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Fallen Colors

Tranters Creek
Beaufort County, NC

Life and death, growth and decay are in constant balance. It is a dance on the edge of entropy. The Third Law of Thermodynamics condemns the universe to a cold, lifeless eternity but I wonder if this hopelessness is a misunderstanding, an inadequacy of our science.

The trunk of this cypress tree has split and fallen into Tranters Creek. The tree’s leaves are yellow and brittle. It seems the tree’s death is inevitable.

Maybe not.

A forest may keep a fallen tree alive. In the German forest of Hümmel there is the stump of a birch tree felled four or five hundred years ago, but it still possesses greenwood, living wood colored by chlorophyll. With no trunk, limbs, or leaves, it’s not possible for the stump to produce its own chlorophyll. The sugars necessary are being contributed by the surrounding birch trees through a network of fungi connecting the roots or the connected roots themselves.

Such generosity isn’t restricted to birch trees or even trees of the same species. It may occur in every mature, diverse forest. It does not happen when forests are clear-cut and uniformly replanted with a single species chosen for its profitability.

In the real world, cooperation may be as successful as competition.


Print Quality

Our archival quality images are printed on Moab Exhibition paper using Canon Lucia inks, providing lustrous reproducttions with a board color gamut that resists aging. For more information on the technology used, see our page on print quality.

The images on this site have been highly compressed to speed page loading. Some artifacts from the process may be visible but the image files used for printing are high resolution.

Sound Rivers

Five percent of the profits from all sales on this site are donated to Sound Rivers, a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the quality of rivers on the Carolina coastal plain.

Fallen Colors


A fallen bald cypress lays half-submerged in Tranters Creek. Early morning sunlight illuminates the cypress needles while shadows layered the creek’s surface.

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18"x12" Print, 24"x16" Print, 30"x20" Print, 36"x24" Print


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