Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sandia Peak

with 19 comments

Late in the afternoon on June 12, 2017, we wound our way up to the top of Sandia Peak, a mountain that overlooks Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the top I couldn’t help noticing this deformed tree, perhaps a limber pine (Pinus flexilis). Years of prevailing winds had left the tree as a whole leaning away from the void and toward the ridge of the mountain. At the same time, one resistant branch somehow ended up bent in the opposite direction.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 16, 2018 at 4:56 AM

19 Responses

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  1. I love this intriguing “deformed” tree. Wind has an interesting way of creating these oddities.


    June 16, 2018 at 6:36 AM

    • You’ve made me wonder whether anyone has written a book about the ways in which wind sculpts plants.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2018 at 7:01 AM

  2. As soon as I saw this photo, I started laughing. Every time I look at it I laugh again, thanks to my tendency toward pareidolia. I see an adult tree sitting on the ground with its head inclined toward the young tree it’s holding, while it offers counsel or advice — perhaps on how to survive in such challenging conditions.


    June 16, 2018 at 7:00 AM

    • How do you think people would react if you told them you have pareidolic tendencies? Given your disposition, you may have missed a career working for Walt Disney or other organizations that make animated films for children.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2018 at 7:06 AM

  3. That is what is called resilience!! 🙂 😀


    June 16, 2018 at 7:18 AM

  4. It as though it has thrust one branch back for balance.


    June 16, 2018 at 9:05 AM

  5. I have always marveled at these windswept trees. At times it seems nearly impossible for anything to grow so crookedly.


    June 16, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    • And yet we keep finding examples of windswept trees in so many places. Let’s hear it for the artistic (if not destructive) effects of wind.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2018 at 11:02 PM

  6. Ok I wasn’t going to say anything, but Linda opened the door…I see a T-rex eating a big stalk of broccoli. And his body language is expressing anger, because he doesn’t even like broccoli.

    Robert Parker

    June 16, 2018 at 2:30 PM

    • Your pareidolia certainly equals hers, only you may have been hungrier than her when you saw this photograph. It’s not clear whether the T-Rex is your alter ego when it comes to broccoli.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2018 at 11:04 PM

    • EXACTLY! Perhaps it is more annoyance that he must eat his broccoli, rather than anger. The tree somehow seems familiar.


      June 17, 2018 at 2:29 PM

      • If I ever get back to Sandia Peak I’ll see what state the tree is in (other than New Mexico).

        Steve Schwartzman

        June 17, 2018 at 4:55 PM

  7. I’m seeing much the same as Linda: a child tree and an adult tree. I think the adult’s telling the child a story. 🙂 I love this photo – what a great shot!


    June 17, 2018 at 9:11 PM

    • So she saw the adult giving advice, and you saw it telling a story. You did indeed have similar visions.

      Yes, this was a good find, the most interesting thing I found on the mountain.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 17, 2018 at 9:15 PM

  8. Such an interesting shape thanks to the wind … beautiful pic Steve


    June 19, 2018 at 2:07 PM

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