Apricot scrubs and chemical peels not required.

This tree – I think it may be a yellow birch – knows what it’s doing.

It’s exfoliating.

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A bit of reading (herehere and here) suggests that it’s not completely certain why the bark naturally peels from some trees. It may be a mechanism to protect from a build-up of parasites and other pests, or it may be that the dead outer bark must split and peel away to allow the tree to grow. Maybe both, or neither, depending on the species.

In all likelihood, it sheds for a practical reason, whether or not that reason is clear to us. This casting-off and renewal is necessary, ongoing, and messy, and is just as much a part of the tree’s being as is the shape of its leaves or the taste of its sap.

And the tree is beautiful, not despite this unkempt-looking evidence of its existence, but because of it.

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Maybe it could teach us a thing or two.

 

P.S.
Close-ups of bark are naturals for Narami’s Tuesdays of Texture.

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Washed up.

With Narami’s Tuesdays of Texture in mind, today I chose to share the decay of rusted chains encircling this log:

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These images were snapped a few days ago – along with the slabs of ice in yesterday’s post – while I wandered the bank of a river that had flooded, and then receded, during a spell of earlier mild weather. This hunk of chained wood was one of many treasures, I imagine, expelled to the shoreline by the swollen river.

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I don’t know anything about waterways, but I’m guessing that this is some sort of boom – an intentionally-placed barrier in the river to help contain, in this case, debris or driftwood. The site of the washed-up log is just upstream from a century-old dam.

The flood, coupled with giant hunks of floating ice, probably overpowered it this time. I wonder whether it’ll end up back in the water or whether its purpose has finally been served.

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I loved all the hollows and grooves, the wood worn smooth, the muck and the slime and the rust. All the evidence of time passing.

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By the way, now that I’ve noticed them in the photo above, I can’t seem to unsee the faces in the log. Does anyone else see them, or is it just me?

It’s probably time to go to bed before I start seeing more imaginary things. 😉

Thanks so much for visiting.

 

Ruffled.

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Having kids means having no shortage of random items to photograph on lousy winter days.

I’ve started a list of examples:

 

P.S.
Thanks to Narami for hosting Tuesdays of Texture.

Bling, p. 2.

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You may remember that my kids were allowed to rummage through the clearance shelf to choose a Christmas stocking for next year, and that my daughter made sure she picked the sparkliest of the bunch.

This isn’t surprising. She likes frills, hot pink, and leopard-skin print. She’s the “fancy” one. (Interestingly, she declared that she inherited her “fancy” style from her Grandma – my mom – and that it must have skipped a generation).

Her brother generally prefers sweatpants and hoodies, in grey, black, or – when he’s in the mood for a splash of colour – dark blue. He refers to his style as “casual.”

Before we packed up Christmas, I zoomed in for an abstract shot of my son’s new stocking – a red one with a woven satin weave. Understated, but classy. Simple, but festive. Somewhere in between casual and fancy.

I think his sister was impressed.

 

(Thanks to Narami for collecting textures each Tuesday)

Inside out.

Yesterday morning I was running late to get the kids to school because I’d made the foolish mistake of sleeping in. There had also been several complications during the morning routine, for example, the prolonged disappointment and resulting temporary paralysis of one child due to my insistence that she wear a hat.

Also, the cats had whacked several ornaments off the Christmas tree, requiring an immediate and frantic search for scattered metal ornament hooks (which are apparently very appealing to eat, if you’re a cat).

Not to mention that this particular Monday morning had also involved a broken zipper (mine) and inside-out gloves (not mine).

By the time we were out the door, it was too late to walk to school, since the bell was scheduled to ring in 7 minutes and it takes us at least 15 on a good day. The crew piled into the car, but we sat helplessly in the driveway with the engine running and the heat blasting. The scraper was useless against the massive coating of ice that had formed during the previous day’s freezing rain.

I gave the heat 2 minutes to kick in, then I hacked away like a madwoman with the scraper while I’m sure my neighbours looked on in amusement and pity. It wasn’t pretty, but I managed to clear the windows. And the windshield. Mostly. We made it on time, without incident.

I don’t really like being late.

But… I do like the way the ice patterns look from the inside of a car after rain has frozen on the glass. And so, here is today’s photo:

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P.S.: I was happy to stumble across others who enjoy making photos of textures – in fact, over at de monte y mar, Narami collects submissions every Tuesday. Glad I could contribute this week!

 

All tucked in.

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I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

~ Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass

 

 

 

Scratching the surface.

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I’m trying out textures today.

Top: I paid $11 for this scratching post but perhaps the cats in this house think it was a cheap gift. They give it a scornful look as they sashay past it to scratch the banister instead.

Bottom: When my daughter was three, she asked for a purple blanket for Christmas. Her wish was granted by my sister, who brought her this fabulous fuzzy throw. It’s the kind of blanket that makes perpetually cold people (like me) want to steal it from their children. (The tomcat likes to nestle in it, too. He probably thinks it was a better gift than the stupid scratching post.)