Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Giants of West Virginia (SWF)

Tulip Tree,
Liriodendron tulipifera


New River Gorge, sunset

The afternoon sun shines strongly on the western-facing slope,
the New River, narrowly snaking far below, beyond densely treed ridges.
In the distance, that marvel of engineering, the giant spanning this divide, stands proudly above them all—within these woods, Tulip Trees, green giants in their own right, tallest of the eastern hardwoods.

Tulip Tree against evergreens


They are common here, and prized in the timber industry for their tall, straight trunks.
Yet, with each passing, my eye marvels at the leaf.




Tiny, tender, and green—folded in half, side-to-side, so perfectly, it seems to have been cut as a paper doll.
Unfurling from a sheath, to open broadly, flap and flutter against a blue sky.


And when I think I have not seen anything more beautiful than this leaf against the sun,
its glow fades into the fog--carries raindrops on its sturdy breadth.
And glistens like silver against the white sky.


(click to enlarge)

New River Gorge, sunset


The New River Gorge Bridge is the highest vehicular bridge in the Americas, crossing the New River in Fayetteville, West Virginia at a height of 876 feet. Completed in 1977, it was, until recently, the longest steel-arch bridge in the world.
.

See more Skywatch here.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

27 comments:

Ginnymo said...

Wow! That New River Gorge is so pretty and that bridge is awesome!! Great photos as usual Nina!!! And your prose also!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Great state, WV; great photos and post. Those tulip tree leaves against that blue sky are just lovely. A beautiful job.

Bernie said...

Oh Nina just when I think it would be impossible to have a more beautiful post you do it again. The pictures and your descriptions should be in book form. Thank you for showing me nature I never thought I would see. Have a wonderful day......:-) Bernie

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love tulip trees. They are the state tree of Indiana, where I live. I just love their blooms. They are so colorful first thing in the spring. Did you notice that the warblers really like those blooms too? That bridge is awesome. I have never crossed a bridge so long over a gorge. At least I haven't been able to stop and take a nice long look at it like this.

Mary said...

I fondly remember you admiring your photos of the Tulip tree and playing with the raindrop soaked leaf.

You're taking me back to WVA!

Lynne said...

I am so enjoying seeing New River through your eyes. We were on many of the same trips but your view is so very "Nina". I hope I learned to see the world a little more through your eyes. That was your gift to me.

Michelle Johnson said...

More beautiful photos and the words complimenting them are a nice tribute to WV. I love that picture of the bridge. Your angle was perfect. Hope all is well. Have a nice day.

NCmountainwoman said...

Beautiful photographs of this gorgeous area.

KatDoc said...

Oooh, look how "drippy!" Loved walking with you - thanks for teaching me to look down.

~Kathi

dguzman said...

Amazing. I love tulip trees too!

Deborah Godin said...

I enjoyed your photos of the trees, and just as much, your own rapture over them!

Beth said...

I agree with Bernie. You should be writing books - your prose and your photos are breathtaking. Thanks for letting me relive the journey through your eyes.

Beth

Jane said...

Lovely photos, I like your lizard photo in your sidebar:)

Bradley Myers said...

Good skywatch Friday post, I have been there and it is beautiful country.

Pearl Maple said...

Great collection of photos for Sky Watch Friday. Thanks for sharing these beautiful views with us all. Like the way you caught all the angles and lines on the bridge.

RuneE said...

I should very much like to have a closer look at that bridge - there most be many good photo subjects there.

Wren said...

Great photos, Nina. I particularly like the tree with the yellow buds against the blue sky.

erin said...

so enjoyed your beautiful, most beautiful shots and commentary. the bridge is a work of art and i so like it.
have a most fab friday.

VALKYRIEN said...

Great photos - but I simply love that bridge shot!

The Texican said...

Beautiful in West Virginia isn't it? Thanks

marcia@joyismygoal said...

i so love that arch

Arija said...

Nina, your photos are magical, combined with your prose they capture the very soul of Tulip trees.
I have just had the joy of spending a few days with one in its autumnal splendour.
Great bridge shots too, it is such a lovely structure!

Kendris said...

Absolutely gorgeous! The first shot of the bridge is breathtaking!

Nature Lovin' Super Mama said...

wow...the gorge photos leave me speechless. Great post, and photos'!

MaineBirder said...

It's been many years since I've been to the New River Gorge.

Thanks for the walk back on memory lane with these great photos.

Glennis said...

That is a most impressive bridge,and the area has some wonderful trees and plants.
But its the bridge I like the best.

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, beautifully written and photographed. Your words are poetry. Once again you make us stop and see the world around us that so many take for granted. I love seeing it through your eyes. You are a gifted writer. (And you are far ahead of me with posting. I am just getting started!)