This is a wizard of the masked elf clan. He lives in a pine tree at Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Spirit images can be difficult to see in pine trees. That’s because pines are very subtle in their art. They incise the image into the bark – up close it looks like someone ran a putty knife through soft butter. (That’s different from trees like oaks who often work configuring burls into images.)
I augmented the color and contrast a bit here, for you to more clearly see. Below is a closeup and a drawing of the elf.
Not the clearest image, but I wanted to try to show you this fine fellow as meeting him, on my declared nature spirit photo outings, was an achievement many years in the making.
I was aware there was a spirit there, but I couldn’t make it out. I sensed it was an authority figure who wasn’t interested in communicating with humans. It teased me with its elusiveness and I returned to this tree over the years to solve the puzzle. I finally achieved this last year, with the help of my wonderful full-frame Nikon D850.
Notice, in the head shot below, the wizard’s pointed elf ear, the bark mask that covers his eye area, and the tall wizard hat.
On one side of his face he has two eyes, one eye looking down to earth and the other up to heaven. The eye on the other side of his face is missing, indicating he travels between spirit and matter carrying messages. The bark mask is a feature of the masked elves, a group I have a special relationship with, no matter where I travel.
In the long product view, you can see he has a long cloak and ends with two stout feet digging deep into the earth.