibble on one of the race of spray painting lunatics as dessert after finishing off the hunting sign . . . One never knows what one may find when venturing into a strange forest. And I saw not a single squirrel. . . (which is not in any way, shape, or form supposed to indicate that you should at the earliest opportunity go look at the blog of the Realm of the Lone Grey Squirrel . . . no, I did not say that at all . . . !)
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20 comments:

wcs said...

Rhinoceri?

Lovely images!

Alex said...

Hi Owen, Really cool shots. The tree devouring the sign that's weird man.
I'm trying to work out how this happened. Keep em coming Owen. Will be back soon.

Laurie said...

Inspiring shoot, Owen. Raises lots of questions in my imagination. There are dozens of different scenarios to be conjured up, here. Wow!

You inspired me to do a quick bit of research and I have just posted a piece on Iron eating trees!

Laurie

Steve said...

Gorgeous green and youthful yellows... a real tonic for a grim grey morning here in the UK!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Beautiful photos. Thanks for taking us along on your stroll in the forest. I don't know what squirrels you have but the Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) has not made it to mainland Europe yet. You can see my cousins in UK though.

Delwyn said...

Owen,
Thank you for the bolts of yellow and the beautiful green light.
The hungry tree also looks like an English letter box accepting a metal letter...

Happy Days

Loulou said...

This is the tree day apparently, funny don't you think?
On the Gange bank, there was no tree I am afraid but definitely so many things else, source of inspiration.

Despite your saying and certainly the common sense ("save the Earth", "protect Mother nature"), I did like the graffitis on the trees, or when the Urban meets Nature...
I know I know, it is not good for our forest etc etc. Mea Culpa.

Have a good we
Loulou

cieldequimper said...

Quelle belle invitation à une promenade (par ce temps magnifique, printanier à souhait, le joli mois de mai...)

English Rider said...

The hunting sign was to warn you that every year people are shot in the woods by hunters who go out before the butt-crack of dawn to "hide" in the woods. Whilst waiting for their prey they swig from a variety of cognac, calvados, vieux marc, depending on the region. Anything that moves is in deadly danger. During hunting season you should whistle or hum wherever you go. (Shades of Winnie the Pooh, tiddly-dum). These hunters often manage to shoot one another, or their own dogs. You will notice hunting dogs wearing bells for that reason.
You might as well go picnic in a mine field.

joo said...

Rape seed fields are stunning - the colour and the smell of honey!!! I do really love them. It''s a very popular view here this time of year.
As for forest, well, I don't like graffiti on the trees but the forest looks lovely.

Margaret Pangert said...

I bow to everyone else! Steve and Delwyn noted the stunning combination of green and yellow (which according to Goethe's Theory of Colour is not a harmonious combination). And how can you not feel springtime when you see lime-green foliage behind the balanced arch? In a month it will be much darker. And finally, English Rider, that was a big eye opener: I was visualizing guys with 22's scouting out little birds such as quail and pheasant (game birds?) when I saw the word gibier. However, grand gibier just makes me think of deer and small black bears. So thanks.

Margaret Pangert said...

ANd Delwyn, that does look like a mailbox for a rabbit living there. It's even been painted in pastels!

jeff34 said...

Salut Owen !
Il y avait tellement d'embouteillages que j'arrive à peine !
Tes photos sont d'un romantisme baroque... Brrrr ! Quelle forêt !
La photo qui est toute en bas est très évocatrice... sortie de "saw 3" ou "4"...! Mais tu as de ces promenades... et tu donnes la main à qui ?

Au fait, hier tu nous pondu quoi ? Tu souhaites refaire la révolution... ! Je te le dis Owen, crois-tu que les consciences soient éveillées...? Poses-toi la question ! Tous menés comme dans une secte... Big Brother comme le suggère "Art of the city"...

Ciao Amigo ! ( je te trouve trop sage en ce moment...! Inquiétant ! Qu'es-tu allé faire dans cette forêt... avec des poupées de la brocante de l'autre jour ?...

ladydi said...

The sign eating tree puts me in mind of Sesame Street's
Cookie Monster. You find some amazing shots with your trusty camera. Love the field of yellow. If we lived closer I would provide my yellow
Tracker for your photo session.

Owen said...

LadyDi, thanks for the offer, and good idea, I think I'll take some cookies the next time to appease the hungry tree...

Jeff, je vois bien que tu as découvert "Art Of The City"... il est fort comme photographe, n'est pas... sinon, pas sage, juste débordé au boulot... c'est metro, boulot, blogo, dodo, en ce moment.

Hi Margaret; I'm going to stake the place out to see if I can catch the rabbit collecting his mail, or see if I can catch the tree actually chewing or making any other suspicious moves ! :-D

Joo, so France is not the only place with dazzling yellow fields?

English R, believe me I was terrified once I realized I was in a hunting area... ran back to the car to fetch my bullet proof vest and can of buffalo repellent ! I was wondering what was whistling by my ears !

Ciel, tu es invitée à tout moment !

Loulou, guess it was tree day, they were coming out of the woodwork... if I see any other graffiti decorated trees anywhere I will be sure to photograph them for you... this was a first for me.

Delwyn, I'm sure it was a letter someone tried to mail about 50 years ago, but it got stuck... glad you like those bolts of light

Lone Grey,
You were in mind as I did this forest piece, I was sure you would like the tree pictures, and were no doubt scampering up and down every trunk and leaping merrily from branch to branch !

Steve, what was that, "tonic for a gin grey morning" ? Sometimes a good stiff gin and tonic can do a world of good. Just one, mind you...

Laurie, am still floored by your unbelievable iron eating tree finds ! You get a gold star today for "Best Blog Related Research" !

Alex, left a note at your place...

WCS ; what ? Isn't rhinoceri the plural of rhinocerous ? Thought I remembered that from The Bad Child's Book of Beasts, or some such... thanks for dropping in !

And to all of you, I am astounded every day by the depth and warmth and raw humour in all your responses ; it never ceases to amaze me how peoples' minds work, and the quantum leaps of magnificent radiance you are capable of... come back by for coffee anytime, although English, we do have some vieux marc, if that's what you prefer !

jeff34 said...

Et voilà à quoi tu passes tes week-end...! Tu défigures la nature pour la photographier et la poster dans "blogger"...! Et tu trouves que c'est rigolo toi ? Moi pas ! Quel boulot !...
Ce ne serait pas un complot !?!...

C.a. a.i.o !

Lydia said...

O, I can tell I'm going to be a huge fan of your blog, Owen. Thanks for visiting mine and leaving a comment so I could find you.
Really loved this walk in the countryside with you.

Owen said...

Hi Lydia ! Welcome ! The more the merrier...

Jeff, ahhh, tu as tout pigé, toi. Bien sûr j'ai tout fabriqué... tu aurais dû voir ce que j'ai dû faire pour que cet arbre finisse par avaler ce panneau... et encore, il l'a recraché en plus, l'ingrat difficile...
Ciao !

Melissa Barrett-Traister said...

Excellent photos!!!!
I'm an avid fan of trees,and this just made me beam.

Even though your original plan didn't end up happening,it seems that a lot of good came from that day!!!!

Thanks for sharing,and I look forward to reading more of your blogs in the future!!!:)

Melissa

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

Very interesting, creepy, and funny, all at the same time (that tree devouring the sign).
My favorite subject in photography are the trees, and then nature in general.
David