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Waiting for Fall

Waiting for fall of…

It’s inevitable that, in the countryside, the landscape changes from year to year. Rivers erode their banks, animals eat shrubs and the wind breaks branches and trees.

There is a row of trees near Ingram that I’ve been fond of photographing for several years now. When I took my first photo of them back in February 2012 there was snow on the ground:

Ingram trees (4 Feb 2012)

What’s clear from this image is that there are four main trees in a row alongside the road. Other than them growing with a slight lean to the right (owing to the prevailing winds), they are reasonably upright.

But, as mentioned earlier, the one constant in the landscape is change – and change began to affect this row of trees. I’d noticed at the end of 2018 that the third tree from the left had started to lean. I kept my eye on this over several months, watching as the trunk leaned more and more to the right. In an effort to gauge the amount of movement I photographed the gap between the tree trunk and a fence post to see if the gap shrunk over time. And, sure enough, it did:

Fence post gap (17 Aug 2019)
No fence post gap (10 Nov 2020)

The amount of leaning can be seen by comparing the above ‘Ingram trees (4 Feb 2012)’ image with the following, taken just three days ago (19 Nov 2020).

Ingram trees (19 Nov 2020)

Ah, the power of nature!

It’s behind you!

It seems almost inevitable that the third tree along is about to fall in the near future, thereby changing the immediate landscape forever. However, I’ve been so focused on observing the leaning third tree that I haven’t paid enough attention to the other three trees.

On a cycle along the valley today (22 Nov 2020), low and behold…the first tree in the row has had a significant branch broken off in the recent high winds:

Broken first tree (22 Nov 2020)

I’ll be disappointed when this iconic row of trees eventually succumbs to the inevitable power of nature but, well…that’s life. And even though these trees may disappear, others will grow elsewhere.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

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