Believe it or not, when I was a young child, I loved going to the dentist office–Dr. McKenna’s in Flint, Michigan to be precise. He always stocked the magazine racks with fresh copies of Ranger Rick and Highlights. Even going with four sisters in tow, I could always find an untouched copy of Hidden Pictures, and would happily sit in the children’s area, circling each of my finds and crossing off the items from the list.

Maybe that’s why I search for the unexpected in nature. This past weekend, I discovered a plethora of wooden creatures all in the same white oak tree at the river. The boles, bumps and broken branches have not diminished the 100-plus-year-old tree, but have only added to its character. I often wonder if different people see different things: gargoyle or dragon; Alien-esque mouth or bird’s nest? Or perhaps something my imagination did not fathom.

Or maybe it’s because my dad took us all on an annual snipe hunt, promising that if we bagged a bird (in a pillowcase), it would imprint on us and follow us around for life. I used to imagine the fun I would have in grade school with an emu-like creature waddling after me.

For more oaken creatures, checki out my art & photos page. My favorite is the goblin.

P.P.S And to my sisters, don’t think I ever forgot about the “secret candy tunnel” in the neighbor’s root cellar!