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corvi
corivax
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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
That time of year!

Very warm winter this year. The cherries on campus are blooming at least two weeks early. I do wish I had a better camera, or was more used to mine. Kinda dissatisfied with the photos this year. Maybe I will make a second expedition and take some pictures in the middle of the night.


The quad at the University of Washington.


I like how this sort of fades away to stylization, just random islands of light at the bottom.


They smell wonderful. Not strong, not really very flowery, but faintly sweet and kind of pale or silvery. A bit like ocean salt without the metallic undertones.


They make of light a three-dimensional thing. Normally we're used to light on things, in rough rectangular shapes on the ground or against the sides of buildings. But you can see light in space, here, track its footprints on every petal, how the wind moves through it, and how it curls and sifts and breathes.


They're wierd trees. Dream trees, like children draw before they learn that large branches come out of the gnarled trunks, and medium branches come out of large ones, and small from medium, and sticks from the small branches, and twigs and spurs from sticks, and leaves from only the finest of twigs. Before everything has a place and a purpose, we know these trees. Wraith-twisted, with leaf and blossom on the trunk, and twigs jutting fine and sharp as thorns from branches so large you cannot encircle them with both arms.


I think I like the out-of-place strangeness of the flowers on the trunk the best.


Ended up fooling around with india ink, water, newsprint. I've little of talent or skill for painting, but I enjoy it. By the time I was done, there were fallen cherry petals floating in the mug I was using for a water-dish, which I found neat enough to warrant a picture.

Comments

Lovely pictures.

They smell wonderful. Not strong, not really very flowery, but faintly sweet and kind of pale or silvery. A bit like ocean salt without the metallic undertones.

Huh. I never thought of flowery smells as being like ocean smells. I wonder... I like the way flowers smell, and I like ocean smells, but I don't like perfumes (for me) with either kind of smell. In the case of ocean smells, it's because they interact with my body chemistry to produce this "rotting seaweed" smell. Now I'm wondering if something similar, but milder, might happen with flower smells.

They're wierd trees. Dream trees, like children draw before they learn that large branches come out of the gnarled trunks, and medium branches come out of large ones, and small from medium, and sticks from the small branches, and twigs and spurs from sticks, and leaves from only the finest of twigs. Before everything has a place and a purpose, we know these trees. Wraith-twisted, with leaf and blossom on the trunk, and twigs jutting fine and sharp as thorns from branches so large you cannot encircle them with both arms.
I think I like the out-of-place strangeness of the flowers on the trunk the best.


I hope you get a chance to visit and photograph Australia sometime. We have trees just as weird as this :-).

Eucalypts are adapted to regularly being burnt, and for me it is a very special symbol of the power of life to see a blackened landscape, with new, colourful leaves emerging directly from the trunks.

Tree ferns and grass trees were both very strange to me when I first saw them.

Bunja pines meant I had to change my mental definition of "conifer" - they don't have needles, they have triangular spikes that vary in size along the stems, and remind me a bit of cactuses. Also, when they're young, they have the classic "christmas tree icon" triangular shape, but as they grow older, they get a dome-shaped top.

Bunjas are now my absolute favourite conifer. And I'm not the kind of person who has many absolute favourite anythings.

Argle. Remind me not to post before my brain's woken up. They're Bunya pines (sometimes even bunya-bunya).

Bonus points for being honest, and all, but I certainly wouldn't have known.

I obviously need to take a picture of the monkey-puzzle trees here, which are even wierder, though perhaps not so odd as the ones you mention. :) They have long windy tentacles covered in flat, pointy scales. Nothing that much resembles branches or leaves.

Are you an Australian native, or did you move there at some point?

Monkey-puzzle trees are in the same family as bunya - Araucaria. I don't know if bunya are weirder, but I think they're the prettier version of that kind of weird :-).

I moved to Australia when I was 11, from Denmark. So my default assumptions for trees were oak, beech, elm, ash, spruce, that kind of thing.

Danish trees' resource limitation is light. Australian trees' resource limitation is typically water. I find it so cool that one can learn to see the patterns that correspond to that.

Also, most Australian natives aren't deciduous, and instead of fall colours, you get new growth colours - the new leaves are often red or pink or purple before they get the green chlorophyll into them. Exactly backwards :-).

Pretty pictures...

I was told monkey-puzzles were evil and unlucky trees when I was growing up. Not sure why, apparently it's an odd bit of Cambridgeshire folklore. So do please put up some pictures of them...