2015 Deck – Week 16

I was wondering why I found this particular photo appealing… not great, just appealing… then realized my eyes kept following the branches all over the place like a maze, or one of those optical illusion drawings that keep looping back impossibly onto itself.

It’s just a tree, one that was uprooted on the seawalls, and even though the roots are above ground, it just refuses to die 🙂


Canon EOS 60D, Sigma 10-20mm  |  10mm, 1/160s, f/8.0, ISO 100


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

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Tree

Georgetown, the Garden City; our fair city, once replete with Victorian and Colonial architecture, dutch built and inspired drainage canals reminiscent of European cities, and tree-lined streets and avenues, now laughingly referred to by it’s denizens as the Garbage City, floods with the slightest rain, governed (I use that word as loosely as is possible) by a city council that was elected two decades ago (although faces have changed, but not through any democratic process that I know of), and, sadly, losing it’s trees through neglect, sabotage, and lack of foresight (or hindsight it seems).

Most of the trees lining our streets predate us, they were planted, nurtured and cared for by colonial masters (and slaves) before our independence, before the Republic came into being, before self-governance and the long road that led to where we are today.

As we have travelled that road through time, our leaders, our people, we ourselves have forgotten or ignored what it was, what it is that makes Georgetown a place we want to live in, to visit, to be proud of…  We as people, are not as welcoming as we should be, we as humans are not as caring of our environment as we should be.

Saving or replanting trees is not THE answer, but it’s a small part, one that is likely to go unnoticed or ignored.

Yesterday, Kamal Ramkarran wrote (on his own family’s place in our past and present):

As clichéd as it is, the lives of the six generations who followed them is the history of Guyana (from 1875 anyhow). All of us from here are, in a very real way, part of the history of this country. The history of Guyana is our own story, whether we know that story or not.

Since we are part of the story then, the story happening around us and through us, it ought to follow that we should make ourselves responsible for its present and future, just as we try to make ourselves responsible for the present and future of our own lives.

What part are we playing?  Will what we do stand the test of time as those trees still standing attest to the work and acre of our predecessors/ancestors?


2013 |  Tree in St Joseph Ursuline Convent compound, Camp and Church Streets.


Technically, the tree is in the portion of the compound now housing the St Angela’s primary school, the Ursuline compound also houses the St Rose’s Secondary School.  Schools once run by the Ursuline Sisters, but were “nationalised” under the PNC government.

2014 Deck – Week 10

Once called the Garden City, now laughingly referred to as the Garbage City, Georgetown was known for it’s tree-lined Avenues and streets, and the tree-lined canals and trenches that divided the wards of the city and provided drainage for a city that was built upon land reclaimed from the ocean, and sits six feet below sea-level.

Today many of those drainage canals have been filled in for pedestrian walkways (most notably those running north-south such as along High Street, Carmichael Street, Waterloo Street and Camp Street).   Many of the trees that lined the avenues, streets and canals have died (or been cut down) and have not been replaced.  For many of us, we still see the trees that line our streets as being numerous, but this was a much more verdant city, we see it in the old photos and paintings.

Some of the older trees remain and provide some shelter from the tropical sun that bathes our city daily, some are even large enough to help provide shelter from the sudden shower of rain that cools the land and washes away the surface dirt that blankets the city, mainly from our own daily activities.

Walking down the Avenues that are still lined with these sentinels, I often look up at the canopy of lace-like branches and leaves that provide a respite from the midday sun and often ponder on what might make a good composition.  I often take photos, but they just as often fail to live up to the ideals that reside in my mind’s eye.

Here’s a simplistic version that I favoured among the many that I took 🙂



Lacy Leaves

Leaves and branches adorn the sky
An organic filigree
Earthen wrought and weather tempered
It’s not just a tree.

Intertwined and interlocking
like a spider’s gossamer
A lacy parasol that once was
the city’s glamour.


Click on the photo to see it in the Gallery.

Tree on the Avenue

I had taken this photograph of one of the many trees lining the Main Street Avenue, it struck me that I could look up at these canopies along the avenue and feel a sense of calm and even tranquility but when I look back down and around me I am surrounded by rushing people, rushing vehicles, horns blaring and exhausts fuming.

Whilst processing the image I couldn’t think of much to say about this to put on the blog here…  and I thought I’d take up a suggestion someone once made about using a Haiku Poem to accompany it (for some reason the image gave me an Oriental vibe).  I read up on Haiku and realised that anything I attempted would likely come out wrong… and probably be laughed at by anyone who knows about Haiku, so I decided to at least put in these two paragraphs to accompany the photo, and yes I will put the attempt at Haiku under the photo…  If you don’t know about Haiku, then I’ll be fine, if you do know about Haiku… just don’t laugh out loud 😀


Fresh scents, a clear day
Trees adorned with other life
A busy street thrives.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2013 Deck – Week 39

The Main Street Avenue is one of the few tree-lined avenues left in Georgetown, offices like the GRA and others believe that parking is more important than trees, shade, cooling and the beauty of the avenues, I believe that the “parking preparations that they have done to Waterloo street will result in those trees that remain there dying sooner rather than later.

Often, when walking down the avenue, I’d glance up at the lacy canopy and admire the shapes and patterns, and a few of those times, I’d even take a photo; this is one of those photos.


Click on the image to see it in the Gallery

2011 Deck – Week 42

Many times on a walk in the city I would take a photo of The Lodge, I don’t think I’ve ever used any of the photographs before, and since this week had very slim pickings, I chose one that I took in passing.  Actually I had a choice from eight subjects, this one just seemed better than the rest. 🙂

This is one of those photos that when writing about it I feel very silly.  I don’t know anything about this place and I’ve seen it all my life.  Its one of those places that everyone just refers to as The Lodge, and they give you a knowing look, so I never asked, and was never told.  I’m sure those conspiratorial glances were more ignorance rather than knowledge.

So it seems to me that maybe I should ask someone… what is that place and what really goes on in there?  Do you think I’ll get answers on the blog?  🙂

2011 Deck – Week 23

Sometimes a photo is just a photo, nothing more, right?  Wrong!

Every photograph, yes, even snapshots, tell a story, not everyone can understand the story since the language might be different, the concepts are alien to some of us, and often the message is so subtle that it eludes many of us, but a story is there.  It might be a story in a single sentence, it might be a paragraph, it may even be a few chapters.  It is up to the photographer to tell as much or as little of the story as they like, and it is up to the viewer to read and interpret not what the photographer is trying to say, but what the image is saying.

Art is interpretive, and it is unlikely that two people will interpret any given  photograph in the same manner, similar maybe, they may even draw on each other’s observances and add them to their own, but the act of viewing a photograph is personal, it is between the viewer and the image, and sometimes, the relationship is profound, and others it can be negligible.

Some photographs make an impact and keep you looking back at them and seeing more than you had noticed in the beginning, others you may look at once, and never be drawn to them again, that’s just the way it is.

For many people, their snapshots tell more of a story than the “artsy” types of photos than others tend to like taking.  The story told by a snapshot at a family gathering is more personal than that told by most “professional” photographs, The story is not more nor less important, just different and more personal, and no one should seek to belittle one or the other, that’s just the way it is.

Tree, in June?