As summer warms up, manzanita bushes in Northern California start shedding their bark. Having grown up in the middle of these bushes, I pretty much ignored what was right in front of me until I started taking pictures and the ordinary became extraordinary through the lens. Last week as I drove up my in-laws driveway I noticed the bark peeling off the bushes and thought “How cool”. Something I grew up with became the focus of my shooting. For this shot, I converted to Black and White in Picasa and adjusted the brightness and contrast quite a bit. It’s hosted on Zooomr. Most of the year the bark is a deep red color, almost burgandy. In the summer it peels off to expose fresh green bark. I have an alternate shot that shows the colors.
As I wrote this post I started remembering scenes from my childhood. I clearly remember peeling the bark of the bushes during the summer and trying to see how big of a piece I could get. I spent many hours every day in the summertime amongst the manzanita bushes on our property. They made excellent forts. At my grandparents house in the Sierra Nevada foothills the manzanita bushes were much bigger and provided a canopy for taking walks in the summer. More on Manzanita bushes can be found on Wikipedia.