My Favourite Tree – a Springtime Animation

My favorite tree is a chestnut in the park in front of my apartment at the Lijnbaan in downtown Rotterdam. Every spring I am amazed about the speed with which nature operates. Within a few weeks time a metamorphosis takes place: the barren tree gets buds, leaves and a short time later flowers which then also pretty quickly disappear.

Chestnut tree in the center of Rotterdam
It all starts in March…

Last year, during the months of March, April and May, I took a photo every day at nine a.m. from the walkway in front of my appartment on the sixth floor. In a perfect situation I’d use a weathertight protected fixed camera that does that automatically, like Bruno van den Elshout did for his New Horizons project. But I am afraid I’d first have to find sponsors for that. Besides, I do not live in a terribly rough neighborhood but to put an expensive camera three months in such a publicly accessible place, you need to have a lot of faith in humanity.

Smooth or jerky

The consequence is that combining those images resulted in a less smooth animation than I expected. Somewhat disappointed, I abandoned the project, a summer, autumn and winter long.

Chestnut tree in the center of Rotterdam
In the beginning of May

Last Sunday, on the first lovely day of the next spring, I suddenly felt like finishing the movie. And guess what: actually that jerkiness has also its charm. Nature doesn’t always let itself be squeezed into slick formats.

Someone commented that a video showing a whole year would be nice. But the reason I quit last year after three months it was a very trivial one: I went on vacation. Also, after that explosion in spring, in summer not much happens for a few months. But I do not exclude the possibility that this little project will be continued in the autumn.

Update: Fall 2016

Another spring and two autumns have passed I haven’t made that fall animation yet. But the chestnut was exceptionally beautiful in recent weeks, just like the rest of the park. Here’s a photo of my favorite tree in its autumn dress:

Aerial view of the chestnut tree on Jan Evertsenplaats near Lijnbaan in downtwon Rotterdam during autumn
In autumn

And here’s an image of the tree as seen from the park. A nice souvenir to look at every now and then, the coming winter.

Photo of the chestnut tree at Jan Evertsenplaats in downtwon Rotterdam as seen from the little park
Winter is coming…

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