Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Language of Bugs

My dad makes fun of me for taking pictures of dead trees.

I take a lot of them.

I find the pale, skinless trees in the woods fascinating.  They remind me of headstones or monuments.

At some point, I started noticing the secret writings of the insect world etched into the tree bones.

When was it written?  What did it say?

Taken on the North Fork Trail

I can imagine these are the only records of great and mighty insect empires, detailing their secret histories.  Their Caesars and Caligulas.  Their Hamlets.  Their heroes and villains.  The rise and fall of their entire civilizations.

Bobcat Ridge
I can imagine graduate students spending their school careers trying to translate this complex language without a Rosetta Stone, and going insane.

On the Colorado Trail
Maybe it isn't worth translating.  Maybe it's nothing more than a list of goods and services.

On the Colorado Trail
Maybe it's just graffiti, and says, "Benjamin Bug was here".

On the Longs Peak Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park
But they're all different.  They all have a story to tell, even if the story is simply, "a pine beetle infestation killed this tree 30 years ago".

On the North Fork
Or maybe...

Maybe someday I will have to grow up and stop making up stories.  

Sounds boring.


Christopher Scheirer said...


I love the images. Occasionally, I've noticed how interesting the insect trails on old, dead trees were. But it's really a detail that doesn't gets much attention. I notice their tracings whenever I'm in the woods (not very often) and whenever I also happen to be using an old log for a stool and table at lunch or dinner (again, not very often).

I would suppose there are a lot of sublime details like this in the mountains that would make for great subject matter. Tell your Dad taking photos of flotsam and jetsam is legitimate photographic activity. And, please, don't every really grow up and stop making stories. That would be pretty boring.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Christopher. Please don't grow up and stop making stories. I love all your blogs and pictures.. And yes I read every single one to.

Leauxra said...

Thanks, you guys. It is remarkably encouraging when you put a comment on my blog. Y'all are awesome.