Just Trees 2

The tree pictures from Tuesday’s post were taken within a few minutes, exploring more space than time. Their complexity was due to structure and color. 

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This corresponds to one particular way how one can organize one’s life, through moments of significance, lived to the fullest. 

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Today’s tree images were taken over the course of an entire morning. Individually, they are much more simple — there are few colors, and the structure doesn’t overwhelm.

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This sequence suggests another way to consider one’s life, as a process, in acknowledgement of time passing.

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The fog in Tuesdays images was secretive, increasing the mystery of the single moment. Here, the fog is for protection from the penetrating light of the rising sun.

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Two (Prairies II)

Today’s pictures are from an early morning visit to the prairies of the Columbia Mine Preserve in the middle of summer. 

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The light is extraordinary, as is the variety of life around you.

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In a few weeks, all the insects will become quiet, and the migratory birds will get ready to leave.

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The grass will become brown,

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and the trees will explode in color.

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This has been a strange year, and rarely have I longed more for it to be over.

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But there are still choices to be made.

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Skeletons (Prairies I)

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Now that the summer here has (temporarily) cooled down a bit, I took the chances and visited the Columbia Mine Preserve, 90 minutes away, in order to see the prairies in full glory. I had to pay a price, but it was worth it.

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They are teeming with life, with many insects, and fortunately for me, also many insect eating insects.

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Most of us humans deny them consciousness, so maybe they don’t know how beautiful they are.

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They are beautiful to us, but what gives us the right to think that they are only beautiful to us?

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Maybe we shouldn’t be so arrogant, but instead be thankful for what we are allowed to witness, for a limited time.

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Coal and Gold (Columbia Mine Preserve III)

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After two slightly misleading posts about a facility (inside and outside) near the Columbia Mine Preserve, the time has come to visit the actual place.

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Large open spaces (either prairies or lakes) allow to look far into the distance in all directions.

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It conveys an almost paradoxical state of mind: Being small and unimportant in this vast landscape, but also (subjectively) being at the center of it.

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Being there in the late afternoon gives the opportunity to experience another contrast. Just before the wintry gray turns into the black of the night, the sun makes one last effort, just before it hits the horizon.

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Then, for a short moment, the black and the gold coexist, and the limiting horizons become an illusion.

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Come in Without Knocking (Columbia Mine Preserve I)

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Spring last year, on my way back from New Harmony, I made a small detour to the Columbia Mine Preserve. The Vigo Coal Company mined the area in the 1990, then filled the holes, and let it sit. The Sycamore Land Trust acquired the area, turned it into a nature preserve, which is now part of Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge.

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Last year the early warm weather didn’t encourage any good pictures, so I decided to return a bit earlier, to catch the gloomy Indiana winter. When I entered Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge into my GPS, it took me to a dead end just outside the refuge, but I passed this wonderful relic on the way.

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About six floors tall, this structure was apparently used to do something to the coal before it was used to enrich our atmosphere with carbon dioxide.

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I am also clueless about the purpose of this truck, and why it looks so unhappy.

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This time, the door was missing, so again I couldn’t resist the temptation. There was quite a bit to explore inside, so I leave this as a teaser for next week:

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