The deadliest, jelliest site ever. Brought to you by Niamh Shaw

When I was last in Oamaru, Her Goatiness asked me to take some pictures of beech trees.

Agreeing with one’s mother-in-law is generally accepted to be a wise, self-preserving course of action. Naturally, I agreed. I’m not sure why she asked me to photograph beech trees as opposed to, say, oak trees, or pine trees, or dolphins. It may be related to her recently painting a portion of her kitchen purple. Otherwise, it’s anyone’s guess.

Today it was just me and Jed out walking and – crucially – I had my camera with me and – even more crucially – no Husband, who tends to hover when I have my camera out, going: “Are you finished yet? How about now? How about now?”

In a perfect confluence of circumstance, the logging operation impeding the access track up to the beech forest was abandoned. Ever since I returned from my travels, the pine forest has been a wasteland: great scars scored in the earth, splintered trees tossed aside, diggers and generators discarded like giant toys in a quagmire of mud. Today, the ground steamed in the mid-day sun as I squelched up the track, following the ruts left by caterpillar wheels.

When Her Goatiness first asked, I personally envisioned maybe four or five artfully spaced trunks in perfect vertical formation. Unfortunately, it appears the local variety of beech tree don’t grow straight, but kind of sideways and/or curly. There were also a high proportion of dead trees. While I’m on a roll with the excuses, the light was a bit watery.

Actually, that could have been rain.

Really, the most concrete thing that came out of the exercise was the realisation that I had absolutely no idea what Her Goatiness wanted.

I took some snaps anyway, experimenting with composition and camera settings. Back home on the ‘puter, I marginally increased saturation, and cranked up the saturation to 70% and these are the results:-

Beech tree

 

Beech tree

 

Beech tree

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