“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
― William Blake

There are some places that I enjoy photographing year after year as they always present something new to discover at every turn.  This past weekend, I had the opportunity to revisit one of these wonderful places.  As I finished the work week, I hopped into my car and started the four and a half hour drive to Townsend, Tennessee.  I was there that I would be staying with a group of friends so that we could photograph and enjoy Cades Cove, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Each time I go to Cades Cove, I try to explore something that I have not already explored.  There are many areas that are frequently photographed along the 11 mile loop.  I wanted to try to capture things that are not so often photographed.

On my first day photographing, I noticed an area that had been burned in a controlled burn.  It was drawing my attention, so I walked in to explore that area.  What initially caught my eye were light colored tracks created by tires that were in such contrast to the dark, burned land.  As I walked into the area, I noticed that the lines led me directly to a little tree.

Little Tree

They say to always look behind you when photographing.  When I looked in the opposite direction, another composition became apparent.

Behind You

I have always been in awe of the beauty of trees.  I find that trees without their leaves seem even more beautiful to me.  While driving around the loop, I kept looking for what I feel when I see these wonderful, bare trees.  When I saw the curves of these trees, it seemed like I was witnessing a graceful dance.

The Dance

Fog always adds a magical feeling to Cades Cove.  You are more likely to encounter the fog if you arrive early.  On my first day, I was thrilled to see the fog and how it showcased the trees it surrounded.



My second and final day of shooting was extremely foggy.  I decided to go down a path less traveled in the Cove.  There I found the perfect subjects to photograph on a foggy morning.

Green Through the Fog

After processing my tree images from the trip, I asked my husband, Randy, which was his favorite.  His favorite was not the same as mine.  I would love to hear which of these tree images you prefer and why.

The next time you are out, be sure to appreciate to beauty and grace of the trees.


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Comments (14)

  1. Avatar

    Outstanding work, Mary. Stunning and expansive compositions.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, kindly, Tom! Greatly appreciate your kind words!

  2. Avatar

    Beautiful work Mary! If I can only pick one, it would have to be The Dance.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, John! That is one of my two favorites:). Have a great day!

  3. Avatar

    I love Little Tree. There is something spiritual in that picture to me. I feel God lighting the path to new life (the tree) in the middle of a burned out area. My second favorite is The Dance. I love your work; it’s hard to choose!

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you so much, Debbie, for your very kind words! Best wishes for all in your family during the holiday season!

  4. Avatar

    I have so many favorites. I love “bare” trees. So wonderful.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you, kindly, Jennifer!

  5. Avatar

    Jaw dropping pictures, Mary! “The Dance” is simply wonderful!

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you so much! I hope all is going well with you and your photography!

  6. Avatar

    so enjoyed these shots, wonderful. thanks for sharing

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thank you very much, Tim!

  7. Avatar

    Mary these are all wonderful images and each one speaks differently to us but I like that Little Tree. Small in stature but standing relentless against the storms it has experienced.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Richard, thank you so much for your kind words and letting me know which you prefer! I love your description!

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