Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New life, old life

with 10 comments


The new life is a sycamore tree, Platanus occidentalis. Presumably the fallen trunk, which gleamed bright in the sunlight, is also from a sycamore, but I don’t know that for sure. What I do know is that the scene is from Guadalupe River State Park on September 29.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 11, 2016 at 4:49 AM

10 Responses

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  1. I always smile when I see this- there are downed trees in the pond I walk around and I marvel out how a tree cannot be stopped if it wants to go. Life from the dead


    October 11, 2016 at 5:55 AM

    • I’ve noticed how tenacious sycamore saplings can be at maintaining their roothold and thriving in tenuous places. More generally, we’ve all seen little plants that manage to get started in a hole or crack in a rock or sidewalk. Salience and resilience.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2016 at 7:13 AM

  2. What a fantastic photo! A metaphor for life.

    Maria Gianna Iannucci

    October 11, 2016 at 7:05 AM

  3. Oh Steve – what a beautiful photo. One I would most certainly have photographed for my own collection! 🙂
    For now – yours is my screensaver – thanks.

    Carina Simeon

    October 11, 2016 at 8:37 AM

    • Happy screensaver to you, Carina. Just outside the frame, three or four people were fishing in the river. I choose to be a fisher of images.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 11, 2016 at 8:45 AM

  4. It looks like a boat ready to set sail: either that, or a boat that’s run aground. Having your stern sticking up in the air isn’t best for a sailboat (although it’s perfectly acceptable for photographers from time to time). My eye wants to add two more sides, and create a ‘window’ through which to view the larger scene.


    October 12, 2016 at 6:02 AM

    • When it comes to setting sail, I’ll have to stay grounded and note that while the horizontal tree can pack its trunk with light, it can’t em-bark.

      I couldn’t go for a more panoramic take on this scene because outside the frame people were standing in the river and fishing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2016 at 9:08 AM

  5. Following up with the boat metaphor, it looks to me as if it’s the bow that’s rising above water level. All that’s missing to complete this image is one of those filter things that makes its stern and the scene behind it look like a race car in motion. But even without all this imaginary imagery, I too find myself always drawn to Phoenix-like new life from old.


    October 12, 2016 at 12:27 PM

    • You two will have to fight it out about whether that’s the stern or the bow that rises above the water. This time I was more literal and saw the white trunk only as a white trunk.

      Speaking of Phoenix, I may be passing through there is a week or so. If I do, I hope to see new life rising from the desert.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 12, 2016 at 3:18 PM

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