Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reflected branches

click photo to enlarge
It's both a blessing and a curse that the human memory is so fallible. The multitude of events that we want and need to remember - about our early life, episodes when our children were growing up, or what we had for dinner yesterday - somehow get lost amongst the inconsequential things that are stored in our brains. Yet, our memory of an embarrassing incident that happened years ago can be as sharp as when it first happened and still retain the power to make us cringe. I remember someone saying that if the human body had a clear memory of pain women would never have more than one child. So yes, there are advantages and disadvantages in the way that we remember.

I don't know about you, but every year I forget how late it is before all the trees have lost their leaves. Not until the last days of November have most gone, and even then some are hanging on, defying the gales. The ash trees that I look at from my kitchen window are loath to lose their foliage, and bunches of "keys" are still visible in the new year. Willow trees, even though they are one of the first to show leaves in spring, seem particularly reluctant to part with them, and don't lose the last until December, by which time I find I can usually put the leaf rake away.

Today's photograph shows some trees, entirely bereft of leaves, overhanging water. The skeletal branches and spidery reflections that look like a delicate ink drawing, remind me that trees in winter have a different, more austere, but no less beautiful presence than when they are laden with leaves in summer.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 14mm (28mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/30
ISO: 200
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On