These photos were taken by Beth Moon, a photographer based out of San Francisco, California. She spent over a decade travelling the world in search of the globe’s most ancient trees. Her photos come from very remote locations, as she explains on her website:
“Many of the trees I have photographed have survived because they are out of reach of civilization; on mountainsides, private estates, or on protected land. Certain species exist only in a few isolated areas of the world. For example; there are 6 species of spectacular baobabs, found only on the island of Madagascar. Sadly, the baobab is now one of the three most endangered species on the island.” (source)
Many of the trees she’s photographed are only there because they’ve been out of reach of civilization and human activity. They come from protected land, private estates, mountainsides and more.
She choose to photograph trees based on their age, size and historical significance. Beth did plenty of research before taking these photos, which further add to their substance and awe.
“Beth Moon’s stunning images capture the power and mystery of the world’s remaining ancient trees. These hoary forest sentinels are among the oldest living things on the planet and it is desperately important that we do all in our power to ensure their survival. I want my grandchildren – and theirs – to know the wonder of such trees in life and not only from photographs of things long gone. Beth’s portraits will surely inspire many to help those working to save these magnificent trees.” – Dr. Jane Goodall (source)
Nature is truly beautiful, and serves so many purposes. Trees are the homes to a variety of animals, they are the Earth’s lungs, and so much more. I cannot even begin to express how important our relationship to nature is, and how far we’ve strayed from our connection to it, and why that’s detrimental. We are supposed to live in harmony with nature, not against it. We are supposed to thrive from the gifts it can provide for us, not destroy it for our materialistic wants. If we are to create a better human experience for everyone, we must learn to co-exist with all living life. Sure, small steps in our everyday life are important and a must, but we are at the point where we need large scale “giant” change to take place.
“It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest.” – Buckminister Fuller
There are better ways to do things here on planet Earth and we are no doubt (as a human collective) starting to realize it. We have so much potential and we are capable of so much more. It doesn’t have to be this way, and the way we currently operate should be serving as a huge eye opener for many that are now asking themselves “what are we doing here?”
If we pause for a moment, questioning and observing how we operate here, it becomes easy to see how backwards things are on our planet. Sure, there are a lot of beautiful aspects to modern life, but that does not mean we can or should ignore the problems we have created and have the ability to solve.
Did you know that the world’s rain forests are currently disappearing at a rate of approximately 6000 acres every single hour? That’s the equivalent to 4000 football fields. Every. Single. Hour. There is no word to adequately express the horror of this reality, particularly in light of the fact that it is in our control to change. If there are guardians of this planet, then truly, they must be weeping.
I often wonder if indeed there are guardians of this planet. I feel intense gratitude knowing that they allow us to remain. They must know that there are a large majority of us who deeply desire a new experience, and that we will do whatever we can to try and create large scale global change. At the same time, I would no be surprised if the Earth took precedence, and I dread the day where our removal is required for the sustainability of the planet. I often believe that with all of the atrocities occurring on this planet (mass environmental degradation being one them), there must be assistance coming from a place that is unknown. Maybe if the collective will of the human race is strong enough, past critical mass (over 50 percent), assistance will be provided. That being said, it would be foolish to sit and hope that someone will change things for us; it’s our job to turn things around here ourselves.
I hope these images make you feel for our planet, and I hope these couple of paragraphs encourage you to take some time out of your day to at least give a thought for planet Earth, and all the living things on it, and how every one of us is interconnected in a very special way.
Our collective thoughts about this issue must turn into action on a large scale. I hope one day soon we are somehow able to do it. It is certainly possible; I for one am doing and involving myself in projects that can help, and I hope you are too. The current situation with GMO’s is a great example out of many of how activism and public vocalization can lead to major change. Never think what you are doing is too small, if the heart intent is there, that is most important.
“I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment, celebrating the wonders of nature that have survived throughout the centuries. By feeling a larger sense of time, developing a relationship with the natural world, we carry that awareness with us as it becomes a part of who we are. I cannot imagine a better way to commemorate the lives of the world’s most dramatic trees, many which are in danger of destruction, than by exhibiting their portraits.”
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