Photo of the Week – January 15, 2015

Earlier this week, I wrote about interesting holes in the bark of burned ponderosa pine trees at our Niobrara Valley Preserve.  However, I wasn’t actually focused on documenting holes in trees at the time – I was just looking for interesting photo compositions.  Ponderosa pine bark patterns are always fun to explore, but the additional contrast between the tawny browns and the charred black from the wildfire created even more intriguing images than usual.  The photo below was my favorite from that trip’s pine bark art.

Ponderosa pine bark on a burned tree at The Nature Conservancy's Niobrara Valley Preserve, Nebraska.

Ponderosa pine bark on a burned tree at The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve, Nebraska.

The photo reminds me of a Rorschach test.  What do you see in it?  I see the tall face of an angry looking man looking to the right.  He may or may not be sticking out his tongue.  I think I’d prefer not to hear Dr. Rorschach’s diagnosis of my personality characteristics…


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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8 Responses to Photo of the Week – January 15, 2015

  1. elfinelvin says:

    You have a very good eye. That is art. However, I see a lizard looking back at me. A very sad lizard.

  2. Joanne says:

    Or a Pacific Northwest totem pole

  3. Karen Hamburger says:

    I see a monkey face and he is howling in the top 3/4 of the photo. The hole is the eye.

  4. marilyn faulk lanser says:

    I see a distorted Kabuki actor with a blonde pompadour and little arms….if you turn the image 90 deg. counter-clockwise, the face will melt into an aerial view of a landscape. Yes, I had to look at my monitor with my head parallel to the floor, but it’s worth the neck crick. : ) Fun Rorschach!

  5. bugman13 says:

    Very interesting image.

  6. Patrick says:

    First impression: lava flow

  7. anastaciast says:

    All I can see is the homework. :( Still trying to discover the reason for the chewed holes. Have reached out to several experts with no reply as of yet.

  8. Lisa says:

    Homer Simpson.


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