I’ve been drawing old junipers this week, beautiful silvery twisted trunks and weathered branches curling and bending in such elegant shapes.
This afternoon, late, I decided to scout for trees to draw on telegraph pole bench, up a crumbly sandstone track to a flat top, lined with telegraph poles. The track meanders along the bench top’s narrow spine, graced with beautiful views on each side…. But today I was looking at the junipers.
My usual brisk walk became a thoughtful stroll, and the stroll turned into a visit to a fantastic art show. Such beauty! Such variety of unending wonderful shapes and elegant silhouettes. Once you start thinking of junipers, and not the path, an infinity of wonderful sculptures greet you.The late afternoon sky was hazy, so the light was oh so soft. The trunks of these old weathered junipers were such a sweet, gentle range of grays and browns, their branches wonderfully expressive raising skyward. And oh, what delicate fine textures too.
I wandered around utterly taken with their quiet beauty. The clumps of grass and the lava rock also looked so sweet and gentle in this low hazy light. Suddenly EVERYTHING looked so lovely…the grasses against the darkened trunks, the blue green sage and coyote mint, the orange lichen gleaming on lava rock, the pale creamy orange earth… It all took on a magical feel as though I was in a different world, just a step away from this one, a world imbued with light/life glowing from within.
Some old junipers had worn down to just a foot or two and others looked like ancient explosions, huge limbs splayed outwards from their center. There were wonderful peelings too of soft gray looking like wings or fur.
I caught myself wishing I could become an old juniper when I die…to melt down to bare bones and reach to the sky in some wonderfully expressive way and slowly grow more and more delicately silver and more finely textured and then, to slowly peel away and melt ever so slowly and gently into the earth.