This morning my thoughts bent toward the relationship between people, places, things, and how story enhances our connection.
Last week I wrote Perspective Shift, a daily letter from last week about waiting for the inevitable return of snow to Toronto. I selected a photo of winter scene at Kew Beach. The way the snow clung to the textured bark of a giant tree caught my attention. I was not curious about why the bark seemed red. At the time I saw the strange red hue as a distraction and intentionally left the image underexposed so the tree would look “normal.”
It didn’t seem significant there are more than one of these unusual trees – even though I photographed three of them. I liked the way that particular photo felt when I looked at it – the strong trunk with the delicate outer branches. The trees in the background fill the horizon like lace.
In The Plasticine Airplane, my first go at a Sunday Story, I wrote about a childhood triumph of creativity and physics. The two stories were unrelated.
Immediately after sending Perspective Shift with the photo of the tree, I received an email from a childhood friend Madeline, celebrating my photo of the giant “metasequoia glyptostroboides” at Kew Beach. She assumed I would know the the significance of the grove of redwood trees that thrive in Kew Gardens.
It turns out metasequoia glyptostroboides, also known as dawn redwood, is a fast-growing, endangered deciduous conifer. In my lifetime of tree hugging, I had no idea a conifer could be deciduous. It was an either – or proposition: deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall, and conifers do not, end of. Turns out it’s not “end of” at all. Decidious conifers are a thing, and in this case, a species pulled back from the edge of extinction within the last 80 years.
Today’s image shows the base of one of these magnificent trees, and down below, you’ll find a properly exposed version of the original image and the very red tree.
The connection between the story of the plasticine airplane and these trees popped in my mind this morning. Madeline would have been present the day the plasticine airplane took “flight.” Now, this childhood friend had taught me something new about an old tree.