Cottonwood Cathedral

April 4, 2015


Cottonwood gallery near Gothenberg, Nebraska

Cottonwood gallery near Gothenburg, Nebraska

When my flight from Seattle was descending into Denver International Airport my first thought was, “Where are the trees?”  You could see how the early homesteaders must have cherished the sight of trees — most often cottonwoods lining river and stream banks — as they travelled across the plains of Nebraska and Colorado because the landscape is so empty of trees.

Colorado landscape with cottonwoods

Colorado landscape with cottonwoods

When I spotted this magnificent gallery of cottonwood trees arching over a road near Gothenburg, Nebraska along I-80, I couldn’t resist the urge to stop for photographs.  The over-arching branches created a vault like the interior of a cathedral.  Awesome!







Nature’s Cathedrals

October 2, 2011

Grape leaves

 “The out-of-doors has been to me more and more a great cathedral in which God would be continuously spoken to and heard from.”
     — George Washington Carver

Standing under the arch of this grape arbor, with the changing leaves glowing like stained glass, felt a bit like being in Nature’s cathedral.

“There is a way of beholding nature which is a form of prayer, a way of minding something with such clarity and aliveness that the rest of the world recedes.”
     — Diane Ackerman, One Hundred names for Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing

Cathedral in the Woods

March 7, 2011

Cold Creek snowshoe trail at Snoqualmie Pass

TSNW participants snowshoe along towering trees.

“To snowshoe along the trail between rows of these trees feels like walking up the aisle of a great cathedral.  The trees lean under their heavy loads as if they are praying.”
     — Kathleen Dean Moore, Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature

Snow snaking along branch

Patterns of vertical and horizontal lines

“Every branch big with it,
Bent every twig with it;
Every fork like a white web-foot;
Every street and pavement mute:
Some flakes have lost their way, and grope back upward, when
Meeting those meandering down they turn and descend again . . .”
     — Thomas Hardy, from “Snow in the Suburbs” 

Voluptuous curves

Snow like frosting

Tracks of a fallen snowball

Animal tracks in the snow