Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify
“To change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”
This definition of “transmogrify” seems fitting to the imagery of an uprooted tree. Although just a change in orientation – from standing up to fallen down – revealing the roots of a tree can be transmogrifying. Revealed is the more chaotic shapes and structures that were underground, seemingly unfit with the familiar dimensions of the living tree.
Below is what remains of long since dried up tree. The centre of the structure shows the strange and more chaotic seeming organization of the smaller under-workings of the tree, usually hidden underground beneath the more simple tree trunk.
Up-rooted tree at Lighthouse Park, West Vancouver, BC, Canada
This photo is of the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. I have seen the parliament buildings many times, but on this particular summer day there was something about the way the sun hit the cliff face that really made it stand out. It seemed more prominent than ever.
South Cambie and Fairview may not be the Vancouver neighbourhoods used for the booming ‘Hollywood North’ filming industry, but I have found this to be a picturesque region for colourful fall leaves. Most of Vancouver is lucky to be filled with deciduous trees that will turn beautiful and bright colours of red, orange, and yellow this time of year, but I will make my case for why I enjoy this particular region so much.
The stop-and-take-a-picture feeling hits me during the fall season for a number of reasons. One of the more common reasons is when the new Fall colours brighten up an otherwise bland building. I find myself taking a long look and sometimes asking myself “was that apartment always there?”. This first photo is from 12th Ave at Oak St showing a multi-colour vine growing up the side of the Windermere building. As an aside, I especially enjoyed that the shape of the vine’s red section resembles half of a Canada flag maple leaf.
Perhaps more fascinating is the tendency for trees in this neighbourhood to orderly change colours and create an amazing colour spectrum within one picture. There are at least two spots nearby that seem to be capable of this each year. I’ll first show the one that I did not time perfectly this year (should have come back a few days later to look again), which is actually just across the street from the first picture – in front of the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre.The trees on the left are still green or have just started to turn colour, and moving to the right they slowly turn yellow, then orange, and red.
The more impressive colour spectrum is at Oak St and 15th Ave behind the Sunshine Market. The trees on this street are great at turning colour such that all/most leaves on a single tree are a similar colour – making for a great step-wise colour change between each tree.
The intrigue of Fall season colours is the stimulation it brings compared to standard greens and browns that we are used to nature supplying. The colour spectrum photos dazzle me because it provides so much to look at in one view. The same goes for groups of trees that are mismatched in colour, or even when different sections of a single tree have changed colour at different times – becoming reminiscent of a chocolate chip cookie. Douglas park (Laurel at 20th through Heather at 22nd) is a great place to go to for this. The mix of deciduous trees and conifers ensures a mix of green and coloured trees. From the top of the hill in the southwest corner you can also fit in a view of the north shore mountains.
Reiterating what is said above, the beauty of fall coloured leaves is how they surprise you by being different from the usual greens and browns of nature. Sunny Fall mornings and late afternoons make for the best time to observe the changing leaves with a bright backdrop to bring out the colours. Here are a few more Fall season pictures making use of the sunlight to bring out the colours:
Overall, the Fall season is a great time of year to be out of the house for a walk. Go enjoy the nice colours before Winter hits!
Two years ago I moved to a new community on the western coast of Canada, living in Vancouver. I moved to Vancouver from the other side of Canada (in Ontario) to begin graduate school conducting biomedical research with the aim of gaining training and expertise in oncology research, and hoping to conduct research that will make a meaningful impact while I am here.
When I am not in the lab, my girlfriend and I spend the summers here hiking around Vancouver’s north shore mountains, the Howe Sound, and the region around Whistler. I enjoy taking photos of the scenery – I plan to share much of that here – but I also try to find and capture interesting images just around the neighbourhood. During the rainy, but thankfully not nearly as cold as Ontario, winters we put away the hiking gear to enjoy the shows and evening activities abundant in Vancouver instead.
Top of Stawamus Chief Hike near Squamish
I started this blog with the hopes of kindly sharing some of my enjoyable experiences from living in this beautiful part of the country. For me, it will be a way to share some of my photos to others, but also an exercise in practicing my writing for a general audience as I plan to also begin a blog aiming to provide educational resources on the topic of my research field.
I plan for this blog to hold memories of great experiences and fun times, because as anyone who has been involved with scientific research knows – graduate school is a part of that challenges your self confidence.
“Science is neat, but I’m afraid it’s not very forgiving.” – Scott Clarke, Stranger Things.