Be/Longing: Among Trees

Any woods, but particularly my own bit of woods, feels peaceful and comforting to me. Just stepping into their company is quieting to body and mind. There is a type of longing, of wanting a connection with the earth and natural world that is satisfied for me by simply being in the woods, among trees.

These photographs come out of daily walks with my dog, each of us meandering throughout our twenty acre woods and environs. I follow this path or that one, making different walking patterns each day. For the past eight years, this has been a moving meditation as well as my visual source material. I’m out in all seasons and weather conditions and find that when I give the woods my attention they give me their magic.

The northern woods I walk in, mainly a regrowth of poplar, birch, red maple and conifers, were originally Ojibwe land. The soil is poor, a glacial mix of gravel and clay, so roots are shallow and weakly anchored. Such trees will always be prone to damage by drought, insects and windstorms. They are also healing from over a century of gravel mining and clear-cut logging. Now growing and gradually becoming a mature woods, they can appear scraggly, but are full of movement and light. There is beauty in this recovery.

I enter the woods to see what is happening, what the life and light within are pointing out. My images are portraits, singling out small areas to bring forth the presence and mystique of this intimate, damaged ecosystem.

This series is on-going.

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