Brown (Charles Deam Wilderness II)

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Indiana has a fifth season: A good winter brings snow, harsh light and the contrasts that blind your eyes. A good spring brings mild air, green buds, tree blossoms, and wild flowers. But in between, there is at least a month of nothingness.

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It is the season of decay, and its color is brown. The contrasts of winter light disorient us because they provide information conflicting with the physical landscape. It is almost as if a fourth dimension has been added which we cannot parse. Today, the low contrast of an overcast sky and the muted colors make the contours disappear and appear 2-dimensional.

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Still, the monotonicity has its appeal, in particular when it is interrupted by an alien intrusion.

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Why should we hate what we are attracted to?

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Winter Light (Charles Deam Wilderness I)

The history of the settlement of Indiana has been a history of forest destruction.
So the first sentence of the preface to the second edition of Charles Clemon Deam’s book Trees of Indiana, from 1919.

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Deam was Indiana’s first state forrester, and the state’s only designated wilderness area is named after him. The Charles Deam Wilderness is located in Karst hills bordering Lake Monroe. Deforestation here is pointless, as the ground is not suitable for farming. That there are still plenty of trees in southern Indiana does not contradict the above sentence.

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In today’s images I have been trying to catch some of the harsh light that one can experience on cold winter mornings (This year, this has not been easy).

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When colors retreat and contrast is everything, even simple landscapes can become disorienting.

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In truth, there is nothing here but water, ice, wood, and sky.

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Lakes should be horizontal, and trees should grow vertical.