I had a chance to visit with the wrapped trees today. I thought they might be released from their winter trappings, but no. Surely, it must be well past time. The little trees are trying to fight their way out with the aid of the prevailing winds. They are ready to feel the sun and the rain on their restrained boughs. There are bits of green popping out.
I brought a little sun-shower with me but it’s not enough. The earth is cracked and dry.
Some of them are looking rather defeated. Who will come and start the unraveling?
*All these trees are as I have found them, along the highway and wrapped for the harsh winter. I have been documenting them through the seasons and you can find the whole series here.
All images © Karen McRae
152 thoughts on “Ready for Release”
Huddled masses yearning to break free…
…soon, I hope…
Great composition, makes you look a lot harder hahah!
Thanks so much. 🙂
No problem at all!
They do look tired. Your photography is stunning!
these are great photos! The figures reminds me of oogy from nightmare before christmas almost, The fourth last one really stood out to me. It looks as if a mother is looking down at her baby, unreal. Awesome stuff!
Thank you for your great comments, Joanne. 🙂
These are so bedraggled and beautiful. Thank you
Thank you for commenting, it is appreciated.
Yes, they do evoke that!
Oh Karen, I see them peeking through their wrapping. The blue skies give some optimism. I feel the struggle for release. Such emotive images.
Thank you Marina, it seems they are struggling for release! I’m tempted to help out…
OH, even more amazing.
Thank you Elena. 🙂
They look alive, I don’t think I’d want to be alone with them at night. 🙂
I’m sure they are relatively harmless, but I haven’t been there at night….
The trees almost look human don’t they…trying to struggle free? The photograph of that parched earth reminds me of texture studies we did as part of our first year undergrads.
A beautiful set as always.
Thank you Amrita, I think they need to be freed, hopefully soon.
I can’t help but picture them coming alive and dancing their way out of the wrappings! They look frustrated. Someone come release them!
Yes! I agree, it’s seems long overdue!
This is an amazing series! I love the changes through the seasons. The comparison to the human form is so strong. So good!
Thank you, I’m glad you find it interesting!
OMG. They are looking like some “monsters” from another planet!
Yes, they have a life of their own!
Simply beautiful skies Karen!!!! Great photos!!! 🙂 **
Canadian skies are beautiful Xandre, you are probably in Canada right now!! Best wishes. 😀
Beautiful pictures. It’s so hard not to anthropomorphize these objects.
I know, I don’t really think of them as trees at all anymore! Thank you Matt.
Thank you Richard. I’m glad you are wowed! =)
Such a neat series K!
Thanks Al! =)
I remember those intriguing creatures and they are as beautiful as they were with snow…
I’m glad you still think so Marina, thank you.
We missed them.
Aw, here they are…
I am so glad you revisied this. Your springwrappedtrees9 is scary. These are just fantastic. It has given me an idea for a costume next halloween. If anyone asked what I am dressed up as I will give them a link to your blog.
Oh, you must send me a picture! =)
I’d love to see you as a wrapped tree. Thank you!
Careful what you wish for….it just might come through.
They looks like marching penguins or dinosauls, or even pilgrims.
Where going to ? Yond of unknowm holizon ?
They are thought provoking fantastic photos.
Thank you so much Yoshizen, they are a little mysterious. 🙂
This is seriously fantastic! I particularly love the first one.
Inga, thank you so much. Your comment is very appreciated.
There really is a book in here Karen..such a great series..I’d be tempted to take along a pair of scissors hehe..
great effect on the first one btw..like a painting somehow..
Thank you Cath! The scissor idea is tempting…
It’s good to see that they’ve survived. It’s also interesting that the change of season seems to redefine their character and behaviour.
Yes, there are few casualties though, I think. I find also that the seasons have changed them.
amazing photo series – reminds me of beggars hunched over
Hi Bella, thank you for commenting! 🙂
They look just as good this time! Some, a bit scarier, due to the shy drama, but I love them. Especially the buzzard!
Thank you Sandy! 🙂
AWESOME! I LOVE. Congratulations on your great work
Thank you so much Angel, I truly appreciate your comment!
Still compelling, Karen…they remind me of Renaissance art with depictions of plague bodies, covered and stumbling from their mounds…maybe at the Resurrection? So nice. This is a beautiful series. I can imagine them in a gallery somewhere. 🙂
Thank you Scott, I really enjoy the different interpretations from others. It’s always interesting! =)
You’re very welcome…and I’m sure it is. 🙂
I’m so glad you went back and checked on the wrapped trees! Too bad they haven’t been unwrapped yet! Like your other photos, this series is equally as wonderful. And full of anthropomorphic forms that seem to come alive in these images. Wonderful work! 🙂
Polly, thanks very much. I’m glad you still find them intriguing.
Still just as interesting… I love them all but particularly the 4th from the bottom…the women in a skirt of branches.. This has been a great series to follow..
Thanks for saying so, Helen. I appreciate it! 🙂
These entitties seem to have gone from human to creature-like! 😉
I agree, they started out very human-like, and the bending weight of the winter has changed them completely.
Young Ents . . . enslaved by the Burlap King, they have been tricked into rooting themselves in place.
I’ve seen this before . . . once rooted, they forget their heritage, forget their identity, forget their freedom.
Individuals no longer, they become as any other tree . . . a source of shade, shelter for insects, birds, and small mammals, a fierce barrier seeking to disrupt The Wind, and a cohesive uniting force for the very ground they stand on.
Do not mourn their fate; it is a noble thing, to be a Tree.
This comment makes me immeasurably happy!
I will no longer mourn for their fate. =)
Oh, the little wrapped trees – let’s lead a blogger revolution and liberate them!
You are paying them a beautiful tribute with this fantastic series.
Perfect, bring scissors Lois! 🙂
“Sunshowers” is breathtaking. You need to send me a print.
Le I Want Everything Clown
Thank you Eric, It could probably be arranged…
Still so evocative. Like monks on a static pilgrimage.
I like the expression “static pilgrimage”, Jim.
I admire how you somehow manage to make the most ordinary things look mysterious and beautiful!
That is nice of you to say Madhu, thank you! =)
I never tire of seeing these Karen. There is certainly a sense of ‘breaking free’ I had to really study the first photo to make out what they were. I was seeing a headless bucking bronco!! Stunning.
David, thank you. I’m glad you are not tiring of them! they have evolved a lot over the seasons. 🙂
Beautiful, mournful, scary trees. Your photos of them create so much emotion. I doubt I’d be able to restrain myself from pulling their shrouds open at the top and helping them slip down to protect the roots for a couple more seasons. The boughs look like a cedar or perhaps hemlock. Any clue to what they are? Any chance we could convince you to put the entire series into a book? 😉
I believe they are little cedar trees and I do kind of feel like releasing them… 🙂
Thank you so much, I’m not sure where they will end up.
Karen, these are absolutely fantastic, outstanding, superb. I really hope you will get a chance to publish them, perhaps as an artist’s book, and also exhibit them! LARGE.!!!!
Christian, thank you so much. I appreciate your enthusiasm! I’m thinking about what to do with them.
I REALLY do feel strongly that these deserve to be shown, hopefully in some fantastic setting. Well edited and curated they would make a huge splash!
I can’t believe you did it again! You wowed me again. Wow!!!
Aw, thank you Anna.
It makes me happy to wow you! One thing I keep thinking that would make it better; is if a crow would land on one the trees while I was there. =)
Hi Karen, I loved the first wrapped trees so much. Thank you for going back and snapping these amazing shots. The wrapped trees remind me of people, on a huge exodus, anywhere to escape what they are currently experiencing? The feeling of the trees is evident & clear. I actually feel emotions of abandonment. WOW! I love all of your pictures and will continue to be an avid “Draw and Shoot” promoter. I haven’t been on my own blog in ages, and you’ve inspired me greatly!
Hi Dorie, thank you so much for such an encouraging comment. I’m happy to think that I might inspire someone. Thanks for the reblog also. Best wishes, Karen
Reblogged this on Savvy Voyageur and commented:
Karen’s amazing photography is not to be missed. View these wrapped trees and feel the emotions that occur.
Magical pictures, Karen, real Magic!!! I see some trolls there.. 😉
Thank you very much Bente, I’ve heard there are lots of trolls in Norway! 😉
Karen, I love this series. So emotional and thought provoking. I often think of this series and the wonderful images.
Ephem, I’m touched that you say you think of this series, that it would stay in your mind. Thank you so much.
I feel like crossing the Atlantic right now and unwrapping the things. Dismantle the trees! Karen, brilliant brilliant pictures…
Ha, ha, Come on over!
Thanks so much.
Oh Karen, I just love these! Thankyou for revisiting them. I think I have formed a sort of bond … 🙂 Release! release! 🙂
Oh Gigi, thanks very much. 🙂
Karen it is such a great series! It certainly is a book or material for an amazing exhibit.I hope you are sending this link accompanied by a letter to museums and galleries around the world. Why not? You could get a show!
Thank you for the encouragement, Carla. A much appreciated comment!
Hi Karen – I will just add my little congratulations on this wonderful series and to say how much I look forward to the final post when the wraps are removed. These have continued to fascinate and intrigue – just wonderful work! Kathleen
Thanks so much, Kathleen. 🙂
Your photo series of these little trees have almost made them characters in some epic tale of survival.
Today was a triumphant day.
Posky, thanks for that.
Karen I have been deeply moved by this series. The images are incredibly stirring. I have carried some of the images from previous posts with me. They really don’t leave us, I don’t think. Because of that, you have done something quite special with this series, really touched upon something profound (and perhaps different and individual) within each of us who has seen them. These photographs are absolutely stunning.
Lemony, I am really touched by your comment. Sincerely.
Thanks for what you have written here. I am glad they strike a chord with people. Karen
Great photographs, Karen! You have a knack for blending nature and living beings together (trees and downcast-looking birds).
Thanks Millie, they have taken on their own personalities for sure.
They’re almost human. Will be great to see them released. Love the images, especially the first one with the rain.
Yes, hopefully they will be released soon! Thanks Simon.
Haunting and beautiful work. Thanks for sharing. CJ
Thank you CJ.
I love the series documented through the seasons, some really beautiful photos! excellent!
Lisa, thank you. They have been transforming…
As so many others have noted, these figures do look animate. In the first photo I thought I was looking at some strange birds or dinosaurs. It’s great for you to have noticed the strangeness.
Yep! I agree with the comment about scissors! It is well time they were out in the sunshine! Another fine ‘treet’, Karen! Were you too far away from where Xandre was going in Canada to meet up with her and ‘HWTHB’?
Xandre is in Edmonton, which is quite far! 🙂
That’s pretty wild looking.
We have odd trees in Canada! 🙂
I love these as much as the ones in winter! What a find of a subject!
There’s such power in this imagery and a variety of metaphors at work.
Thank you F&B, I’m glad you still find them compelling.
the colours are really stunning. They really look like people in shrouds walking into a gale
Thank you, Tin Roof, I got lucky with the dramatic sky!
I really like these images, like an exodus of odd but oddly familiar creatures
Thank you very much!
The sack people are getting freed at last!! You brought us through winter–I’m curious to see how you’ll show spring ^^ These made me think of the Easter islands….
They are still wrapped up! I went by today, perhaps an intervention is needed!?
Easter Island figures, that’s interesting…
your work is just stunning. i feel so moved in so many ways when I look thru. you just have an amazing gift, thank you SO much… it touches so deeply!
Hi there, thank you so much for your your really wonderful comment. I am very grateful you feel that way.
I’ve just discovered your blog. Your images are extraordinary. It inspires me as a teacher to take the kids out into field with their point and shoot digital cameras and discover the beauty in things right under our noses. Thank you!
Oh, I’m happy to inspire! Thank you very much, have fun doing that! 🙂
What an unusual set of pictures. Amazing how something as simple as wrapping a tree up can create such eery images. Quite extraordinary.
They are unusual looking, aren’t they. They certainly caught my eye when I saw them and I’m happy other people find them intriguing also.
Thank you for commenting.
You could totally do some VERY creepy edits to those shots, not that they aren’t slightly creepy already 🙂
Quite awesome and haunting. Inspiring shots…I see a potential stop-motion film.
Thank you, Seb.
That could be an interesting stop motion! Good idea. =)
I have just come across these… they are wonderful! Such evocative images… I love the way that the trees sort of look like they are actually battling against their wrapping. Very dramatic. And they almost look human. And kind of eerie. Love it. Are they free yet?
Hi there, thank you. I’m glad you find them interesting.
Yesterday they were still wrapped! Hopefully they will be free soon.
Wow, they really are amazing shots! They really look like people to me, some of them are especially humanoid – quite chilling (in a great way!)
Hi Eve, thank you for your comment. I’m glad you see the human element to them, they’ve intrigued me since I first saw them.
What fantastic, alien-looking creatures! Great photos, very haunting and beautiful. Well done!
I could not for the life of me figure out what those things were. I thought they were some kind of giant bird(s) taking off. And burlap sacks are just creepy in themselves. Have you seen The Strangers?
Back from vacation and perusing the your posts I missed while away. These images are amazing, Karen. I hope you are considering an exhibit. These are truly wonderful! And I enjoyed your other posts as well. It had to laugh when I saw your skulls – I came home treasure hunting at the beach yesterday with my bags full of shells, glass, metal, fish bones and crab claws.
The wrapped trees are hauntingly beautiful. They almost look like people wrapped up in shawls and hunched over away from the wind. Completely spectacular.
woow – they look like people!!
Ah! It’s (almost) never too late for a com(pli)ment, eh? : )
What a wonderful series! Full of wonders …
The use of colour in this sequence creates a much different tone from your more resent sequence. The green suggest life struggling to escape the brown of decay. The hanging pieces of canvas resemble forlorn monks, primal & medieval in tone.
Thanks for your comment. Yes, they seemed so different the two types of trees, so I chose to do the recent set in black and white.
These are very compelling images.
your photographs have turned these into amazingly anthropomorphic forms.