An interesting tree grows in Central Riverside Park in Wichita, Kansas, as seen during our Easter 2023 visit.
We had gone to Kansas to visit Jaylin over the Easter weekend. However, he had to work some, so Laura and I went off exploring on our own. We went to check out the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit, and after we had seen the animals there, we spent a little time walking around Central Riverside Park, which is the home of the exhibit.
As we walked, we came upon this large tree. I like interesting trees, and the bigger they are, the better. See for example this interesting tree at Shingle Creek, Florida or this tree at Lake Louisa State Park, also in Florida.
Obviously, this Kansas tree was still in its dormant winter state, but that was fine with me. Without its leaves, it was easier to see all the limbs, branches, and twigs. In some ways, it just looks like a tangle, but it is interesting to try to follow all of those branches back to the main trunk.
This tree has obviously been here for a good bit of time. In today’s cities of “tear it down, scrape it off, and start fresh” construction, you don’t see all that many old trees. You have to go to a park or a really old neighborhood to see trees of any significant age. I am always glad that trees like this are still around.
Lessons from Trees
Joyce Kilmer famously said, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” For those who don’t like poetry in the first place, that really isn’t saying much. But whenever I see a tree like this, I know what he was trying to say. (Yes, Joyce was a man. His first name was actually Alfred, but he went by his middle name of Joyce. You learn something every day. I probably should have learned that in an American Literature class in high school, but that wasn’t the day that I learned this fact. But I digress.)
The older I get, the more I see God’s handiwork in nature. It has been there all along, of course. But for whatever reason, I take more time to notice it now.
A tree like this one is just another reminder of that. All of those branches and twigs have a pattern. We may not be able to figure out that pattern, but it is there, and it keeps the tree alive. The tree loses its leaves in the fall, only to grow new ones in the spring. The tree bends and moves in the wind. There may eventually be enough wind to actually break the tree, but often it just bends back into place when the wind ends. There are so many interesting aspects to trees, because God made them that way.
“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from brambles. The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart.” - Luke 6:43-45
Under the Tree
One reason we saw this tree is that I was looking for a place to take a photo of Laura in her “Disney Peeps” shirt she made for Easter a few years ago. The tree trunk was a perfect backdrop, as it turns out.
So this was a multipurpose tree. Does that make it even that much better than a poem? Yes it does.
About the Photos
Just so you know, there can be such a thing as too much processing. Opinions differ, but I do not think that these photos have too much processing. However, the first versions of these photos did. Once I had them in this post and took a look at it, I realized that they were a bit overdone. So I dialed things back just a bit to what you see here.
Go with your instinct. And if your instinct tells you that something is too much, perhaps you should listen to it.
Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Raw Therapee and GIMP.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: April 8, 2023
Location: Wichita, Kansas