Hatshepsut’s Myrrh Tree

This is our entry in Dutch goes the Photo!’s Tuesday Photo Challenge – Old.

This sign stands in front of the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Upper Egypt, on the Nile near the Valley of the Kings.  The sign states:

This tree was brought from Punt by Hatshepsut’s expedition which is depicted on the temple walls

Hatshepsut, who ruled Egypt for almost 22 years around 1500 BC, was one of its most successful pharaohs. She was the daughter of Thutmose I, chief wife of Thutmose II (her half brother),  and (officially) co-regent with Thutmose III (her husband’s son with a secondary wife).  (Of course, the true history is much more complicated than this summary.)

The tree in the photo was brought back from the Land of Punt, part of the trade goods acquired during a trading expedition overseen by Hatshepsut.  This myrrh tree, one of 31, was transplanted in front of her mortuary temple.  (There really is the stump of a 3500-year-old tree in this enclosure.)  Frankincense was another trade good from this expedition, which was charred and ground for use as kohl eyeliner, a widely-used eye cosmetic.

This photo was taken on March 2, 2013. Specs are:

Olympus TG-1, ISO 100, f/8, 1/800 sec, 4.5 mm.

Venus against a blue sky

This is our entry in Lost in Translations’s Thursday’s Special: Vernal.

This Spring we planted a Venus dogwood tree to replace our green ash tree that succumbed to the emerald ash borer over the past year.  The Venus dogwood is known for its large creamy white bracts in the Spring, red fruit in the Fall, and attractive leaves in the Summer and Fall.  This tree should be healthy, drought-tolerant, and disease-resistant. We look forward to enjoying its beauty for many years.

Venus dogwood blossoms against a blue sky

This photo was taken on May 10, 2017. Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/8, 1/320 sec, 47 mm

Tree Bird – Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

Here is my entry in Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge.

Tree Bird


This photo was taken on October 23, 2016, in Green Spring Gardens, a public park in Alexandria, Virginia, with a Canon EOS Rebel SL1.  Specs are ISO 100, f/8, 1/13 sec, 55 mm. This fallen tree appears to have the beak and eye of a large bird. The eye color is created by green leaves seen through a large knothole.

Natural World & Leading Lines

Tree in Montmartre Cemetery, Paris, France

This picture, looking up into the gnarled branches of a centuries-old tree, was taken in Montmartre Cemetery in Paris, France, in October, 2015. The tree’s fallen brown leaves provide a blanket for the graves below.