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The natural world in moonlight is seen by few, while most of us sleep. Moonglow is clear and still. Many of us would like to wander these imaginary paths if we could.
For many years, my wife and I have hiked the woods with curiosity and finding solace. I have always loved tree stumps and have taken many photographs of them. Despite their states of decay, their varied shapes recall mountains and cliffs, the mosses resemble grass, trees, and bushes, and the littered debris mimics paths, streams, and rocks. Small mushrooms stand in this space like tall trees.
Perhaps it was the exceptional crop of moss from the increased temperature and persistent moisture of the past season that allowed me to see these trunks in this way. Studies on the effects of climate change have shown that for a three-degree centigrade increase in temperature, the rate of wood rotting and growth of moss increases by as much as fifty percent. So, these stumps with their verdant scenery are testaments to increasing rates of decay. All that these nocturnal worlds needed was a starry sky, and for this purpose, I employed images made freely available from the NASA Hubble Space Telescope.