Captivating black-and-white photographs of the worldâ€™s most majestic ancient trees.Beth Moonâ€™s fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization. All, however, share a mysterious beauty perfected by age and the power to connect us to a sense of time and nature much greater than ourselves. It is this beauty, and this power, that Moon captures in her remarkable photographs.This handsome volume presents nearly seventy of Moonâ€™s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yewsÂ—some more than a thousand years oldÂ—that grow in English churchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called Â“upside-down treesâ€ because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragonâ€™s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that grow only on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.Moonâ€™s narrative captions describe the natural and cultural history of each individual tree, while Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at The New York Botanical Garden, provides a concise introduction to the biology and preservation of ancient trees. An essay by the critic Steven Brown defines Moonâ€™s unique place in a tradition of tree photography extending from William Henry Fox Talbot to Sally Mann, and explores the challenges and potential of the tree as a subject for art.
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