This week is for nature lovers, because I am spending the whole week outdoors with the teacher I team teach with and two classes of grade sixes at a prairie forest in Police Point Park where there are many positively magnificent tree faces. The best faces can be found in the Plains Cottonwood trees. The trees that are near the river are around eighty years old, but the ones in the middle of the prairie are tree faces of survival where it is estimated they are close to three hundred years old. This is magnificent because they need plenty of water, and when they don't get it, which is common on the prairie, part of the tree dies and it sends the nutrients to the rest of the tree so the rest can survive. As a result, the trees twist and turn, bend and break, so many magnificent shapes result. The woodpeckers and other birds, also assist in the formation of faces. Other factors that effect the trees are fire, floods, diseases, humans, high winds, lightning and drought. With all of the obstacles the Plains Cottonwood experience, it is amazing that they survive at all on the great Albertan prairie. For the rest of the week, the photographs and experiences at Police Point will be the inspiration for my art.
We had to follow the tour guide today, and stick with the large group, so the sunlight was not in the best position. Tomorrow, we are on our own, so I expect better lit photographs. For now, sit back and enjoy the positively magnificent tree faces!
This Plains Cottonwood tree is one of the most photographed trees in the park. At this angle, it looks like a super model with wild and crazy hair posing with one arm up and the other on its hip. The surrounding skirt of chokecherry bushes, silver sage and wild clematis compliments the super model in stunning autumn colours. Do you recognize the tree in my art above?
This week we will be measuring the circumference of its trunk and examining it closely. Behind it is the Enchanted Forest, and we are going to reenact the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel there! Follow the crumbs and you will find this beauty!
We were treated to a rare delight of music on what sounded like bongo drums by a Pileated Woodpecker. The speed at which this large fellow beat his beak against the hollow Cottonwood entertained our prairie hearts! He stops and listens, after beating the trunk, for insects inside. If you are quiet, you may hear this lively fellow's music in the distance and if you creep slowly, you may catch a glimpse of its black and white face and lovely red head!
|Faces of Disease|
Oh, the more I look, the more I see magnificent faces in the divine Plains Cottonwood trees!
|Work It, detail 1|
|Work It, detail 2|
|Work It, detail3|
The magnificent tree faces are soul property of Renee Dowling!
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