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Exuberance is beauty. —William Blake

Only A Green Thing


I’ve stood near my neighbor’s Ponderosa pine tens of thousands of times—it’s close to our mailbox, on the other side of his fence. Over the years I’ve taken photos of this mature tree in a variety of weather, but never—until the other day—been satisfied with my effort.

For one, the background is a clutter of falling-down fence, outbuildings, and (in another neighbor’s yard) a number of vehicles. And the pine itself is somewhat awkward, its fat limbs spaced irregularly and draped with moss in varying lengths. But on this day, to my eye, everything lined up—morning’s shadows hid any background flaws, the moss came alive in the first light of the day, and sun rays slanted through a thin fog hanging precariously in the distant fir trees. Whether that last aspect was my missing element or not, I’ve finally made my photographic peace with the Ponderosa. 

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity…and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” —William Blake

Memories, Lake Windermere



Let thy West Wind sleep on
The lake; speak silence with thy glimmering eyes,
And wash the dusk with silver. —William Blake