This is a time of year in the United States that people like to complain about the light. Basically, there isn’t enough of it. I sympathize: I have a devil of a time getting up in the morning when it’s dark outside. But what light there is, and the angle in which it falls on the landscape, can create startlingly beautiful images.
I was looking at old blogs and I noticed this one from almost exactly one year ago: Tree at Sunset, taken on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The current picture makes a nice follow-up. It was taken at mid-day, but still has some of those slanted light and shadows, contrast of leaves and branches with a deep blue sky.
This tree also had a geocache hidden at its base, and it was located near the highest point of a trail in the El Sereno Open Space Preserve. The description of the geocache told me the tree was a Madrone, which is a cool-sounding name that I had heard before but didn’t know what it referred to.
The madrone is an evergreen, native to the northwest coast of North America. Its Latin name is Arbutus menziesii, named for the Scottish naturalist Archibald Menzies, who discovered it on Vancouver’s voyage. The cinnamon brown/red bark on the trunk and branches is one of its most famous and lovely features.
These trees, being native to the area, are relatively common and mundane around here, but as usual it took a photo challenge for me to really notice them. For PhoTraBlogger’s Mundane Monday Challenge #136. Stop by for some more mundane/interesting pictures from around the world!