Several juvenile trees sprouting from a geological bridge.

An alternate view of Illusion of Choice, found at Natural Bridge State Park of North Freedom, WI.

For as stunning as the arch was, I was equally astounded by the trees sprouting from its side. I questioned what home they could possibly find in that fragile sandstone – sunny and spacious, but able to crumble away with too much displacement.

I later learned that the formation has known human visitation for 10,000 to 12,000 years, and that the earliest of those times were to provide temporary shelter. Reflecting on that, the tree’s perilous clinging didn’t seem so different to those early needs. I’m sure it will eventually crumble away with erosion, as many before it have, but it will have known the sun it needed until then, and will have provided the habitat that it was meant to.

Mamiya C330 Professional S
Mamiya-Sekor 55mm f/4.5
Kodak Ektar – ISO 100 – 6×6