Friday, October 22, 2010

Loblolly Canopy

Here are a few views of the loblolly pines that have inspired my recent posts: from my deck, from the swing at the foot of one of them, and from the center of the yard.

What the photos don't show is the mystery of the day: the reflection of the sun on the needles. If you inspect a new-fallen clump of loblolly pine needles at close range, they are not shiny. They are many things---blithe, slender, dull green, blade-like, brush-like, smooth or sticky depending on which way you stroke them, dry and calloused to the touch, unique by any standard---and lovely---but they are not shiny.

How is it then, that the direct sun on the high pine canopy shimmers and sparkles along every needle it touches---with an iridescence that defies description in a million instances? Visible with the eye, but not with a camera, this phenomenon lends yet another opportunity to reflect on the transcendent mystery in the beauty of light. dkm


Jane Robertson said...

I find myself saying the word over and over - loblolly, loblolly - sort of rolling it around in my mouth!!
Beautiful bark!!

dkm said...

---because you are a writer and lover of language---which is also why I enjoy your blog---

The word is fun to say, isn't it---even looks pretty in written form---

In the dictionaries I consulted, it is defined as a mudhole, a muddy puddle, and a marshy patch of ground. But why it is applied to our Georgia pines, I don't know, since they grow in dry hard clay soil---and when we have too much rain, they are notorious for falling over.