an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

Posts tagged “trees

As The Crow Flies

black and white photo of crow taking off from tree
black and white photo of crow taking off from tree

As The Crow Flies

 

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Venus de Milo in a Tree

bare tree
bare tree

Venus de Milo in a Tree

A neighbor had a large maple “pruned” down to the…bare essentials.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Don’t Be Shy

colored leaves
colored leaves

Don’t Be Shy

One pear leaf had a different idea from all the rest, but was a little shy about showing off.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Tangled

ivy tangled on branch
ivy tangled on branch

Tangled

Years of English ivy strangling the branches of my old, old maple tree, to the point they brought down a branch.

Do you see figures in this?

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Poem for Saturday: Like a Tree

painting of birch trees

Birches 1: Autumn Showers, oil pastel, 22″ x 16″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Autumn has arrived as usual, and each day the colors of the season appear in new places. Here in Western Pennsylvania with our miles and miles of tree-covered hills, more brilliant reds and yellows stand among the deep olive green as if someone had stippled a single wide brush stroke here and there on the hillside, just for effect. Because I am compelled to photograph and paint these colors I know that while we see some colors even in September, the leaves don’t begin to turn in earnest, in that big wave of change, until mid-October, yet many hillsides are already halfway there. This year our warm and wet summer is said to produce a spectacular autumn leaf show.

Because I paint Western Pennsylvania, nearly every one of my landscape paintings contains a tree, usually more than one, and often the trees themselves are the subjects; I have included a slideshow of a number of paintings, below. I have gigabytes of photos of trees, just for the trees’ sake, not to mention ones where the trees are the supporting cast. The other day I ran an errand entirely on winding back roads so that I could drive 10 miles per hour and photograph the beauty unfolding at every turn, even if they weren’t particularly good photos; the change had come so quickly that I was completely distracted and it was either that or have someone drive me or I’d wreck my car.

pencil sketch of doves in bare branches

Biding Time, pencil and watercolor, 14.5″ x 20.5″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Above, “Biding Time”, a pencil drawing of the old maple tree that guards my house, with resident mourning doves. This maple has guarded this house for over 60 years, and me for the past 23. It bears the scars of storms and age, hollow to the ground, fragile now, yet it is a part of my life each moment I am here, from my bedroom first thing in the morning to the course of the day outside my office window. Drawing this, in detail, in pencil, took several weeks, working a square inch or two in an hour or so and I got to know the tree so well; the leaves are lovely, but the trunk and branches tell the true story. I added very slight watercolor washes to show the bird’s breast tarnish and the contrast of blue on the upper feathers, and the slight gather of moss on the tree branch, all to give it a bit of dimension.

I think of the trees around me as I think of my friends, those constant presences that are more a part of us than we know. They inspired this poem.

Like a Tree

To live my life like a tree,
to grow steadily from small beginnings,
fervently when possible, and quietly adapt when necessary,
stand in peace and harmony with my neighbors,
bear my fruit appropriately,
bring shelter and comfort to others indiscriminately,
and when my season is over
graciously give my gift to the earth
for the benefit of myself and all around me,
and without fear
patiently wait for my moment to return
in spring.

poem © 2000 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Enjoy a slideshow of a number of my paintings including trees in all seasons and states of being, and media from pencil to acrylic paint. You can find all of these paintings, originals or prints, on my website in Landscapes and My Home Town, and in my Etsy shop.

Read the rest of the poetry from my first ever poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, in 2007 entitled Paths I Have Walked.

poetry book

Paths I Have Walked, collected poems.

About Art of the Watershed and the Collected Poems

A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord,” said Henry David Thoreau in Walden, his paradox of exploring a small town and its surroundings teaching him as much about human life and the interactions of nature as if he had traveled rare and exotic places about the globe.

I’d love to paint faraway exotic places, but in the interests of time I stay close to home for my hiking, bicycling, canoeing, walking and painting excursions, that being the valley where the Lower Chartiers Creek flows.

I’ve seen some exquisite sights on my adventures, and committed them to various media. The most moving are the ones I’ve chosen to paint large and in detail so that I might convey at least a portion of the grandeur that moved me beyond awe to action, sharing the places right around us though most people would never see them. Thus was born the series offering an image indicative of the watershed in each season.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to fi nd my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.

And visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.

Visit my website to see the full set of paintings included in the “Art of the Watershed” series.


Poem for a Rainy Day: The World Upside Down

image inside drop of rainwater
image inside drop of rainwater

The World Upside Down

The World Upside Down

In the misty turn of a rainy afternoon

a single, ponderous drop of rainwater hangs tenuously from the curved tip of a leaf

holding within the world turned upside down

and a moment later falls into eternity.

. . . . . . .

If you look closely you’ll see the maple trees at the edge of my neighbor’s yard upside down inside the droplet.

The World Upside Down ©2011 Bernadette E. Kazmarski

See more photos of rainy days.

Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.


poetry bookPaths I Have Walked, collected poems.

I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry

Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski

FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA

People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning.

Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings.

Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way.

All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it.

Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”.

$8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class).

You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.


Wild Black Cherry

wild black cherry
wild black cherry

Wild Black Cherry in bloom

No doubt you’ve heard of Wild Black Cherry flavoring for everything from cough syrup to chewing gum. Well, this is what it looks like—in bloom. For just a few days each year millions of tiny, nearly perfectly round white petals fall like snow all over my yard and any part of the neighborhood they can reach.

wild black cherry

millions of petals on everything

All these flowers produce tiny sour little cherries which later fall all over my car, and birds have their way with the cherries and my car as well. The tree is basically considered a weed since it grows in waste places—and my yard could certainly have been considered a waste place when I moved in here—but I would not give it up unless it became unsafe. This tree was about one-quarter its present size, but I learned what it was and also learned that the berries are favorites of many fruit-eating birds, and ants and other insects live under the bark to be jostled out all winter long by woodpeckers.

woodpecker hammering on branch

The Woodpecker’s Ball

The tree is such a haven for birds, I could never consider giving it up, though the branches grow fragile as they get older, and sometimes fall in storms.

wild black cherry

Just the top of the tree.

I’ve used the juice from the fruit to make juice, jelly and wine, but it’s actually the bark that has the medical properties that makes it such an effective cough suppresant—yes, that’s why cough drops and cough syrup are flavored with wild black cherry. Steeping, not boiling, the inner bark releases a multi-medicinal compound that is anti-tussive and often a mild sedative, though it’s a dangerous dance because part of the medicinal substance released is related to and extracted from the cyanide naturally occurring in the tree’s bark. Native Americans used the berries in their pemmican and drank tea made from the bark for a variety of conditions. I managed to make cough syrup from it and used it, and survived.

While regular cherry trees have lovely blossoms, I’ve often wondered if the “cherries hung with snow” which he rode off to see in the woods were actually wild black cherries in A.E. Housman’s poem “Loveliest of Trees”.

wild black cherry

Closeup of blossoms


Pear Blossoms

pear blossoms

Pear Blossoms

Finally my pear tree is blooming. the blossoms are actually pure white, but I liked this creamy tone in dappled sun, early.


Ready to Burst

photo of maple tree buds
photo of maple tree buds

Ready to Burst

The leaf buds on my silver maple trees are just ready to burst open, especially in the brief clear spot we had this morning.


The Old Catalpa

bare tree in sunlight
bare tree in sunlight

The Old Catalpa

The deep angle of this brilliant sun as it illuminates the landscape bare of leaves can make the world we know look new and strange. This friendly streamside catalpa, normally covered with huge languid heart-shaped leaves reveals a somewhat human structure and a dense network of tiny branches looking vaguely gothic as the sunlight wraps itself around each twig. In the background is a footbridge and a limestone cliff wall. The colors in this photo are exactly as the camera recorded them, no manipulations at all.


Aliens Have Landed

gray tree trunk with eyes
gray tree trunk with eyes

We are Watching You

What is this? Are those eyes in wrinkled skin?

It’s funny when you take things out of context that a familiar item can appear to be something else entirely. And when the leaves fall from the trees and suddenly you see the eyes in the bark of the silver maple you’ve walked past every day.


Birch Bark, 2011

photo of birch bark
photo of birch bark

Birch Bark

Now that the leaves have fallen I get a clear view of the bark on my river birch, lit by late afternoon sun.


Sunset With Twisted Trees

sunset with twisted trees
sunset with twisted trees

Sunset With Twisted Trees

Suddenly, the trees are bare. The framework of stark and wandering branches which had faithfully held the leaves since spring is revealed to be as interesting as the tree in full leaf.

Early winter sunsets are breathtaking.


Blue By Mistake

blue leaves

Blue By Mistake

This was intended to be a photo of grape leaves wonderfully rich in autumnal golds and olives, washed in morning sun with just a few pendant raindrops like gems hanging on the tips of the leaves, and it was to be entitled, “Last Night’s Raindrops”.

However, I left my camera on totally inappropriate settings, intended for low-light photography and filtering out incandescent light.

But this is lovely in its own right, ghostly, mysterious, the leaves appearing to be mirror images as odd angles to each other, one in the light, one in the dark.

There are definitely mistakes, but this is not one of them.


October Rain, 2011

raindrops on leaves
raindrops on leaves

October Rain.

Water droplets sit on colored leaves. It was indeed very rainy, but the colors in this photo are the classic autumn harvest colors as well.


Autumn, 2011

autumn hillside
autumn hillside

Autumn

A hillside suddenly blazes with color.

Everything started with a few yellow leaves, then an orange tinge flickered, but I was lost when the red burst upon the trees.

I didn’t go anywhere special, this was just on my way to a printer where I drive frequently. A sight like this can nearly make you wreck your car if you don’t prepare for it.


Poem for Sunday: Like a Tree

painting of birch trees
painting of birch trees

Birches 1: Autumn Showers, oil pastel, 22″ x 16″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Autumn has arrived as usual, but the colors of the season are arriving earlier than is typical. Here in Western Pennsylvania with our miles and miles of tree-covered hills, more brilliant reds and yellows stand among the deep olive green as if someone had stippled a single wide brush stroke here and there on the hillside, just for effect. Because I am compelled to photograph and paint these colors I know that while we see some colors even in September, the leaves don’t begin to turn in earnest, in that big wave of change, until mid-October, yet many hillsides are already halfway there.

Because I paint Western Pennsylvania, nearly every one of my landscape paintings contains a tree, usually more than one, and often the trees themselves are the subjects; I have included a slideshow of a number of paintings, below. I have gigabytes of photos of trees, just for the trees’ sake, not to mention ones where the trees are the supporting cast. The other day I ran an errand entirely on winding back roads so that I could drive 10 miles per hour and photograph the beauty unfolding at every turn, even if they weren’t particularly good photos; the change had come so quickly that I was completely distracted and it was either that or have someone drive me or I’d wreck my car.

I had intended to take some time today to hit the trail on my bike with my camera and art materials and really wanted to paint and come home with something new; alas, it is raining, so I will share this instead.

pencil sketch of doves in bare branches

Biding Time, pencil and watercolor, 14.5″ x 20.5″ © B.E. Kazmarski

Above, “Biding Time”, a pencil drawing of the old maple tree that guards my house, with resident mourning doves. This maple has guarded this house for over 60 years, and me for the past 22. It bears the scars of storms and age, hollow to the ground, fragile now, yet I see it multiple times every day, from my bedroom first thing in the morning to the course of the day outside my office window. Drawing this, in detail, in pencil, took several weeks, working a square inch or two in an hour or so and I got to know the tree so well; the leaves are lovely, but the trunk and branches tell the true story. I added very slight watercolor washes to show the bird’s breast tarnish and the contrast of blue on the upper feathers, and the slight gather of moss on the tree branch, all to give it a bit of dimension.

I think of the trees around me as I think of my friends, those constant presences that are more a part of us than we know. They inspired this poem.

LIKE A TREE
July 5, 2000

To live my life like a tree,
to grow steadily from small beginnings,
fervently when possible, and quietly adapt when necessary,
stand in peace and harmony with my neighbors,
bear my fruit appropriately,
bring shelter and comfort to others indiscriminately,
and when my season is over
graciously give my gift to the earth
for the benefit of myself and all around me,
and without fear
patiently wait for my moment to return
in spring.

poem © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Enjoy a slideshow of a number of my paintings including trees in all seasons and states of being, and media from pencil to acrylic paint. You can find all of these paintings, originals or prints, on my website in Landscapes and My Home Town, and in my Etsy shop.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read the rest of the poetry from my first ever poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, in 2007 entitled Paths I Have Walked.

poetry book

Paths I Have Walked, collected poems.

About Art of the Watershed and the Collected Poems

A series of seasonal images of the Lower Chartiers Watershed

“I have travelled a good deal in Concord,” said Henry David Thoreau in Walden, his paradox of exploring a small town and its surroundings teaching him as much about human life and the interactions of nature as if he had traveled rare and exotic places about the globe.

I’d love to paint faraway exotic places, but in the interests of time I stay close to home for my hiking, bicycling, canoeing, walking and painting excursions, that being the valley where the Lower Chartiers Creek flows.

I’ve seen some exquisite sights on my adventures, and committed them to various media. The most moving are the ones I’ve chosen to paint large and in detail so that I might convey at least a portion of the grandeur that moved me beyond awe to action, sharing the places right around us though most people would never see them. Thus was born the series offering an image indicative of the watershed in each season.

About the books and the poetry readings

My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh.

In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to fi nd my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers.

My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. Each year I am invited back to read my poetry and exhibit my artwork. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor.

And visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked.

Visit my website to see the full set of paintings included in the “Art of the Watershed” series.


Before the Change, 2010

Before the Change
photo of leaves overhead

Before the Change

In the last days before the leaves begin to blaze with fall color, remember them in other ways, a gentle patterned arch high overhead, catching the breezes, whispering among each other.


At Sunset in the Woods, 2010

photo of sun through leaves

In the Woods at Sunset

Sometimes camera shots abstract themselves. I was walking in the woods as the sun went down, and as the sun glowed brighter and brighter just over the horizon, it flared through the branches. I have an entire series of these, but this was my favorite.


Early Dawn

early dawn
early dawn

Early Dawn

Truly stunning, showing through the trees, the first light was vivid red. I thought for sure it meant it would rain today, but just a welcome overcast and cool.


The World Upside Down

image inside drop of rainwater

The World Upside Down

In the misty turn of a rainy afternoon

a single, ponderous drop of rainwater hangs tenuously from the curved tip of a leaf

holding within the world turned upside down

and a moment later falls into eternity.

If you look closely you’ll see the maple trees at the edge of my neighbor’s yard upside down inside the droplet.


Crabapple Cranberry

branch with blossoms

Crabapple blossoms.

Again, so many blossoms, so little time.

Crabapple trees seem to be one of the most popular spring-flowering trees, at least at older homes; newer varieties stay more compact and the fruit isn’t so “messy” as the good old-fashioned crabapple. When the sun’s been shining for days in the spring, you kind of expect something bright pink and frilly like this to emerge.

I love crabapples as well. I don’t eat them like little fruits, though there are a few varieties that are like tart, sweet little apples; rather I make pies and crisps and jelly with them. There’s nothing like a crabapple crisp in early autumn.


Apple Blossom Time

apple blossoms

Apple Blossom Time

So many blossoms, so little time.

Three old-fashioned apple trees stand at the corner of an office/warehouse building between Chartiers Creek and one line of railroad tracks. Not a place you’d expect to find three mature and beautiful apple trees planted in a triangle so that when they bloom they become a wall of blossoms. I finally found them in the morning light, which I knew would be best for where these trees are situated.

I love the deep pink of the blossoms while they wait to open, and the most delicate shade of pink when they have fully bloomed.


Blossoms at Night

Pear Trees at Night

Blossoms at Night

The pear trees along Main Street in Carnegie are blooming already. Here it looks as if each tree has its own inner light. The row of mature and well-shaped trees look airy and elegant against the turquoise dusk sky of a spring evening.