Photograph of peeling Silver Birch bark, taken November 2016, local wood, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 18-55mm lens.
When I first came across this naturally formed, arboreal statue in one of my local woods, I instantly saw it to be a visage, a face. It is on a well-trod dirt track which is on the outer edge of the wood and overlooking a field, in fact the field in the previous post with the golden Oilseed Rape. The Guardian, I would come to call it, looks down from its lofty perch as if surveying the woods from its vantage point. It’s a very old, well-established tree, and perhaps centuries have passed it by, and maybe that’s why the face somehow looks wisened, knowing.
I know the scientists call it ‘pareidolia’, which is where we can see faces, animals, etc, in everyday things like trees, clouds, even buns, or on the surface of Mars. It’s the way our brains work and make sense of things, imagination, if you like, but to me its kind of magical, and I often see faces and animal shapes in tree forms and clouds.
And if I look closely enough now, I can even see smaller, differing forms and faces rising from the deep lined bark of the Guardian of The Wood.
How about you?
Photographs taken May 2014, local wood, Staffordshire.