Flare Tree (no scientific name has yet been given)


The Flare Tree is one of the more graceful trees of the Northern Meralgian steppes and savannahs. Its large height is a bit surprising in this type of environment, in view of the old Earth adage: 'Large trees catch much wind'. Indeed they do, and large trees must solve this or die crashing to the ground. The Flare Tree has solved this evolutionary puzzle with flexible branches. These curve out gracefully from its pathognomonically large stem bulb, and then raise straight up into the air. These branches sway with the wind; in a severe storm, Flare Trees appear to bend over completely, the flares almost touching the ground.

Recognition in the field is rather simple, as no other tree in this region grows to a comparable height. Young trees are not likely to cause much confusion either, as the flares are apparent from an early age on.

Imaging tips
This image was taken just before dawn, which is a difficult time to get a good colour balance. Here, however, the array of blues works quite well, and conveys an atmosphere of early morning tranquillity. The imager has taken care to contrast a close-up view, showing the nether branches of a Flare Tree, with a long shot establishing two Flare Trees in the far distance. This gives depth to the image, while still presenting the viewer with an clear idea of how Flare Trees determine the 'look' of the landscape.
Canon Eos XXIV with float-tripod. F=6.7 at a time of 0.48 seconds and a 3.1 probability sequencer.