Funky Fridays – posts from the past that are fun to re-visit.
It’s Spring and life is in a playful mood – including this squirrel, who has been scampering about this dignified London Plane Tree in Central Park, NYC.
The dignified, bearded spirit facing right looks like an old grandpa who is just barely tolerating all that squirrel’s youthful energy!
There are many spirit images in this London Plane Tree. This is a city tree species and they are quite good at creating multiple images on their personal canvas (their bark). These “canvases” can become complex, as seen here in this mature tree.
The sculpted, living-energy elder is facing right. Protecting his back is his familiar – a bird-energy spirit being with a pointed beak. Between these two stern protectors rest, facing us, two gentler energies. A pensive face, formed of parts of each of the stern beings, faces us. Below this trio rests a gentle image of a lady with long hair.
This tree has a very supple consciousness and while it is working with solid bark, it is still fluid enough to be giving a real-time eye to the squirrel who has been scrambling about him for some time!
I’ve diagrammed these images for you, at the bottom of this blog.
A limited canvas
I very much enjoy photographing London Plane Trees, for they are trees of great character. The walkways in New York City’s Central Park are lined with them. They are good-natured, social trees with a good sense of humor that often has a city-dweller’s sharp edge. It’s fun to visit with these trees – to come into resonance with them and to gradually merge into their own individual worlds.
Having a limited canvas, as the London Plane Trees develop their personalities they grow very subtle images that have merged parts. The resulting complexity becomes highly artistic. The closest similarity in our human world might be the works of Picasso, during the period in which he was breaking with perspective and showed faces in profile and full frontal in the same space.
Below are two diagrams of this tree, with the various images the tree spirit has drawn graphed out for you.
This tree lives is at the bottom of a hilly sweep of lawn where private school youth do daily sports. Showing you how personal each London Plane Tree is – look right at a tree who lives at the top of the sweep of lawn. This is a tough handsome New Yorker (can’t you just see a cigar and a cryptic comment psychically emerging from the corner of his mouth!). I’ve written about him in my blog “Most Popular Nature Spirit Photos.” An interesting sweep of the types of people who have populated this area of Manhattan over the years!
London Plane Tree History
London Plane Trees are a hybrid – a cross between the Oriental plane and the American sycamore that was first popularized, in England, in the 1660s. They are excellent city trees, able to withstand drought, heavy pruning to configure to city demands – and yet offering back excellent pollution control. They have beautiful mottled bark on a thick trunk and they provide wonderful shade in the summer. Some large cities in Europe and the U.S.A. have stands or alleys of these trees. New York City has thousands lining its older streets and parks. Many have very visible personalities, as these friendly trees enjoy identifying with the life forms around them.
London Plane Tree Diagram 1Here are some of the faces in this tree, which I’ve diagrammed.