The Trees of the Greater Yellowstone Region 

After spending seven months in Yellowstone National Park last year I brought home over ten thousand images. I shared some April through October images on this website.
The reason I  have selected the photographs that follow is explained in this beautiful quote by Hermann Hesse:

"A tree says: a kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life." *

Hesse continues:

"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves." 

"And even more I revere them when they stand alone."

"They are like lonely persons."

"Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves."

"When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured."

"And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow."

Hermann Hesse’s Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte, Trees: Reflections and Poems. 

"How it [tree] rebukes by its tough equable serenity all weathers, this gusty-temper'd little whiffet, man, that runs indoors at the mite of rain and snow." 

Walt Whitman, "The Lesson of a Tree"

Whitman continues:

"Science (or rather half-way science) scoffs at reminiscence of dryad and hamadryad, and of trees speaking. But if they don't, they do as well as most speaking, writing, poetry, sermons--or rather they do a great deal better. I should say indeed that those old dryad-reminiscences are quite as true as any, and profounder than most reminiscences we get."


"Go and sit in a grove or woods, with one or more of those voiceless companions, and read the foregoing, and think."

Walt Whitman, "The Lesson of a Tree," Specimen Days & Collect.

* Special thanks go to Maria Popova for her enlightening weekly newsletter: where I found the writings of Hermann Hesse and Walt Whitman. 

Yellowstone Season 2, 2018, coming soon.

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