I started admiring this tree off of I-55 about a year and a half ago on my many trips to and from St. Louis from Chicago. I noticed it for its odd asymmetry and for its placement (all alone in a beautiful field on a farm).
It reminded me of that Shawshank Redemption quote–
There’s a big hayfield up near Buxton…One in particular. It’s got a long rock wall, a big oak tree at the north end. It’s like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It’s where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under that oak and I asked and she said yes. Promise me, Red. If you ever get out, find that spot. In the base of that wall, you’ll find a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield. A piece of black, volcanic glass. There’s something buried under it I want you to have.
I was even more struck to find in the summer that although it has been disfigured presumably by some large weather event, it is still alive and well. I resolved to take pictures of it some day, but drive by photos never worked well and the field was fenced off by the farm along the highway.
Well, today I decided to take the nearest exit and try and find a back road that would lead me to it. I found one and was looking left towards the highway for it until I almost ran into it on my right. It was on someone’s property, but close enough to the road that I could shoot it up close. The day had a magical quality to it (threatening to storm, humid and breezy, but perfectly warm and sunny) and being in the tree’s presence set my heart racing for some reason. It has a wonderful nook at its root (that I was tempted to climb inside but feared being chased off by angry armed farmers) and a beautiful stream nearby.
I wanted to spend all day with it or search for hidden lunchboxes, but this slashdot article came to mind.
Here is a slideshow of the photos I took of it:
I also have a tag set of other cloud and chicago shots I took that day: