Grasslands

Is it the Spirit of a Tree? Are We Snow?

So, does this photo show the spirit of a Russian olive?

Or this?

Or this, maybe?

Or this, even?

A little camera movement in poor light does the trick.

Well, none of them are the spirit of a Russian olive, really, but they sure do say something about human perception, which is designed to see them as a woven pattern, at various levels of abstraction. The principle is so innate, that new knowledge about Russian olives can even be gained by playing this game, and about human thinking. Even both together.

It’s like looking at nerves themselves, which it just might be, given how the eye is hard-wired right into the brain. Now, here’s one that ratchets up the game. This isn’t a Russian olive.

It’s a Wood’s rose:

Its angularity creates an entirely different effect, which the eye weaves as well, although not as completely. It is, mind you, a lot harder to enter a rose bush. Even the snow can’t manage that.

In this story, we are the snow.

2 replies »

  1. In some parts of the U.S. prairies, Russian olive (not native) have formed “forests” on what is called vacant land and helped eastern birds to extend their range into the prairies.

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