Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another unconventional view of a national monument

with 20 comments

On the morning of May 30th, two days before bedeviling Devil’s Tower, we’d rushed to Mt. Rushmore, where along with more-conventional pictures I took this one looking up at a portion of the famous monument from a cleft between boulders.

But this is a nature photography blog, so here, likewise from Mt. Rushmore, is the different yet somehow similar white of a truncated trunk sculpted by nature rather than people.

Standing Tree Trunk Remains White and Broken 2538B

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 13, 2017 at 5:00 AM

20 Responses

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  1. The images are great, but your clever use of verb forms to mirror the nouns was equally wonderful and had me chuckling as I read your posting. My favorite was probably “truncated trunk,” though “bedeviling” and “rushed” were pretty good too.

    Mike Powell

    July 13, 2017 at 5:15 AM

    • I appreciate your noticing commenting on that, Mike. When it comes to words, fun is fundamental.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 13, 2017 at 6:38 AM

  2. Both are magnificent.


    July 13, 2017 at 5:30 AM

  3. Speaking of fun, that single eye peeking out from among the trees is, for me, the best part of the first photo. And while the color is one link between the photos, the striations on the trunk and those at the bottom of the monument are strikingly similar.

    There’s a Texas connection to the construction of Mt. Rushmore, too. Lincoln Borglum, former resident of Beeville and son of Mt. Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum, carved the statue of Our Lady of Loreto for Goliad’s Presidio chapel, as well as working on Mt. Rushmore with his father.


    July 13, 2017 at 7:16 AM

  4. I like both of these images. Such a cool shot of the sculpture, and the wind sculpted tree just knocks me out.


    July 13, 2017 at 8:32 AM

  5. That tree is an example of nature’s artistry. Nicely spied.


    July 13, 2017 at 9:52 AM

  6. Nice Steve! Like the compositions. Dark diagonals in the first sort of drawing your eye up or down to the center, depending on which side you start. And the subtle “dark” tree to the left, adding an almost “shadow tree” to the right.

    Somehow I “see” images differently than most. I enjoy your posts!

    Reed Andariese

    July 13, 2017 at 8:13 PM

    • And I enjoy your thoughtful approach to photographs. There’s nothing wrong with seeing images differently: uniqueness is a good thing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 13, 2017 at 9:28 PM

  7. Love your framing of dear old George (how we miss his leadership today), and the second photograph makes for a nice pairing.

    Susan Scheid

    July 15, 2017 at 7:30 AM

    • At ourdocuments.gov I found this:

      “In his farewell Presidential address, George Washington advised American citizens to view themselves as a cohesive unit and avoid political parties and issued a special warning to be wary of attachments and entanglements with other nations.

      “In early 1796, President George Washington decided not to seek reelection for a third term and began drafting this farewell address to the American people. The address went through numerous drafts, in large part due to suggestions made by Alexander Hamilton.

      “In the 32-page handwritten address, Washington urged Americans to avoid excessive political party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances with other nations.

      “The address was printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796. Washington’s final manuscript is at The New York Public Library.”

      Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for an adversarial party system to become entrenched.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 15, 2017 at 7:47 AM

  8. Nature is a wonderful thing .. but that sure is a great shot of the monument 😄


    July 19, 2017 at 1:22 PM

  9. […] a post a couple of weeks ago you saw the naturally sculpted remains of a tree that had resonances of the carved rocks at Mt. Rushmore. Elsewhere at the national monument the resemblance went the other way. As I see it, this […]

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