Gift of A Dog’s Love

the gift of a dog's love is one many don't deserve
….the gift of a dog’s love is one many don’t deserve

Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography

© Christena Stephens, 2014 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given to Christena Stephens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Remains of Black Willow Tree

The Remains of a Black Willow Tree.

On a brisk, cloudy October day in 2009, I went hiking with Sammy, who was an 80+ year-old lady. She wanted to show me the site of a known “Billy the Kid” hideout in Bailey County, Texas less than 15 miles from the New Mexico border. As we hiked up the side of the hill, equivalent to about a four-story building towards the cave I noticed off to the west a dying large tree. It turned out a big chuck of the hideout cave had fallen in over time, but I could envision why Billy would’ve of used it due to its vantage point of enabling him to see a far distance in every direction.

As we hiked back down the hill, the tree caught my eye again due to its shape of the upward turned branches. Located in a draw with small standing water, a big part of it was dead, while only a small remaining section was alive. It took forever for me to identify the tree based on the bark and dying leaves as a black willow tree. Native Americans used the tree for basketry, as well as treatment of fever, headache, and coughs. The bark of the tree contains salicylic acid, a chemical compound similar to aspirin.

Note: This photo was accepted in the juried “still” photography exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas in 2015.

Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography

© Christena Stephens, 2014 – 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given to Christena Stephens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.