Nature normal, humans awed.

I just found a wonderful cluster of photos, thanks to Bored Panda, purporting to show organic matter embracing and snaking its way through human-built structures. Among these, I’m not surprised to note, is a shot by yet another photographer of the abandoned Namibian mining village I wrote about a few weeks ago. These are beautiful, funny, awe-inspiring, and ultimately heartening images. One reason they are heartening is that photographers stopped to capture them. Another is that the photos are appreciative, some even reverent. I don’t think they are faked, but frankly, the main reason I would be suspicious is that the image quality is without exception excellent.

Here is the mining town again, captured by Marsel van Oosten:

Marsel van Oosten abandoned mining town

photo by Marsel van Oosten

I love the colors in this photo, created by light. Next, trees out of control (the best kind, except when you lose your car or roof to one). This photo, taken on Vashon Island, for all you Northwesterners, is credited to Ethan Welty.

Ethan Welty bicycle eaten by tree

photo by Ethan Welty

A few of Bored Panda’s readers thought this next one might be, well, not precisely found in nature:

Crackoala piano

photo by Crackoala

Photo credit here goes to Crackoala, which may be an additional reason some are suspicious of the photo’s origins, BUT I am here to tell you that evidence of Crackoala’s creative energy is all over the web.

This piano is especially evocative for residents of Corvallis, Oregon, who have recently been treated to a generous dose of pianos as found in the wild. Here are two of my own records of this gift:


mjc photo


mjc photo

No trees here, though….I mean none growing into the piano. The embraces here are human rather than wooden. But one of the several miraculous and thrilling aspects of this summertime cultural episode for Corvallians was the stark unlikelihood of these large and delicate human-made objects being deliberately scattered around where rain and chipmunks could get to them. It was daring and edgy and a lot of surprised musicians made a lot of good music. We sighed when the pianos disappeared — as arbitrarily as they had appeared.

Finally, this one is one of my favorites, but also one that feels kind of creepy, like the tree’s roots have turned into some out-of-control Harry Potter-ish spider:

worldbeyondyourown roots sidewalk

photo by worldbeyondyourown

My main response is “ewwww….,” but I keep staring.

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