Rough & rippling bark: Macro Monday

Close up view of rough & rippling bark of a western juniper tree near Bend, Oregon.

Rough & rippling bark of juniper

Macro Monday

Old one’s last winter haiku: Haiku Prompt Challenge

Old ones last winter

bound by ancient roots
branches sway in desert winds
old one’s last winter

Ronovan Writes Haiku Prompt Challenge – Bound and sway

Juniper caught misty moon poem: Monochrome Monday

Juniper caught misty moon on a chill winter night
Struggling to escape, moon gave up on the fight

Juniper caught the misty moon

Scrub jays gathered atop the great tree
Pecking and prodding until moon was set free

scrub jays infrared

Monochrome Monday in infrared

Struck by Lightning – Bye 2020!: TTL

Struck by lightning western juniper tree June 2020
Western juniper tree struck by lightning near Brothers, Oregon

I’m representing my feelings towards 2020 by showing it being struck by lightning. Yes, there were some great moments, but I’m glad to be saying bye to this particular year.

See how all the other western juniper trees around this tree are thriving? Can you see the sliver of blue in the distant sky? Once the dark clouds dissipate, we’ll have a brighter future where more of us can thrive.

Happy New Year!

Thursday Tree Love (TTL)

The softness of snow: MM, SS, & Six Sentence Story

Peering through a branch-lined portal at the softness of snow.

The softness of snow on junipers

Where frosty starbursts emerge from the desert soil.

Bunchgrass covered in snow

And wise elders rejoice, reaching to the sky with arms contorted by the years. Ancient trees collect the bountiful flakes falling from the sky to share.

Ancient juniper tree near Bend, Oregon

They tuck the next generation under downy crystalline blankets. When spring awakens them, they will change into new beings who will continue the cycle and share the softness of snow.

The softness of snow covering pinecones

Monochrome Monday (MM)

Sunday Stills (SS) – Winter Wonderland

Sunday’s Six Sentence Stories – Change

From different perspectives: LAPC

I am trying to take a look at things at home from different perspectives.

The western juniper trees are always ready to be photographed from a distance or close up.

My juniper muse from the ground up.

From different perspectives, juniper from ground up Bend, Oregon 6April2020

Ripples and layers.

Western juniper bark, Bend, Oregon 25April2020
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Favorite Tree: Wordless Wednesday, CB&W

Favorite Tree - Juniper near Bend, Oregon 25September2018

Wordless Wednesday

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Trees

Juniper Muse

Many moods of my muse: WPC

In my backyard, an old western juniper tree serves as my muse. Hope you enjoy these pictures that show the many moods of my muse through the seasons. The moods in the sunsets range from a quiet blush to a loud show of anger.

My cover image shows a rainbow of emotions surrounding the tree.

Juniper sunrise 2Feb2015

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rise/Set

Cheeky Scrub Jay

This young scrub jay patiently followed its cheeky parent around even though they kept dropping bark on its head. The young bird was waiting to be fed but maybe it should be thinking about leaving the nest soon. 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge – Cheeky

Juniper of Dreams

“Its trunk had twisted and turned over the years as the roots sought water far below. The tree was more than a thousand years old. Crinkled yellow-green lichens adorned dark bare branches reaching skyward. Clumps of scaly foliage and tiny silver-blue cones clung to a scattering of branches.” – Description of Enebros de Sueños, the Juniper of Dreams, in a magical realism story I’m working on.

Western tree in Bend, Oregon 19November2017

I have lots of western juniper trees on my property but this particular one serves as my muse. I have included it in many photos – see Juniper Muse – but now it is also a mysterious character in a children’s book I’m working on. The tree is old and twisted with age, yet it persists.

The Daily Post – Particular

Peek-a-boo view of flicker

View of flicker in western juniper nest 19June2017

Some birds you hear long before you see them. I was happy to follow the sound of a northern flicker’s calls to discover it was nesting on our property. Here is peek-a-boo view of it looking out from its nest cavity in a western juniper tree. Their markings are loud and sharp – just like their calls. I know the birds won’t be in their nest for long, but I am glad to catch glimpses of them glimpsing at me.

Northern Flicker2 11-14-2015

Weekly Photography Challenge – Transient

Juniper Muse

I have a scraggly old western juniper tree in my yard that is one of my favorite photography subjects. It’s my juniper muse. Can you see why? These resilient trees get more contorted, furrowed, and interesting as they age. Perhaps the same could be said for some people you may know.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Resilient 

Successful Invaders: Flora and Fauna that won

Successful invaders Old western juniper tree at dusk
Old western juniper tree at dusk

What are successful invaders?

There are certain members of the plant and animal world that I call successful invaders. Some are admired; others are reviled. A few are both liked and despised at the same time.

Western juniper

Where I live, the Western juniper, Juniperus occidentalis, fits into that last category. It is a native species but due to fire suppression and habitat destruction, it has spread like -excuse the reference- wildfire. Juniper has taken advantage of the situation and has significantly expanded its range. I have heard a lot about how much water it can suck out of the landscape – supposedly 30 gallons a day.  Its root system taps downwards and outwards to effectively use the available water. Many people don’t like them for that reason and because at times they have a not-so-pleasant scent.  I’ll always remember listening to a person that lives in the wealthy part of town saying that she eliminated all 18 junipers on her property as soon as she moved in. Eighteen trees.

However, juniper also has its good side. As it ages it epitomizes the image many people associate with the Wild West. I love to photograph them. The form of the tree generally changes from a pyramid-like shape to a twisted, sprawling irregular one. It can be covered by purplish berries (that are really cones) and these are used in gin production. Wildlife loves it for cover, nesting, and food. Its wood is bi-colored and long lasting.

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