A Love Letter to My Dog
If I get too serious or lose sight of how marvelous the world is, my dog Henry is there to remind me to have fun, enjoy a good roll and live in the moment!
And it’s thanks to him that I discovered my passion for trees and began my ongoing series of tree portraits.
I adopted Henry almost 10 years ago from ORA (Organization for the Rescue of Animals) I’d never had a dog before so I had no idea how much time I would spend walking outside. Over time, walking with Henry, I began to discover my neighbourhood. Previously, I hadn’t noticed the trees on the city streets, but the more I walked, the more I noticed them and their presence began to resonate with me. Since I was often walking when there weren’t very many people on the streets, the trees became my companions. I felt compelled to document my new tree friends and built up a collection of photographs.
I exhibited this series in my 2015 exhibition titled Arbor Vitae (Tree of Life) at the Earl Selkirk Gallery, ARTiculations
Vitrine window, The Trees Amongst Us exhibit May - June 2018 Photo Credit: Brian Boyle
A few years later in 2017, I became aware of tree identification signs attached to the street trees in the Junction.
I was delighted to see these signs and found them very useful for expanding my tree identification skills. With a bit of research I discovered that the signs were one element of an Adopt-a-Street-Tree Program, initiated by a local tree advocacy organization, LEAF and run by a dedicated group of volunteers. I was so impressed by the program that I decided to become a volunteer. This street tree project inspired me to create a series of tree portraits as way to record and pay homage to the group of trees cared for by various businesses, organizations and individuals in the Junction.
Since then I’ve expanded my series to encompass other parts of Toronto with the intent of showing how trees knit neighbourhoods together and bring colour and life to the city. During the Spring 2020 stay at home period Henry and I continued our daily walks and discovered many more tree friends (check back for my next blog about the rainbow ribbon trees)
Our walks inspired me to begin an ongoing series of tree portraits featuring Henry and his favourite trees.
Doesn’t Henry look great proudly posing beside a rainbow ribbon tree?
Henry and a rainbow ribbon maple tree
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