Life on a Tree Stump….

There were blue and green and red and black lines on the map, the glossy finish reflecting the overhead office lights, the solid red light illuminated on the nearby phone telling me that a voice-mail message was waiting…and waiting….

…the sound of tires screeching and metal crashing into metal and the siren of a police motorcycle approaching with its loudness and then, a fan swirls the stagnant air and I can hear the beeping of digital keys unlocking the lobby door, the boss calls to a co-worker and the clock on my computer says it’s 4:55…and counting…

…rolling wheels on the plastic pad, truck keys pulled out of my bag…shut-down the fan and the computer and lock all the drawers…the work week is over as my shoes tap down the stairs…onto the carpeted hallway and out through the double glass doors…evening and morning and another one, too…chores finished…

…and the mountains are calling me…twelve miles away…eleven…ten…nine…the moments passing, the canyon is enveloping me with its rocky arms, forest and green and a rocky, rumbling stream…

…hit the alarm on the key fob, put the keys into my backpack…adjust the camera around my neck…step into the gravel…and beyond onto the rocky trail…

…mulch and pine needles and earth and the soft, sweet smell of wet and rot and decay and the greening of life in the canyons away.  It’s called Days Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon…

…there’s a mine at the end of the trail, a part of Utah’s history that’s already been made…and it’s not going anywhere soon…

…so I stop, I tarry, I look and listen, sit and stay a while…there’s so much life between here and the end of the trail…and I found this little micro-cosm…a world unto itself…teeming with life and death and rot and rebirth…

…life on a tree stump….

Thank you for visiting with me…for staying a while…sharing my world….

30 responses

  1. Always a pleasure!

    July 27, 2012 at 7:09 am

    • Thank you, Miss Bonnie. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 6:59 am

  2. Victoria

    I always love the fine details in nature and you shoot them so well.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

    • I love them, too, Victoria…thank you. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:00 am

  3. Scott, these photographs and your essay are wonderful. I can’t believe what absolutely gorgeous images the tree stump gave you. Your perspective is perfect. The light and color and clarity and angles are just superb. I enjoyed this trip to the stump with you ever so much! Thank you. 🙂

    July 27, 2012 at 7:32 am

    • I’m glad you had such a good time walking along with me, George…and that you enjoyed this glimpse into my world. Thank you for being there with me. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:01 am

  4. The hints of what was going on at work remained as a sad background to the beautiful pictures and the grace of freedom in the forest… pleasures and aching intertwined. Thank you for a beautiful story, and gorgeous images.

    July 27, 2012 at 7:38 am

    • Thank you, Shimon…you were reading my heart. You are most welcome for the story and photos…thank you for being here and putting words to your insight.

      July 28, 2012 at 7:07 am

  5. Fabulous Scott, the pictures are beautiful and the narrative heartfelt and engaging. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:23 am

    • Thank you, Chillbrook. I appreciate your tender comment…and you are most welcome. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:08 am

  6. It’s always astounding to see how much life a stump, a boulder or a rotting log can support.

    July 27, 2012 at 8:43 am

    • It is very captivating, Allen…could have stayed there quite a bit longer….

      July 28, 2012 at 7:09 am

  7. Nut Balls

    I like the lead in to your other life…on the trail 🙂

    July 27, 2012 at 8:46 am

    • Thank you, Nathan…that’s how it goes. Friday-at-five is a glorious moment. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:11 am

  8. That old stump is a whole organic world unto itself! What a nice escape from the man made chaos of our everyday lives. Beautiful photos.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:56 am

    • It sure is, Lori…and a beautiful escape, too. Thank you. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:12 am

  9. Beautiful. The pictures are great. The words contextualise your life and your world………… aching, someone says. I feel the aching and hear the soft siren calling of the mountains…………. I want to book my ticket………. Thanks so very much Scott.

    July 27, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    • Thank you, dear John, you see so much. The canyons are always there waiting, my friend…. And you are most welcome. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:14 am

  10. Nice glimpse into both of your worlds. Amazing all the colors you get from a dying stump.

    July 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    • Thank you, Miss Gunta…and yes, those old, dead stumps can still be so very full of color…and life. I’m glad you enjoyed the glimpse…. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:15 am

  11. I read the story first (FABULOUS) then I go back and view the photos (GORGEOUS). Between the two I hear your heart beat… beautiful.

    July 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    • Thank you for your nice words, Dezra…and I’m glad you could hear it…. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:16 am

  12. I had time to look at these pictures a little closer and it looks like, in the 6th picture down, in the foreground and slightly to right of center, there is a black jelly fungus growing on this tree stump. It is probably “Exidia glandulosa” which has common names of black witch’s butter, black brain fungus, or black jelly roll. It isn’t rare but it is uncommon and I’ve never seen so much of it in one spot. I would have been excited to find it! If you’re interested you can learn more about it here:

    July 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    • I had seen the fungus, too, Allen, and thought it made for a wonderful part of the picture, another demonstration of the life of the stump. Thank you for taking a second look at the photos and for providing the link. It’s rather interesting. This bit of fungus does appear to be more like the E. glandulosa, as opposed to the E. nigritis that the article showed for comparison. Thanks again. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:23 am

  13. I love and understand the balance.

    July 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    • Thank you, Terry…you seem to have a similar heart…. 🙂

      July 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

  14. I feel the anticipation of your nature excursion as you tell your end-of-workday story. I like how you captured the details, like the moss. Quite a story to be told about that treestump.

    July 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    • I’m glad you could be there with me, Fergiemoto…nice that you could feel it, too. And yes, there is quite a story there…and so much life happening thre, too. Thank you…..

      July 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

  15. Scott, some of them look like mountainous landscapes in miniature! Fabulous. 🙂

    July 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    • Thank you, Karen…they do give that impression, don’t they?

      July 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm

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