"The real voyage of Discovery lies not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes"
-
Marcel Proust

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tree Silhouettes while Traveling Through Illinois


As in any book, there are stories to be cut, and we were sad to cut a few of our tree stories. Other landmarks fought for attention at the same spot or other stories ran beyond the boundaries of their mile. So, we thought we could “re-plant” this story on these cyber pages.

A chapter from “Reading the Landscape of America,” by May Theilgaard Watts and my love for sculpture inspired this story on tree silhouettes.

From the cutting room floor of the Illinois book:

Tree Silhouettes In the distance a row of trees punctuate the skyline with their branching silhouettes.  For half of the year these deciduous trees appear leafless, revealing the patterns of their weaving branches.  While some people may find winter and early spring trees “dead-looking”, others see beautiful black sculptures lining the hillsides on the highways. 
Different species of trees can be identified by their silhouettes.  For example, a weeping willow tree would be easy to identify by its drooping branches that cascade down like long hair. 


Massive Bur Oak trees left in open fields can sprawl horizontally with thick low limbs stretching wide over the plains. 



In contrast, Cottonwoods usually have a very tall straight trunk with few or no lower branches but with upper limbs that weave together vertically in lattice patterns.  These tall straight trunks were often used for canoes as trappers made their way down the Missouri River.



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