Inextricably Intertwined

When people say the phrase “inextricably intertwined”, they usually mean it figuratively: events or interests or fates or feelings might be the subject. I use the phrase literally. I got interested in trees and vines and their relationships earlier this winter when I photographed some trees for the Sunshine Project, and since then I’ve been paying attention.

At this time of year it’s easy to see the details of vines and trees. There are no leaves or other greenery to interfere. To me, there is something vaguely unsettling about vines circling tree trunks or bases; it always seems to me that one is a predator and the other the prey. A determined vine has the power to bring down a large tree, if enough time is allowed for it to do its work.

The complicated forms the relationship takes, though, are eye-catching and often graceful. That’s what I was thinking about in these pictures that I have collected over the past weeks. Take a look and see what you think.


These trees are cedars along the closed portion of Jarrett Road, Horsham, PA, part of the Power Line Trail park, in February, 2015.

These pictures are from the same site. The vine looks reptilian, I think, and seems to be crawling up the tree in a sinister way.

A knotted tangle encircles this tree, also from the Power Line Trail park.

A bit more lighthearted, these two vine/tree relationships seem to me; I like the swirly twistiness of the vines and they don’t look to be strangling the tree. Yet, anyway. These are also from the Power Line Trail park.

I saw this tree and its heavy tangled partner in the Fort Washington State Park along the Green Ribbon Trail in March, 2015.

This tree supports a fascinating tightly-coiled thick vine. It’s also from the Green Ribbon Trail.

This view shows the trees and vines along the Pennypack Trail in Huntingdon Valley, PA, in March, 2015. Honestly, the vines are as big as the trees and maybe even more numerous. If you are a vine I would advise trying some other location; this one seems to be full up.

Trees and vines Lorimer Park 3-31-15 small


About Claudia McGill

A person who does art and writes poetry. That's me!

2 responses to “Inextricably Intertwined

  1. Sharon Mann

    These remarkable trees conjure up all kinds of creative ideas. Beautiful photography!

    • I am amazed at how many and how varied are these tree/vine situations. You can’t see them when the greenery starts to fill the scenes in. I could go on and on with these pictures. I am fascinated.

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