There’s something about the starkness of the winter landscape — the muted colors, the openness of the forest, the negative spaces created by the bare branches of trees that sets my imagination on a whirling dance. Maybe it’s because I’m a lover of greenness, and the lack of it makes my mind play games with me. Or perhaps it’s my eyes playing games with my mind. You see, I frequently find myself squinting and purposefully looking at things through soft eyes, intentionally distorting trees, rocks, hillside, just about everything that falls within my gaze. I have done this from as far back as I can recall, and still delight when I encounter faces, shapes and animated forms when I look at things from different angles, slants of light, and shadows. Of course seeing these “spirited” forms requires that I bring a certain childlike sensibility to my observations, and that I allow my imagination to be open to what appears.
While the weather today provided moments of sunshine, the Bent Twig Trail was mostly shrouded in gray mist. Perfect conditions for finding fathom creatures of fantasy. Indeed, they were there! Although I’m including a couple of photos in this blog post, your best bet for encountering these imaginative creatures is to come hike the Bent Twig Trail, perhaps on a day that most others would consider dreary. Be sure to squint your eyes, allow your focus to go soft, and bring your sense of playful exploration. What you see and what I see may not be the same, but that’s the beauty of the imagination. It’s also the gift of discovery that such time in nature provides.
Sometimes my hands, as well as my eyes decide to play along with such imaginings. Perhaps you’ll find the following evidence on the Bent Twig Trail, but be careful were you step. I hear that the little forest folks are busy getting ready for winter.
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