Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sentinel Standing Guard

I really, really like this photo. It can keep me talking for hours... or write here ad infinitum... but do not be afraid, I will try to keep this short. Please remember that I kind of having a scientific background and not really believe in ghosts... although I am afraid of them, just like I am afraid of snakes and other scary things, too many to enumerate here. This photo was taken with my iPhone 4 at native resolution 2592 x 1936. It has been resized to 1296 x 968 for the web and was not edited at all except that this smart phone's camera processed three consecutive samples to improve the background contrast.

The main subject of today's blog is this tree, which is a stunningly beautiful fig tree. I was looking at it for an optimum angle to capture the aerial roots that help this tree anchor firmly and spread out. It is fascinating to look closely and observe the many new slender strings originating from the high branches to reach the ground where new roots develop to take hold and grow from there to make new trunks. Click on this image and you will be able to see how this system works.

Information about this species of fig is plentiful on the internet... such as this...

"The Banyan tree is the National Tree of India. This huge tree has the widest reaching roots of all known trees. It sends off new shoots from its roots, so that one tree is really a tangle of branches, roots, and trunks. The banyan tree regenerates and lives for an incredible length of time-thus it is thought of as the immortal tree. India has a long history of honoring this tree & it figures prominently in many of the oldest stories of the nation."

I am not sure about the US or other so called developed nations on earth, but in many nations in the continent of Asia, it is widely believed that many more stories can be told about the banyan trees. Notably, this kind of tree is always haunted in some way, and ghost stories abound.

With that in mind, someone, looking at this photo, may accuse me of doctoring it to hint at a "sentinel" figure standing right there at the center. Let me tell you that when I shot this picture, I was looking high up to frame the aerial root structures, so I did not see "him."

What do you think? Was he looking at me? Will he punish me because I took this photo without asking for permission? It does look like he is holding some kind of a long and sharp thing in his left hand! Mamma mia!


meghandonahue said...

stumbled upon your blog. liked the pics, cause I love trees, but I'm trying to see this person you are referring too. the only thing I possibly see is the sun light looking like a small human head, is that what you mean?

Lan said...

Yes, that's "him," at ground level, in the middle of the tree. The two feet are two of the tree's roots. Of course, I meant this very tongue-in-cheekly. All the photos are high resolution. Click on the photos to see them in larger sizes.