Spirits In The Trees
There's something about Cottonwood Trees in the winter. Mostly without leaves, the Cottonwood's true character shines through. Gnarly and twisted, each of them is possessed of it's own ancient spirit and no two are alike.
The Quintessential Tree Of New Mexico
Most people get excited about the Cottonwoods in the fall and they do indeed put on quite a show when their leaves change color. In the winter though, they put on a different show and it goes largely unnoticed.
As winter begins, most of the dead leaves cling to the branches and shake like rattlesnakes when the breeze moves them. As the winter wears on, the leaves finally let go and, as they fall, they reveal the hauntingly beautiful structure of the trees.
LaLadera Road in Peralta, New Mexico is lined with Cottonwoods that look to have been growing in their places since the beginning of time.
The Cottonwood is a fast growing tree but the wood is relatively soft and this is what contributes to the gnarly shape of the old trees. The most obvious place to see them is in the Rio Grande River Bosque but I drive LaLadera Road every day and consider the trees that grow there to be my special trees. I remember many of them from over twenty years ago and they were big and crazy looking then.
Since moving back to New Mexico, I have done a photo project of the Cottonwoods in winter every year.
Unless otherwise noted, most of these photos are from LaLadera Rd. but a few are from elsewhere in Los Lunas.
To see all the complete series of Winter Trees, click here.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.