Ready for Release

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 Β© Karen McRae

152 thoughts on “Ready for Release

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. This is an amazing series! I love the changes through the seasons. The comparison to the human form is so strong. So good!

  4. 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.

  5. They looks like marching penguins or dinosauls, or even pilgrims.
    Where going to ? Yond of unknowm holizon ?
    They are thought provoking fantastic photos.

  6. 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.

  7. They look just as good this time! Some, a bit scarier, due to the shy drama, but I love them. Especially the buzzard!

  8. 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. πŸ™‚

  9. 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! πŸ™‚

  10. 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..

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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? πŸ˜‰

    1. 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. =)

  15. 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!


  16. Oh Karen, I just love these! Thankyou for revisiting them. I think I have formed a sort of bond … πŸ™‚ Release! release! πŸ™‚

  17. 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!

  18. 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

  19. Your photo series of these little trees have almost made them characters in some epic tale of survival.

    Today was a triumphant day.

  20. 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.

  21. 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’?



  22. 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….

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

    1. 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.

  25. 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?

  26. 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?

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

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