Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

I was inspired to work on my condition during the holiday, so I had packed my jogging shoes. There I was, following a small road into a Swedish forest, the gravel making a familiar and wonderful sound under my feet, and the air sweet and fresh.

For me, a small gravel road in summer in a Swedish forest is pretty close to heaven.

Uphill, a slight curve, and there: an open space where trees had been cut. Birch! Birch has a spell on me, for the black and white, and for the light green foliage. And there it was, lots of birch bark scattered on the ground.

My feet stopped and my heart beat faster, I stared at the ground. One of my hands reached out to pick up one piece, then another.

I found myself jogging back with a pile of birch bark in my hand. I had no idea if, when or how I would use it, but that was not important. Birch jewellery, birch drawings, birch photography…? Birch whatever!

That’s when I figured that my jogging shoes had nothing to do with inspiration, they were just a rational intention. The real inspiration was in the birch bark and in the irrational moment of just doing: Pick up and carry home, now!


This is part of the The Daily Post Photo Challenge. Explore all the other interpretations of Inspiration here.

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

  1. Lovely post in descriptive words and image.

    I’m so happy to find someone else who sees something in bark that makes it irresistible to pick up and look at more closely! I have quite a collection too, almost all of it from my California Pepper trees that drop curly wonders—miniature sculptural art.

    When I go out in the morning, I walk along like a seashell-collecting beachcomber, looking for what I call treeshells.

    • Oh, “treeshells”, that sounds like a word I’ve been missing – thank you for giving it to me! I’m happy too to know I’m not the only one! (I kind of tried to down-size my bark excitement from my husband and daughter, putting up a casual air of “yeah, well, never mind…”, not sure how convincing it was, though…).
      If you have tips on how to best store them, let me know. I’d love to be able to actually use them sometime, but they will dry and loose their flexibility (or they already did…).

      • I so get what you’re describing (keeping your interest to yourself).
        How to store them? It depends on the kind of bark–the natural oils, etc. Fragile, I’d keep them with “popcorn” or other packing material, or loosely arranged in a protective box.
        I have arranged some in a display box that creates something like a 3D mosaic, while each one has its own compartment where it stands alone as a sculptural piece. I wish to prepare a photo of it for you and post it on the blog.
        If your want to restore flexibility, wash a piece and put it in a bag for a few hours. It’s tricky. I accidentally left a beautiful curly piece out in the rain and it flattened out completely! I did not try to reshape it.
        To preserve and use a piece in other ways, I imagine one could dip it in acrylic though it would change the look and tactile feel.
        I look forward to hearing and seeing more from you on this!

        • Again, thank you soo much for sharing your bark mosaic on your blog, I love the display!
          So, I’ll go gently and experiment with the pieces I have. I was thinking of acrylic, to make rings, f ex, with bark embedded. Never worked with acrylic before, but always wanted to try it, so this may be the first project. Have no idea when I’ll get to it, but I do have enough pieces to start with, when that day comes! “Sleeping projects” are fine too, they make a nice pillow… 😉

  2. Pingback: Treeshells | marsowords

  3. Thinking again about your wanting to experiment with organic materials (like bark). I tried putting red autumn leaves in the freezer to hold their color until a photo shoot (their color held well). I wonder what would happen if they were dipped in acrylic?
    Wishing for time to experiment more! I so enjoy your posts!

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