Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trees of History


This past weekend we packed our bags, stocked an ice chest, grabbed our cameras
and headed to Cedar City, Utah.
This was another field trip destination suggested by Nevada Camera Club.
The purpose of this event was to photograph fall colors on a 50 mile long dirt road.
The scenery was amazing and some of the views were as deep as the Grand Canyon.
We didn't see a whole lot of red leaves yet but we saw a lot of yellow.

As beautiful as the area is,
 I was more fascinated by the carvings in the trees than I was in the change of season.
Just about every tree we passed had a name or a date carved into it.
There were thousands and thousands of trees along this long and winding road
and each inch was imprinted with somebody's personal touch.

I wondered about all those people who had stopped along the way and taken the time to leave their mark.
Who were they?

My mind conjured up locals, tourists, lovers, photographers, writers, and vagabonds.
I imagined locals driving this country road to enter Zion National Park.
I imagined tourists driving this scenic route to get away from the fast paced highway traffic.
I imagined lovers driving this way to get away from chaperones, to kiss and make love.
I imagined photographers documenting the beautiful countryside to showcase vivid colors.
I imagined writers coming this way to acquire solitude and gain inspiration.
I imagined vagabonds, lost souls trying to find their way.

Whoever they were, they fascinated my imagination.
Their carvings proved they existed and that some things can withstand time.

After awhile, I began noticing the dates on the trees and that fascinated me further.
The earliest date I noticed was 1933.
I didn't photograph that tree because it was barely readable.
But still, It excited me.
The next one I saw was 1942.
That is the carving in my photo above.



That was during World War II.

I wondered how this person happened upon this road at that time.

It made me think about the war and how much I love my country and what America stood for in those days and what it still stands for, at least for now.

America the beautiful......

Free to be me, whatever that may be.

And those trees... what a time capsule they turned out to be.

That's the best history I've read in quite awhile.


  1. What a great trip,! I love Zion's! What a great capture of those names and dates. Lots of history there.

  2. This was great! I especially love the angle of this pic.

  3. What an interesting approach to those carvings. I never thought of it as history...just lovers or young people wanting a piece of immortality.

  4. Utah is such a gorgeous state, lucky you for going there with the sole purpose of photography! It is amazing to think of all those trees carved with initials: thousands of stories there. I've heard that it is bad for the trees to have things carved in them, but these seem to be surviving, don't they?

    I think it is really wonderful for you to feel a love of your country at the same time you observe history and the natural world. It is after all, tied all together.

  5. Leave it o JarieLyn to find an interesting angle on photography fall colors. Love it. You imagination is awesome.

  6. Your post is like a poem--I enjoyed reading it. It is quite a poetic experience and an existential one--the person who carved it may be long gone but that one moment of their lives is imprinted into nature.

  7. I just love the way you look at things. I went on this same field trip and barely even noticed the dates on the trees. I wish I had now.



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