Some months ago I stuck my camera into a tree cavity and shot down into the opening. At the bottom, a very nervous red squirrel crouched. I was so pleased with this daring bit of photography that I decided to jam my camera into every tree opening of sufficient size and see what might be revealed.
Not much, it turns out, but that has more to do with the nervousness of the photographer than any secrets within the tree.
The shot above shows the inside of the tree growing in the Central Valley. It is actually looking up, so pretend you’re lying on your back, okay? The base of the tree has a large hole in it, probably the result of a ground fire years ago. Outside the hole there was all sorts of dirt and wood chips that had been thrown out of the cavity. It looked likely that some critter had a den within, and I thought I might just get a good shot of whatever it was.
Except that I was too timid to shove my arm in far enuf. Some critter that didn’t appreciate my quizzical motives might be within, ready to give me a bite. I took the shot above, saw that it wasn’t very good, and then took the shot below:
You can see that this one is no better. Keep in mind that I was on the ground, crawling about under a cedar tree that was determined to drop its sharp needles down the back of my shirt. If something within came after me, I would not have been able to beat a hasty retreat.
Enuf of the excuses though. There are plenty of other hollow trees at Roundrock with better approaches and easier escapes. So Pablo will keep trying.
- Mammals seek winter shelter.