Tag Archives: scotland

Classification of trees

I have been thinking a great deal about taxonomies and classification recently. Partly this is a result of my profession, but I have long been interested in structures of organization. Most recently, I found myself at a postcard fair where every set and descriptor was accompanied by groupings of images compiled and taken over the last fifty years. The ghost of Paul Otlet hovered, his pockets filled with plans for the Universal Decimal Classification, and all I could think to look for were images of light and trees.

And then I found myself a distance away contemplating ancient living things that were unfamiliar, the landscape strange to me. Certain specimens looked like paintings, or the residue of some forgotten image. Perhaps I am eclipsing my own ability to see new things.

While thinking about my own relationship to the world around me, I also thought about the many gradations of bark, moss, roots. A cypress or a mangrove stand? Nothing too profound crossed my mind, and I wished for nothing more.