I see faces all around me; I almost always see the eyes first. In the woods, as time takes a toll on trees, their wounds heal creating interesting holes and growths that appear anthropomorphic. Humans are programed to recognize faces, once you begin to see them in nature, you will see them everywhere!
I have never felt alone in the woods. A few years ago, I found a wonderful book, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, which lays out the science behind the social network of trees. Understanding how trees communicate adds an additional layer of enjoyment to being among them. After years of trekking through the woods, I have come to more fully appreciate trees; how they communicate and protect each other and to understand the peace they bring me.
I started working on this series years ago, rather serendipitously, photographing trees in my neighborhood when I would take my dog for walks. I lived in a very old neighborhood with very old trees; I began to notice faces in the crepe myrtles that lined the streets. As time went on, I began to notice faces everywhere!
If you look closely to the images above, maybe you will see Grumpy, one of the seven dwarfs (I love that he is wearing his heart for all to see) and Brer Rabbit from Uncle Remus. The double trunks merge into a very welcoming friend at the entrance to the state park I visit frequently and then there is Mr. Wuf. My children and I graduated from NCSU, whose mascot is a wolf. Every time I passed this stump, I saw Mr. Wuf!
Then there is Grimace, I feel his frustration or the orangeade with the red eyes and yellow hair that added enjoyment to my tasty orangeade and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice I found hidden under a mushroom.
I am working on a book idea that incorporates the interesting science behind the secret life of trees with the trees that have become a part of my journey through the woods.