Posts Tagged ‘Trees


landscapes in the early morning light (shortly after sunrise)

a few days ago when it was still in the 80s and the santa ana winds were blowing from the northeast and out across the ocean i managed to get over to the other side of our coastal mountain and watch the sunrise over the mountains to the east, the ones that cradle the orange county valley and separate us from the desert.

this weather event (it’s what they call it here, an event) produces stunning sunrises and sunsets (see my week of one day’s sunset, 2, 3, 4, 5 here), but the timing of your arrival can be a bit hit or miss, especially if you’re walking a dog, which i was on this day’s early morning.

as much as i wanted to get to a point where i could see the sun actually top the mountains on its rise from the eastern world, my canine companion was more interested in the early morning smells of dogs and rabbits and coyotes and birds and grass blades and cracks in the sidewalk and the sprinkler timers and a tree or two and succulents and gravel and streetlights and a stone bench and had to stop several times and sit down to scratch an ear that’s been aggravating him recently and while he was down he might as well lick his penis, cause that’s what dogs do and then he’d look at me like “what next?” because he’s blind and i have to keep him heading in the right direction so he doesn’t run into trees and large rocks and junipers and stone benches and succulents and cacti and sprinkler timers or off into the street or down the wrong driveway as they slope away from our community’s circular main road so i set aside my needs for his, after all, he means more to me than the opportunity to take photographs of the sun rising over the eastern mountains of orange county so that i can post them on my blog(s) and facebook in order that people who pay some attention to what i’m doing will ❤ or comment or re-blog or whatever it is they do when they find something i’ve written or photographed moving or funny or ironic (irony having not died as many felt it would when “seinfeld” went off the air in 199? or was it 200? who can remember or care for that matter it was so long ago and that hair of elaine’s drove me crazy), so we continued on our way and all the while i could sense that i was missing that moment, that special time when the sun is just creeping ever so slowly up and over the mountaintops and its radiant crown (think crown like the statue of liberty’s) moves into view and everything takes on the golden glow of apollo’s chariot as it races across the heavens toward the darkness in the west. too many metaphors <sigh>

the trees turn toward the light, a move so subtle that you may miss it should you be distracted by the glory of early morning sunlight, lining up along the parade route like ensor’s acolytes in his “the entry of christ into brussels” from 1889–have you seen that painting? it hangs at the getty center in l.a. and has always been a favorite of mine, you can see and read about it here–crowding around the sunlight without fear of igniting themselves, self-immolation not on their card for today.

this is the apocalyptic eucalyptus from my 2009 post “trees that i am friends with” which…i cannot believe that i’ve been contributing to my blog for over three years now. i admit it seems as if i’ve been doing this all my life, but only recently realized that i have committed tens of thousands of words to, to, to what exactly i have no idea, but i will say it has brought me some comfort and joy.

and at last, with some flag-waving, the dog and i turned our backs on the sunrise and the fog laying quietly in the valleys and arroyos as the grand landscape unfurled at our feet.


palms (4)


one of my mother’s and grandmother’s favorite poems: trees by joyce kilmer, first published in 1913

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


eucalyptus, interrupt us

there are times when we must let the tree speak for itself.


a tree considers its existence

yesterday, there was a tree that reached for the sky, playfully scratching at the underbelly of the clouds.

the sun refused to cooperate, drawing the clouds closer to its face and dropping into the western sea.

the tree shrugged its indifference and turned away as if it had never happened.


the movement of air experienced by trees




night moves (the march of the palm trees)

last night the palm trees, in a concerted effort, began their movement with a chorus of clouds & moonlight

the contrapuntal effect of blue & white & starlight & the night sky as the fronds of the palms caught & pulled at the allegro of the clouds was thrilling to behold

soloists shone in their mastery of the medium, pulling the audience into the music of the night with their nimble & adept musicality

& the rousing finish to the movement with all of the palms playing in concert was a breathtaking moment to have witnessed


what painting are you?

let’s say you’re being interviewed by barbara walters in prime time & not on “the view”  (it could happen.)  she’s asked you about your  success at/in/because of ________ & you’ve plugged your most recent book/movie/stage play/feat of heroism & then she pauses, looks you in the eye as she licks her lips (you know what’s coming, her publicist gave your publicist the list of questions ahead of the interview, but because your private jet was late arriving in nyc & your iphone/blackberry/android ran out of juice, you had just received them minutes before the interview, but you did know she was going to ask you this):  “wobert, what painting are you?”

it’s not “what tree are you?” & consequently it’s a much more difficult question to answer.  if you’ve any relationship with art, the answer suddenly becomes fraught with pitfalls & potholes.  there are  so many to choose from!  they each represent such diverse emotions!  if i say ______ by ___ _______ will i sound elitist?  but if i try to identify with my market share, & answer _______ by ____ _______, will i be perceived to be common by my peers?  but i like them both, you opine!

“today, barbara, i am _______ ________ by ______ _______,” you state, “but tomorrow or even later today, i might be ____ __ by _____ ______, because i am many different paintings & could not possibly choose just one to represent who i am.”

this is me today:

fernand léger 1881-1955 french, composition indienne, 1942, oil on linen, h 940 mm w 800 mm, signed and dated

atelier fernand léger, no. 134; galerie louise leiris, paris; perls galleries, new york; thomas gibson fine art, london

literature: georges bauquier “fernand léger”, le catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint.  maeght, paris 1998.  tome vi, 1938-1943, no. 1095



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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